Suggested age: 10+
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Publisher: Harper Collins 2011
Victor Frankenstein will stop at nothing to save his twin brother, Konrad from the mysterious and deadly blood disease that is threatening his life. With help from the twin’s beautiful and headstrong cousin, Elizabeth, and their not-so-adventurous friend, Henry, Victor explores the forbidden library and delves into the dark and dangerous world of alchemy. All his life Victor has been second best to his brother, Konrad until he discovers the seductive art of alchemy. Will his passion for control and love for Elizabeth help to save Konrad or be the demise of the brothers?
Award winning author of Airborn’s Kenneth Oppel delivers a twisted tale of adventure and science. Set in Victorian times, I could easily see this novel turned into a gothic steampunk film for young adults. Far different from the latest influx of dystopian novels I have been reading, I found This Dark Endeavour a refreshing change. From the attention to propriety of the Victorian customs to the formalities of language, Oppel does a fine example of replicating the era and still allowing for the adventure and daring that excites today’s youth.