Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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

To Be Published August 2011.

I keep delaying this blog posting because I'm not sure what to write. This book will receive a lot of hype--I was sent an uncorrected proof from Simon & Schuster last week. The cover is awesome, isn't it? And the author is Kenneth Oppel, best known for Airborn, a Printz Honor winner. I'm a huge fan of that series so I gladly dove into this new novel, even though it's billed as a prequel to Frankenstein. Um, that's not a good thing in my eyes--Frankenstein was a great story, but a horrible read.

Victor (I'm picturing a brooding Robert Pattinson playing the role) has always been competitive with his twin brother Konrad. But when Konrad becomes sick, Victor and friends try anything to save him, including a trip to the hidden cellar to find a cure with alchemy. Alchemy is banned in Geneva, but Victor wants to save his brother, even if a big reason is to prove his awesomeness to Elizabeth, the cousin both twins love. To create the magical elixir to save his brother, the teenagers must have dangerous adventures, mix with evil doers and risk their own lives for Konrad. All in all, Oppel created a pretty good reason why Victor creates a Frankenstein monster. The mix between good and evil, curiosity and stupidity, and love and obsession is delicately balanced. I can see this as a good movie with good-looking actors and actresses--it's full of teenage angst, forbidden romance, and dark intentions.

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