This Dark Endeaver: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel came out today. This is his back story to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein novel.
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 peaks Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be 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. Elizabeth, Henry, and Victor immediately set out to find assistance in a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.Oppel is a very talented writer based on the Airborn trilogy. I got the impression that the work rests on a very solid foundation. His writing style is extremely clear and consistent. When reading you can plow forward into the story with complete trust of the author. I often felt that each of the books could be used as text-book this is how it's done right examples.
Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrads 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.
His characters were likable if not somewhat frustrating in their stubborn flaws, which was wonderful. Oppel even had the ability to make some villains very likable (a talent I greatly admire).
A film adaptation of Oppel's This Dark Endeaver: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein is already in the works and currently is listed as in development.
Critics are pleased with the book so far...
"Oppel’s novel is a gripping tale of undying devotion, mixing hope with foreboding."—The Horn Book in a STARRED reviewAt Amazon.com the first chapter of the book is available!
“Oppel’s tale is melodramatic, exciting, disquieting…a delicious mix.”—Publisher’s Weekly in a STARRED review
"Brash, jealous, and arrogant, Victor is sweet relief from today’s introspective YA protagonists, and one can easily visualize how this teen becomes the mad genius of Shelley’s Frankenstein."--Booklist
“Oppel has reinvented the gothic thriller for modern readers. The narrative crackles with tension, emotions run high, and the atmosphere is perfectly dark and brooding. The Shelleys would be proud. I definitely recommend you check out the book when it's published August 23. I anticipate This Dark Endeavor will get a lot of attention, and rightly so."--Rick Riordan
About the Author
KENNETH OPPEL’s first novel was published when he was eighteen years old. Since then, he was won extraordinary acclaim for his imaginative works, including the Silverwing trilogy and the Airborn series. The novel Airborn won both a Printz Honor and the Governor General’s Award.
I look forward to checking this book out.