Such Wicked Intent

Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was nothing remarkable about this bonfire, no spectral lights, no demonic whiff of brimstone.  It was just cracked glass and burning paper and ink and reeking leather.  The smoke lifted into the dark autumn sky, carrying with it all the lies and false promises I’d foolishly believed…

When Victor Frankenstein’s efforts at the end of This Dark Endeavor end in failure, his guilt and ambition once again lead him to a book in the Dark Library.  Through a magical potion, Victor and his friends gain entrance into the spirit world, where their greatest desires are within their reach.  Mystical butterflies, a malevolent spirit knocking at the windows, and a moaning from the dark caverns underneath the chateau are just some of the wonders they find there, which they only slowly begin to fully comprehend.

In this book, the reader is once again transported into the mysterious, Gothic world of the young Victor Frankenstein and introduced to his early ambitions — this time not so much in science, however, as in magic and the occult.  As I was reading this, I was a bit anxious about where this was headed, as I do believe the occult is something very real and not to be dabbled in, but eventually was satisfied with how Victor and his friends learned this lesson throughout the story — that the spirit realm and the forces within it can be deceptive and dangerous, and aren’t something to mess with.

This book truly kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to read more, and desperate to find out what was really going on, both in Victor’s real world and in the supernatural spirit world which he enters.  Both places are filled with danger and mystery, intensity and emotion, and although some of the twists throughout the book were more obvious than others, it was understandable that the characters were too blinded by their grief and ambition — as well as by the dark forces at work — to really get what was going on.

I also really appreciate how the book wraps up its loose ends, so that although I know the series is supposed to be a trilogy, the second book didn’t feel like a superfluous bridge into the third book as many second-books-in-a-trilogy do, but was a great story on its own.

Heads up:  This book deals with the occult, and therefore may not be suitable for younger, more impressionable readers.  There are also scenes of violence and gore.

Overall: This sequel takes the reader on another heart-pounding adventure through Frankenstein’s early life, though with darker and more malevolent  forces than the first book.

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