When does obsession become madness? Tragedy has forced sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library. He vows he will never dabble in the dark sciences again—just as he vows he will no longer covet Elizabeth, his brother’s betrothed.
If only these things were not so tempting.
When he and Elizabeth discover a portal into the spirit world, they cannot resist. Together with Victor’s twin, Konrad, and their friend Henry, the four venture into a place of infinite possibilities where power and passion reign. But as they search for the knowledge to raise the dead, they unknowingly unlock a darkness from which they may never return.
Released: August 21st 2012 Pages: 310
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Source: Library
I like the way Kenneth Oppel writes. He doesn't use flashy, flowery, gorgeous prose. It's not something you immediately look at and say "Wow, that's beautiferific!" (In this situation, "beautiful seemed inadequate, and "terrific" just wouldn't do. And so, "beautiferific".) It's not until after you read the book that you realize that, wait, somebody wrote that. Somebody wrote this book and used nothing more than words to tell the story. Everything was so clear and defined in your head that somehow the narration, in a way, ceased to exist.
I want to be able to accomplish this marvelous feat.
This book makes me look forward to reading Frankenstein later this year in my British Literature class. If you don't already know, this series is a prequel, of sorts, to Frankenstein. The Victor Frankenstein in this book is, well, THE Victor Frankenstein.
Because of this prequel-ness, I pretty much knew ahead of time that this book couldn't have a happy ending. That didn't make it any easier to deal with. I won't spoil it, but...
Victor's disappointment made me sad. It really did. And here lies the heart of the paradox that is Victor. He's not very likable. He's greedy and arrogant and selfish and does some pretty nasty things. He's an antihero.
And yet...I wanted him to succeed. I don't know whether or not I actually liked him, but I felt for him. I was sad when he was sad. Kenneth Oppel had a very difficult character to work with, because he was such an antihero and was pretty much already defined. But Oppel worked with it, and he did a great job with it.
Overall, I recommend this series. Recommended for fans of historical fiction with a sci-fi and/or paranormal twist, or readers looking for something a bit darker and thought-provoking. Four stars!