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The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter…
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The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter (2017)

by Theodora Goss

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5213528,932 (3.93)60

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» See also 60 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
This is a novel that I've wanted to get my hooks into for awhile, even more so after I was very impressed with the author after hearing her talk at the 2018 World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore, however, alas, this is yet another novel that I respect more than I like. Part of it is the use of memoir-like touches that usually put me off as a writing device. Another is the use of Holmes & Watson as characters; granted that whatever else this novel is it's a romp by a literature student but the deployment of those two worthies is usually a sign that the custard is a bit too rich. I also tend to agree that the other gals are not as well developed as Mary Jekyll, who, despite my damning with slight praise, I think is great! Maybe, at the end of the day, there is just too much stuffed into this book to be really quite coherent. ( )
  Shrike58 | Jan 25, 2019 |
https://iwriteinbooks.wordpress.com/2019/01/04/the-strange-case-of-the-alchemist...

What if the daughters of every gothic monster and monster-making fictional character banded together?

Oh, yes. This is the dreamy culmination of the last few months (and moreso a lifetime) or my obsession with Dracula, Jack the Ripper, Frankenstein, and Penny Dreadful. Add in Holmes, Watson, and Doctor Moreau, and you’ve got this magical little romp through somewhat magical, altogether horrifying, Victorian England.

The daughters and created children of literature’s most scandalous science experiments gather together like so many scifi snowflakes, rumbling down the historical hill that is the time-honored literary tradition of chasing the perpetrator of the Whitechapple murders, eventually snowballing into a fantastically wild ride.

It’s one of those stories that left me breathless, at once both appreciative of its art and also jealous that I wasn’t the one to write it. The attention to literary and historical detail made my heart sing and also prompted me to scoot off to the library to collect every one of the mentioned classics. It’s never a bad time to reread my old favorites.

The second book, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewomen, came out this past summer and I am, as I’m typing this, slipping on my shoes so I can scoot over to the bookstore and start that one, right quick.

As a side note: This was my first audiobook which made the whole thing a little bit harder to follow (I learned, or rather confirmed, during this process that I don’t do well with fiction on audio) but the story itself was solid enough to hold my attention. ( )
  iwriteinbooks | Jan 5, 2019 |
Much preferred the shorter introductory work. There is too much reliance here on exposition by summary. And the Sherlock Holmes presented here is too pleasant. ( )
  2wonderY | Jan 4, 2019 |
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter is an awful lot of fun.

This novel takes several well known characters out of classic literature (Sherlock Holmes, Jekyll and Hyde, etc.) and mixes them all into a secret society of alchemists and monster makers who are generally menaces of society. As someone who enjoys classics and is familiar with all the stories included here (whether I've read them or not) I am delighted to see these characters sliced together into an exciting cooperative story, driven by the daughters of mad scientists.

My main complaint about this book is the extended backstories - learning the stories behind these girls takes up at least half the book, and as someone who already knows enough about these stories to get by, it was a bit of a boring redundancy for me and I tended to zone out while listening. Outside of these sections, it was exciting a lot, with monster killings and running around London and commentary on the ridiculousness of some social conventions of the time.

It's a light book with familiar characters and a good amount of fun. I won't be purchasing this one for myself, but I will read the next book and keep an eye on Theodora Goss's novels. ( )
  Morteana | Dec 26, 2018 |
I liked how the daughters of famous Gothic 'anti-heroes' came together to solve a crime. Even Holmes and Watson were in this story.

It took me a while to get into this. The story is great, the "authors' notes"/interruptions took a moment to get used to. ( )
  JulesGDSide | Nov 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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Here be monsters.
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For Ophelia, who read it first
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Mary Jekyll stared down at her mother's coffin.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 148146650X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 14 Jan 2017 23:34:10 -0500)

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 capturea 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.… (more)

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