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Science Fiction Fantasy Blog

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

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. -Goodreads

Below are a sampling of our comments:

  • The book was not very scientific – I’ll expose my daughter to poison and she’ll get poison breath?
  • It’s the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein - it was interesting that the book was part of the world
  • Justine’s language matched Mary Shelley’s writing
  • The interjections were annoying and jarring
  • I didn’t mind the meta-ness of the comments – it is a mashup
  • The mashup was fun, but not as good as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!
  • Sherlock Holmes and Watson were well-written, but Sherlock wasn’t quite as dazzling as usual
  • This was the story of the unheard voices of women misused by mad scientists
  • It reminded me of Ready Player One, except Victorian fanfiction
  • The book wasn’t very suspenseful – I knew everyone would be fine and that they would live in the house together
  • The fight scene in the warehouse went on forever…
  • I liked how each character had their own personality and traits
  • Mary and Diana are not obviously “monsters” despite their parentage – perhaps experiments were done on them and the results aren’t yet known
  • Diana as the rebellious teen was my favorite character!

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you may have about The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. We gave this title the codes FEM, MONS, GB, HRO, ALT, HOME & LIT with an average rating of 3.6.

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