Title: This Dark Endeavor
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Release Date: August 23rd 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
"Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real.
They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only piques Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. With their friend Elizabeth, Henry and Victor immediately set out to find assistance from a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.
Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrad's life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another" (Goodreads)
I adored Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and when I heard someone was making a YA prequel I knew I had to read it! One of the reasons I was so excited to read it was because I wanted to know why Victor decided to do what he did in Frankenstein. Kenneth Oppel tackled that idea and created a wonderful story that even Mary Shelley would be proud of!
In the prequel, we are introduced to a fifteen year old Victor, his twin brother Konrad, their fiery cousin Elizabeth and their poetic friend Henry Clerval. Life was grand for the young group considering the time period. Victor, Konrad and Elizabeth have always loved going on adventures. It isn't until Victor, Elizabeth and Konrad stumble upon a secret passage way leading to a hidden library underneath the chateau that things start to progress. The library contains book after book about alchemy, all of which interest Victor immensely. When Konrad falls victim to a mysterious deadly illness, Victor is determined to save him by discovering the formula needed to create the mythical Elixir of Life. Will he be able to succeed in being able to create the elixir and save his brother before its too late?
This book was fantastic! It had so much action and the romance was just the right dose. Not to mention the humor thrown into it! Especially with Henry. There was also quite a few passages that held the same tone as Frankenstein, which made me very happy! Even the psychology of the book was grand. It was fascinating to see how Victors mind worked, his internal struggle to combat good and evil. I could slowly see the personality of this Victor slowly start to change into Shelley's.
Overall this book was amazing. If you're hesitant about reading Frankenstein then I recommend reading this first and then see how you feel about it. Totally recommend everyone to read it!