Visits from the Past

Slated to release on 20th June, 2017 is Theodora Goss’ The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. A Hungarian-American writer and poet, Theodora Goss is popularly known for her works such as The Thorn and the Blossom, In the Forest of Forgetting and Interfictions. Her writing is characterized by elements of magical realism and fantasy.

Goss, Theodora - The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

In what appears to be a cross between the film, Suicide Squad, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Theodora’s latest book draws inspiration from well known literary characters.  The protagonist is named Mary Jekyll and the supposed villain of the novel is called Edward Hyde. Undoubtedly, these allude to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. To what degree these characters resemble those of Stevenson’s, is yet to be known. Moreover, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson also make an appearance in order to help Mary Jekyll uncover the secrets of her deceased father’s past.

Stevenson, Robert Louis - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

As the plot progresses, Mary comes to be accompanied by several female characters; all of whom are the result of horrible experiments, which have made them hybrids.  Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankestein are said to be the supporting characters. By their names, we can deduce a connection to literary texts like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter, H.G Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The cover of the book was exclusively released in December 2016 by SAGA Press. When asked by a fellow reader about the idea for her latest book, the author replied, “I wrote my doctoral dissertation on 19th century monsters… It’s about girl monsters at the turn of the century.” With an intriguing plot and possibly familiar characters, this book is all set to take the SF&F world by storm.

by Meera Nair

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