Carla May's Reviews > This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
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's review
Apr 02, 2012

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Read in April, 2012

Victor Frankenstein was actually a twin, and this intimate connection and competition was the driving force behind his fanatic and passionate approach to the dark sciences that lead him to create his monster. Who knew? Actually, it turns out to be quite well done.

I do not mind when people write reverent (Key word: reverent) retellings or interpretations of classic literature, and I think that Kenneth Oppel does a fine job of putting human emotions and motivations into the sad tale of Victor Frankenstein. Oppel uses names and places from the original tale, but also includes numerous references to dreams (what Mary Shelley claimed inspired her to write the story in the first place) as well as posing the idea of a female Gothic novelist.

Parallels and dichotomies abound in the original Frankenstein, so I was particularly intrigued by the idea of making Victor Frankenstein a twin, since there is much lore behind the idea of twins and equally as much literary potential. However, though Victor's twin Konrad does an excellent job in giving Victor motivation for almost everything that comes later, Oppel does little to capitalize on the literary potential of twin-ship. This is my only reason for giving "This Dark Endeavor" three out of five stars: it is a good story with good characters, but it lacks the depth that made Mary Shelley's Frankenstein a classic.

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