Book Review: This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavor 
The Dark Endeavor Chronicles #1
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 304 Hardcover
Published: August 23rd 2011
Review Source: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Available: Amazon
Summary: (from goodreads) Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real.

They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only piques Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. With their friend Elizabeth, Henry and Victor immediately set out to find assistance from a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.

Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrad's life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another.

I was intrigued by this book, but somewhat afraid to read it since I had some crazy nightmares after reading Shelly’s Frankenstein in high school. This book started off with a bang and I started to like the characters right away. Victor is such a determined young man and Konrad, his twin brother, is a very thoughtful person. They make the mistake of both falling in love with the same girl. This becomes somewhat of a problem for Victor, since the girl is in love with Konrad.

Things change drastically when Konrad falls ill. Victor takes it upon himself to enlist the help of a scientist, healer, magician, Julius Polidori. he sends Victor, Elizabeth (a family friend), and Henry on a dangerous mission to find ingredients to make the elixir of life in order to cure Konrad’s illness.

While this book was pretty graphic and gruesome at times, I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and reading about their scary travels.

This one, however, doesn’t have a very happy ending. I cannot wait to the next installment to see what is in store for these interesting characters.


  1. This sounds like a really interesting read!

  2. I have this book sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, as with so many others. Terrific review. Rather sad to hear of the less favourable ending but it looks worth the read. I wonder how many will be in this series of books?


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