The Gothic novel as a genre may never have quite got over Jane Austen’s merciless parodying in Northanger Abbey, but even so Kenneth Oppel makes a good fist at reviving it in this first part of a planned duo. Growing up in an eighteenth-century castle in Geneva rich in secret passages and hidden libraries, teenage twins Victor and Konrad are both in love with beautiful cousin Elizabeth, who ostensibly goes for mild-mannered Konrad while retaining a dangerous soft spot for impulsive Victor. Written as if by Victor, his restrained use of language cleverly serves to make the increasingly outlandish events surrounding him more believable. Adventure and affairs of the heart are also entwined, leading to a climax that is genuinely gripping as Victor strives to save the life of the brother who is also his rival in love. Throw in an evil alchemist and his pet lynx, and there is enough here to keep even the most sceptical reader interested. Several notches higher than some other recent tired attempts in this genre, Oppel well and truly delivers the goods. Hooked readers must now look forward to the concluding tale where Victor, having already come to grief in the land of the living, is now apparently determined to make good his losses by visiting the world of the dead.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2011-11-01 00:00:362022-01-28 12:29:42This Dark Endeavour