The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
Alone and penniless, Mary Jekyll hunts for her father’s killer, a former friend named Edward Hyde, along with help from Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson resulting in the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists.

Simon and Schuster
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, 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.

Publisher: New York :, Saga Press,, [2017]
ISBN: 9781481466523
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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Oct 13, 2017

nicely written, interesting story line, but so what, is the feeling i was left with

I have mixed impressions of this novel. The main narrative is fine and mostly well-crafted with interesting characters playing out an interesting premise. What irked me endlessly was the unnecessary and intrusive sub-narrative of the story's characters interjecting with mostly useless and uninteresting commentary from the perspective of reflecting back on the events. This also spoiled a great deal of dramatic tension because those characters, who were in jeopardy, are talking about their jeopardy which they have obviously survived. Stupid, stupid, stupid to leave that crap in. It spoiled so much including the natural flow of the story. Ugh. The character of 14-year old girl was also a sore point. Her language was far too modern for 120 years ago. Lastly, the book does not resolve - and infuriatingly so - the obvious interaction that should have happened between two major characters (I won't spoil it). Ridiculous. Worse, the lack of resolution was deliberately staged solely (and obviously) for the purpose of creating a second book. This could have and should have been edited much better.

May 18, 2017

I was introduced to Theodora Goss through her short story "The Mad Scientist's Daughter," part of the short fiction collection "The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination." When I heard that she was starting a new series in that vein I was eager for more. Happily, "The Mad Scientist's Daughter" introduces the characters from this new novel, so Goss's memorable monsterettes are alive and well and apparently headed for a sequel.

"The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter" introduces us to the daughter of the late Dr. Jekyll. Through a series of light and enjoyable capers she becomes acquainted with a who's who of cryptic characters: Hyde, Frankenstein, Moreau, Holmes, Watson, and more. Goss's studies of each of her characters provide necessary depth and carry the story along nicely.

Goss's universe, although rife with darker themes, remains light and wholesome throughout. She could easily have taken a much gorier and terrifying angle, but the tone here is adventure rather than horror. Gail Carriger's steampunk books come to mind as a read-alike for those looking for more until Goss's next novel comes out.

As a final note, Goss takes obvious pleasure in playing with her narrators, and the effect is wonderful, definitely deepening the relationships involved and teasing the reader with hints at what is to come. Having read Goss's short story in "Mad Scientist's..." I had a basic acquaintance with the characters and saw piles of little inside jokes that will make readers want to pick this book up a second time to see all the little jabs and asides between the narrators that they missed the first time around. I'm also inspired to go back and read the short story to see how/if the characters have been adjusted as Theodora fleshed them out into a full novel.

Die-hard Sherlock Holmes fans may be enthusiastic or scandalized, but his inclusion in the story was a pleasant surprise.

A fun, fast-moving read. Eagerly looking forward to Goss's next.

fineplan May 18, 2017

Extremely clever idea and great use of classic horror stories. I love how Goss fleshed out -- or even created -- the female characters who should have been important to the classic tales. The characters were engaging and it was extremely entertaining to explore the boundaries of this alternate England and the mysteries scientific society that may or may not be guilty of the Whitechapel murders.


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