Friday, June 8, 2012

This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor:The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

I just realized that this is the first in a series.  Book 2, Such Wicked Intent, is scheduled to be released 21 August 2012.  My copy of This Dark Endeavor (on the Kindle) included Mary Shelley's Frankenstein immediately following the end of the book.

This book is told in the voice of Victor Frankenstein, age 15.  He, his twin brother Konrad and their distant cousin are constant companions.  Elizabeth's parents died when she was young and Victor's father was loathe to leave her living in a convent rather than with family.  She has been raised as a sister to the twins.  There are also two younger brothers that are rarely seen or heard.

If you've ever wondered how Victor Frankenstein ended up trying to create life from previously dead tissue, this is an excellent supposition.  Oppel plants the seeds of possibility into the impressionable young man.  He gives us a boy who is exactly like his twin but, nothing like him.  Konrad is a very likeable boy who is at ease in a number of social settings.  Victor feels awkward with anyone who is not a close family member and never knows what to say.  School work and intense study comes easily to Konrad but Victor must work harder in order to learn but the skills of study don't come easily or happily either.

We are left with a vision of a young man who is just starting to realize how different he is from his twin and how much he resents the differences when he has always thought of them as the same.  Couple this with a new fascination in alchemy and books filled with the dark arts and you have a wonderful beginning.

I enjoyed this book and now that I know another is coming out, I think I will read it.  I am guessing it ventures into the young adult phase of Victor as well as his formal education and relationships that will form him into the man created by Mary Shelley.

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