Book Review: This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor : The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel. 2011. (ARC Copy) Pub date: August 23rd, 2011

Victor constantly compares himself to his twin brother Konrad, often coming up short. But when Konrad contracts an incurable disease, Victor must find the means to save him–whatever the cost. Along with his friends Henry and Elizabeth, he discovers the secret books of alchemy and uncovers a recipe for the Elixir of Life. Determined to save his brother, Victor and his friends face the dark dangers of Sturmwald forest and dangerous caves to find the rare ingredients. But as Victor comes closer to saving his brother, their shared love of Elizabeth may tear the twins apart forever.


This latest entry from Oppel captured my attention right from the beginning. The setting, characters, and plot all work together to create a haunting tale of science and horror that perfectly suits a Frankenstein prequel. Victor’s passionate and obsessive personality leaps off the page with his determination to save his brother, and then with his love for Elizabeth. He truly wants to save Konrad, but he’s also hungry for the glory and power of being the one who saves him. Oppel also makes the action and adventure come to life for readers. As I listened to Victor, Konrad, and Elizabeth descend into the caves under Lake Geneva to obtain the coelacanth fish, I found myself working out at the gym much longer than I expected, because I couldn’t stop reading until the action was done! Any book that can make you work out longer is a must read, in my mind.


An unexpected twist at the very end reveals that this will not be the last we hear of young Victor Frankenstein. I can’t wait for the next in the series! Pre-order your copy, or get your name on a library list for a copy, because this is one adventure you don’t want to miss!

Lindsey L.