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Literature / European Travel For The Monstrous Gentlewoman

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A 2018 Science Fiction, Massive Multiplayer Crossover, mystery novel written by Theodora Goss. It is the second entry in the Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, serving as a direct sequel to The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter.

Mary 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’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London, and although they sometimes quarrel, 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 experimentation. Where is Lucinda, and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter? Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherin, and Justine reach her in time?

Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom, the Athena Club embarks on a madcap journey across Europe. From Paris to Vienna to Budapest, Mary and her friends must make new allies, face old enemies, and finally confront the fearsome, secretive Alchemical Society. It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinies.


This book provides exampels of:

  • Adaptational Heroism:
  • Adaptational Villainy: In addition to Seward and Van Helsing, Arthur Homewood, Quincy Morris and Jonathan Harker are willing to pay any cost to unlock the secrets of immortality.
  • Dracula: After being hinted at in the first novel, Vlad makes his full appearance here as an ally of the Athena Club.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Sunlight has no ill effects on those infected with vampirism.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Irene's agents are this to Holmes' Baker Street Irregulars.
  • Easily Forgiven: After it's revealed that Sasha was spying on Catherin for the Alchemical Society, she does little more than reprimand him. Justified, as he only did it because Lady Crowe manipulated him into doing it.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire:
    • While they've both done terrible things in their past, in the story, Vlad and Carmilla are nothing but friendly and heroic characters.
    • Later, Lucinda fully becomes one herself.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Prendick sacrifices himself to defend Catherin from a vampire.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Irene is friends with Sigmund Freud, who helped her deal with her depression after the death of her husband. He aid the girls in infiltrating the insane asylum to rescue Lucinda.
  • Lesbian Vampire: The Trope Maker Carmilla appears, now in a dedicated relationship with Laura.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: In addition to the properties used in the previous novel, this story introduces characters from Carmilla and She, as well as a brief appearance by Doctor Raymond and references to Lord Ruthven.
  • The Mole:
    • Jimmy Buckets turns out to be one for the Alchemical Society in the Baker Street Irregulars.
    • Sasha the Dog Boy is one for the Alchemical Society in Lorenzo's Circus.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • In addition to the century old Justine, the story includes the two hundred year old Carmilla and the four hundred year old Vlad.
    • Ayesha claims to have been a priestess of Isis in Ancient Egypt, making her thousands of years old. Vlad admits he believes her.
  • The Reveal:
    • Mary herself is the result of an experiment, as Dr. Jekyll was under the effects of a potion that purged him off all his negative qualities when he conceived her.
    • Mina is an agent of the Subcommittee for Bibliographic Citation Format, a branch of the Royal Society dedicated to opposing the Alchemical Society. Her serving as Mary's governess was cover for her spying on Dr. Jekyll.
    • Madame Corbeau and Frau Krahe, elderly women that the Athena Club encounters at different points in their journeys, both turn out to have been Lady Crowe, an agent of the Alchemical Society.
    • Nurse Adams was also an agent of the Alchemical Society named Frau Gottlieb, who was sent by Ayesha to spy on Mary's family.
  • Romantic Vampire Boy: Dracula, who is in a romantic relationship with Mina.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end we see that Alice has been kidnapped by Professor Moriarty, who plans on using her powers to make Helen Raymond the Queen of England.
  • The Sixth Ranger: Lucinda ends up joining the Athena Club by the end of the story.
  • Shout-Out: When vampires are brought up, Diana makes reference to Varney the Vampire.
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: Vampires in this setting occupy a strange middle ground of friendliness. The vast majority of vampires are bloodthirsty monsters due to a form of insanity caused by the disease. Those rare few who prove immune to this madness are shown to be friendly.
  • Vampires Are Rich: While this isn't inherent to vampires, all the ones who have retained their sanity are people of means.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: While vampires do not have a weakness to garlic, Carmilla notes that she hates the taste of it.
  • Vampiric Draining: Vampires require blood to survive and are incapable of consuming any other form of food.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Vampires can live off any kind of blood, it's only the insanity that tends to come with the disease that leads to them targeting humans. Those that retain their sanity are shown happily living off chicken and cow blood.
  • The Virus: Vampirism is explicitly described as a virus, with all but a incredibly small minority becoming homicidally insane after being infected.
  • Voluntary Vampire Victim:
    • Various people willingly let Lucinda feed on them over the course of the story to keep her from starving.
    • Diana gives Lucinda's mother some of her blood to give her the strength to escape the mental hospital.
    • In the past, Mina gave Dracula some of her blood to help him recover after he was stabbed by Quincy Morris.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Dracula and Carmilla are very dismissive of the traditional vampire weaknesses, saying they are nothing but silly superstitions.

Example of: