This Dark Endeavor (Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Series #1)

This Dark Endeavor (Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Series #1)

by Kenneth Oppel

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This Dark Endeavor 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
TheBumbleGirl1 More than 1 year ago
A forbidden secret library. Adventure. A love triangle. Suspense. The quest to find the ingredients to the elixir of life... What an amazing prequel to Mary Shelley's classic, Frankenstein - Victor is your typical 15 year old teen boy, everything seems to be fun and games until something serious and life-changing happens and Victor must decide if doing the wrong thing is actually the right thing to do. He enlists his twin brother, Konrad, their 'distant' cousin, Elizabeth, and family friend, Henry, on an adventure never to be forgotten. Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle going on, but it is done so perfectly that you will not lose the pace of the story, nor be distracted by it either. There were a few 'gasp-out-loud' moments where I had to will the images out of my head - but I am squeamish, lol, and those who are not, will love every single detail of their journey. This is a definite 'buzz-worthy' must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just wanted to say there is a sequel thank gosh!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was great. It wasnt scary as it sounds really. But the ending is the worst. It is sad and eveything turns out not according ro plan. If theres not a secound book im going to really MAD!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. I couldn't put it down. I'm a twin too so i could relate to Victor's pain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I've read so far
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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KimballSK More than 1 year ago
I love different takes on characters and stories that we've known and loved for ages. This Dark Endeavour could be a novel that merely rides on the coattails of Mary Shelley's classic tale, Frankenstein, but it is a great story in its own right. Victor and Konrad Frankenstein are twins with a complicated relationship. They are both brilliant, clever, fun, gregarious and adventurous. Their differences are what separates them, however, and add an air of competition to their usually loving and close relationship. Elizabeth is a childhood friend that is forever caught between the two and becomes willingly involved in their adventures. Naturally, both brothers find themselves enamored of her and the divide between them escalates. The love triangle is not the crux of the story, however, the trio discover forbidden documents, brave fatal illnesses, hunt in the farthest reaches of the land for potion ingredients, are betrayed, betray each other, and suffer terrible losses in the course of this story. This Dark Endeavour takes place several years before the tale of Victor Frankenstein that we already know. I loved peeking into this part of his young adulthood and knowing the tortured man he will ultimately become. The beginning is enjoyable and all about the setup, but the last half is the part of This Dark Endeavour that will make you a true fan. The pace is breakneck and the twist and turns abound. After the last page was turned, I found myself with my mouth hanging open and my heart in my throat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kenneth Oppel is a great writer. I have not read a book like this in a while. You will not be disappointed if you buy this book.
TMSOTO More than 1 year ago
This book is a "can't put it down -read the night through-husband and kids were jealous " kind of book. Don't read when you have to get up early the next morning! You will want to read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein all over again....
Mandi23k More than 1 year ago
I got sucked in from the first chapter and read this book in 2 days..... thats with a full time job and a boyfriend.... I love this twist on a classic tale. There was such adventure and excitement throughout the whole thing. It ends with an unspoken promise of a next book where we might find out more! Hope there is a next one and don't think I can wait until it come out!
yearningtoread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (The Dark Endeavor Chronicles #1)Pages: 304Release Date: August 23rd, 2011Date Read: 2011, Oct. 25th-20thReceived: LibraryRating: 4/5 starsRecommended to: 14+SUMMARY -Victor and Konrad Frankenstein are twins - together from birth, inseparable at any cost. They are both the same in looks - and yet so completely different in personality, wisdom, and vision. When Konrad grows ill, and none of the doctors seem to be able to heal him, Victor decides to take the matter into his own hands. He wishes to create the Elixir of Life, to bring his brother to complete health again. With the help of his friends Elizabeth and Henry, Victor will risk everything to save his brother's life, before it's too late.MY THOUGHTS -I love Kenneth Oppel. I love the way he writes, the way his characters spring to life, imperfections and all.This Dark Endeavor shot up my reading list when I saw it. It was first in line, even with tons of stuff going on. I had to have it.And it was totally awesome! Maybe not as memorable as the Matt Cruise books; maybe not as totally incredibly amazing - but wonderful all the same. Totally different, too. For a while, I wasn't sure what to rate it, but 4 stars feel right. While it didn't blow my mind, it was still so solid and right and good and just soooo well-written because you really can't expect otherwise from Kenneth Oppel.CHARACTER NOTES -Victor and Konrad were so perfect for each other and this book. Because not only are they twins ad best friends, but they are also, in a way, opposing forces.Victor had a great leading role voice. The reason? He was a fool, lacking in wisdom and grace. And yet, I absolutely loved him. That Oppel was able to show Victor's immense stupidity without making the reader hate him is an incredible feat. Seeing Victor change throughout the book, whether for good or bad, was also something I could hold onto about Victor. I still think of him. HE was memorable, that's for sure.Elizabeth and Henry were extraordinary; Elizabeth with her two sides, Henry with his fears and doubts. They were 3D and easy to relate to and totally different.And Konrad. He's not a favorite, but he was indeed strong and valiant, at heart if not in body. If I had not cared for him, the drive to the story would have been lost. He was important, and I definitely value presence in the book.STORY NOTES -At first, I was incredibly intrigued. What would Oppel do with a retelling/prologue of Frankenstein's life? The first chapters were both startling and beautiful, as well as sad and foreboding. Then I got busy with life and couldn't read for two days and lost track of the story at a slower part...and it took a bit of shoving my way back in before I felt at home again. But as soon as I was, the story flew ahead and - wow.It was crazy. The quests and feats they accomplished to get the three ingredients to the Elixir were intense and really revealed character strengths and weaknesses.There were some very crazy twists in the end, and I was happy to find that Oppel delivered his usual - where just when you think things can't get any worse, they do. This happens for a few chapters and then - BAM! You're shocked by the final, climactic scene. I love Oppel for that, among other things.Also -the love triangle. Woah! I've never read anything quite like that. Yikes! What will happen?!SUMMING IT UP -Bitter. Usually I don't use negative words to describe books I like, but it's so true. This book was full of bitterness - mixed with love, braver, passion, and madness. What a crazy combination - one that I heartily enjoyed - and even shed a tear over. Wow! Such Wicked Intent comes out late this summer and I'm SO EXCITED to read it!! :DFor the Parents -Maybe one minor cuss word. Some passionate kisses; Victor sees Elizabeth's wild, passionate, side and feels something powerful towards her - love, surely, but also an animal-like lust which he tries to overcome.
VisVitaVeritas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel is a prequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein as a teenage boy who begins to explore the dark sciences as a way to save his twin brother, Konrad's, life. Victor, Konrad, Elizabeth, their mutual love interest, and best friend Henry share difficult choices and dangerous adventures as they fight to save Konrad's life and to discover who they really are. The book is incredible- really, really engrossing and full of adventure, mystery, romance, jealousy and darkness. I think it would be perfect to pair with Frankenstein in a booktalk, reading assignment, whatever. With a classic like Frankenstein that's been reimagined so often, especially in film, I think it's easy to imagine that we already know the story and that it's not worth reading, but reading This Dark Endeavor will make readers want to know more of the story and to compare Victor as a teen to Victor as an adult mad scientist.
thebumblegirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A forbidden secret library. Adventure. A love triangle. Suspense.The quest to find the ingredients to the elixir of life...What an amazing prequel to Mary Shelley's classic, Frankenstein -Victor is your typical 15 year old teen boy, everything seems to be fun and games until something serious and life-changing happens and Victor must decide if doing the wrong thing is actually the right thing to do.He enlists his twin brother, Konrad, their 'distant' cousin, Elizabeth, and family friend, Henry, on an adventure never to be forgotten.Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle going on, but it is done so perfectly that you will not lose the pace of the story, nor be distracted by it either.There were a few 'gasp-out-loud' moments where I had to will the images out of my head - but I am squeamish, lol, and those who are not, will love every single detail of their journey.This is a definite 'buzz-worthy' must read!
FionaCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Victor and his twin brother Konrad have a good life in the Frankenstein family chateau on the shores of Lake Geneva. Their parents are loving and open-minded, the servants are part of the family, and they are getting a wonderful education from their father and other tutors. Even their distant cousin, Elizabeth, shares in their schooling, something quite rare at a time when France was in the throes of a revolution.The chateau is an old building, full of secrets passages and dungeons. The cousins discover a hidden library full of books on alchemy, which their father forbids them to visit again. But when Konrad falls ill with a mysterious disease and none of the doctors seem to able to heal him, Victor returns to the Dark Library in search of a cure for his brother.With the help of a dubious alchemist in town, Victor, Elizabeth and their friend Henry begin a quest to gather the ingredients for the magical Elixir of Life. It is dangerous, but Victor is determined to save his brother¿s life. During the quest, he discovers his romantic feelings for Elizabeth ¿ and has to deal with the fact that she is already in love with Konrad. Is the mysterious Polidori really on their side? Can the friends find the ingredients for the elixir without losing their own lives? What will Victor have to sacrifice for his brother? And can Konrad¿s life really be saved?Victor Frankenstein is, of course, the main character of Mary Shelley¿s classic novel Frankenstein. This book gives us a glimpse at his life before he created the famous monster (and by the way, the monster¿s name is not Frankenstein ¿ it doesn¿t have a name at all).
elissajanine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This Dark Endeavor is a pacy, high-tension adventure story with some excellently subtle and believable character development. The writing was strong, and I enjoyed the gothic tone and imagery. Having read Shelley's Frankenstein adds another layer to the book, but teens who are only a little familiar with the Frankenstein tale will still enjoy This Dark Endeavor because it holds its own with a strong plot and lots of excitement.
mamzel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kenneth Oppel sure can write a good adventure story involving both boys and girls. In this book the hero is a young Victor Frankenstein, twin brother to Konrad. Konrad is very ill and Victor tries to keep him alive by concocting an elixir from a recipe found in old books in his family castle's basement. Victor, his cousin, Elizabeth, and friend, Henry, take the books to Julius Polidori, a man rumored to have been involved in alchemy and who may be able to translate the recipe and create the elixir. Readers are treated to page-turning action as the trio dashes around the country side with faith, dedication and self-sacrifice to help Konrad. The story ends with the distinct possibility of a sequel or two.
yarmando on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Teenage Victor Frankenstein pursues alchemy cure for his twin brother.Why I picked it up: Starred professional reviews, and I like Oppel.Why I finished it: It was a slog, frankly. Oppel is a decent writer, and I was vaguely interested in where he was going with this. We all know where this story ends up, so it plays out like a tragedy.I'd give it to: Grad students tracking the rising trend of Alchemy stories.
ken1952 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The love triangle spoils an otherwise exciting and frightening young adult novel about the young Victor Frankenstein and his twin bro Konrad. If I could only exorcise those rather vapid love scenes! This will be a hard sell since young teen boys aren't going to go for the pinings of Victor for his brother's only love...the beautiful Elizabeth. And teen girls aren't going to care much about the dark and brooding Victor and his quest for the Elixer of Life, even though Elizabeth is a strong female character. Some great scenes, though. Fairly violent with lots of blood.
TheRandomGirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
He's aliveee! Well, only in Kenneth Oppel's book anyway. And no, we're not talking about the modern-Prometheus-Frankenstein here. We're talking, the creator of Frankenstein--Victor Frankenstein. The young Victor Frankenstein way before Mary Shelley's original story. And I have to say, This Dark Endeavor is an unforgettable book.True story, I haven't read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein nor have I seen any Frankenstein retellings around. I didn't plan to any time in near the future, anyway. But This Dark Endeavor captured my attention and Kenneth Oppel scores points for a unique and original story. The writing was exceptional and convinced me that this could in fact, be real and that I was in Geneva in the 18th century. I noticed though, that throughout the book "for" was used countless times.I honestly don't know what I expected from This Dark Endeavor, but whatever I did, the book managed to exceed those expectations. I never thought This Dark Endeavor would take me on a joyride of emotions and not once did I think that the love triangle would be that bitter. It had me jumping from Victor to Konrad--both brothers whom I love. Konrad, effortlessly perfect, calm, attractive against his twin brother, Victor. Victor who has to work for everything, quick tempered, and flawed. Both brothers fight for the love for their distant cousin, the feisty Elizabeth, who is the only girl who dared to adventure with the Frankenstein brothers--plus Henry.Victor Frankenstein was a character full of flaws. He was jealous, possessive, and compared to his brother, he was imperfect. He isn't always good, unlike his brother, but he strives to be. Most of the time, being compared to someone who looks exactly like you but is better than you, is a pain. And it drives Victor mad. Still, he took extreme measures to save his twin. Though flawed, Victor burns with passion and determination throughout the book and combining all three, passion, flaws, and determination Victor makes a relatable three-dimensional character.Kenneth Oppel intricately spins the creepy, chilling, gothic, and suspenseful tale of the apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, with twists that make you never put the book down. The ending had me in tears, and the only thing running through my mind at the end was, "This isn't the end. There has to be more."
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of Victor Frankenstein as a young man,before the events described in Mary Wollstonecraft's novel. His twin brother, Konrad, becomes extremely ill, and Victor develops an obsession with alchemy while trying to find a cure for his brother's illness.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first introduction to Frankenstein was the old black and white movie that were on TV in the 1960¿s. I loved spending my Saturdays watching them. When I hit college and studied Byron, and Shelley I learned how the story of Frankenstein came about. Percy and Mary Shelley were visiting their friend Lord Byron when a storm came up. They sat around telling ghost stories when a challenge was thrown out. They were each to write a scary story and see who could come up with the best. Enter Mary Shelley¿s Frankenstein. For this reason when given the opportunity to read and review this book I jumped at the chance.Kenneth Oppel took a few liberties when creating the early years of Victor Frankenstein. He gave Victor a twin brother. Victor and Konrad love each other very much. Where Victor is out for success, doing things that will make a name for himself, no matter what¿; his brother Konrad is the opposite. He is constantly thinking of others and giving credit to others instead of taking it for himself. This of course draws people to him. Then we throw in their distant cousin Elizabeth. Both of the boys are drawn to her. When we add the jealousy Victor feels towards his brother over Elizabeth and the way Konrad is treated by others we can see trouble brewing. When Konrad becomes ill and doctors can do nothing, Victor decides to become the hero here. He will do what the regular doctors can¿t. HE will find a cure for his brother. He along with Elizabeth and his best friend Henry search out the old outcast alchemist Julius Polidari. He then sets out on a quest to retrieve the three main ingredients necessary for ¿the elixir of life¿. We can see right from the beginning there is a battle raging inside of Victor. It is the battle of why he is truly taking up this quest. We see the power of darkness, in all its forms, and its effect on him. This is a book that anyone who loves Frankenstein, or anyone who has never been privileged to read Frankenstein should read. It diverts from the original a bit but not enough to detract. In my opinion it enhanced my reading experience.
SmithSJ01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. It is the first in a duology acting as a prequel to Mary Shelley¿s `Frankenstein¿. Set in eighteenth-century Geneva, readers are introduced to the Frankenstein twins (Victor and Konrad) as children - two very different boys born just minutes apart. They share their luxurious life with their cousin Elizabeth, whose appearance is explained early on in the novel. Konrad becomes sick and Victor dreams of being able to cure him, even more so after discovering the Dark Library hidden in a secret room. The adventures that the three of them have, along with their friend Henry, are fantastic and with such evocative narrative they really come to life. All of the characters are very well written and the way in which the author has made it an accessible introduction to the Frankenstein story is great. I never particularly enjoyed reading Mary Shelley¿s novel when I first approached it but perhaps after reading this story, along with the second prequel (Such Wicked Intent) it would be more enjoyable.A brilliant story!
souloftherose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Victor Frankenstein has always felt slightly overshadowed by his elder twin brother Konrad. Konrad is kinder, more intelligent and stronger than Victor and is loved and admired by the whole household, family and servants alike, in a way that Victor knows he never will be. But when Konrad falls dangerously ill with a seemingly uncurable fever, Victor knows that he will do anything to make his brother well again and against the wishes of his parents he starts to dabble in alchemy, trying to concoct an Elixir of Life that will make Konrad well again.Kenneth Oppel has written a prequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, featuring a young Victor Frankenstein at 16. I have read the original Frankenstein before but it was some time ago and I don't think you need to have read it to enjoy this prequel.I thought Oppel did a really good job with the characters of Victor and Konrad Frankenstein. We know Victor Frankenstein isn't exactly a saint as an adult and you can see the beginnings of this in the arrogance and jealousy that Victor exhibits as a young man. It would be all too easy for Oppel to have made Victor a very unlikeable character as young man but he's managed to show enough of a dark side to Victor to make it believable that he becomes the adult Victor Frankenstein but there's also enough of a good side to him to make him a character we can sympathise with. Again, Konrad is clearly the nicer of the two twins but not so nice and good that you end up disliking him or finding him annoying. After a bit of a slow start I found myself more and more drawn in to this gothic tale. Once I got to the last 70 pages or so I really couldn't put the book down. This is apparently the first of two books about young Victor Frankenstein and although most readers will be pleased to hear that the first book doesn't end with a cliff-hanger ending, there's still plenty of scope left for a second book. I really enjoyed reading this and it's made me want to reread Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein. I hope it also inspires young people to go on to read that great gothic classic for the first time.
Coreena More than 1 year ago
This Dark Endeavor is a fun, Gothic read, a sort of prequel to Shelley's Frankenstein. This is the story of Victor Frankenstein as a teen and his twin brother, Konrad. Oppel expertly explores Victor and how he could have come to be the character we all know from literature. I enjoyed Oppel's writing and world building -- he made the world of chemistry, alchemy, and philosophy of the time vivid and come to life. It all feels authentic and dark and rich. Then there was the development of Victor and his relationship with his brother and Elizabeth. We feel for Victor, but also can see his flaws and the dichotomies of his personality. I love these kinds of explorations of someone's psyche, trying to figure out what makes them tick. This Dark Endeavor will appeal to middle grade and young adult readers who are looking for something dark and Gothic, almost steampunk.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is simply one of the best books i have read !!!!! And trust me i have read many interseting books in my day.