Thursday, August 26, 2021

2 Bloggers 1 Series - The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter


So basically Stormi and I started another series we've always been curious about.  And am I ever glad I stopped putting this book off.  This series has been blowing up Booktube lately and the good thing about it is that the trilogy is actually complete so we can dive right into the next one!  So read on to see my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter (The Athena Club #1)
AUTHOR: Theodora Goss
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: June 20, 2017
PAGES: 402
SOURCE: Own library


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.

MY THOUGHTS: This was such a fun read and I can't wait to pick the next one up.  But you know what's funny?  Up until I wrote this review, I didn't know this was categorized as a Young Adult novel.  Not that it matters but if that is putting anyone off from reading it, it shouldn't because this could easily pass for an adult novel.

When the book opens, Mary Jekyll's mother has passed away.  Prior to her death, she suffered from an illness and madness which happened to start around the time Mary's father started some mysterious experiments.  This also coincided with the appearance of his strange assistant, Mr. Hyde.  Mary is left destitute but when she discovers her mother had been sending money each month for the care of someone named Hyde, Mary thinks this is the key to solving a cold case murder and earn a generous reward in the process.  But Mary stumbles onto an impulsive and opinionated young girl.  

This is the perfect "found family" novel.  Mary joins up with Sherlock Holmes and Watson to investigate the murders of some women in Whitechapel.  They also learn there is a secretive society of men who have been experimenting on young women who they feel obligated to rescue along the way. So by the end of the book, not only has the murder mystery fallen into place, but a group of women, each with varying backgrounds and talents, have teamed up to take down the secret society.

I really enjoyed all the characters but Diana, Mary's younger sister, is hilarious.  She's mouthy and snarky and has an opinion on everything.  She's uncultured and doesn't care.  And she drives Mary mad!  I also enjoyed the inclusion of Holmes and Watson and hope they are in the future installments as well.  I will say this book has a unique format which I believe is called "breaking the fourth wall."  So interspersed between the narrative are conversations between the characters about the novel being written.  It took some adjustment as first but soon I began to look forward to these often humorous comments.

The only real complaint I had was the pacing at times.  It was a book I was able to sit down and leave for a while, unlike others which I can barely put down.  However if you love classic monsters and are looking for a unique twist, look no further.  This book has adventure, snark, humor, all in a historical setting.  Bring on the next one!




  1. I remember this! It was a fun one. But yes, it was also very long and I did feel like some of it could have been cut or streamlined, because it hurt the pacing at times.

  2. I loved this too, but it didn't feel at all like YA to me. I actually DNF'd the second book so I'm curious to see what you think!

  3. i love when a come across a series after it is complete
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. I thought this was a fun twist on all those classic monster books. I liked Mary and Beatrice best.

  5. I just read Stormi's review and this really sounds good. I really like the sound of the characters.