Magic, mystery, and romance mix in this edgy retelling of the classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde–in which Dr. Eliza Jekyll is the daughter of the infamous Henry
In an electric-powered Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with inventive new technological gadgets. Now, a new killer is splattering London with blood, drugging beautiful women and slicing off their limbs. Catching "the Chopper" could make Eliza's career—or get her burned. Because Eliza has a dark secret. A seductive second self, set free by her father's forbidden magical elixir: wild, impulsive Lizzie Hyde.
When the Royal Society sends their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she's a sorceress, Eliza must resist the elixir with all her power. But as the Chopper case draws her into London's luminous, magical underworld, Eliza will need all the help she can get. Even if it means getting close to Lafayette, who harbors an evil curse of his own.
Even if it means risking everything and setting vengeful Lizzie free . . .
ebook, 464 pages
Published: February 10th 2015 by Harper Voyager
Two and a half stars: A good mystery that falters with too much wandering and extraneous detail.
Eliza takes careful account of the murder victim sprawled in the alley. She was a talented ballerina, murdered, with her legs cut off. As Eliza investigates, she is accosted by Captain Lafayette, one of the enforcer's of the Royal Society. Eliza must now dodge his inquisitive questioning as she attempts to solve the crime, and all while she tries to keep her darker half, Lizzie under control. Can Eliza catch a killer or will she succumb to her shadow?
What I Liked:
- I so wanted to love this one, and while it had many intriguing and promising things about it, I struggled to stay engaged. However, if you are patient and you want an interesting, darker retelling of Jekyll and Hyde with some steampunk and the daughter of the doomed scientist, you might want to try this. I liked the twists, and I really enjoyed the duality of Eliza and Lizzie.
- The shining part of the story for me was the dual nature of Eliza and Lizzie. Just like her father, Eliza battles with her darker nature which manifests as Lizzie. By day, Eliza is the cool, calm, intelligent Dr. Jekyll who works part time as a murder investigator. Eliza has lots of gadgets and gizmos to help her solve crimes. To help keep her shadow in check, Eliza takes an elixir brewed by an apothecary who was a friend of her father, unfortunately, the elixir isn't working as well and Eliza feels Lizzie in her thoughts trying to burst forth. When Lizzie does come on scene she is everything Eliza is not. She is brazen, driven, impetuous and unafraid. She prefers bright, gaudy, tight and revealing dresses. She isn't afraid of a fight, and she dares to go where no civilized woman would go, and drinks heavily. Her speech is crass and she is rough around the edges. I very much enjoyed the whole dynamic and relationship regarding Lizzie and Eliza. I especially liked how they ended up working together. If you are a fan of the original, you will likely enjoy this sequel/ retelling that is steampunk style.
- This book takes time and patience, but once you hit the final third, it moves quickly with some stunning developments and some dark twists you won't see coming. If you want a good, twisty, steampunk mystery, try it. I liked the steampunk gadgets and gizmos.
And The Not So Much:
- This book was a struggle for me due to its convoluted writing and slow pace. I found it hard to stay engaged with the book, and didn't find myself connecting until the final portion. This was a story that required extreme patience. This would have been so much better if the story was more focused.
- There are too many story lines going in too many directions. I didn't like how unfocused everything was. There was a story line introduced involving Sir Isaac Newton that goes nowhere. What was the point of bringing it up if the author wasn't planning on dealing with it in this book? This book needs a sharper focus.
- I am a detail reader, and though the author includes plenty of detail, it was on the wrong aspects. I needed to know more about the world and the fey and all that, and instead I got continuous, lengthy descriptions on the filth and squalor in the streets that Lizzy visited. I could have done without all the talk of human waste. What I needed was a better understanding of the world, the Royal Society, the fey and all of that. The world building was shaky at best.
The Diabolical Miss Hyde was not a good fit for me, but don't take my word for it. Other reviewers have read and enjoyed this book. It is a dark, twisty reboot of Jekyll and Hyde. I thought the book lacked focus, and the pace was too slow. However, I did enjoy the refashioning of Jekyll and Hyde in the female form. Though this was not a good fit for me, if you are a fan of steampunk and retellings, it might work better for you.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.