Review – European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

This is the second book in The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club. The first book in the series, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, was nominated for the Nebula award and the World Fantasy award, and was a fun read.

This book starts off planning the trip set up at the end of the first one, an expedition to visit Mary Jekyll’s former governess, Mina Harker nee Murray, and to rescue Lucinda Van Helsing. And the adventure itself is fun, full of adventure, kidnappings, fights, romance, and lots of familiar names. The seven women from the first novel all have their parts to play in this one, with several new women in this, from Dracula and Sherlock Holmes. After the rescue, our heroines take off to stop a Royal Society-type organization that is creating more monsters.

I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as the first one, and I think the reason is that, at 720 pages, it was too long. There are two stories, related, but I think it would have worked better if the stories had been separated. And, since the book was so long, the comments from the other women, which tend to be funny and add color and character, became distracting.

I’m hoping that the author gets advice to shorten her books so that the next entry in the series will be as entertaining as the first one.

Goss, Theodora. European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman. New York, NY: Saga Press, 2018. Kindle edition. Amazon.

Review – The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is based on several Victorian-era horror stories, told through the five daughters, biological or otherwise, of the original main characters.  It is primarily a mystery, or several mysteries, with a good bit of the original horror mixed in.

This story is the first in a series, since the second one has been published, and as such spends much of its time setting the stage.  Largely through flashbacks, each of the “daughter’s” story is told.  In addition to the five young women, there is a housekeeper, a scullery maid, and in the epilogue, two more “daughters.”  In addition, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson also make appearances, and are two of the very few men in this book who are portrayed in a positive light.

Part of that, of course, is the time in which the novel is set, but part is the premise of the novel.  All of these women have been created and then abandoned, or escaped destruction, by their monstrous, alchemist fathers.

All of the above makes the book sound dreary and dull, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  It’s a romp!  And I’m looking forward to the second adventure of the Athena Club.


Goss, Theodora.  The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.  New York: Saga Press, 2017.  Kindle edition.  Amazon.