Release Date ~ August 30, 2011
Harper Trophy Canada ~ HarperCollins Canada
Signed copy won in giveaway from HarperCollins Canada
*Note: The above information is for the edition published in Canada, which is the edition I own and read. The title, release date, publisher, etc. seem to vary depending on the country you live in.
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.
I've been hearing for months from everyone who's read this book that it's phenomenal- something unique nad refreshing in the world of YA, for a multitide of different reasons.
But for some reason, this seems to be a book that's often overlook and doesn't seem to be talked about much. And that is a travesty, because all the hype was right!
- Historical YA with a paranormal twist:
There really isn't that much historical YA out there, but more of them seem to be incorporating a paranormal twist which can definitely add something to a book, and I think it works really well in this one. And by using the term "historical" I'm referring to the time period it's set in, rather than the characters (who have always been a work of fiction). But it's also interesting because it works as a sort of prequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and tells of the early life of Victor Frankenstein. In that respect, it makes a really great back story to a classic tale. But it isn't as heavily influenced by the paranormal aspect as most other new books are, which is a tad refreshing.
- A story without a guaranteed happy ending:
Things aren't wrapped up with a pretty little bow; and people aren't always as nice or kind-hearted as one might hope. It's a dark world, with some unhappy twists and discoveries but they really help paint the picture of the circumstances Victor went through before he became the infamous Dr. Frankenstein with his own creation and monster.
- Fabulous writing:
Kenneth Oppel has been writing books for a while, and this book is no exception to his talent. I found myself truly engrossed and attached to the story and characters, and much of this was thanks to the exceptional writing. Kenneth has a way with words that does more than paint a picture, but brings the pages to life. And THAT is something rather uncommon.
- Widespread appeal:
This really is a book that just about any reader of fiction will enjoy; it isn't limited to just fans of YA, or a specific gender, or even to fans of a certain genre. It can easily crossover to a wide span of ages and interests, with something for every reader to appreciate whether it's romance, action, mystery, dark mysteries, and realistic consequences.