There are some maaaajor spoilers in this review, so if you don't want the first book ruined for you, I suggest you skip reading this! Howevvver...I HIGHLY recommend this series, so if you're interested, check out my review of the first book, This Dark Endeavor, RIGHT HERE.
MY THOUGHTS -Oh holy gracious, I'm just so happy. Not that I was doubting Oppel's genius or anything...I was just a bit nervous, because I'd hyped myself up about this book and was worried if wouldn't live up to my expectations. But heck, why did I ever worry my little head over it? It was perfect, from beginning to end. The only thing stopping me from awarding this series "forever favorite" is that I haven't read what comes next, and that will be the deciding factor.
CHARACTER NOTES -I know I'll need to do a lot of explaining for this statement, whether you've read the book or not: I am madly in love with Victor. Goodness, he's just so...amazing. Obsessive, unrelenting, disobedient, and proud, yes... But every time he does something, foolish or no, I fall a little more in love. I believe he's one of the only "bad boy" types I've ever loved like this. The passionate way he sees things, especially his love for Elizabeth, makes me blush and read faster for more. And you know what? I think that's just it - his passion. I love him for it, so so much.
Now, Elizabeth. She's amazing, too, in a very level-headed, sweet-tempered way. She is very maternal, but also very wild, like an animal, and only Victor really sees that side of her. I think she and Konrad had a comfortable love, but she and Victor could have something very passionate, a love like fire, and I'm rooting for that without a doubt.
Henry seemed to grow so much this time around. He became so manly and attractive. The story really compared Henry's/Victor's strengths and showed how selfish Victor can be sometimes. Henry was almost like an angel, pure and strong. I loved him all the more this time!
And the pit-god... Oh, I shudder at that name! What a formidable, unbeatable enemy!
STORY NOTES -I think Oppel's trademark is that he makes everything that could possibly go wrong happen, one thing after another, slamming the heroes in the face until it seems like they won't be able to win after all... And that's also his brilliancy. It's rare that a story sucks me in so much that by the end I can no longer sense things going on around me, that my heart is beating wildly, my stomach is churning with worry, and htat my hands shake with anticipation as I turn the pages. And this book - it did exactly that.
From beginning to end I couldn't stop. I read it all in 2 sittings, only putting it down 'cause I had to, only picking it up once I knew I could just sit and finish it all.
This is a dark, sad, humorous, startling, gripping, and completely lovely. It holds twists I couldn't foresee, and writing that sweeps you up in TWO different tenses. Victor's voice and Oppel's style, while both unmistakable, mesh perfectly.
It's also a story that sticks with you. I know that in my review of This Dark Endeavor I said the story wasn't very memorable, but I take that back. I remembered everything about Book 1, and now Such Wicked Intent sticks out to me even more.
Also, as Christian, I found the religious discussions and aspects of the story VERY fascinating. They weren't over the top or taking over the whole story, but OMG (excuse my lack of proper grammar) but that was a brilliant touch. You have the dynamics of an athiest, a Catholic, and a Protestant. So, soooo fascinating!!
So, honestly, I have nothing bad to say. At all!
SUMMING IT UP -Just....wow. I personally cannot recommend this series enough. I want everyone to read it - hurry hurry go go go go go go go go!!!!!
For the Parents -
A kiss or two (Victor thinks about one of them afterward and about the intimacy between he and Elizabeth, but not in explicit terms). Maybe a curse word or two. Some intense action but not really any violence. Some spooky scenes (looooved those!). Overall, recommended 14+.