Release Day Review: The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Electric Empire #1) by Viola Carr

February 10, 2015 Review 3

Release Day Review:  The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Electric Empire #1) by Viola CarrThe Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr
Series: Electric Empire, #1
Published by Harper Voyager on February 10, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 464 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Sexual Content: references to sex
Reviewed by: Kristina
4 Stars

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 . . .

THE DIABOLICAL MISS HYDE was an entertaining twist on the classic tale of THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE. I love a good murder mystery and one where the protagonist in part doesn't know if she is the killer makes for an especially juicy story.  The story, like the kind upright Dr. Eliza Jekyll is split in narration between her and her more brash and violent alter ego Lizzie Hyde. One would think knowing Lizzie Hyde's side of the story would make her guilt or innocence clear cut. Luckily for the tension of the tale we aren't privy to the clear facts due to hazy memories on both Eliza and Lizzie's parts. What was particularly interesting was the way the narration was in the first person when Lizzie was in control and third person with Eliza.

On the relationship front the most fascinating in this story is the one between Eliza and Lizzie. I was fascinated by the way they communicate with eachother and have their own separate lives sort of the way the original Jekyll and Hyde did. At times when Eliza was arguing with Lizzie I had to step back and think that she must look crazy to anyone watching as she i just talking to herself. Its amazing that Eliza was never really caught arguing to herself as she'd be sent right to the insane asylum.  Were I to pick a favorite of the two personalities I'd have to go with Lizzie. She is fun, brash, and bold. Since her POV was done in the first person I felt like I knew her better than Eliza and as a result it felt like this was more Lizzie's story.

With a wonderful splendid series title of The Electric Empire this story has some clever steampunk inventions that I would love to see in person namely Eliza's cute robot helper Hippocrates. THE DIABOLICAL MISS HYDE does suffer from too many plot threads which didn't get confusing so much as they made the story feel long. Granted I loved each and every one of the threads and I'd be hard pressed to pick which one I'd throw out.  Through excellent writing and creativity the Eliza and Lizzie come alive as two halves of the same person who work amazingly well together to solve some very gruesome murders.  In the end this was a most excellently dark steampunk murder mystery and I am very interested in seeing more from this series.

Series Titles:


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3 Responses to “Release Day Review: The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Electric Empire #1) by Viola Carr”

  1. E.J. Stevens

    I love the original story, and a steampunk retelling with a female protagonist sounds fantastic. Adding this one to my wish list. Great review.

  2. Mina

    This one sounds great… hm, although I was thinking “Gollum vs. Smeagol” and unfortunately here, this is a picture I just can’t get rid of now… nevertheless: I’ll surely read this “Jekyll & Hyde” take. Thanks!