Book Review: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

“With pockets, women could conquer the world!”

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 synopsis)

I LOVED this book. I read 20 pages and knew this was definitely the book for me. As we meet the various literary characters and their daughters I was completely captivated by the story.

I enjoyed how the different daughters’ stories were seamlessly interwoven throughout the book. Each girl got her own chapter and was able to tell their tale from their perspective. Throughout the book there are interjections from our characters, as the book is being written by Catherine Moreau and the other daughters are helping. The interjections served as a way for us to get see the camaraderie between the girls before we even got to fully meet all of them.

I also enjoyed how this book tackled feminism in the late 1800’s. The girl were often referring it to being “the ’90’s” and that women had much more opportunity to do more in the world. There was discussion on the required dress of women, women having to marry, women earning their own livable wages, and even religion. This was all done without a heavy hand and the discussions were usually between the characters which further highlighted their different personalities.

One con is that I thought the book was a little too long. Once the big plot happened I felt that the last little bit of the book was a little unnecessary. Not a deal breaker but just something that kinda bugged me.

Overall, I cannot wait to read the next book the follows the Athena Club, European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, because there are so many places this story can go and I’m so excited.

Have you read this book? Is it on your radar? Let’s chat in the comments.

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Much Love,

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