Review: Such Wicked Intent

Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2)In Such Wicked Intent, after Victor’s twin brother dies from an unusual disease, Victor vows to never venture into the mysteries of alchemy. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy.

Wracked with longing, Victor can’t get away from the idea of bringing Konrad back, in some shape or form. Thus, when he receives a cryptic message from the beyond, he’s certain it’s Konrad calling him back.

When he discovers a mysterious portal to the spirit world, Victor can’t help but go in with Elizabeth and Henry, in hopes of rescuing his twin.

The twins are reunited in this spirit world and are able to mend their relationship in those stolen hours. But, the spirit world is not all that it seems since it burns with an unknown power, a power than ignites the animal desires within Victor, Elizabeth, and Henry. It is there that they get the idea to bring Konrad back, as they start aligning themselves with the dark and unknown powers of the spirit world, causing the link between the two worlds to weaken.

Victor’s plans to resurrect his brother seem likely to be successful, but at what cost?

About a month and a half ago, I received a Chapters.Indigo gift card from a dear friend of mind, Chelsey (thanks Chelse!). As soon as I got it, I knew I had to save it for Such Wicked Intent, especially since I loved the first one This Dark Endeavour so much!

Be warned: if you haven’t yet read the first book This Dark Endeavour this review will contain mild spoilers.

Unlike the first book in the series, which focused a lot on alchemy and science, this one takes a look at the supernatural and God. Victor is still an adamant atheist, and his disbelief in God’s presence clashes a lot with Elizabeth’s strong belief. This is one of the many battles that Victor and Elizabeth fight throughout the novel, demonstrating how their relationship seems doomed even before it starts.

The action was a lot slower in this book (at least in my opinion). It was more a book to be read slowly and savoured, as it questions God, the supernatural, the relationship between the dead and living, and grief. These are no easy issues, and Oppel deals with them skillfully in the voice of teenage Victor who seems to question everything and trust nothing.

Victor seemed to take a worse in this novel. After the death of his brother, he seems even more eccentric and driven to the point of insanity. There are many times that Elizabeth tells him that something isn’t right about the spirit world, that they should limit their visits there, as it seems to affect Victor negatively, but Victor is naturally obsessed with the power he finds there, and even fancies himself a higher being as he starts to play with life.

Around halfway through the book, Shelley’s monster finally begins to emerge, slowly but surely. At the end of the first book, I seemed certain about the way the monster would become Konrad, and then at this point in the story, this seemed likely. But then Oppel throws a wrench into your assumptions, so that Konrad as the monster seems unlikely. But since there’s still a third book coming, it’s hard to be sure how the monster will feature in the story.

Despite loving the new, meatier stuff that was brought into this novel, the slow pace kept me from loving it completely. Victor’s recklessness to the point of stupidity also annoyed me a lot throughout the text, but it’s definitely what makes Victor himself, so I can’t begrudge him that.

With an unusual ending to all the supernatural questions brewing throughout the story, I’m eager to find out what Oppel does next!

So for that: 3.5/5.

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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