You may be aware of Mary Shelley's gothic horror novel, Frankenstein, published in 1820. Canadian author Kenneth Oppel wondered what Victor Frankenstein was like as a teen. He wondered what happened in his youth that shaped his desire to create life out of "non-living matter" as an adult. Victor lives in a castle on the shore of Lake Geneva with his twin brother Kondrad and Elizabeth, their beautiful cousin. The three stumble upon a secret room in the castle and when Victor's father discovers this, he makes them promise never to go to it again. But Konrad falls ill and Victor is convinced that the secret to making him well lies in that room. This story is atmospheric and compelling. Readers with familiarity of Shelley's masterpiece will be tickled by the allusions and foreshadowing but knowledge of the story is not required. This Dark Endeavor is book one of a duology that concludes with Such Wicked Intent.