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European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, Book 2
Narrated by: Kate Reading
Length: 24 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of literature’s mad scientists embark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for all.

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, 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.

©2018 Theodora Goss (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

entertaining!

a very interesting story written in a clever way. the observations of various locations makes me want to visit Budapest and eat pasteries.

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Profile Image for Texie
  • Texie
  • 28-08-2018

Not suited for an audiobook

I had a very hard time making it through this one, it is much longer than the 1st. The story does drag on quite a bit so it can get quite boring. My main issue is that there are too many breaks in the story where the characters talk behind the scenes and it gets annoying. There were far less in the 1st novel and it made the story flow so much better, however in this one there are constant side conversations that get annoying. You can predict when they will come and they really do not add anything to the story line. Perhaps if you are reading the hard copy it is not as irritating but in the audiobook form it really drags on your nerves. I felt like to book was way too long and instead of developing the main characters into characters who you empathize and root for, you really begin to dislike them all. I am not sure why the author would want for you to dislike the main characters, but she makes you think that Mary is a prim, controlling idiot, Katharine is quite mean, Beatrice is useless, Diana is a heathen, and Justine is pointless. She shows few redeeming qualities for the characters and really makes them out to dislike each other. I was very disappointed in this story and sorry I wasted so much time listening to it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • bluestategirl
  • 10-02-2019

Buy a 10 foot pole -- you'll need it.

Kate Reading is one of my top five narrators of all time, so it makes me sad to admit that reading this book has defeated even her. But if there is blame, it goes to Theodora Goss, who was far too ambitious in the way she wrote the characters and dialogue in this book. She did something I've never seen before: She so over utilized her various characters points of view, that the book became a fatiguing mess of inconsequential bitching.

While this same *experiment* in novel writing was used more successfully in the first book, it worked there due to it having far fewer characters. Here, there were MANY characters, all contributing endless asides and sarcasm to the point where the action suffered and so did the listener.

The set up is the reading by one character (Katherine), of a *book within the book,* describing the groups experience in past events. Great premise, right? Not this time.

Goss includes the various asides, view points, additions, arguments and remarks of ALL of the other characters as they describe how they personally experienced the events described in Katherine's book. The constant input, and chiming in, was frequently bland, sarcastic, and unnecessary, adding little to no value, and preventing the story from moving forward. The constant interruptions for no reason, kept this listener frequently on edge, bored, or just confused.

Worse, each time the action would start to take off, it would come to a screeching halt as we got passages that would read like this:

Mary: "Blah blah blah, snide remark."
Justine: "Blah blah blah, something kind."
Katherine: "Blah blah blah, defending the book."

And every character got to put their two cents in.

I'm only 3 hours and 33 minutes from the end of a 24 hour book, but I can now only stand to listen to about 10 to 20 minutes at a time, because of the way the characters keep interrupting and harping on each other! I literally do not know what the hell is going on! And Kate Reading's voice is auditory torture!

Theodora Goss is a fine writer, and has a flare for originality; she just needs to take a little pity on her readers instead of trying to impress us with the kitchen sink.

As for Kate Reading, she gave her all as usual, and no one could have performed this monster mash better. But at this point, I can't even stand the sound of HER voice -- even reading the books I love, and THAT really annoys me!

If I had know this book would end up making me want to avoid anything read by Kate Reading, I wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot pole.

Definitely NOT RECOMMENDED to anyone who enjoys linear plotting -- or the sound of Kate Reading's voice.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-08-2018

Needs an editor

Painfully long, in need of tightening up. This was eight hours of listening longer than necessary. The story is clever, the narrator excellent, but the exposition just dragged.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Logan
  • 20-07-2018

This second book earned it's fifth star!

Mash'em ups can get pretty bland, but I've really enjoyed these books. The characters that at first feel meh grow on you, and their developments through their several trials make them even more endearing. Can not wait for the third volume. Theodora, I'd totally give you twenty shillings for a sneak peek! Diana is my favorite, but I want more Alpha and Omega!
Kate Reading (ironic name...) is a WONDERFUL narrator, and I'll be scoping out her other works, as well. Please keep me entertained!
Thank you so much!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stefan Filipovits
  • 13-07-2018

Little Women meets Anno Dracula

I’ve been obsessed with the crossover fiction genre ever since I read Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula series. Because of that obsession I’ve read a lot of crossover fiction stories and more often than not they’re terrible. Usually they become so bogged down in the crossovers that the story gets lost in a sea of references. This is the first series I’ve read that matches Newman’s magnum opus. The characters are rich, distinct, relatable, and remarkably easy to invest in. The story is interesting too and I’m anxious to see what’s next but it’s the characters that make this series as addictive as it is and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re a fan of crossover fiction, want something empowering, or just want something with great characters to pass the time then definitely pick it up.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Bittle Tree
  • 22-02-2019

Be Careful What You Hope For

My daughter downloaded this book after we both listened to the first of the series.
I have a few hopes for this book.
I hope Mary is confused and offended at every occasion.
I hope Katherine mentions that she is a puma in every other sentence.
I hope Justine is quiet and remorseful.
I hope Beatrice is referred to as "the poisonous girl" every single time she is mentioned.
I hope every word out of Diana's mouth is her bragging about her ability or an attack about how lame the rest of the characters are. As a bonus, I hope she also moans about constantly being hungry.
I hope we get to hear about how women have an adventure in the 19th century with the sexism they must face and not a bunch of characters who have no problem passing as men with a simple change of clothes. Seriously, if I wanted to hear about how men moved through this world, I would not have downloaded a book filled with female characters.

The characters are one dimensional and the whole story seems to be an excuse to promote cross dressing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ignatz
  • 08-02-2019

Um, no. Thanks.

Full admission: I only got about halfway thru chapter 5 before stopping.

I read the 1st book in this trilogy, enjoyed it, though it dragged a little in places. I enjoyed most of the characters and happily looked forward to this book.

But for whatever reason, the author chose to put the most obnoxious, annoying, and all-around grating character almost front and center. And even before the plot could really take off, I found myself shouting at the annoying character & flipping the bird at my phone whenever her character spoke. After struggling with this for a half hour or so I decided discretion is the better part of valor and gave up.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

BTW: the narrator is top notch, one of the best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholas
  • 05-01-2019

A Creative And Refreshing Disappointment

To begin with, I wanted to like this book. I really did. I am a fan of gothic literature, and Theodora Goss demonstrates her appreciation for the classics with a unique, creative twist.

But in my opinion, she twisted to hard.

The book is full of occasional commentaries from characters. While I found this charming at first, it quickly became a distraction. Also, many times, the plot was spoiled by a character who was in “danger” in the chapter, but then continues commenting, spoiling the fact that they survived the encounter and also drops too much of a hint on what happens next. The commentary also serves too much as a “look how smart I am. I used this literary theme and I want everyone and their biologically engineered dog to realize how clever I was” device.

My biggest grievance with this story is the exposition. If you were to cut out every time a character launches into some lengthy backstory (just for the authoress to prove her knowledge of classic literature), then the audiobook as a whole would be 1/4 of its current length. All the exposition slows down the plot.

I applaud the themes the book tackles, many of which honor the themes originally brought forward by the great writers whose work this is based on.

However, Goss could spend a little less time twisting stories others have written and work a little more Ironing out what is her own.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • itinerant
  • 14-07-2018

someone learned what meta means

The interior chattiness of the book might be endearing to some, and has its amusing moments, I suppose, but I'm more interested in the story than the excess of silliness the pomo conceit seems geared toward providing. The metanarative becomes the reason for the story, so the story suffers from too much teen banter . . .

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Naomi Townsend
  • 20-07-2018

My new obseasion

As a fan of sherlock Holmes, having had read Carmilla, Dracula and being generally familiar with most of the characters within the Athena Club books, I love this authors take on the monsters. The author did an amazing job creating these characters, creating their stories and intertwining characters from other books in so many ways. These books have adventure, mystery, strong female characters from all different backgrounds working together, no drama within the group, funny quarrels between them maybe but no more. I cannot wait for the 3rd book

4 of 5 people found this review helpful