Kenneth Oppel follows-up his masterful prequel to Frankenstein, This Dark Endeavor, with the wickedly delightful Such Wicked Intent. Written for modern readers, but harkening back to the writing style and horror genre that were so popular when Frankenstein was first published, Oppel delivers another masterpiece.
Such Wicked Intent picks up following the shocking and tragic conclusion of This Dark Endeavor, with Victor and his family attempting to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. But as usual, Victor cannot rest. Upon discovering a way to visit the world of the dead and communicate with his dead twin, Konrad, he concocts a plan to bring him back to life. But the consequences may be more than Victor can handle.
Even more than we saw in the first book, Oppel paints a portrait of the boy who will one day become Dr. Frankenstein. Woven throughout the narrative of Such Wicked Intent, we see Victor making choices reflective of the man we know he will become. We see his reactions, emotions, and thoughts that will lead him to his ultimate experiment, and his ultimate demise. And while we know this teenage Victor will not learn from his mistakes until it was far too late, it’s a fascinating character study to see these traits unfold.
What’s more, Oppel once again delivers a story that is far more fascinating and enjoyable to read than Frankenstein itself. I’ve never been a big fan of Mary Shelley’s novel (and lord knows, I’ve given it a fair chance) — but with both This Dark Endeavor and now with Such Wicked Intent, I’m glad to have read the original novel in order to have a much deeper appreciation for the cleverness of Oppel’s prequels. This is truly masterful storytelling and characterization!
Such Wicked Intent is in stores now. Here is the official synopsis:
When does obsession become madness? Tragedy has forced sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library. He vows he will never dabble in the dark sciences again—just as he vows he will no longer covet Elizabeth, his brother’s betrothed.
If only these things were not so tempting.
When he and Elizabeth discover a portal into the spirit world, they cannot resist. Together with Victor’s twin, Konrad, and their friend Henry, the four venture into a place of infinite possibilities where power and passion reign. But as they search for the knowledge to raise the dead, they unknowingly unlock a darkness from which they may never return.