The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

by Theodora Goss

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The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After an interesting premise and decent hook the characters never expand past their initial one or two dimensions. Some of their thoughts and concerns seem modern, like a diatribe about the lack pockets in women's clothes, which does a good job of ruining the immersion. Sprinkled throughout the text are sidebars from the characters breaking the fourth wall and further hindering immersion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book takes new twist on classic horror books like Frankenstein and makes it a girl power book as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was so fun! An alternate/female view of several familiar monster stories brought together into a fantastic joint world. I can see how the style might not be for everyone, but I was delighted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was so fun! An alternate/female view of several familiar monster stories brought together into a fantastic joint world. I can see how the style might not be for everyone, but I was delighted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way the author brings several literature creations together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You never know what you need until its there. A very nice take on the fiction of the late 19th and early 29th century. By showing that women did want more control of there lives and showing what most men would have done. All of the characters were very interesting and I can't wait for book 2. Joe Parrish
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read many stories that are gripping, but few that are also novel - having a flavor that I will recall long after setting down the tale. So it was with delight that I discovered the Athena Club.i look forward to their many adventures to come.
Opals4Ophelia More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up at BN in ANC on Thursday night and I just finished it today. When I did look thru it at the store - I was a little taken aback by the sidebar conversations within the pages - however, I thought it might be intriguing. I found most of the sidebar to be entertaining but not very useful. It did make the characters more "realistic", the modesty of Beatrice, etc. Watson doesn't seem entirely realistic (or the way that I normally think about him) but overall, I really love how she's combining all these different stories together. I cannot wait for the next one in July.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Goss and really wanted to love this story. Unfortunately, I agree with the other reviewer and found all the sidebar conversation extremely annoying and I spent most of the book just skipping over it. For me, it almost completely ruined a otherwise good storyline that I was interested in. I feel mixed about whether I will buy the next book. On one hand I like the story arc and the author, on the other I can't imagine reading another book in this style. Maybe I will pick it up if it's on sale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well rounded and witty play on classic monster stories, Sherlock Holmes, and a car of thousands. Most importantly, perhaps, it looks at the place of women and women's society and relationships with each other, all encompassed in a rousing and imaginative read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
trulynightwing More than 1 year ago
"With pockets, women could conquer the world! " One of the most important sentences in a book chock full of surprises and delights on each page.
Trinitytwo More than 1 year ago
Mary Jekyll has led a sheltered life, even for a woman in the late 1800's. Her father, Dr. Henry Jekyll, died over a decade ago, leaving his wealth mysteriously inaccessible to his family. Although appearances were maintained, the truth behind the facade is that Mary was forced to sell almost everything of value over the years in order to retain a few key members of the household staff and hire a nurse to help care for her mentally-ill mother. After her mother's death, Mary realizes she is quickly running out of funds. She begins to investigate her mother's legal papers in the hope of discovering a way to provide for herself and her faithful housekeeper. Mary is astounded to learn her mother had a secret bank account with a monthly withdrawal earmarked "for the care and keeping of Hyde". Could this be a reference to the notorious Mr. Hyde who is still wanted for the brutal murder of an elderly gentleman? And if that is the case, would the authorities still offer a reward for his whereabouts even though the crime was committed so long ago? Mary visits the famous detective Sherlock Holmes for advice, hoping this information might lead to some financial security. Instead, Mary finds that nothing in her mundane life is quite what it seems. The cast of characters spring from some of literature's most well-known horror stories. The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter features not only Dr. Jekyll's daughter, but also the daughters of doctors Frankenstein, Moreau, and Rappaccini. Each character is well-formed and has her own unique voice. Although introducing the offspring of iconic fictional figures is nothing new, author Theodora Goss offers an original plot and an engrossing mystery that keeps the story appealing and fresh. Another unique feature of the book is an intriguing story within the story. The daughters are reading a written account of their exploits, much like Dr. Watson's documentation of Sherlock Holmes' adventures. Each chapter features conversations between the women, commenting on the authenticity of the writer's interpretations, giving more accurate and often amusing insights into their personalities. This commentary allows each of the daughters' fascinating backstories to blend seamlessly into the action. For instance, through this plot device it becomes obvious that the insults directed at the incorrigible Diana Hyde actually come from a place of love and indulgence. Goss does an expert job of clearly exposing who the real monsters are, as well as exploring the idea that the bonds forged from friendship can be the strongest of all. Other strong themes included are those of sisterhood, loyalty and feminism. Goss left a few mysteries unsolved, and hopefully they will be addressed in her next book. Overall, her formula of monsters, mystery, and the macabre is highly entertaining and I definitely recommend The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter.
Reading_With_Cupcakes More than 1 year ago
When I heard about The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter I must admit that my mind was totally blown. It just sounded so good! Why did it sound good? Well you see, The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter ties together quite a few classics. There is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Frankenstein, Rappaccini's Daughter, and Sherlock Holmes as the main story tie ins. However, as you read through the story you will find even more! Theodora Goss is a genius! Putting all these stories together? Pure brilliance. This story isn't about the main characters of those stories though. Aside from Sherlock Holmes and Watson being in The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, characters it revolves around are the daughters of the villains from the other mentioned stories. In this story we start off with Mary. Mary is the daughter of Dr. Jekyll. She has just lost her mother and her father died when she was 7. She has little to no money left and doesn't quite know what to do. Then she remembers that years ago Mr. Hyde was wanted for a murder and never captured. She sets off to try to find Mr. Hyde so that she can claim the reward money so that she won't have to worry so much. And from there the story goes! And it goes so well! It is so fun and exciting! I must say that I don't really feel like Sherlock Holmes and Watson were really themselves, but Theodora Gloss is not their creator. She did give it an admirable shot though. As far as for all the daughters? I liked them all well enough. I didn't like Diana all that much though. I personally felt like her character wasn't quite as well done as the rest of them. She was too predictable in her behaviors and responses. But then maybe that means she was really well done considering who her father is! Also, this book is written kind of like we are reading it as it is being written. Ever so occasionally dialogue between the characters pops up between bits of the story. They are either squabbling, pointing out that something was missed/wrong, or stressing the point of something just told to us. Sometimes I found this to be pretty interesting and a really neat way to get to know the characters a little better while other times I found it confusing or annoying. It definitely was a different way to write it though. All in all, I really enjoyed The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter and hope for more adventures! Find more of my reviews here: http://readingwithcupcakes.blogspot.com
NovelKnight More than 1 year ago
If I had to describe this book in one word, it'd be "delightful." One of my favorite shows is Penny Dreadful, primarily because it mashes literary characters all together in one world, which is exactly what The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter does. Though I didn't recognize all the references made to other classics, I did pick up on a few such as Jekyll & Hide, Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein, and so on. This book wasn't what I expected at all. The story starts off much as you would expect, the classic narrative, then suddenly the characters are jumping in with commentary as the story's being told! At first, I wasn't sure what to think about it but it soon became a source of humor as the women jumped in to correct the "author" on what actually happened and provide snippets of additional info. Y'all know I love a snarky character and these women had it in spades. But what sold it for me is that this book kept to the classics while also re-inventing them. I felt as though I was reading Frankenstein (one of my favorites) or one of the many adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Goss creates a world that remains true to the original works but then spins it by introducing the daughters of some of the literary greats. You first meet Mary Jekyll, daughter of the infamous doctor. Diana Hyde comes in later, as well as another creation of Dr. Frankenstein, and even the famous Holmes and Watson duo. Each draws on their respective inspirations while bringing together a fun cast of fictional daughters. I did have issues with the pacing a bit, more so at the end where the story sped up in contrast to the rest of it. Some of the commentary, while amusing, was at very inopportune moments that broke the tension of a scene or slowed it down. Or both. Then again, though this starts as what could be a thriller of sorts, it's quickly turned on its head and proved more of a humorous mystery type of book.  I'll say that I didn't really read this one for the plot. While intriguing, the characters and their classical tie-ins were of more interest and if you enjoy where they all came from, I think you'll like this story as well. The unique style and different take on a "re-telling" of sorts made it a stand-out in the genre for me. The spin on monsters only added to this effect. Definitely recommend, and look forward to more by this author!