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Friday, August 10, 2012

Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel (ARC Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror
Publication.Date  August 18th 2012
Pages:310
Published By:  Harper Collins Canada | 
WebsiteKenneth Oppel 

Such Wicked Intent - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC received from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:



Tragedy has forced sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library and 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, they 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.(Goodreads)




The books flew open like startled birds trying to escape the flames. One after the other I savagely hurled them into the hottest part of the bonfire, watching them ignite almost before they landed.
I lay frozen, not knowing what to do, this little sparrow at my breast like a second heart.
"I didn't know you entertained hopes of winning her. You once told me you felt like a feeble moth around her flame."

"Moths dream of being butterflies, too."
Perhaps I'll never be a poet or lover, but here, I am an engineer, an explorer, an architect of wonders.
Quoted from an uncorrected proof. All quotes will be checked against a finished copy.





     I was extremely lucky to be able to feature Kenneth Oppel's first installment in The Apprenticeship Of Victor Frankenstein series during my MEN in YA event in 2011. This Dark Endeavor was fabulous and I absolutely and utterly loved it. It ended up being one of my TOP 10 favourite reads of 2011, and since then I have re-read it at least 5 times. When back in June I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of the second book in Oppel's gorgeous series, I won't lie - my eyes prickles with tears. Tears of joy! I did not waste a single day, I immediately dived into it. And it was phenomenal. Such Wicked Intent is a sublime and unparalleled work of literary genius. Dark, stately, and highly atmospheric, it pulls the reader in with its lush, 19th century-sque prose and wildly original plot line. It's astonishingly fluent, deliciously adventurous, moody and sinister - in other words, it's YA adventure at its very best. No one - and I mean NO ONE - does dark and eerie better than Kenneth Oppel!

     An ancient myth, long buried (and terrifying) secrets, forbidden knowledge and a dark endeavor of even greater proportions than Victor's previous one - in Suck Wicked Intent you'll find all that and much, much more. If you loved the first book, you will definitely love the sequel, too (if not more). Victor is back, and the restless spirit of his does not let him stay out of trouble. His unquenchable thirst for knowledge and power pushes him to continue his exploration of the underground caves and hidden chambers of the Frankenstein chateau. The Biblioteka Obscura has been destroyed by Victor's father, its dangerous collection burned to dust, but if you think that The Dark Library was the only secret the old chateau held within its premises, you're very wrong. When by sheer accident, Victor and Elizabeth discover a portal to the spirit world, they can not resist the temptation of seeing Konrad again. Convinced they stumbled upon a way to raise him from the dead, the two of them, together with their friend, Henry, will embark on yet another dangerous quest, and one that may prove to be too much for them to handle. 

     I loved the premise of this novel, especially the way it focused on exploring Victor's psyche, with all its flaws and imperfections. Entering the spirit world gives Victor unnatural physical strength and intelligence, but it also awakens his more lustful urges, selfishness and craving for forbidden knowledge and power. Victor finds himself attracted to the newly discovered realm, much like a moth is drawn to the light of a flame. He's addicted to its lustrous colors and textures, the clarity it brings to his thoughts and visions, and the new possibilities it reveals. The mysterious butterflies enhance his abilities and fill him with a torrent of knowledge. But the thing about power, especially one that comes from a dark and evil source, is that.. it always comes at a price

     Kenneth Oppel did a phenomenal job depicting Victor's wild, arrogant nature. His portrayal is overblown in the best sense of the world - rich in detail, flavour and spirit. Victor is a character like no other I have met before - he's as uncontrollable and unpredictable as a tornado, passionate, obsessive, brave (bordering on suicidal), and completely intriguing. He's not entirely a positive character, neither is he a downright evil one. Misguided? Perhaps. Too curious and ambitious for his own good? Most definitely. Hurtful, bold, forceful and selfish? Yes, quite often. He's also dedicated, clever and sharp. It's a potentially deadly mixture, but one absolutely enthralling nevertheless. What can I say? I love Victor. I adore his flamboyant, eccentric personality. I know, it probably means there is something very wrong with me and I should seek help - oh, well. Blame Kenneth Oppel! 

     When you turn the last page of Such Wicked Intent, you will be struck by how gorgeous this book is from the first page to last, and you'll be tempted to go back to the beginning and read it all over again. I did just that. I couldn't stop myself. I've read this book and then went ahead and read it again. And I still can't say that I had enough of it. It's no secret that I'm a total sucker for books with dark and eerie themes, and if they have enthralling gothic settings and memorable, unique characters - even better! I loved Marry Shelley's Frankenstein - her timeless story has sent shivers down my spine many times, but as much as I appreciated her boldness and inventiveness, she did not manage to evoke as many emotions in me as Oppel did in his series. His portrayal of Victor is truly magnificent and insightful, and it really allows you to understand both the motives behind his actions, and the events that shaped his tragic future. 

     All in all, Such Wicked Intent is a compelling and engrossing piece of literature. It's full of gothic thrills, chilling mysteries, burning passion, and alchemy. Fast-moving, action-packed and dripping with atmosphere, it's one of the 2012 absolute must-reads







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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing

9 comments:

readinginwinter.com said...

GREAT REVIEW! This is one that is high on my expectations list ... I loved This Dark Endeavour so much and wondered why I put off reading it for so long. Your review makes the sequel sound AMAZING! Can't wait to get more Victor. :)

Sydney said...

It sounds wicked and wonderful! I'll try to read This Dark Endeavor so I can get to this one next!

Amy said...

I really, really need to read the first one. This sounds fantastic! I just put My Dark Endeavor on my list of books to take out from the library soon. This series sounds absolutely intriguing. Fabulous review Evie!! You have made me excited about wanting to read these books!!

Bookluvr Mindy said...

This sounds super good! I'm hope I'll be able to give it a try soon!

Magical Urban Fantasy Reads
bookluvrmindy

aatweens said...

When I saw which book you were reviewing, my eyes widened and I got really excited! Kenneth Oppel is and always has been my favourite author and I cannot wait for this book to come out! Your review just got me even more excited and eager to get my hands on this book. :)

Joy said...

Sounds great. Love the cover. I also really like your blog banner.
Hope you have a great weekend reading ;)

Tiffany Mahaffy said...

Okay so I hate to admit it but I haven't read This Dark Endeavour :( I want to so bad and this review makes it much more urgent because well I seem to be in need of this one now too!! Great review!!

roro said...

great review. i so need to read book1

Nymeria said...

Is there a series about a young Vctor Frankenstein?! I can't believe it!!! I'm going to read this books!! :D

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