Wednesday, May 9, 2012

(Not So) Great Expectations: This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

   Just the Facts:

Overall: 3 Stars

Addiction Level: I read it when I had spare time. (But it was a quick read.)

Believe-ability: It was believable.

Dystopia Factor: Eh! It's "normal" life.


   Sometimes I think I expect too much from a book. Then I think, "No! You're the reader! You have a right to expect greatness from a book! That's why books are published - because they're supposed to be great. Publishers don't go around looking for books that are 'just ok' to publish. They have a stake in it too." Now, I'm not saying that This Dark Endeavor is a bad book - it's not. I just feel that books have been letting me down lately, this one included.

   I saw This Dark Endeavor on the shelf of my favorite book store (check 'em out!) and thought, "Yes! Maybe this book will help fill the void left by Will Henry. Surely it's no replacement and probably not the same level of awesomeness, but maybe it will give me a little taste of the world that I've been missing". ... Obviously it didn't.

   This Dark Endeavor is supposed to be a prequel of sorts to the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It follows Victor Frankenstein's quest for the elixir of life, an elixir that he believes will save his sickly brother Konrad. It promises to have it all - adventure, romance, and life changing decisions. But, for me, it just falls flat. (When writing this I actually had to think what Victor's brother's name was. It starts with a K...?)

   I think my biggest issue is with the "marketing" of this book. I thought it was supposed to be a young adult book, but in reality it was a middle grade book. Let me clarify: I have no problems with middle grade literature. I think it serves an important purpose and there can be great stories contained within. I even have a few favorites. But, had I known that it was more middle grade my expectations would have been different. Just like I don't read adult fiction with young adult expectations, it just doesn't work well.

   I will state that perhaps my indifference towards this book is a result of my expectations and is not necessarily the fault of the author or publisher. Not a bad book at all, but forgettable as far as I'm concerned.

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