Friday, June 14, 2013

Review #1521 This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

Review: #1521
Book: This Dark Endeavor
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: Aug. 23, 2011
Pages: 298
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: ALA 2011

I’ve had my eye on Kenneth Oppel ever since he wrote Airborn. I LOVED that book. So I was super excited when I picked up this book at ALA and it was retelling of Frankenstein. Interest piqued. It looked eerie and creepy; with just the right amount of romance and intrigue to keep things interesting.

The opening chapters were great. It was shaping up to be a good novel and I liked the strange setting, the mystery, and the style of writing. But the more I read, the more it became unsettling. As I got into the story there was something about Victor that just set me on edge. I didn’t like him. I couldn’t sympathize with him and I thought most of his choices were misguided and selfish. Even though he was supposed to be portrayed as one of those dark brooding misunderstood characters, I couldn't see things from his point and didn’t get the feeling he was as devoted to his brother as he said. I felt like his love for other people was still deeply rooted by his own selfish desires. I did not see a lot of compassion and that was unnerving. I guess I should mention I’m not familiar with the original story of Frankenstein. I haven’t read the novel or seen any movies, though I know the basic concept. And maybe that knowledge would have helped me enjoy the novel more, but as it was written, it was a little too dark and unsettling for me to really like. I can see other people enjoying it, but it might be a small audience.

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