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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

{Book Review} MISS HYDE by Imogen Bold

Book Title: Miss Hyde
Author: Imogen Bold
Publisher: Night Bloom Books
Publishing Date: June 2014
Length: 308 pages
Source: purchased via amazon

From the winner of the James D. Phelan Literary Award, comes the sensational sequel to "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, " set in a Vienna like no other, where fantastical inventions grace the halls of the World's Fair and anything is possible-even complete physical transformation.

"All she wants is a holiday. Instead she gets a new life."

On a spring day in 1873 Marion Jekyll arrives by train in Vienna for her holiday, escaping a life in London that oppressed her and painful memories she buried as a child. She is nineteen and under the charge of her officious legal guardian, who is in Vienna on mysterious business, with Marion in tow. She has been but few things in her short life-an orphan, a bastard, an epileptic-but in Vienna she is an exciting stranger whose horizons are about to expand.

It is here, under the glittering lights of old Vienna, in a time when political unrest rules the day and cafes teem with secret meetings at night, that Marion encounters a young man she never dreamed to find. It is only here, where mesmerists plumb their patients' psyches, digging for for hidden truths, that Marion unleashes a powerful side of herself in a fight for her very life.

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This was a wonderful what-if tale that spins off of the well-known tale of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Imogen Bold whisks us away to Vienna with Ms Marion Jekyll and her chaperone (Miss Krummacker) and guardian (Mr Utterson). While out with her chaperone, Miss Krummacker, she is mistaken for someone else and she suddenly just knows her double is somewhere in Vienna. When she finds her, they agree to switch places for a day to see how the other lives. But her double never comes back at the appointed time, throwing Marion into a whirlwind of unexpected happenings...

I really enjoyed this 'continuance' of Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story. Marion and Irina are twins, daughters conceived during an affair between their mother and Dr Jekyll when he was last in Vienna. The mother accidentally took the Duobov serum and so they inherited the condition and then had it exacerbated by the serum. Split at birth, Dr Jekyll took one daughter with him to England and employed an Austrian nanny, making sure that Marion spoke flawless German as well as English. Irina, on the other hand, had an English nanny -- quite a la mode for the Count and Countess. As Marion discovers her dual nature and starts to befriend Miss Hyde, we are plunged into a world of intrigue, selfishness, and politics.

The clockwork metal roses that contains your lover's scent was a delicate and lovely touch. Marion's innocence and thoughts are quite endearing and immediately drew me in to follow her story. Action, romance, suspense, betrayal, this was quite the read!