This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

76%

46 Critic Reviews

A dark and dramatic back story for Shelley’s tormented creator.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Included in this edition of This Dark Endeavor, enjoy a free edition of Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein.

The purest intentions can stir up the darkest obsessions.

In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling give up on his brother, Victor, his beautiful cousin Elizabeth, and best friend Henry begin a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life.

Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy, and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.

Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science and, love -- and how much he is willing to sacrifice.
 

About Kenneth Oppel

See more books from this Author
Kenneth Oppel has published more than fifteen books for children. In 1995, he won the Air Canada Award for the best Canadian writer under the age of thirty. Formerly the Books for Young People Editor at Quill & Quire magazine, he now writes full time. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and children.
 
Published August 23, 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 306 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for This Dark Endeavor
All: 46 | Positive: 41 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jul 15 2011

A dark and dramatic back story for Shelley’s tormented creator.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Chelsea Cloud on Apr 16 2012

This is a great book for teenagers who are reluctant to read something that isn't contemporary.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Kelley Armstrong on Sep 23 2011

For those who have read Frankenstein, This Dark Endeavor adds a new chapter – and a fresh angle – to a familiar story.

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National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Craig Foster on Dec 16 2011

This thriller envelops you in a dark mysterious tale and I would recommend it to anyone 12 or older, for it delivers the thrills no matter how old you are.

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Kidz World

Excellent
Reviewed by Kidz World on Feb 17 2012

This Dark Endeavour is a rich, dramatic novel filled with love, jealousy and betrayal.

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Fantasy Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Stuart Wise on Oct 01 2012

My assessment of this book is that it is excellent, well written and true to the original. 

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Story Snoops

Good
Reviewed by Shannon on Jan 01 2011

It is not necessary to have read Frankenstein to follow this book. However, readers who may have previously been too intimidated to pick it up may want to give it a try after finishing this book. 

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The Book Smugglers

Good
Reviewed by Thea on Aug 17 2011

While the characters are superb, the novel itself is a tantalizing adventure, fraught with danger and cloaked in a lusciously dark, evocative atmosphere. 

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Just a Lil' Lost...

Good
Reviewed by Just a Lil Lost on Aug 01 2012

A fantastic beginning to an edge-of-your-seat series that will leave readers gasping with shock and crying out in surprise.

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Reading In Winter

Good
Reviewed by Kristilyn on Aug 22 2012

If you love a good gothic horror novel, or are a fan of Frankenstein, I say give this one a try!

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Shelf Awareness

Good
Reviewed by Jenny on Jan 01 2011

Oppel succeeds in creating a complex character living in the 18th century whose inner struggles will resonate profoundly with young men and women of modern times. 

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Frenetic Reader

Below average
Reviewed by Khy on Aug 20 2012

However, some of the other things in this book take far too much away from the awesome atmosphere. Namely, the characters.

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Novel Novice

Good
Reviewed by Stephanie/Elise on Oct 14 2011

It’s a perfect Halloween read, but really, it’s a great choice any time of the year.

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Reading Rants

Good
Reviewed by Reading Rants! on Jul 05 2011

As usual, Oppel is a master of pacing, taking readers on a freaky cool adventure that starts off with a BANG on the very first page.

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Caught Between the Pages

Below average
Reviewed by Kayla on Sep 09 2012

I do think that there will be others out there who will enjoy this story much more than I did.

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Back to Books

Good
Reviewed by Nicola Mansfield on Aug 28 2012

I did find the book a bit slow to get into but once I caught the flow, I was hooked and found the book hard to put down.

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Nerdy Book Club

Good
Reviewed by Beth Shaum on Mar 14 2012

Kenneth Oppel’s writing is so vivid in its delivery it is almost cinematic.

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Bookish

Good
Reviewed by Evie Seo on Nov 24 2011

A bitter love triangle, a suspicious alchemist, a forbidden book and an ultimate sacrifice that will change Victor's life forever - the suspense never lets up.

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Diary of a Book Addict

Good
Reviewed by Amanda on Aug 25 2012

Even though this book was a little slow at the beginning, I was on the edge of my seat by the end.

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One Librarian's Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Melissa on Jan 26 2012

Just the concept of seeing Frankenstein as a teen delights me.

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Tales of the Ravenous Reader

Good
Reviewed by Nancy on Jul 01 2012

What I really enjoyed about this novel besides it's main character was the adventure that he embarked on to save his brother. It was intense and I was gripping my book in manner that reminded me of how I felt when Harry Potter set out to find the hoar cruxes made from hethatshallnotbenamed. 

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Sophistikatied Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Katie on Oct 07 2011

Heart-stoppingly intense and engaging, This Dark Endeavor is sure to motivate tons of readers, like me, to introduce themselves to the classic that is Frankenstein.

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The Book Zone (For Boys)

Good
Reviewed by The Book Zone on Oct 05 2011

If you want something a little more challenging and psychologically scary than the likes of Higson and Shan for your Hallowe'en reading (or for that matter at any time of the year) then you really should give this book a try.

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Fabbity Fab Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Apr 22 2012

If you like atmospheric, gothic, melodramatic, and moody fiction, then I would recommend this.

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Death, Books and Tea

Good
Reviewed by Nina on Jan 25 2012

I  can't wait to see  what Victor and co do next.

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whatchYAreading

Good
Reviewed by Christine on Aug 08 2011

This book is gothic and gritty and so very, very good. 

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Emily's Reading Room

Good
Reviewed by Emily on Aug 17 2011

My advice? Read this book right at the end of summer, just when the evenings begin to get cold. It will add to the whole mood.

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Cheezyfeet Books

Below average
Reviewed by Bella on Oct 29 2011

This Dark Endeavour, overall, was just not for me.

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Stardate

Good
Reviewed by SSpjut on Oct 17 2012

On a scale of one to five, I’m giving “This Dark Endeavor” a four and half.

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Icey Books

Good
Reviewed by Hafsah on Aug 01 2012

This Dark Endeavor is an adventure from the start. And at times, the pages can't be flipped fast enough. 

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Fiction State of Mind

Good
Reviewed by Kai on Jul 31 2012

This book deftly balances action and romance and has some shocking twists and turns. I cant wait to read book 2!

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Libby Blog

Good
Reviewed by Ange on Jul 16 2012

If you’ve ever wondered what drove Victor Frankenstein to passionately pursue the answer to reanimating life, thus leading to his Creation, then Kenneth Oppel has the answer you seek! 

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Yearning to Read

Good
Reviewed by Sierra Abrams on Apr 02 2012

I love Kenneth Oppel.  I love the way he writes, the way his characters spring to life, imperfections and all.

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Edifying and Edgy

Good
Reviewed by Karin on Mar 28 2012

THE DARK ENDEAVOR is an interesting take on the Frankenstein classic. 

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A Storm of Words

Good
Reviewed by Lindsey on Oct 07 2012

This Dark Endeavour totally stands alone as a sad, yet thrilling story about how desire can turn one so dark.

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Sparkles and Lightning

Good
Reviewed by Erica on Oct 05 2012

Once I began to read this book I was under its spell until I turned the very last page. And I didn't mind at all.

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Next Best Book

Good
Reviewed by Mindi Rench on Sep 22 2012

This book is a great one for middle school students who are ready for a challenge and who love fantasy books.  I loved it, and I can think of several of my students from last year who would love it, too!

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One Book Per Week Blog

Below average
Reviewed by Natalie Joan on Jul 26 2012

While I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of adventure in the story, its translation into young adult material,  and the budding romance/unrequited love story between Victor and Elizabeth, I wasn’t completely sold on Oppel’s take on the story and characters.

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21 Pages

Below average
Reviewed by Linna on Nov 26 2011

The chase right before that shocking final chapter was also one of the craziest passages I’ve ever read– both terrifying and exhilarating, with phenomenal writing. It’s too bad that you could skip the entire bulk of the book and be left with the same impression, though.

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Cristina's Library

Good
Reviewed by Crisrizz on Oct 14 2011

In This Dark Endeavour, Oppel brings this topic, and the story of Frankenstein, back into the forefront, into the minds of youths who otherwise don’t know it, and adults who have forgotten.

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The Bookish Endeavor

Good
Reviewed by Holly on Sep 09 2012

This was a truly wonderful, and atmospheric gem that is definitely deserving of a spot on my keeper shelf.

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Books Are Better Than Diamonds

Good
Reviewed by Books Are Better Than Diamonds on Aug 09 2012

I liked it very much, and I hope that you will to, if you decide to read it.

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Bookish: Of books and writing

Good
Reviewed by Anastasia on Jul 22 2012

I greatly recommend this book to fans of alchemy, Frankenstein, male protagonists, and/or historical fiction!

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Just Dewey It

Good
Reviewed by Dewey on Jul 09 2012

The story entwines quite a bit of history, with careful and deliberate action, and for me, created desire to learn more about the original story from which it was inspired. 

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The Lit Addiction

Good
Reviewed by Kate on Apr 26 2012

This Dark Endeavour is one of my favourite reads so far this year; the gothic style, the historic setting and a compelling narrator all make for a really engrossing book.

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The Book Stalker

Good
Reviewed by The Book Stalker on Mar 28 2011

Conclusion? I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves gothic stories, enjoys books like The Monstrumologistand its sequel, and for fans of Shelley’s Frankenstein.

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Reader Rating for This Dark Endeavor
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 108 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Nicole Petticord

Nicole Petticord 5 Sep 2013

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