Theodora Goss: European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman



Y Catherine continue to be brilliant offering a lot of insight and humor across the boardThe series continues to be brilliant and I m very much looking forward to the next one based on the teaser that this book nds with Finally my final review First posted on Fantasy LiteratureTheodora Goss s THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF THE ATHENA CLUB Victorian Zoete tranen era fantasy series brings together a valiant group of women who are the results of men s scientificxperiments men like Dr Moreau Dr Frankenstein Dr Jekyll and others In this series the women characters several of whom perished in the original nineteenth century stories not only survive but thrive Calling themselves the Athena Club Mary Jekyll her sister Diana Hyde Beatrice Rappaccini Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein have banded together to protect Water Music each other and others from the men who lose their moral compass in the name of scientificxploration and Revived experimentationIn European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman the worthy but long winded seuel to The Strange Case of the Alchemist s Daughter Mary receives a letter from Lucinda Van Helsing in Austria begging for the Athena Club s help her professor father has beenxperimenting on her and she is changing in ways that terrify her When Mary soon after receives a telegram telling her that Lucinda is missing she Diana and Justine head for Vienna on the Orient Express train to search for Lucinda while Beatrice and Catherine temporarily stay behind in London to do some investigation there The courageous women meet new friends and allies but also some fearsome new Student Research Projects in Calculus enemies European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman is a fantasy not only set in the Victorianra but informed by the literature of the time though with a distinctly modern feminist take on the role of women It has a great nsemble cast of characters supplemented by some intriguing new ones the addition of the Van Helsing family is a broad hint at the Victorian novel from which Goss is taking inspiration for this novelBut European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman is xtremely long over 700 pages and I sensed Love for Imperfect Things every one of them and overly attentive to mundane details I mean it s possible to be inspired a bit TOO much by Victorian novels Jana in her review comments on the glacial pacing and I completely agree While I stillnjoyed the diverse and unusual characters their humorous banter and monstrous adventures the length and pacing issues were too much of barrier for me to be fully A Heart of Stone engaged by this novel I received a free copy of this novel for review from the publisher Thank you. Ucinda and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter Can Mary Diana Beatrice and Justine reach her in time Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom the Athena Clubmbarks on a madcap journey across Europe From Paris to Vienna to Budapest Mary and her friends must make new allies face old nemies and finally confront the fearsome secretive Alchemical Society It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinie.

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Sparks fly Language and Linguistics entertaining sparks O And this is what she does here once building on the relationships as well as adding to the mix to greatffect this time bringing to the scene Irene Adler from Sherlock Holmes and Carmilla LeFanu s Carmilla The story starts when it comes to the group s attention that a Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped and off they go across Europe to the rescue not without some adventures on the way It is a long book but truthfully I didn t notice being so involved in our intrepid intelligent women and their tribulations from the travel aspects very well described to the mysteries and mad rescue plans Made me want to go off travelling Divertimento especially at the mention of all the appetising food cakes cakes cakes The narration is still in the same style as the first book with all the characters interrupting the flow to add their opinions This admittedly will not be toveryone s taste but to me it worked brilliantly Love Is a Fairy Tale especially as an audiobook And yes Diana and Mary do kind of steal the show Can t wait for the next book O The further adventures of the Athena Club continuing from The Strange Case of the Alchemist s Daughter two shillings from reputable booksellersThe members of the Athena Club travel to Eastern Europe to rescue Lucinda Van Helsing a young dutch woman who s beenxperimented on and imprisoned by her father On the way they Promise at Dawn encounter opposition from the Soci t des Alchimistes as well asncountering a variety of other famous figures of the period both real and imagined Mary Jekyll Diana Hyde and Justine Frankenstein are the first group to depart on the Orient Express to attempt a rescue and Catherine Moreau and Beatrice Rappaccini also have a role to playI m forced to compare this to the recent Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys It also is the second in a series about a found family that plays with historical fantastic literature and in both cases the second book is much longer than the first Also both books are something of a talkfest with most of the focus being on conversation and characterization I think this book xecutes the concept much better than the Emrys one mostly by including a fairly interesting and relatively fast moving plot The travelogue of Dracula s Europe is also a lot of fun and the wonderful writing brings the settings of Budapest and other Eastern European locations to life brilliantlyThe stars of course are the monstrous women of the club with the interactions of Diana and Mary being particularly great The framing conceit of interjections from the real characters into the dramatized narrative written ’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London and although they sometimes uarrel the members of the Athena Club get along as well as any five young women with very different personalities At least they can always rely on Mrs Poole But when Mary receives a telegram that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped the Athena Club must travel to the Austro Hungarian Empire to rescue yet another young woman who has been subjected to horrific xperimentation Where is

European Travel for the Mostrous Gentlewoman was preposterous contrived way too long shamefully propagandistic and not the sort of book that respectable people should be caught anywhere near And I loved itThe book is not as tightly plotted as The Strange Case of the Alchemist s Daughter but it has the same approach to its subject matter which is to create an absolutely ridiculous story out of bits and pieces of Victorian novels most of which take themselves way to seriously and never fall into the same trap One never gets the sense that the author is doing anything other than having fun The basic moral of the story is something like don t try to cook in God s kitchen which is the basic moral of pretty much all of the stories represented in the pastiche Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde The Island of Dr Moreau Rappaccini s Daughter and Frankenstein With a fair bit of Sherlock Holmes thrown in for good measureBut the real moral of the story is that all of these ridiculous Victorian novels written by men used women as plot devices rather than actual characters and in the process deprived them of their story which Ms Goss is determined to tell her own way which I think is a pretty good way With the women in charge the stories change but Bangkok Wakes to Rain every time the book is in danger of taking itself too seriously Goss brings in the device of the characters sitting around and writing the book together in a narrative future This is an important device because it keeps the focus of the book on having funThis volume brings in two new Victorian novels into the mix Dracula who is teased through the presence of Renfield and Seward in the first volume but is fleshed out substantially in this one and Ryder Haggard s wonderful novel She about which I will say very little to avoid spoilers The castxpands almost but not uite to the The Right Sort of Man (Sparks Bainbridge Mystery edge of the reader s ability to keep track of stuff And there are plenty of loosends to be tied up in the inevitable seuelI loved it I stayed up all night reading it But as I am a respectable English professor I did fairly hate myself in the morning 45 Considering I read this book back in August but wasn t able to write a review at the time it speaks that I still have it clearly in my mind We re back with the characters of the Athena Club introduced in The Strange Case of the Alchemist s Daughter and what a bunch this is This was one of the things I loved in that book how Goss took female characters from famous Gothic and Victorian novels and subverted the whole thing Each is fascinating in her own right in this new version but when you put them together. In the seuel to the critically acclaimed The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of literature’s mad scientists mbark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for allMary Jekyll’s life has been peaceful since she helped Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson solve the Whitechapel Murders Beatrice Rappaccini Catherine Moreau Justine Frankenstein and Mary.

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Theodora Goss's publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting 2006; Interfictions 2007 a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland 2008 a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom 2012 a two sided novella in an accordion format She has been a finalist for the Nebula