mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Victor Kadmon. (88)

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel.

The Monster spoke then:
"Solve, et coagula."
We were Enlightened.

This was Jenny's pick for our Eleven-Books Club, & I think we might finally be hitting our stride, because I liked this one. As YA, it has a big perk-- which it shares with Seraphina-- in being a quick, smooth read. The last Frankenstein re-imagining I read was Ackroyd's The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein which left a sour taste in my mouth; because This Dark Endeavor is a prequel, telling stories of a teenage Frankenstein, I worried that it might undercut the original in order to tell its story...but my concerns were unfounded. There is a slight "faith versus science" theme in the book, which I also thought might taint the reading experience, but again, that wasn't pushed to the forefront. I think the nearest comparison in tone, ultimately, is to the Monstrumologist books, which I also liked. The Young Adult horror genre can't just be lazy with gore & violence, so they actually have to put some thought into the spooks...though I should not that the first half of this novel is decidedly a "dark adventure" novel; it isn't really until the end that things take a horrific turn. I'm also inclined to like this book because Victor has a similar sort of inner life to the protagonist of my NaNoWriMo from a few years ago, Gillick, in Watchtower Gothic. The big addition to this book-- besides being the New Adventures of Young Victor Frankenstein-- is Victor's twin brother, Konrad. The two of them adventure with Henry Clerval & Elizabeth Lavenza, both eventual victims of Frankenstein's Monster. I suppose the other reason I like this book is that it is about alchemy; you know that is my favorite. There are three "quests" that the kids go on; of the three, the flooding caves in the search for a coelacanth were definitely my favorite. That was some good Dungeons & Dragons right there; its got a plausible & weird MacGuffin in a really great & evolving setting. I also like the penultimate fight in this book quite a lot; even though I saw it coming the way it played out in practice was pretty tense. Yep, I was pleased with this, & I'm totally going to read the next one. Right after I finally get around to reading the third Monstrumologist book.
Tags: 11books, 11booksclub, books, frankenstein, haiku, oppel
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments