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Steampunk Fantasy Early Review: The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr

The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr (Electric Empire #1)


Egalley thanks to Harper Voyager

Synopsis from Goodreads
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 . . .


Release date: Feb 10th 2015.
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository  

9/10

* * *
O_o! I've just finished The Diabolical Miss Hyde, and for once the name is apt. It's diabolical. Delicious. Vividly Gothic. Marvellously twisted and dark... I know without a doubt that this is another of my reading highlights of 2015.


Contrary to the graphics on this blog, I don't read that many steampunk books per year to make it a dominant genre for me, but from what I read I can make a list of traits that would endear me to the author forever. It has to be dark, grisly and Gothic. The world building must be lush and complex, and the characters must toe the line between good and evil until it's slightly blurred. 

Dr. Eliza Jekyll investigates horrible murders with Detective Griffin. The connection between them is old and established. They already caught one serial killer, Razor Jack, to whom Eliza feels a strange attraction, and now they are trying to find The Chopper, a murderer severing limbs from talented working women and committing his crimes so fast that there are no witnesses.

Eliza is a busy girl and a woman of many secrets, one of which is her shadow self, Lizzie Hyde. Where Dr. Jekyll is prim and proper, - a beautiful lady, Lizzie Hyde feels familiar with the slams of London. She is a gorgeous, voluptuous redhead with a fine temper and a taste for gin and laudanum. They share some memories but feel like two different characters with distinct personalities.


The book reminded me of Silence of The Lambs and Penny Dreadful. There are secrets upon secrets, connections which make you think that this is not the first book in the series. Eliza visits patients in Bethlem trying to help them. She tries to suppress Lizzie with experimental tonics, she has a mysterious guardian, she has a weird connection to Mr. Todd (oh Mr. Todd, how I loved thee!),a serial killer she helped to catch and lock in the asylum for the insane previously....

Then there is Remy Lafayette, a representative of The Royal, a certain institute akin to Inquisition. He is dashing and attractive, sarcastic as hell (the banter between him and Eliza is positively sizzling) and full of his own secrets.

This book is so choke full of action, the reader flies through it. The world is vivid to almost fairytale quality, and Lizzie's voice is particularly strong. In fact, Miss Hyde and Mr. Todd were my two absolute favourite characters.

Sometimes things are confusing, and the ending is a stalemate, but it positively made me itch to get my hands onto the next book as soon as humanly possible. If you are a fan of Bec McMaster, Emma Jane Holloway, Emma Cornwall and Amy Carol Reeves, read it and let me know what you'd think. This book is not without its flaws, but it's never boring.

* * *
О-о, я только что закончила "Дьявольскую Мисс Хайд", и название здесь уж точно достойно отражает содержание. Дявольская, яркая, живописная, готичная и очень тёмная книга! Я без колебания назову её одним из памятных романов этого года.

Несмотря на то, что я читаю не так уж и много стимпанка, жанр я этот знаю, и могу оттараторить список тех его характеристик, что заставят меня без памяти влюбиться в того  или иного автора. Кровавая готика сюжета, сложное и яркое построение мира, герои, колеблющиеся на грани света и тьмы, пока эта грань не станет стираться...

Доктор Элиза Джекилл расследует преступления вместе с детективом Гриффином, и их партнёрство кажется давним и хорошо установленным. Они прославились поимкой Лезвия-Джека, а теперь пытаются поймать ещё одного серийного убийцу - Рубилу, оставляющего за собой тела женщин с отрубленными конечностями.

Однако жизнь Элизы окружена множеством секретов, один из которых её теневая половина - Лиззи Хайд. Если мисс Джекилл - это чопорная благородная дама, то Лиззи - это вульгарная, пышная рыжеволосая красотка, чувствующая себя комфортно в трущобах Лондона и заливающая себе глотку джином и лауданумом каждый раз когда она вырывается на свободу.

В стиле Молчания Ягнят Элиза связана странным влечением с Мистером Тоддом - Лезвием-Джеком, которого она время от времени навещает в сумасшедшем доме. Лиззи с другой стороны заворожена капитаном Реми Лафайеттом - агентом Ройала, организации эквивалентной Инквизиции. У Лафайетта свои тёмные секреты,однако Элиза, вынужденная работать с ним по делу Рубилы, его на дух не переносит, и читать их перепалки очень забавно!

В духе сериала Пенни Дредфул сюжет полон нон-стоп экшн и экцентричных персонажей. Оторваться невозможно, и я очень советую этого автора любителям Бек МакМастер, Эммы Джейн Холлоуэй, Эми Кэрол Ривз и Эммы Корнуэлл. Читайте!
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