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Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club...especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling Europea Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club...especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucinda van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished— and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes! As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and save the Empire? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.


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Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club...especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling Europea Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club...especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucinda van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished— and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes! As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and save the Empire? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.

30 review for The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Despite what should have been a rather interesting tangent into Alice in Wonderland meets the Mummy with our favorite crew of strong women torn from the pages of Victorian-era penny dreadfuls and classic fantasy literature, this particular book kinda fell flat. Not particularly bad, mind you, and I did kinda enjoy the whole idea of the Mesmerism meets the Theosophical Society meets the Golden Dawn meets Professor Moriarty... but the the way it was executed? I honestly lost interest despite my ini Despite what should have been a rather interesting tangent into Alice in Wonderland meets the Mummy with our favorite crew of strong women torn from the pages of Victorian-era penny dreadfuls and classic fantasy literature, this particular book kinda fell flat. Not particularly bad, mind you, and I did kinda enjoy the whole idea of the Mesmerism meets the Theosophical Society meets the Golden Dawn meets Professor Moriarty... but the the way it was executed? I honestly lost interest despite my initial gung-ho attitude. We're dealing with a progression of new characters while the old ones kinda languish in the pudding. Or rather, the cakes. Lots of cakes. What might have made this pretty excellent? A total PoV switchover, ignoring the old crew except perhaps as plot crossovers and eventual induction, while going deep into the whole ancient Egyptian plot some other way. I don't know. It just felt like a missed opportunity, and yet, without it, it might have made meeting Wilde and Dorian a little weird. Don't get me wrong. It's still up there with the first two, but not quite as fresh and shiny.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    Forget the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, because now we have The Athena Club. I guess we could call it the League of Monstrous Gentlewomen. Another of the feminist versions of the Victorian time period with plenty of girl power (although the main characters do get justifiably huffy about being called girls when they are full grown women). Even the female villains outsmart their male counterparts in this particular volume. The women of the Athena Club may sometimes doubt their abilities, but Forget the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, because now we have The Athena Club. I guess we could call it the League of Monstrous Gentlewomen. Another of the feminist versions of the Victorian time period with plenty of girl power (although the main characters do get justifiably huffy about being called girls when they are full grown women). Even the female villains outsmart their male counterparts in this particular volume. The women of the Athena Club may sometimes doubt their abilities, but they pull off the caper (with the help of Ayesha of course). Just like most women, they doubt themselves unnecessarily. Plus, they get to rescue Sherlock Holmes! I know that this series is technically wrapped up with this third book, but it seems to me that there are enough loose threads and unexplored avenues that further adventures could follow, if the author can persuade the publisher to continue. Fingers crossed that there will eventually be another book about the Athena Club!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Wolf

    Now THIS is how you end a trilogy! Author Theodora Goss delivers another rolicking escapade with the brave women of Athena Club, adding even more “monstrous” women to the mix. For those new to these books, the main characters are all the daughters of famous men — mad scientists and members of the Alchemical Society, who used their own daughters as subjects of their dastardly experiments. Their goal? Biological transmutation. The outcome? Unusual women with strange, hidden talents and gifts, such Now THIS is how you end a trilogy! Author Theodora Goss delivers another rolicking escapade with the brave women of Athena Club, adding even more “monstrous” women to the mix. For those new to these books, the main characters are all the daughters of famous men — mad scientists and members of the Alchemical Society, who used their own daughters as subjects of their dastardly experiments. Their goal? Biological transmutation. The outcome? Unusual women with strange, hidden talents and gifts, such as Beatrice Rappaccini, who thrives on rain and sunshine and gives off poison with her breath, and Catherine Moreau, transformed from a wild, free puma into a young woman with decidedly sharp teeth and claws. This found family also includes the two daughters of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, each one representing a different facet of his personae, Justine Frankenstein, Professor Van Helsing’s daughter Lucinda, and a young housemaid named Alice who turns out to have unusual powers of mesmerism. In this 3rd book, the woman of the Athena Club have just returned from their adventures in Vienna and Budapest (described in book 2, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman) — but there’s no time to rest! Alice and Sherlock Holmes are missing, and there seems to be a terrible plot underway involving evil mesmerists, an Egyptian mummy, and a bunch of powerful, treasonous men who want to overthrow the Queen and purify the British Empire. Luckily, our band of heroines are on the case, and they go chasing off to Cornwall to rescue their friends, save the Queen, and defeat the bad guys once and for all! It’s all high-spirited fun, with the quips and bickering that the characters seem to love so much. I thought this was a terrific wrap-up for the trilogy, with heightened adventures and plenty of surprises and adrenaline-rushes. There are perhaps too many characters to keep track of, as the circle of acquaintances grows and grows with each book, but it’s all good fun. If I had to choose, I’d still say that the first book in the trilogy, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, is really and truly the best, because of the emphasis on the main characters’ origin stories and their creation of a family of their own. But that doesn’t take away from how satisfying the other two books are, or how well all three fit together to create one glorious whole. If you enjoy sparkling, witty characters in a Victorian setting, with touches of the fantastic and supernatural, then you just must check out the Athena Club books!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    The Diana and Mary Comedy Hour is back, and instead of wandering all over Europe, like they did in book two, the Athena Club has plenty to do in London. Sherlock is missing, Alice is kidnapped, and the young women have much detecting to do to find both individuals. While I found book two of this trilogy a little too long, I didn't find that the plot dragged this time around. In fact, I found myself laughing more at Diana's antics (insulting everyone else and stuffing her face with nummies) and e The Diana and Mary Comedy Hour is back, and instead of wandering all over Europe, like they did in book two, the Athena Club has plenty to do in London. Sherlock is missing, Alice is kidnapped, and the young women have much detecting to do to find both individuals. While I found book two of this trilogy a little too long, I didn't find that the plot dragged this time around. In fact, I found myself laughing more at Diana's antics (insulting everyone else and stuffing her face with nummies) and enjoying Mary's long-suffering attitude toward her younger sister more, and the way all the young women's different capabilities were used in the story., and how well they continued to work together. I’m glad we finally got to learn more about Alice, and watch her come into her own. (view spoiler)[I also really liked how Goss built up Moriarty as this great, bad guy with his gang of like-minded "scientists", with their all-too familiar fears about racial purity and superiority, immigration, and misogyny. Then, with one authorly swipe, Goss removed them and transformed the story into a conflict between the women in the Athena Club and the women in the Alchemical Society. (hide spoiler)] I really enjoyed the way Theodora Goss wrote these stories, with the narrative interrupted frequently by the members of the Athena Club to discuss their feelings about the situation or each other, or for the women to chide Catherine's constant marketing of the stories. The device added lots of humour to the story, and provided lots of great character moments for each of the women. I'm a little sad I can't spend time with the Athena Club in further adventures.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    The third book in the series has the Athena Club back in London and mostly reconciled with the Société des Alchimistes, but looking into the abduction of Sherlock Holmes and the Athena Club's own maid Alice. This is a much more concise volume than the previous one and the return to England feels more like familiar ground for the club members. Which is probably the biggest problem here. The first book got the band together, and there was lots of character development as the "monsters" of the club The third book in the series has the Athena Club back in London and mostly reconciled with the Société des Alchimistes, but looking into the abduction of Sherlock Holmes and the Athena Club's own maid Alice. This is a much more concise volume than the previous one and the return to England feels more like familiar ground for the club members. Which is probably the biggest problem here. The first book got the band together, and there was lots of character development as the "monsters" of the club found each other. The second book explored Europe and expanded the cast enormously. But this one doesn't cut much new ground at all, with perhaps the only character development being with Alice/Lydia Raymond and small progress with Mary Jekyll. Still entertaining, and the writing trick being used for these continues to work for me, but this one feels a bit like treading water.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀

    I'm sorry this is the last book in the series as I've really enjoyed them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    3.75* My expectations were exceedingly high for this third instalment, in light of the quality of the previous two titles. Maybe too high... It’s the problem when you keep getting amazing reads from an author. It becomes the norm, and when you get something still very good but not top notch, you get a little disappointed. This novel features once more the colourful members of the Athena Club, this time focused on finding Alice and Sherlock, who have been taken by some nefarious group. The dastard 3.75* My expectations were exceedingly high for this third instalment, in light of the quality of the previous two titles. Maybe too high... It’s the problem when you keep getting amazing reads from an author. It becomes the norm, and when you get something still very good but not top notch, you get a little disappointed. This novel features once more the colourful members of the Athena Club, this time focused on finding Alice and Sherlock, who have been taken by some nefarious group. The dastardly plot is a good one and yet it left me wanting more, or rather something else. It’s as if all the ingredients were there but the end result wasn’t what I expected. Nevertheless, this was still a fun and entertaining read and an amazing trilogy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    You all may remember that I adored a recent read, The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter and was excited to continue with the series.  I was thrilled to receive an ARC of the final book in the trilogy and quickly checked out book two, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, but unfortunately it fell short for me.  While I devoured book one, book two felt like a chore because it lacked some serious editing.   That said, I was still looking forward to the conclusion of The Athena Club You all may remember that I adored a recent read, The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter and was excited to continue with the series.  I was thrilled to receive an ARC of the final book in the trilogy and quickly checked out book two, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, but unfortunately it fell short for me.  While I devoured book one, book two felt like a chore because it lacked some serious editing.   That said, I was still looking forward to the conclusion of The Athena Club series which picks up immediately after European Travel with the group searching for Mary's kidnapped maid Alice.  They also find it alarming that Sherlock Holmes still hasn't returned from a mysterious errand and now Dr. Watson cannot be located either. While searching for their friends, The Athena Club uncovers a plot against the Queen that is connected to the kidnappings. Can they save their friends and the British Empire before it's too late? I'm very disappointed to say this was not the exciting finale I hoped for.  Instead, I began skimming before I even reached the half way point in the story.  The snappy dialogue/banter in the middle of the narrative was charming in book one, tedious in book two, and completely unnecessary in book three.   The pace is inconsistent and the plot is weighed down in unnecessary details (which was also my major issue with book two) that make the adventure greatly lag. While I adored the introduction to the extensive cast of characters in book one, there was little to no character growth over the course of the series causing some to go from charming to annoying.  This trilogy takes place over the course of a few short months but the action is always saved for the very end to tie up loose ends quickly. I'd definitely advise readers who enjoy sci-fi/fantasy and retellings to give the first book a try but I hesitate to recommend the final two. Thanks to Gallery/Saga Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl is scheduled for release on October 1, 2019. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  9. 5 out of 5

    Queen

    Loved the first book in this series. Then, I was a little disappointed in the second book and thus was apprehensive about this third installment. However, this book brought it home. Total comfort read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    Really satisfying ending to a wonderful series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Oda Renate

    Look! lLOOK! LOOOOOK! WE HAVE A COVER! I REPEAT WE HAVE AN COVER JUST AS AMAZING AS THE OTHER COVERS!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! :D -- What what?!? ITS OUT IN OCYOBER 2019 NOT 2020?? yeayyyyy! :D:D:D:D -z-\¨^^^---+\+\+\+\xxx Me doing the happy dance :D

  12. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    This is the third book in the Athena Club series; I hope that there will be more. This one picks up right as the second volume ends, but I believe new readers would follow this one all right without having read the previous pair. I actually didn't enjoy this one quite as much because it follows Alice and some other characters around for much of the time, and I didn't find her as interesting as the core five, nor her travails as captivating as their adventures on the continent. It is a delightful This is the third book in the Athena Club series; I hope that there will be more. This one picks up right as the second volume ends, but I believe new readers would follow this one all right without having read the previous pair. I actually didn't enjoy this one quite as much because it follows Alice and some other characters around for much of the time, and I didn't find her as interesting as the core five, nor her travails as captivating as their adventures on the continent. It is a delightful story, though, with nice literary nods to Haggard and Wilde and Doyle as well as to the obvious "parents" of the plucky and intrepid heroines. The interaction of the club members is particularly cheery and engaging, outside of the main narrative, which itself is an uplifting, fun, feel-good story. The Athenians are a good read indeed!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Richter

    A fine tale about involving the Extraordinary Athena Club, which a literary invention by Theodora Goss using the female characters from the masterpieces of Gothic Literature, often just a mere mention in the original text. Throw in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and the Baker Street Boys you have a great October read. The audio was performed by the great Kate Reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa - (Aussie Girl)

    3.5 stars

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beau North

    A satisfying conclusion to this wonderful series. The last paragraph had me crying in the middle of the grocery store. I’m so glad these books exists.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Dacyczyn

    Someone recently asked me if I liked these books and I replied, "Book 1 was great, Book 2 was way too long, and Book 3 was pretty good". That really sums it up. The end. No, really, it does seem like Goss took feedback from book 2 (way too long, too many repetitive character interruptions, too many new characters) and tried to fix these for the finale of this trilogy. The length was much more reasonable, we only met a couple of new characters, and the character comments definitely felt toned down Someone recently asked me if I liked these books and I replied, "Book 1 was great, Book 2 was way too long, and Book 3 was pretty good". That really sums it up. The end. No, really, it does seem like Goss took feedback from book 2 (way too long, too many repetitive character interruptions, too many new characters) and tried to fix these for the finale of this trilogy. The length was much more reasonable, we only met a couple of new characters, and the character comments definitely felt toned down and scaled back to a more reasonable frequency. I didn't love it quite as much as the first book, but it was still pretty good. This one also brings the story back to England, which felt more relatable once again (not that I've been to England myself). They visited a country village, and I felt like I had a much better sense for the place than for any of the locales that they visited on their continental adventure in the second book. This one did feel like it strayed a bit more into the "supernatural" side of things (reanimated mummies who can shoot lightning bolts with their hands), rather than a historical sci-fi feeling like the previous books...but I guess I was OK with it. Overall, I enjoyed this trilogy. I think the third book helped win me back after the slog of the second book. I already own the first book, and I may consider obtaining the other two for my collection. I think I could get through the second book better now knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  17. 4 out of 5

    terpkristin

    Another really fun book with fun characters. The end of this read like the end of a series, so I'm guessing the series is done, but I really enjoyed this book and seeing The Mesmerizing Girl come into her own, along with a little bit of help from the members of the Athena Club. There were a couple of challenges for the women in this book, a couple of "boss fights" as it were. My favorite was the ultimate one, though, the one at the very end. It fit for the team. Although I think this was a fine Another really fun book with fun characters. The end of this read like the end of a series, so I'm guessing the series is done, but I really enjoyed this book and seeing The Mesmerizing Girl come into her own, along with a little bit of help from the members of the Athena Club. There were a couple of challenges for the women in this book, a couple of "boss fights" as it were. My favorite was the ultimate one, though, the one at the very end. It fit for the team. Although I think this was a fine ending for the series, if there were more, I wouldn't be sad (if it was all of this caliber).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Overall I enjoyed this book, but it suffered a bit from too many characters. I had a tough time getting into it, but it moved quickly once the plot got going. This was slimmer than the previous volume and moved a bit quicker, which was an improvement as well and I enjoyed the last chapter.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    Review to be posted at Fantasy Literature.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    An enjoyable end to the trilogy! I hope there will be more!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jason Lundberg

    Love love love, I have nothing but warm fuzzy love for this entire series and for this book in particular. I do hope that Dora writes another installment someday, but if she doesn’t, this will still be an excellent anchor for such a remarkable trilogy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    LAPL Reads

    In The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss introduced readers to The Athena Club whose members are Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein. They are the daughters of some of speculative fiction’s maddest scientists. In that novel, The Athena Club assisted with solving a series of murders in Whitechapel. The second novel, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, found The Athena Club on an international adventure of mystery In The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss introduced readers to The Athena Club whose members are Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein. They are the daughters of some of speculative fiction’s maddest scientists. In that novel, The Athena Club assisted with solving a series of murders in Whitechapel. The second novel, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, found The Athena Club on an international adventure of mystery and intrigue as they rescued Lucinda Van Helsing from her father, Abraham, and foiled his plot to take over the Alchemical Society. Now, the “girl monsters, or in some cases monstrous young women” are back for what may be their final adventure in The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl. At the end of European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, Mary Jekyll received a telegram informing her, and the other members of The Athena Club, that Alice, the scullery maid at 11 Park Terrace, Mary’s childhood home and now the headquarters for The Athena Club, had been abducted. It is decided that Mary, Justine and Diana will return immediately to London. Catherine and Beatrice will follow as quickly as possible. When Mary’s group arrives, they find that Alice has indeed been kidnapped. They also discover that Sherlock Holmes is still missing. There are any number of reasons why Holmes may be gone, but it is unusual that he didn’t inform Dr. Watson before leaving. Alice, on the other hand, was clearly taken against her will. Why would anyone take Alice? And could these two seemingly unrelated events somehow be connected? As in the previous two novels, this one is another rousing adventure, although it stays, for the most part, within the geographic confines of England. But do not assume, since the stage is smaller, the action is reduced. There are thrilling rescue attempts (and at least one that is successful!) and equally thrilling escapes! There are opium dens, crumbling castles, and secret ceremonies held within the British Museum. In addition there are two 2,000 year old ancient Egyptians, and one is a recently reanimated mummy who is definitely a villain. The other may, or may not, be an ally to The Athena Club. Goss continues to explore and develop the members of The Athena Club along with characters that played minor roles in the previous novels. She also introduces intriguing new characters and includes some cameos from notable characters from literature and history (including Queen Victoria herself). This novel is an exciting adventure and the perfect way to end this excellent series. The only reservation is that it is the end of the series. Here’s hoping that someday, in the not terribly distant future, we will be able to join The Athena Club on another of their adventures. Reviewed by Daryl M., Librarian, West Valley Regional Branch Library

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cherei

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I absolutely love the Athena Club series! Having been hooked by the first novel! The story is extremely fast-paced and so very enjoyable. I did feel that it may have been over-edited. Somehow, most of the scenes were a bit rushed. What normally would take fifteen pages or so.. were whittled down to a page or two. The story itself is extremely good.. I just wish that we the reader would have been given more of the story. For example, there were no scenes of traveling by automobile other than to s I absolutely love the Athena Club series! Having been hooked by the first novel! The story is extremely fast-paced and so very enjoyable. I did feel that it may have been over-edited. Somehow, most of the scenes were a bit rushed. What normally would take fifteen pages or so.. were whittled down to a page or two. The story itself is extremely good.. I just wish that we the reader would have been given more of the story. For example, there were no scenes of traveling by automobile other than to say that they did it.. and were happy to be able to buy gas. The adventures of Alice (Lydia) were interesting.. but, again.. we weren't really given exactly what the powers were other than they came from the Earth itself. I feel bad giving a "meh" review.. but, this one.. just didn't live up to the first two books in the series. :(

  24. 5 out of 5

    Caly ☯ Crazy Book Lady

    As much fun as the first 2, I am sorry to see the series come to an end. Hopefully we will see the author return to the Athena Club or at least some of the characters someday.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    The third installment of The Athena Club trilogy is just as exciting and action-packed as the first two were. It's one of my favorite books of the year and only missed the fifth star for me for a very specific reason which was no fault of the author's. Read on to learn my mistake before you start this one. Mary Jekyll and her friends from The Athena Club are back, and this book takes off right where the last one left off. Alice, the kitchen made in Mary's London home, has been kidnapped, and the The third installment of The Athena Club trilogy is just as exciting and action-packed as the first two were. It's one of my favorite books of the year and only missed the fifth star for me for a very specific reason which was no fault of the author's. Read on to learn my mistake before you start this one. Mary Jekyll and her friends from The Athena Club are back, and this book takes off right where the last one left off. Alice, the kitchen made in Mary's London home, has been kidnapped, and the girls must race to find her. In the process, they must also find Sherlock Holmes, who went missing around the same time, and stop a plot to do away with the queen of England. All in a day's work for The Athena Club, right? But will they make it in time? The thing I love most about this whole series is the connections to other literature. We have more of that in this book, plus a little ancient history and mythology thrown in for good measure. As always, mixed in with the narrative, we have snippets of conversation that are taking place while the writer is telling us the story, and they add so much to the book. It's fun to get a glimpse into the present thoughts of the characters, and the way these asides are woven into the book is masterful. And now... The mistake you shouldn't make. If you haven't read the other books in this series, read them first. If it's been a while since you've read them, read them again. There are so many characters and so many threads of story going on that it's difficult to remember everything unless it's fresh in your mind. It was a great story anyway, but I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I had remembered every little thing from the previous books. Bottom line: Monsters, mysteries, a bit of magic; what's not to love? I would recommend this book to lovers of literature, fantasy readers, people who like strong female characters, and pretty much anyone in between.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    The final book in the Athena Club trilogy was delightful in every way I hoped it would be and a few that I was not expecting. As this entire series has been, Goss's reclaiming of female voices and monstrous stories brings refreshing life and keen insight to these characters. The Victorian adventures and mysteries of the novel are fun to read, bolstered further by deeper moments of significance and beauty. These books are stylistically unlike any I've read, but they are the perfect blending of sty The final book in the Athena Club trilogy was delightful in every way I hoped it would be and a few that I was not expecting. As this entire series has been, Goss's reclaiming of female voices and monstrous stories brings refreshing life and keen insight to these characters. The Victorian adventures and mysteries of the novel are fun to read, bolstered further by deeper moments of significance and beauty. These books are stylistically unlike any I've read, but they are the perfect blending of style, theme, and plot--always functioning on a number of levels, but never losing sight of telling what is simply a good story. There is a lot I could say--about the social awareness of this series, about the re-imagining of classic literature in direct and subtle ways, about the craft and skill with which these books are told--but as Sinister Mystery draws to a close, I think it's simple enough to say that these books make me happy. With unexpected twists and vibrant characters, these are extraordinary adventures in which I have been happy to participate. This final volume brings a touching and effective close to the series, offering still the promise of more adventures to come for these characters--whether or not we, as readers, get to see them. Read this series. It's worth every moment.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sammm

    4 for 3~4. Okay, so I have to say I sadly agree with some of the reviews I saw, that this last book (as of now?) does feel falling short comparing to its predecessors, a not so uncommon thing for sequels when they are following up great books. I don't think this book was especially horrible or anything, but I kinda think it probably bit off more than it could chew, with the size of this book, at any rate. I believe more literary characters were introduced (or cameoed) without having proper room t 4 for 3~4. Okay, so I have to say I sadly agree with some of the reviews I saw, that this last book (as of now?) does feel falling short comparing to its predecessors, a not so uncommon thing for sequels when they are following up great books. I don't think this book was especially horrible or anything, but I kinda think it probably bit off more than it could chew, with the size of this book, at any rate. I believe more literary characters were introduced (or cameoed) without having proper room to let them breathe. I still love the cast, but I agree with some reviews that the book is probably intentionally dealt that way so there's always a possibility to get back to for more. The author has repeatedly stated that there's 3 books because the publisher asked her for 3; I got the connotation that if there's a demand for more, Goss could probably make it work. Make no mistake though, it is designed as a trilogy, it's stated within the books that there are 3 books lol. So I'll be looking forward for a next arc. The only real criticize I have is what I mentioned in one of my status updates, no reference list or even slight mentions in the Acknowledgements. It'd be nice to know which characters are pre-existing instead of having to Google each name. Just saying. <3

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jill H

    I read all three Athena Club adventure novels back-to-back. They have been perfect quarantine fun reading! I love Googling every new character's name (even the very minor characters) to see from what Gothic novel they may have been pulled. I also love that the characters interrupt the flow of the story to have their own sidebars. However, by this third novel, there were a couple of very minor elements that started to grate on my nerves - so much so that I had to force myself to finish the book. I read all three Athena Club adventure novels back-to-back. They have been perfect quarantine fun reading! I love Googling every new character's name (even the very minor characters) to see from what Gothic novel they may have been pulled. I also love that the characters interrupt the flow of the story to have their own sidebars. However, by this third novel, there were a couple of very minor elements that started to grate on my nerves - so much so that I had to force myself to finish the book. First is the repeated descriptions of how annoying Diana is. We get it, she's unreliable, pushy, always hungry, but by book three you can let up on that just a bit. It seems by the latter half of the book, EVERY time Diana's name comes up it must be followed by some comment on her character, which is followed by her interruption protesting her character assassination. The second is that anytime a new character is introduced whose first language is not English, they must at some point in their dialogue search for the correct word "how do you say -" and then they immediately come up with the correct word. This is perfectly fine now and then, but for some reason was used a lot in this third book and became annoying. It just interrupted the flow of the conversation. As I said, these were very minor issues, and overall I still found the third book great fun. Perhaps if I hadn't binged all three books and had more time in between I would not have noticed them at all.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Didi Chanoch

    In recent years, we've had a delightful flourishing of stories dealing with some of the deeply problematic foundation of genre literature. Ruthanna Emrys' The Innsmouth Legacy series is both a love letter to and a rebuke of the works of HP Lovecraft. Vivian Shaw's recently completed Dr. Greta Helsing trilogy deals largely with the origins of vampire literature. And Theodora Goss' work looks straight at 19th century penny dreadfuls, adventure stories and detective fiction. This is not a series ab In recent years, we've had a delightful flourishing of stories dealing with some of the deeply problematic foundation of genre literature. Ruthanna Emrys' The Innsmouth Legacy series is both a love letter to and a rebuke of the works of HP Lovecraft. Vivian Shaw's recently completed Dr. Greta Helsing trilogy deals largely with the origins of vampire literature. And Theodora Goss' work looks straight at 19th century penny dreadfuls, adventure stories and detective fiction. This is not a series about the great colonialist men of science featured in so many of those stories. It is a story about the repercussions of their thoughtlessness. It is a story of the daughters of both Jekyll AND Hyde, the story of Rappaccini's daughter, the story of the puma woman from the Island of Doctor Moreau, of the Bride of Frankenstein, and some others to be revealed as the series goes on. It is both their story and the story of the telling of this story. This trilogy is an absolute delight, both meticulously researched and wonderfully imaginative. I highly recommend it, as I do the other two series I mentioned.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Sparkle

    I received a free ebook copy of The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl from NetGalley in exchange for feedback and an honest review. The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl is another solid installment in The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club. This series never fails to make me smile. The cast of characters, while seemingly pulled from other works of fiction, is done so very well. The characters play off each other to become a delightful family -- the Athena Club. In this vol I received a free ebook copy of The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl from NetGalley in exchange for feedback and an honest review. The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl is another solid installment in The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club. This series never fails to make me smile. The cast of characters, while seemingly pulled from other works of fiction, is done so very well. The characters play off each other to become a delightful family -- the Athena Club. In this volume, in particular, it was fun to see the group take on the task of rescuing Sherlock Holmes. Goss convincingly turns the tables on the established conventions in these novels and I really enjoy it.

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