Electric Empire, Book 1
Synopsis: Magic, mystery, and romance mix in this edgy retelling of the classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-in which Dr. Eliza Jekyll is the daughter of the infamous Henry
In an electric-powered Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with inventive new technological gadgets. Now, a new killer is splattering London with blood, drugging beautiful women and slicing off their limbs. Catching « the Chopper » could make Eliza’s career–or get her burned. Because Eliza has a dark secret. A seductive second self, set free by her father’s forbidden magical elixir: wild, impulsive Lizzie Hyde.
When the Royal Society sends their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she’s a sorceress, Eliza must resist the elixir with all her power. But as the Chopper case draws her into London’s luminous, magical underworld, Eliza will need all the help she can get. Even if it means getting close to Lafayette, who harbors an evil curse of his own.
Even if it means risking everything and setting vengeful Lizzie free . . .
Review: When I heard about the book, I was immediately curious. The daughter of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? How not to be? We all know this mythical character that is often found in TV shows, movies or books, and I was excited to be able to discover his daughter here. But it’s not just that because I had two other reasons that made me want to get into this first volume. First of all the significant number of very good reviews about the novel! Oh yes, because everyone made me impatient to be able to discover the story. Then we have the author. Viola Carr is a pseudonym for Erica Hayes, someone who always makes me have a great time with her books. So yes, I was waiting to read this first volume to discover the history and to know how it really was.
So we discover Eliza, a young woman well on all reports, if not her work that does not glorify her in the eyes of society. Yes, because instead of sitting quietly at home and seeking for a husband, our heroine is a doctor who works as an investigator with the police, trying to catch the killers on the loose. But Eliza hides many secrets, some that could put her life in danger. In a world where magic is condemned and where the alchemists and other people practicing magic are burned without distinction, our doctor has a second whole person in herself … A person who can take control of her body, transforming her into a new woman who has her own objectives. So yes, Eliza must be very careful, as well as her alter ego Lizzie. Yet they form together a wonderful team, each can help the other, but still remaining always in competition.
It was fascinating to discover that character, understand her different aspects, to see what Lizzie and Eliza were hidding. They are both complementary, two sides of the same person and even if they sometimes seem to hate each other, rebel against one another, they are also there to support and protect the other.
In terms of history, many things happen in the novel. Oh yeah! A member of the Royal Society is in the city and seems strangely present around our heroine. Alas, this association eradicates people like herself, and Eliza, as well as Lizzie, will have to implement all their skills to keep their secret. Yet they may well be surprised by this man. It must be said that Captain Lafayette also seems to have different facets while he meets either of the girls. This man hides a dark past and very mysterious drawings but I was very curious to discover everything. I also confess that the revelations about him really surprised me.
Eliza will have to investigate one of the strangest murders here. Young women are found dead, bits of their body missing, all with rather strange clues. Whatever happens, the young woman is determined to understand what is happening, although it makes her face her own demons. We have many surprises in the novel, revelations that leave us shocked and I think we can only be completely fascinated by the story and the characters. Viola Carr has created a fantastic novel that carries us over the chapters. I am very happy to have had the chance to read it all and I’m more than impatient to read on! Oh yes, the wait is going to be complicated. If you like mysteries, secrets, magic and stories with a unique note, do not hesitate, you will be delighted.