Review: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

 

 

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.

Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. There is only one thing that I love more than well done retellings of classics – and that would be crossovers. And this, my dear readers, was the most incredible crossover I have ever laid eyes on. We had Jekyll/Hyde, Sherlock/Watson, Frankenstein… We had almost every iconic Victorian character/story referenced (slight exaggeration – but there were a lot of allusions to literature).

The writing style was beautiful. Almost like a YA Incorrigible Children. It was classy, historic, and a little bit of sass throughout. The outline itself was unique, as there was the story being told by the “author” with commentary (and bits written by) the characters between the lines. It was incredibly unique, and made it feel very immersive. I have seen some similar things before, but it was always when the story was written in a journal format. This was as if the characters were telling there story, and adding their exaggerations and commentary throughout. I really adored it.

Every character was growing throughout the story. We had shifting POVs that really added to the plot, as the reader was able to hear every girl’s story, and watch it tie into the tale that was at hand. This not only let the reader figure out the mystery as it was happening to the girl’s, but it also allowed a bit more personal connection with every character. Again, very very nice touches for making the story more immersive that I have never seen before.

And, this is going to just be a bit of a fangirl moment, but there is not clear romance in the story (as they were all far to focused on their business) but there was some implies ‘sparks’ throughout. Firstly, I ship it SO HARDCORE. Secondly, I think this approach to the romance was really nice, and added to the story. Although many readers would want upfront, obvious tension between characters, I believe that the subtle dropping of hints from the author was great. It allowed you (and the characters) to focus on the issues at hand, while still seeing them “get to know” each other. Kind of like how it too three books for Percy to realize he and Annabeth really had a thing, haha. I think this worked specifically well for Alchemist’s Daughter, because one (well, really both, but one specifically) of the characters in question was known for being a bit emotionally oblivious. So, and upfront romance in the middle of such a crazy story would have made no sense.

Overall, I think this story would be appropriate for most audiences. There is a character who dealt with domestic violence that was described rather vividly. There are also prostitutes throughout, as well as some murders (specifically when they are discussing the creation of Frankenstein’s monster and the novel’s crime). However, there is nothing too graphic.

4.5 out of 5 stars!

Maddie

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