This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavor:  The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel
How far would you go to save someone you love?  Victor Frankenstein finds out when his twin brother Konrad is on his death's bed and no one can figure out why he is sick. Stumbling across a secret library in his mansion, he discovers his family's dark secret and dabbles in alchemy to make the Elixir of Life to cure his brother. Will he succeed?
Incidentally, CBC Books had a "Kelley Armstrong recommends" column the other day and she reviewed this book. She said, "It help fills a void in the girl-dominated young adult market by telling a story that should be an easier sell to boys, while still appealing to girls." She's right about the girl-dominated part (and I don't know why people still argue that YA lit serves male and female readers equally), but to me, this book is more like, "well, girls will like this, and boys may read it too". I don't think this book has "it".  It has potential for sure, and when I first read about the plot, I was excited too to meet the twins, but the story moves too slowly, and it feels like forever in between the scenes that have stuff happening. Those rare scenes, exciting as they may be, are not enough to hold my interest. I also don't care much for the characters. The love triangle is particularly irritating, not to mention that both guys seem a bit wishy-washy compared to Elizabeth, the fiesty cousin that they're both in love with, which bugs me 'cause males need strong characters and models too.  I remember being fascinated by the real Frankenstein when I finally read it years ago, but I find Oppel's prequel lacking in all the delicious details. Feels like everything is saved for some sort of sequel.
For a much better portrayal of a pair of brothers trying to create life and living with the consequences of playing god, try the manga Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa.
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