In an electrified Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with newfangled technological gadgets. She will need every advantage available to catch a terrifying new psychopath splattering London with blood. Hidden in the grimy shadows, the fiendish murderer preys on beautiful women, drugging them before slicing off their limbs. Finding the "Slicer" can make Eliza's career...or unmask her darkest secret. Like her father, she has a hidden second self that emerges when she drinks his forbidden magical elixir. Just a few sips and a seductive and impulsive Lizzie Hyde is unleashed.
The members of the Royal Society do not trust Eliza, and they send their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove that she's a dangerous sorceress. The careful doctor knows that one wrong step can make her prey to the clever Lafayette, a man who harbors an evil curse of his own. No matter how much she craves the elixir, she must resist. But as the Slicer case draws her into London's luminous magical underworld, Eliza will need the potion's power to help her...even if it means setting the wild Lizzie free.
©2015 Viola Carr (P)2015 Tantor
"[A] fearlessly imaginative world of magic, mystery and literary allusion that is delightfully immersive and dangerously seductive." (RT Book Reviews)
An exciting, well-crafted, original story and an amazing narrator. Reading this marvelous book on my own would have been great fun, she made it even better.
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Story: I bought this book for a few reasons; I love the story of Jekyll and Hyde, I'm a fan of steampunk and I enjoy checking out new authors. New authors can be a bit of a crap shoot, they're still learning, and it's hard to tell from the cover blurb what they're strengths or weaknesses are. I'm pleased to say, that this author's strength is her character development, and since I'm a character driven reader, it was a match!!
The main character Eliza/Lizzie. I adore Lizzie, she's everything the Hyde character should be, dark and a truth teller, a justice seeker but not evil. Eliza Jekyll still has some growing to do, I loved how tart and witty she can be and is loyal to Lizzie, but she doesn't have a lot of confidence in herself. Some reviews on Amazon mentioned that they didn't like how long Eliza took to figure out who the killer was and had to be "guided" most of the way. Here's the thing though, she's a doctor, not a cop even though she works with the police. She really only has one other large case under her belt, and she stumbled on to "Mr. Todd" by accident. She's intelligent but inexperienced. I look forward to watching her and Lizzie grow.
Mr. Todd the serial killer, locked in Bedlam, and obsessed with Eliza is also a win. In a lot of ways he reminds me of Hannibal Lecter. Captain Lafayette while paling in comparison to Mr. Todd is still a strong male lead. I adored Lizzie's guardian, although the independent woman in me chafed at the need for such since Eliza is 20 something. But such was the time. The rest of the supporting cast is on point and engaging as well.
The world is interesting, obviously a alternate Victorian England, but were certain "magics" or sciences have been deemed heretic and you can still be burned at the stake. I enjoy reading about historical figures and the different routes their lives took. For example, Faraday was actually declared an enemy of the monarchy and burned to death. The author did a good job is making the world both familiar and fantastic. My only complaint was that the murder from my perspective was too easy to solve. However, I read a lot of murder mysteries and watch police procedurals, so while not hard for me for the character it was fine.
Narrator: This was my first book with this narrator and she has a pleasing British voice. I loved Lizzie's "low class" accent and Eliza's more refined one, it was easy to tell the difference between the two. She could use some work on some of her male voices, but overall Ms. Crick did an excellent job.
captivating, dark, thrilling... fantastic characters and fabulous narration. I couldn't stop listening ing/reading this gem.
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