• This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

  • By: Kenneth Oppel
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (239 ratings)

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This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

By: Kenneth Oppel
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Kenenth Opel (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Chilling and oddly poignant

Oppel, who I knew previously from his delightful Matt Cruse adventure series, takes a decided turn into true darkness with this imaginative and appropriately frightening prequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Do you have to have read the original to appreciate this book? Not really. Although I think some things may hit a reader a bit more if they know exactly what is to come later in the lives of the characters.

In Oppel's vision of young Viktor Frankenstein, he is a complex boy who feels both great love and great jealousy for his twin brother Konrad. This conflict is a driving force in much of what he does, wanting to be better and better loved. His brother's mysterious illness spurs him to pursue the study of alchemy, in spite of their father's warnings that it will all come to no good.

Of course, the greatest conflict between brothers is their beautiful cousin Elizabeth. As in the Matt Cruse books, the female lead is much more than an object of desire; she joins Viktor in his dangerous quest to gather the ingredients for an elixir that will supposedly save his brother's life.

The last third of the book is particularly frightening, mostly because of how it shows how obsession can drive someone to do the most extreme things in the name of love.

If you like a dark adventure story with memorable characters, then this is just the book for you.

14 people found this helpful

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Fantastic prequel and wonderful narration

This was an amazing book. I have loved Frankenstein (the original) for many years. So to see a prequel intrigued me. The quotation on the back hooked me..."There is a passion in you that scares me." The writing is amazing and, though I haven't reread Frankenstein in several years, the tone matches really well. Oppel does a wonderful job creating a back story that reveals the drive and obsession that Victor possesses. Apparently, it's being made into a movie. I hope that they do the story justice. The narration was very fitting and matched the mood perfectly. I highly recommend this!

6 people found this helpful

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Good narration, weak story

What would have made This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein better?

The premiss of the book is a great one. What lead a young Victor Frankenstein to become what he ended up becoming? As a fan of the original Frankenstein, I was excited to find this book on Audible, and on sale to boot. I quickly discovered the reason whycit was only $5. While the narrator does an outstanding job, all he can do is read the words in front of him. It might of been a better story if the narrator had just made it up as he went along.
The whole time I was reading This Dark Endeavor, I was thinking to myself, "Did a high schooler write this?" No offense to those of you that are in high school. In fact, I encourage you to try your hand at writing a young Dr. Frankenstein tale of your own. I tihnk you would be pleased to see that it turns out to be better than this book.

What character would you cut from This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein?

I would cut all of them. It's as if the author never read Frankenstein at all. He seems to have no grasp on who the characters are or how they would act.

Any additional comments?

Five bucks was way too much.

3 people found this helpful

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Awesome awesome awesome! Oppel's best book yet.

Would you listen to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein again? Why?

I would listen to this book again because the gradual change of the main characters personality and passion is very well written.

3 people found this helpful

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Bring on Frankenstein

A great story of the Frankenstein boys and how they became the men of the future. No surprise...there is a sequel.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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the path to hell is paved in good intentions

Would you listen to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein again? Why?

This Dark Endeavor captures the bond between siblings with depth and accuracy; between the rivalry, the love, the adventures they embark upon, and the need to just stab your sibling with a foil, kept me listening. Even when the pendulum swings downward in Victor and Konrad's relationship, their loyalty to each other never falters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Elizabeth is a wonderful balance of femininity and just being one of the boys. She can be wild as any wolf, yet remain a believable character. She has weakness and isn't afraid to show it. But seriously, she fended off a vulture with her teeth. Do not mess with her.

What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His performance as Victor and Konrad during their arguments is lively and engaging. It is something you'd miss by reading.

1 person found this helpful

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Frankenstein Fan

Any additional comments?

Ever since my academic years I have had a fascination with Frankenstein. When I found Oppel's accounts of the young Victor, I knew I had to read his novel. I believe Shelley would appreciate this tale that introduces and develops the Frankenstein we meet in her novel.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Wish I had more info before purchasing.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I did not give a fig about any of the characters even by the end. The only saving grace was seeing the flashes of anger in Victor.

Which scene was your favorite?

None

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Nope, not now.

1 person found this helpful

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My 10 year old loved it!

My 10 year old daughter has already had me purchase the second book. She loved it.

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great book

a great prequel to the works of shelly cant wait to read the second book

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  • Jake
  • 01-30-18

10/10

Really good story, would definitely recommend. I listen at 2x speed to save time, and the narrator’s voice certainly suits this style.

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  • TheBoys
  • 04-05-14

Great stories for boys

What made the experience of listening to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein the most enjoyable?

These stories are very well written and draw you in from the start. This is very important especially when trying to get boys to read!

What other book might you compare This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein to, and why?

The Spooks series, by Joseph Delaney! Another series of excellent books!