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The Devious Dr. Jekyll by Viola Carr

The Devious Dr. Jekyll

by Viola Carr

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Dr. Eliza Jekyll (and Lizzie Hyde) and Remy Lafayette are back in The Devious Dr. Jekyll, the sequel to the fantastic The Diabolical Miss Hyde. Once again they have to team up to find a killer, this time, a ritual torturer called the Pentacle Killer. But, there is an enemy that could very well destroy Eliza, and it's not the dangerous Razor Jack who escaped in the confrontation at the end of the last book. No, the enemy is much closer. Much…much closer…

To say that I was very eager to read this book is an understatement. This is by far one of my favorite Steampunk series. But, actually, that isn't saying so much because despite liking the genre I do not read much Steampunk and for two good reasons. First, and most, I so damn sick and tired of vampires! Steampunk and vampires seem to go hand in hand in a way that I just can't understand. I can take anything, zombies, werewolves, monsters whatever, but please no more vampires. Secondly, the damn romance thing, with of course a lot of sex scenes because a book must have at least 250-200 pages and if the plot is razor thin, why not fill it out with sex.Gah!

This book, however, has a plot, an interesting, complex, and enthralling plot (and no vampires). I especially enjoyed reading this book because of the mix of historical characters with literary characters. The mystery is intriguing and Viola Carr has created great characters. Poor Eliza has to fight with Lizzie her devious counterpart who is yearning to be free. Remy Lafayette has his own secret and then there is Mr. Todd, Razor Jack, the dangerous serial killer who seem to be quite taken with Eliza, and her with him, although her fascination with him could be based on a wish to cure him because if she can perhaps, then she can cure herself…

I was a bit surprised of Eliza's and Remy's “relationship”. In the first book I got the feeling it was Lizzie he liked most, but in this, it seemed that Eliza was the one he is after. But then again, they are the same person and it would perhaps be easier to have a relationship with the one in “control”. Personally, I'm not totally sold when it comes to their relationship. I do prefer her more dangerous bond with Razor Jack. But, then again, he is a serial killer so perhaps Remy is better for her (although he has his own problem…hmm)…

I loved this book and I hope for a third book soon!

4.5 stars

Read this review and others on A Bookaholic Swede
( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Book 2 in the Electric Empire series. Just as good as the first with characters becoming more and more defined. Great 'oh I didn't see that coming' moments too! ( )
  NancyNo5 | Dec 18, 2016 |
The second book in the Electric Empire series by Viola Carr takes us on another wild ride in alternative Victorian England involving multiple murders, political uprisings, regicide, black magic, and so much more!

Another fun adventure from Viola Carr! I absolutely fell in love with The Diabolical Miss Hyde when I read it last year, and I’ve been dying to read Book 2 since it came out in October. Book 2 is crazier and more outrageous than the first.

Just a couple of small nitpicks to note: Lizzy and Eliza are perhaps going a little mad this time around, possibly from the mix of chemicals each takes in an attempt to silence the other. Therefore, the language gets a little “stream-of-consciousness” at times, particularly with Lizzy. It can be a bit disorienting and hard to follow–which was likely the intent to convey a sense of madness, but it does make the pace of the novel seem frantic.

Also, I noticed that much of what Eliza did had no impact on the solving of the cases. She either had an erroneous theory or just happened to be in the right place at the right time to discover the identity of the murder. I don’t remember whether this happened in the first book or not–I didn’t notice it if it did. But it would be nice to see Eliza more instrumental in the solving of cases, since she is trying to be a strong, independent woman.

It seems like Eliza and Lizzy get caught by the bad guys a lot in this book. Several times Eliza states she can handle herself without the need of a man to rescue her; yet, over and over a man needs to come rescue her when she gets in a sticky situation. If I were Remy, I think I’d put a tail on Eliza, too, with how often she gets into trouble. Again, it would be nice to see them both be the capable, independent women they aspire to be.

Despite these details, I really enjoyed the book. Personally, Eliza is battling her infatuation with Mr. Todd, her growing attraction to Remy, and her desire to be recognized as an independent and capable female forensic physician. Lizzy is battling her jealousy of Eliza and her own lack of self-esteem. Professionally, there are several murders to solve and a political coup in the works, one which threatens Remy and Eliza’s life.

Tensions really ratchet up in this novel, which makes the wait for Book 3 excruciating! ( )
  InvestedIvana | Apr 28, 2016 |
This is the second book in the Electric Empire series by Viola Carr. This was a well done continuation of this extension of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. I enjoyed the mystery, the steampunk elements, and the references to classical literature throughout.

Dr. Eliza Jekyll has established a name for herself in the male dominated field of forensic science. However, some of the leading males in the field are still belittling her contributions. Then Remy Lafayette asks for Eliza’s help on solving what is becoming known as the Pentacle Killer murders. Eliza is excited to have the chance to prove herself on another case, but also leery of being involved on a case that involves working with Remy too closely. Remy knows many of Eliza’s dangerous secrets and their attraction to each other doesn’t make things any easier.

There are lots of fun steampunk elements, mystery, action, and some romance here. I enjoyed the characters and the mystery a lot and continue to enjoy the theme of good vs evil within one's own personality.

The book has a very Sherlock Holmes feel to it with some paranormal elements woven in. This book brings in the whole Dorian Grey type of storyline in addition to continuing some of the Sweeney Todd storyline that started in the first book. I love how all these different pieces of classic Victorian literature are woven in the story.

The whole book has an underlying theme of people trying to separate the dark in their personalities out from the light. It’s an interesting theme and one that is explored well in this book.

The story is tied up nicely and I am curious as to whether or not there will be future books in this series.

Overall a well done continuation of this Victorian steampunk series. I enjoyed the mystery, the characters, and all the references to other classic Victorian horror books. I would love to read more books in this series and would recommend to fans of Sherlock Holmes style mysteries and steampunk. ( )
  krau0098 | Mar 17, 2016 |
Really enjoyable, totally fun, exciting, lots of steampunk swashbuckling on the part of everyone. Loved it. ( )
  NatalieSW | Jan 21, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062363107, Paperback)

Dr. Eliza Jekyll, heroine of the electrifying The Diabolical Miss Hyde—an edgy steampunk retelling of the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—investigates a bizarre murder case in an alternate Victorian London while battling her treacherous secret half: Lizzie Hyde.

Solving the infamous Chopper case has helped crime scene physician Dr. Eliza Jekyll establish her fledgling career in the chauvinistic world of Victorian law enforcement. But the scrutiny that comes with her newfound fame is unwelcome for a woman with a diabolical secret. And there is the mercurial Royal Society agent and wolf man Remy Lafayette. Does he want to marry her, eat her, or burn her at the stake? Though Eliza is uncertain about Remy, her dark and jealous shadow self, Lizzie, wants to steal the magnetic and persistent agent, and usurp Eliza’s life.

It’s impossible to push Remy away when he tempts her with the one thing she can’t resist: a bizarre crime. The search for a bloodthirsty ritual torturer dubbed the Pentacle Killer draws them into a terrifying world of spies, art thieves, and evil alchemy, where the price of immortality is madness—or damnation—and only Lizzie’s dark ingenuity can help Eliza survive.

As Eliza and Remy race to thwart a foul conspiracy involving the sorcerous French, they must also overcome a sinister enemy who is all too close: the vengeful Lizzie, determined to dispose of Eliza for good.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 20 Aug 2015 21:49:55 -0400)

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