Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
I had seen Theodora Goss' The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter around for a while but was on the fence about whether I wanted to read it or not. I used to really love new stories with historically or fictionally-based characters but, recently, I've found many of them to be annoyingly inaccurate or badly constructed. But then I saw a glowing mention of this and decided to give it a shot anyway.
The story starts with Mary Jekyll, simultaneously mourning the death of her mother and also finding out a huge secret that her mother had been keeping. The secret leads her to meet Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and other daughters of famous, well, mad scientists. They join forces to try and figure out what motives joined their fathers and to discover whether they can trust each other as they have each been betrayed by their "creators". Oh, and did I mention Holmes and Watson are there too?!
So, basically this was a Wilkie Collins novel of orphaned women trying to keep their heads above water, but with the wonderful added elements of horror and science fiction that other Victorians did so well. I really cared about these characters and loved the reminders of each of their original stories. The sequel, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, is out today and I can't wait to dive into it. I wouldn't even mind rereading this one so soon!