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The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

Written by: Theodora Goss
Narrated by: Kate Reading
Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2018 Audie Award for Fantasy

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' deaths, 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. 

©2017 Theodora Goss (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

disappointing

I really did expect something more then what was offered in this novel as well as not meeting my expectations the difficult way in which it is presented leaves it wanting...

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa L
  • 2018-05-21

Probably better as a physical book

I liked this concept and Kate Reading did a great job with all the voices but I had a hard time following the various narrators in the novel. It was a lot going on and if you aren’t paying rapt attention, you miss who is talking very easily. The story within a story got a bit muddled as well, especially in the beginning. Might be easier going if you read it rather than listen.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel
  • 2017-07-07

Cute, erratic, sloppy but not without charm

What did you like best about The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter? What did you like least?

Strong female characters, love a good mystery.

What does Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She does a good job trying to make each character distinctive, but gets confused as occasionally swaps accents.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Possibly

Any additional comments?

I love the concept, but the narrative was a bit annoying. I didn't mind the idea of borrowing creatures from other stories and weaving them into this tale but the Sherlock Holmes character was so poorly represented.

If you are going to use beloved characters with well established personalities and NOT completely reinvent, then be true and respectful of the source.

84 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dubi
  • 2018-04-26

Weird Science

Mary Jekyll and Diana Hyde, daughters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, team up with daughters and creations of other mad scientists (like Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Moreau) and, with the help of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, solve a series of Ripper-like murders. Theodora Goss's mash-up of Victorian horror literature is fun and thematically interesting -- until the last couple of hours, which drone on interminably toward no discernible end.

If you're a fan of the original source material -- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, R.L. Stevenson's Jekyll & Hyde, H.G. Wells's Island of Dr. Moreau, Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter, and Conan Doyle's Holmes -- you will no doubt love this. If like me you've never read those books but are familiar enough with them from movies and other pop culture references, the great news is, now you never have to actually read them!

Some more good news: this modern treatment takes those very male-centric books (Mary Shelley's authorship notwithstanding) and turns them into a feminist manifesto. The daughters -- many considered monsters -- turn out to be smart, strong, independent women despite the ravages heaped upon them by the men who exploited them.

On the flip side is the casting of science as the villain. In a time when science denial is a serious hindrance to solving some of our more pressing problems, casting doubt on scientific inquiry is not the right message -- this particular group of scientists are wholly misguided and heinous, but the fear of science as a replacement for god is a debate that was settled long ago, we now need to be careful not to let science be devalued in the name of greed.

The ending here clearly augurs future entries in a series, which the author says will be a trilogy.

58 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jujubntx
  • 2017-08-14

The Strange Case of The Strange Case

Unfortunately I struggled to finish this novel. I purchased the audio book based upon the interestin premise and it started off decently enough . however as time went by it became apparent that the books pace slowed to a snail's pace and then finally towards the climax and lengthy denouement the book structure fell apart completely. The performance is decent but it was a stretch for the male voices. i just didn't care that much for any of the characters. Won't be reading the sequels

33 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sonia
  • 2017-06-22

PLEASE TELL ME THIS WILL BE A SERIES!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter to be better than the print version?

I did not read it, only listened.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter?

Justine's story

Which character – as performed by Kate Reading – was your favorite?

Honestly, all. I really enjoyed how the characters were pre-identified verses, "she said or he said"

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

NO SPOILERS! The last few chapters, when the women realize how unique they all were, that each one had individual value to bring to the whole.

Any additional comments?

THIS BETTER BE A SERIES! Even though most characters are female, men will enjoy this novel very much. SPOILER ALERT! No sex, no mushy love story just a fun adventure, not even so much as just from a woman's POV. It was a well told story. It really isn't light and breezy, you have to pay attention but not a hard difficult story to follow either. I thought it was a interesting and fun new twist to several classics.

41 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joel Langenfeld
  • 2017-07-12

Slowly, her breathing slowed...

That phrase pretty much sums up the entire book.

This could a pleasant eight hours of Audible. Unfortunately, it will require 13 1/2 hours of your time to plow through. The author executed this lexical legerdemain by slipping in looonng expository narratives from several perspectives, relieved only by the various narrators arguing about the presentation of those tedious narratives.

Kate Reading was spot on with her narration, but unfortunately her considerable talents could not elevate this plodding prose.

46 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • stephen
  • 2017-11-05

Clever use of Public Domain characters

Kate Reading is as professional as they come and Theodora Goss has created an interesting tale using the female characters from Great Gothic novels from the 19th century. It is a mystery that involves Holmes & Watson with the help of the daughters of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , along with others. Simply brilliant

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kurt Schroeder
  • 2017-07-11

Weak last chapters

Not sure where the editor went but must have been on vacation for the last few chapters. The novel basically ends dramatically with main mystery solved but then meanders on telling story of Justine and explaining life of ladies afterwards. Would have given higher rating if book had ended where should have.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica Johnson
  • 2017-07-27

lovely unsuspenseful mystery

interesting style of writing - the heroines commenting on the story throughout was funny and relaxing

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dee
  • 2019-06-01

A great book but wasn't entirely my taste.

I can definitely see why so many people are raving about this book. It's got a great story and many interesting characters. I just found myself a bit uninterested at times so I don't think it was quite the book for me. Still worth the read for anyone interested in a good mystery since many people seem to adore it.

2 people found this helpful