In an effort to read more books that are already on my shelves this year, I finally picked up The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter by Theodora Goss! I read a short fairytale retellings collection of hers last year, and between that and the book featuring an Athena Club, (added bonus because I like things with my name in it), this seemed like a good pick right now!
- Title: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s daughter
- Series: The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #1
- Author: Theodora Goss
- Publisher & Release: Gallery / Saga Press, June 2017
- Length: 417 pg
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 for fans of mysteries and retellings!
Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:
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, Catherin 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.
Audio: I did listen to some of this on audio, and omg. From Simon & Schuster audio, narrated by Kate Reading, she won an Audie in 2018 for best fantasy. Kate was just perfect. Every character has a unique voice, she speaks clearly and enunciates everything beautifully. I would absolutely 100% recommend this as an audiobook
The Story/Plot: I think the synopsis tells you everything that you need to know about the plot! This is a fantastically fast-paced book, starting with Mary Jekyll and gradually expanding to the full cast of characters as the women find each other. Along with each woman’s individual story, each of which were some of my favorite parts of the book, the crew is attempting to solve the Whitechapel murders. These murders are re-written and worked in as part of the mad scientist plot!
The Characters: most of these characters are either completely new or Rewritten with their own personalities, but any fan of classic literature will hopefully appreciate them. Characters worked from Jekyll & Hyde, Frankenstein, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Dracula, Jane Eyre, and more are here, but it’s not necessary to know the original stories to read this at all.
The characters really are an interesting group, from poisonous Beatrice to super strong Justine to catwoman Catherine, and Hyde’s daughter is absolutely hilarious. They refuse to be limited by being women in Victorian London. Holmes and Watson take on new personalities too!
The Mystery: no spoilers, but since I’ve never been a big Sherlock Holmes reader it was interesting to see how his murder investigation unfolded. The women were also running investigations and although the why shortly became apparent, the who and big picture- not so much. I just think it’s really cool how Goes pulled all of these characters into one coherent novel
Content: I got nothing for ya here. Someone pees in holy water and they inspect a few dead bodies
Overall: I can definitely recommend this one for fans of classical retellings and Mysteries!