This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, by Kenneth Oppel
Victor and Konrad Frankenstein are identical twins and best friends. Along with their friends Elizabeth and Henry, the boys discover a secret room in their home full of forbidden books of alchemy. Their father tells them to stay away from the banned library. But when Konrad falls deathly ill, Victor will go to the ends of the earth and risk life and limb to find a cure for his brother. Even if it means turning to the dangerous craft of alchemy.
Told from Victor Frankenstein’s point of view, the readers get a glimpse into the legendary doctor’s past and his motivations. He is a seemingly average boy, with a brewing jealousy of his brother. In fact, even in his failings, Victor is an extremely believable and sympathetic character. His initial motivations are genuine to help his brother, but with the lengths that he goes to – we begin to see the stirrings of the man he will become. Oppel’s characters are beautifully rich and complex.
This Dark Endeavor is a completely captivating and engaging coming-of-age tale. Flawlessly blending mild horror, drama, and adventure, this young adult novel is a must read for classic horror fans. Full of suspense, chills, and a bit of romance – this is edge-of-your-seat excitement from beginning to end.