A thrilling opening chapter is the first of many adventures in Ken Oppel's exciting take on the Frankenstein myth. In his version, Victor Frankenstein is sixteen-years-old, with a twin brother, Konrad, and a spirited cousin, Elizabeth. A chance discovery of a secret Dark Library - with an ingenious lock and dusty shelves - leads to Victor's dangerous endeavor. When Konrad falls ill with an unknown malady, Victor searches the library for the alchemical books needed to brew the Elixir of Life. Unable to translate the recipe, he, Elizabeth, and their friend Henry, depend upon the mysterious chemist, Julius Polidori, to prepare it for them. Polidori sends them on several dangerous journeys to gather the necessary ingredients. But there is always the risk that the Elixir may heal Konrad - or kill him.
Secrets, deception, supernatural creatures, and a love triangle fuel this gothic horror story. Victor may struggle with his moral shortcomings, but his arrogance, impatience and impulsiveness - not to mention a thirst for glory - drives the story to its shattering conclusion.
A gripping, tension-filled novel that is hard to put down.