This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
Series: The Apprenticeship of Victor
Release Date: 08/23/2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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 peaks Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be 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. Elizabeth, Henry, and Victor immediately set out to find assistance in 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 Konrads 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.
When I first came upon this group, I knew I liked this bunch. Victor, especially. He was so reckless and headstrong, I liked him :) Victor, Konrad, Elizabeth and Henry hang out together. One day, they came upon the Dark Library. Victor, being the reckless teen he is, convinced everyone to look at these books. They were full of dark secrets and recipes (for potions, etc.).
Soon after they visited the Dark Library, Konrad fell gravely ill. The doctor couldn't heal him. Victor decided to visit the Dark Library even after his father forbade to go there again. He found the recipe for the Elixir of Life and then began his journey to find the ingredients.
I don't usually read these kind of books... I'm not that big of a fan of YA historical fiction. But this one I had to pick up simply because it's by Kenneth Oppel. I like that author's work; I've read his Silverwing series (when I was younger) and it's pretty good.
I feel like, in this book, I can take a break from all of the romances that other YA books seem to have. This one does too, but it doesn't take over a lot of the book. Most of this one was adventures and dark tales which I enjoyed a lot.
My favorite character in this book is Victor. I can feel his passion and his recklessness. He's seems like a normal teenage boy, wanting to show off for the girl that he likes. I don't know; I think I like Victor waaay more than the other characters. I feel like I can see different parts of him. His love for his sibling. His love for Elizabeth. And then his love/craving for adventure.
At the end of his journey, I can't say I was surprised much. I pretty much predicted how the Elixir/result/etc. will turn out. Nonetheless, this was a brilliant novel I think everyone should try.