By: Kenneth Oppel
Published By: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Page Count: 310
Source: Gifted ARC
Audience: Young Adult - Gothic Fantasy
Read my review of book #1, This Dark Endeavor
I love this series. It's one of the most well written, adventurous, creepy YA series out there. There is no sophomore slump where this story is concerned. Such Wicked Intent picks up right where This Dark Endeavor leaves off. I recommend you stop reading this review now if you have not read book one, but just know I loved this one and you need to read these books like yesterday. There will be spoilers for book one after the page break because it's almost impossible to discuss this installment without them. However, you will not be spoiled on any major points about this book.
The Frankenstein home was left in mourning after the passing of Konrad and none of the family members have truly recovered from his loss. Victor and Elizabeth long to see Konrad. Their wildest dreams are answered when they (along with Henry) stumble upon a hidden room in the chapel ceiling that contains an elixir and a mysterious pocket watch. The elixir is supposed to allow one to cross into the spirit world and the lure of walking among the dead is too tempting for Victor to pass up. One drop on the tongue will begin to unleash an adventure that is just as heart poundingly delicious as the first. Black butterflies and an ancient evil lurk within the spirit world. Can Victor resist or will his curiosity once again be his downfall?
The plot of this one is so creative. I was in awe of Kenneth Oppel's talent the entire time I was lost in this sweeping Gothic world. How he comes up with this stuff I will never know, but I am just thankful that he does. I can only hope that he will give us more of this world. The ending of this one provides some pretty solid resolution. It would be interesting to see which direction Oppel would go if he did decide to write another novel.
Furthermore, I love these characters - even Victor. As I was reading, I knew that I should be frustrated by Victor; he is so arrogant and self serving, but there is something about him that is also charming and endearing. Even in his most selfish moments, I can't help rooting for him. It's quite odd to feel a kinship with the boy who will later grow into Dr. Frankenstein. Elizabeth, Henry, and Konrad play large roles in this one as well.
I do offer up a word of caution, dear reader, this one freaked me out on more than one occasion. There were a few moments after reading when sleep was elusive and nightmares with black butterflies descended. I love when books can inspire such a visceral reaction in me, but I was also quite thankful for my bedside lamp as it chased the shadows away.
One Last Gripe: I have nothing to comment on - this one was perfect for me in every way
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The creativity of the spirit world
First Sentence: The books flew open like startled birds trying to escape the flames.
Favorite Character: Elizabeth
Least Favorite Character: The Pit Demon
Devotion turns deadly in this second Gothic thriller from Kenneth Oppel.
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.