Published: October 2011
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Copy provided by: Borrowed
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.
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.
Truth be told, I have never read a title by Kenneth Oppel. However, learning from other librarians, he is often used as one of my go-to authors for reluctant young male readers. I found This Dark Endeavour a bit tough to get into . I often felt as though I would require an English accent to narrate properly (which begs the question - what does the audiobook sound like?). However, once this book started going, it just never stopped. I am happy to say that I enjoyed reading This Dark Endeavour immensely. There were tense moments when I never wanted to put it down! Mr. Oppel did a fine job of keeping me entertained. I felt that the story had all of the elements I was looking for in a YA novel - mystery, romance and lots of action.
This would be a great title for a reluctant teenage reader if they can get through the first 20 pages. For me, it was well worth the time to finish up the book.
There was one scene in the story where an alchemist, Polidori is performing "surgery" on a book. It reminded me of piecing together Frankenstein (also the last name of the main characters). There were lots of clever quips and scenes in this novel. Two thumbs up for me! Curlypow, you'd better bump This Dark Endeavour up on your TBR list!
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