I’ve always been interested in the world of alchemy in make believe. Kenneth Oppel made me feel as though I was in the world of impossible while reading this book. He also made me feel sorry for the Frankenstein family. Their son Konrad fell ill and eventually passed away. His twin, Victor, his girlfriend, Elizabeth, his friend Henry, and his family all are going through a tough grieving process. While Konrad was alive and sick, Elizabeth and Victor tried to make him a “life elixir” from directions in a alchemy book they found in a place called the Dark Library of the mansion. They all lived in the Wilhelm mansion... it left them access to many mysterious things. The prior owner Wilhelm Frankenstein allegedly went missing hundreds of years ago, leaving an eerie feeling amongst the enormous home. When the “life elixir” fell short of it’s abilities, Victor and Elizabeth couldn’t help but feeling that it was their that fault Konrad passed. Of course I felt horrible that these poor teens felt this way. It must have been hard to lose someone dear to you, let alone blame yourself. As I read on, the story became more thrilling.
They no longer had access to the Dark Library. Victor’s parents burned all the books to avoid any more misery and stress. Amongst the ash, Victor finds one book that didn’t burn. He discovers that it is covered in a metal to prevent this very thing from happening. I was as eager as Victor was to find out what was in it. After curiously reading the book, he discovers that this book holds the ability to talk to the dead. While following the secret procedure, he gets a response saying, “Come raise me.” Elizabeth finds out and they are both scared but intrigued that it may be Konrad speaking to them. They weren’t the only ones wondering. I was also excited to see what happened next in this adventurous tale. With help from their friend Henry, the three teens find a secret room with notes from the mysterious Wilhelm Frankenstein about how to go into the spirit world. Excitedly and recklessly, Victor follows all the directions and his soul is transported to the spirit realm. As nervous as I was for him, I kept on reading. When Victor returns, he says that he has seen Konrad and spoken to him. His friends were worried, but interested. However, Victor said it wasn’t Konrad that had sent the eerie message of, “Come raise me.” Eventually, the three of them ease up, forget about the message, and continuously make visits to see Konrad. I felt very happy for the three of them to see Konrad. However, I kept thinking who had sent such a strange message?
While Victor reads on with Wilhelm Frankenstein’s notes and discoveries, he finds out how to create a body for Konrad to inhabit. I was worried about the safety of this “body”. While following the directions, they create a soulless body for their loved one. Everyone is very excited for the body, but when an evil spirit finds out that there is a body to live in, they have to fight it in the spirit world to Konrad safe. Eventually, the body in the real world fails and dies. I was as upset as Elizabeth, Henry, Konrad, and Victor were when the body died, but I thought it was for the best. It could have been dangerous. I was excited to see what would happen if Konrad had truly returned, but that wouldn’t happen. However, at least nobody had to worry about any evil spirits hurting Konrad out of greed.
In the real world, Victor’s parents decide that they should move to Italy for the summer because he believes that there is too much sadness in the home. I agreed with him but all I could wonder was, what about Konrad? Nobody would be able to visit him again When Konrad finds out that he will never get a second chance at life, he shockingly accepts it and realizes that it’s best if he just moves on, including himself. Everyone was of course going to miss Konrad and the spirit world. In the end, Konrad goes to heaven, and Elizabeth, Victor, and the family happily leave for Italy and move on with their lives. Henry does not go to Italy for the summer. He stays behind with his own family and waits for the next upcoming adventure. I thought it would be interesting if there was a sequel while they were in Italy.
This story was adventurous, mysterious and different. I’ve never read a book like this before. It had a unique plot like no other. The characters were unfortunatley mostly static, though. I would liked to see them go through signifigant changes. However, I am pleased that I stayed interested in this book. It had many unexpected twists that kept me reading. I would recommend this book to teens and young adults that are interested in supernatural and fictional subjects. Kenneth Oppel did a magnificent job with this novel and my thoughts on his work are definitely positive.