Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss

Author: Theodora Goss
Publisher: Saga Press
Date of publication: August 2017

Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

When I read the synopsis for The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, I was excited to dive right in.  I am a big fan of the classic monster books, so I had high hopes this one would be good.  Imagine if the monsters had offspring and they all got together with Sherlock Holmes to solve some gruesome murders in White Chapel.  Sounds weird yet fascinating, right?

I ended up really enjoying this book.  It was a lot of fun. I know some people may think there is too much thrown in to the story.  I'll be honest, there kind of was, but it somehow all worked for me. You just kind of  have to let let yourself go and sink into the story. All of the characters were interesting and had back stories that I didn't mind taking side tracks to read about.  My favorite was Diana.  Her spunk was really funny and refreshing.  I wouldn't say she was feral, she was just extremely precocious. One aspect of the  book that I loved was when the narrative would break and the women, who were all writing the book together, would interject with comments.  It made the story a lot more fun.

There are a couple of mysteries that the ladies have to solve.  Who is killing women in White Chapel and taking body parts?  How are they tied to the Société des Alchimistes?  What is this secret global organization that their  fathers all seem to be tied to in one way or another?  The book ends with some questions answered and some still unsolved.  I found out there are two more books planned.  I definitely looking forward to reading the next one.

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