Kat Heckenbach's Reviews > This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
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's review
Jun 04, 2012

really liked it

This book was a solid "good." I had a hard time, though, because I kept mentally comparing it to "The Monstrumologist" by Rick Yancey, which is full-blown excellent. Both take place in similar time periods, and both involve the idea of monsters--although this book doesn't actually have monsters in it, only the image you get when you read the name "Frankenstein." Had I not already read The Monstrumologist, though, I think I would have liked this book even more.

Victor Frankenstein and his twin brother are the best of friends. When Konrad becomes deathly ill and no doctor is able to cure him, Victor is willing to do anything to save his brother, even resort to alchemy, which is expressly forbidden by his father. He turns to an outcast alchemist in order to create the Elixir of Life. Acquiring the ingredients turns out to be dangerous in more ways than Victor could possibly bargain for.

Much of the story focuses on the love triangle that forms between Victor, Konrad, and their distant cousin Elizabeth. It is, mostly, a story of brotherly love and its delicate balance between adoration and jealousy.

Without giving any spoilers, I have to say that the ending angered me at first. But after closing the book and having a few days to think about it, I decided I liked the ending--for the express fact that it *made* me think about it for days.
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