cover image European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

Theodora Goss. Saga, $26.99 (720p) ISBN 978-1-4814-6653-0

Goss’s The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, an exuberant, intelligent reimagining of sensational Victorian fiction, was eminently satisfying but dangled more loose threads than a housekeeper’s mending basket; Goss makes good with this double-decker follow-up and more promised to come. The “monstrous” daughters of a gaggle of notorious experimenters—Mary Jekyll and Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappacini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein—have banded together as the Athena Club, dedicated to the independence of its membership and the destruction of their fathers’ nefarious schemes. The core of those schemes is the Société des Alchimistes, scientists who scorn the ethical norms of their peers. Adventure sparks when Mary receives a desperate letter from Lucinda Van Helsing: “I am... the subject of certain experiments carried out by my father.” Justine joins Mary to spearhead a rescue, and before long the entire crew are chasing from London to Vienna to Budapest on the ever-expanding quest. The series concept and execution continue to be terrific fun, but the book’s girth is unnecessarily daunting, as it’s hard to sustain a headlong rush for the length of a marathon course. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (July)