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How did Frankenstein become the man who created a monster? The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series by Kenneth Oppel (Reviewed by Susan Little)

Today Christie is talking about Frankenstein re-imagined for the 21st century, but how did Frankenstein become the man who created a monster?  Kenneth Oppel has written a prequel that answers that question and high school teacher by day and library aide by night Susan Little reviews it for us today.
 
 
This Dark Endeavor (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein book 1)
by Kenneth Oppel
Simon & Schuster Books 2011 (ISBN: 2403154)
 
“You must abandon this dark endeavor.”




The Frankenstein brothers, Victor and Konrad, are twins.  They are inseparable and love adventures in around their home in Bavaria.  One day as teenagers, they are exploring their home when they stumble upon the dark library.  They are fascinated by it.  They discover books dedicated to the dark arts and alchemy.  When Konrad becomes deathly ill, Victor seeks out the secrets of the dark library to cure his twin.  But Konrad dies anyway.  Victor suffers the loss of his twin and his shame at shouldering the blame for his death.  So ends the first book of the series.  The book is very interesting and good.  It has creepy and odd things in it but not like the second book, which is better.
“Why?” I asked her. “Why was it only me you attacked?”
“Because it is you,” she whispered, “who is the real monster.”
 
 
Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Book 2)
Kennth Oppel
Published by Simon & Schuster Books 2012 (ISBN: 9781442403185)
 

In the second book Victor makes an instrument using a mystical book that allows him to crossover to the spirit world to talk to Konrad.  Konrad is trapped in house just like his earthly one.  A evil spirit of some kind is trying to enter the house.  Meanwhile, Victor is trying to make a body for Victor according to what he has learned from the book.  The creature, however, is not Konrad but a minion of the spirit from the spirtual world. At the end there is a battle between good and evil.  This was a good book that built up to a much better climax than the first. 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER4E5mxIV_s]

Susan came to me and mentioned that she had read This Dark Endeavor and really liked it.  I offered her a copy of the sequel, Such Wicked Intent, if she reviewed it for me. That’s how we roll around here.  I, too, have read this series – because Susan liked it so much and told me to – and it is really very good.  And in the spirit of confession you should know: I have written 3 papers on the original Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1 in high school and 2 in college) and I really didn’t like it.  I know many will find that to be a statement of blasphemy, but it was really boring if you ask me.  These books are not.  So Frankenstein has been redeemed for me.