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Book Review: This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

Award-winning author Kenneth Oppel creates a spellbinding prequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Check out Kidzworld’s book review of This Dark Endeavour.

The Dark Library

In Victor Frankenstein’s teenage years, before he created his infamous monster, he lived with his parents, younger siblings, twin brother Konrad, and beautiful cousin Elizabeth. Victor felt outshined by his twin in every way, and he always strived for attention. When he, Konrad and Elizabeth discover the Dark Library hidden in a secret passage, Victor’s interest is piqued. He finds all kinds of old books, most pertaining to the illegal practice of alchemy.

The Elixir of Life

When Konrad becomes ill and no doctors are able to cure him, Victor takes it upon himself to search for the Elixir of Life. He, Elizabeth and their friend Henry seek out a retired alchemist named Julius Polidori who’s had success with this elixir before. When he agrees to help, the wheelchair-bound alchemist gives the teenagers three ingredients to collect. But the manner of collecting them is not easy, and nearly costs them their lives.

Envy

Meanwhile, Victor begins to develop feelings for Elizabeth, only to discover that Konrad has already claimed her heart. Even on his deathbed, Konrad outshines him in love, in sport and in manner. So what is Victor’s real intention in curing him: brotherly love or a hero’s fame?

The Bottom Line

This Dark Endeavour is a rich, dramatic novel filled with love, jealousy and betrayal. Kenneth Oppel paints Victor as an anti-hero, whose jealousy plays a big part in turning him over to the dark side. Each character is very distinct and likable (or hateable, whenever that was the author’s intention). Even though this book is targeted at a teen audience, we recommend it for the middle grades as well! Happy reading!

Have Your Say

Have you ever read Frankenstein? Are you a Kenneth Oppel fan? Leave a comment and let us know!

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CaptJolee
CaptJolee posted in Electronics:
"MajorGamer11" wrote:Roblox <3 yay more robloxians :3
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MajorGamer11
Roblox <3
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Jolly-Rancher206
It depends. Some religions are incredibly syncretic like Buddhism/ other Eastern religions and don't have a concept of "one true religion or doctrine", so they do lend themselves to being blended. Others claim to be the only truth (Christianity, Islam) so those wouldn't allow combination.  A lot of religions are actually a mix of multiple traditions. Sikhism, Baha'i, Gnosticism to name a few. 
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Jolly-Rancher206
"simran88" wrote:Which country's schooling system are you talking about? Because different countries' schooling systems need to be different as each country is different and has different needs like Finland's schooling system and Korea's schooling system are very different but both the systems are considered to be excellent.    I personally think that more than schools it depends on the teachers. For example, in India, CCE was introduced to make studies more practical and applicable but because many teachers did not understand the system properly it only ended up becoming a pain for us and the level of our studies dropped making parents think that the system was not good.  I completely agree. More than curriculum (although important), it's teachers that make the difference in the quality of a school system. Yes, education will be different from country to country, but I think at bottom everyone wants kids learning the basics as well as info relevant to when they enter the workforce.  What do we consider excellent? Korea may have good science and math scores, but do their students have creative thinking skills? Can they problem solve or think critically? We tend to think of "good" schools excelling in rote knowledge, but is that all that matters? I'd say no.
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Jolly-Rancher206
To be fair, aren't most American high schoolers are required to take economic senior year or somewhere around there, where they should be teaching you about personal finance? That was my experience. My school also offers a financial literacy course, but I do think should be mandatory. But yeah, issues in education is a tired refrain, but I don't see widespread improvement. I think about changing the way we do teaching itself. I don't think teachers are paid enough or are given enough freedom with curriculum. It's no longer seen as a respectable job, and you have people that really don't care. When someone's underpaid and told their standardized test scores will make or break them, don't expect the quality of instruction to be stellar. Don't expect an intellectually stimulating environment that fosters creativity or critical thinking. There's no time for that with a bajillion state tests to pass. It's one of the most important professions a person can have imo; it's a shame. 
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