Having already completed both books in this duology, it’s hard for me to separate the two, but I can safely say I enjoyed this ominous Frankenstein-inspired story.
Both books had this great undercurrent of darkness and ominousness throughout, but the first was the more adventurous of the two. The plot was a bit formulaic with how the characters needed to go on a sort of mini-quest to obtain each of the ingredients they needed to make the Elixir of Life, but each quest was filled with something dangerous or disturbing, and altogether it was well-written and made for a good story.
One thing I really thought the author did a great job with was Victor’s feelings toward his twin, how he loved Konrad and couldn’t imagine life without him, but how he also envied him in ways and felt like the inferior twin. Also Victor’s character growth, his spiral into darker thoughts, doing the wrong things, or doing the right things for the wrong reasons. I found myself thinking, “Oh, Victor, no,” more and more frequently. I felt for him though. He had some darkness in him, but he fought against it, and I think his heart was ultimately in the right place.
I was not so lovable as Konrad, no. I would never have his charm, or grace or patience or effortless skill at things. But I had the same fine body, and what mine contained had more grit and determination and passion.
Were these not things worth loving?
Most of all though, this book was gripping. Maybe it could’ve been a little darker and explored certain things more, but I didn’t want to put it down once I started, and that’s always the sign of a good book.
I also want to mention that the blurb mentions a love triangle, and there kind of was one since both Victor and Konrad had feelings for Elizabeth, but I wouldn’t call it a true love triangle. I wouldn’t even say there’s a romance subplot in the duology. Victor’s romantic feelings influence some of his thoughts and actions, but that’s about it.
So overall, I was gripped by this book, I really liked the bit of darkness and complexity in Victor’s character and his relationship with his twin, and I knew I wanted to continue with the next book as soon as I finished!
Anyone who likes ominous books, Frankenstein retellings, and twin relationships.
The purest intentions can stir up the darkest obsessions.
In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling give up on his brother, Victor, his beautiful cousin Elizabeth, and best friend Henry begin a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life.
Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy, and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.
Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science and, love — and how much he is willing to sacrifice.
Book Author: Kenneth Oppel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
Genre: Fantasy, Frankenstein Retelling, Historical Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
My Book Rating: 4
Series/Standalone: Part of a Series