Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Back to School with the Latest Teen Fiction Part 3 of 8: Kenneth Oppel's This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein



This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
Kenneth Oppel
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
August 23, 2011
304 pages
Hardcover, $17.99
This Dark Endeavor won the Libris Award (Canadian Booksellers Association).
Endeavor also won as an Honour Book, Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award.

Victor Frankenstein, his twin brother Konrad and the beautiful Elizabeth are forbidden to explore the Dark Library. However, when Victor’s father becomes deathly ill, Victor tries to hunt down the three ingredients to make the Elixir of Life, a dark and perilous task at best. As if being a fifteen-year old wasn’t trouble enough, Victor must risk more than his life to save his father.

Oppel, a Frankenstein fan, was struck by how only a few pages are devoted to Victor’s youth in Mary Shelley’s original novel—in which he mentions the raising of ghosts and demons, and a quest for the Elixir of Life.

“I thought ‘Wow, this not typical happy childhood,’” Kenneth Oppel said from Toronto. “If you like gothic, horror, sci-fi, the Frankenstein myth was the first of all those genres. So I think if you want a good dark adventure with romance, an enigmatic hero, [and] sort of a love triangle, the book might appeal  to you.”

Oppel also has a sequel to Endeavor. Such Wicked Intent: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Book Two came out in August 2012.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Profile of Michael Rowe and his novel, Enter, Night, in print

My profile of Michael Rowe and his excellent vampire novel, Enter, Night appeared Dec. 21 on the national section of Xtra:Canada’s gay & lesbian news. The novel, set in 1972, occurs in the northern Ontario mining town of Parr's Landing, is an unabashed tribute to 1970’s vampire novels. The characters must contend with an old evil, sans cell phones, the Internet or any other modern gadgetry that can dilute the effect of horror prose—if the author is not prudent.