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The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Electric Empire, #1)
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Archive (Buddy Reads) > June Buddy Read - The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Ruth (Wealie), Sian)

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message 1: by ~KarenH~, Moderator (new)

~KarenH~ | 8262 comments **


Wealie | 410 comments Hi Sian, I see we both love paranormal romance. Fancy trying a new series - I notice we both have these in our TBR lists

The Seduction of Phaeton Black (Paranormal Investigator, #1) by Jillian Stone or The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Electric Empire, #1) by Viola Carr

R x


Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments hey i would love to read The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Electric Empire, #1) by Viola Carr :)


Wealie | 410 comments Sian wrote: "hey i would love to read The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Electric Empire, #1) by Viola Carr :)"

Cool Diabolical Miss Hyde it is then 😁


Wealie | 410 comments I’ve already got the book on my kindle any thoughts on how we want to do this. It’s my first buddy read, so not sure exactly how to proceed


Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments What is your reading speed like... We could do 5 chapters a week and then tslk about what we liked and didnt like about them


Wealie | 410 comments Hi Sian, I’m a prolific reader usually 1 a day, but like your suggestions of 5 chapters a week.

Shall we plan to share thoughts next Friday?

R


Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments Yes thats great :)


Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments First 5 chapters done... I want to know more about Lizzie


message 10: by Wealie (last edited Jun 01, 2018 07:51PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Wealie | 410 comments Sorry for delay, long day at work, then got caught up in #cockygate on Twitter 🤪

Thoughts so far....I’m leaning to a 🌟🌟 review if the story doesn’t get started in earnest soon. I’d like to see an improvement in the writing style, but not holding my breath.

The concept of the split personality with only the evil one being aware of the other’s activities is a good one. I enjoyed Eliza as a feisty and unrepentant feminist scientist facing off against period misogyny and oppression of all thing magic. The introduction of Lafayette started out in a good ‘meet cute’, which promised banter, but in the end fizzled a little and missed the mark for me.

As a Brit I’m always pretty critical of depictions of the British common vernacular, or misrepresentations of my culture and history. So I was predisposed to find Lizzie’s language usage as a bit contrived, heavy-handed and sloppy. It distracted me a lot from absorbing the story and following who was narrating, though I think the chop and change of narrator was poorly handled.

The depictions of Eliza and Lizzie also played into the sad stereotypes of the poor/working class as feckless amoral criminals, while the middle class are productive, intelligent, quality members of society, with good breeding. As a period inspired novel I guess you could say it was a reflection of the time, but I think the author missed a trick to be different there.

The first chapter felt a bit rushed, cramming a lot of incidental exposition in with character arc building and limited plot development and the shifting POV between Lizzie and Eliza got tired very quickly.

My biggest gripe though was with the overblown and flowery (pun intended) language use to describe the filth and corruption of the seedier side of London that Lizzie inhabited. I like a bit of grit and realism, but Carr’s constant hyperbole made her descriptive mis en scene seem less effective and real. Additionally the descriptions sucked all the word count away from any real plot development, in depth world building and enlightenment of character motivation that characterise good reads for me.

Plot inconsistency: Considering how intelligent Eliza is and her attention to detail, her wilful ignorance of Lizzie’s murderous tendencies seemed ludicrous especially as when she transforms back she is still dressed in Lizzie’s clothing, which presumably is still covered in the blood alluded to after she commits the murder. And, if she’s in the dress, then she’ll also be carrying the stiletto knife and murder weapon, which presumably is still covered in blood as Lizzie describes the stickiness on her thigh where she keeps it.

At the end of five chapters I was frustrated with the writing style, with very little to show in terms of the story arc and lots of unanswered plot, world and character questions. I’m intrigued enough to continue on, but this would never have been a one sitting novel and may even have been a DNF after 3 chapters if I wasn’t doing a buddy read.


message 11: by Sian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments I do agree with you the character development isnt very good I would like to have more of a charater background of lizzie especially....its seems all a little rushed but I am curious as to how its going to progress


message 12: by Wealie (last edited Jun 10, 2018 05:29AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Wealie | 410 comments Currently looking at a 🌟🌟🌟 review based on reading 30%.

Pros
So, another five chapters in and I was pleasantly surprised. They were a much easier read than the first five, were blissfully lacking in the hyperbolic mis en scene descriptions, and progressed both the murder plot and Eliza/Lizzie’s situation. The three-way interplay between Eliza, Lafayette and Griffin was fun, there were some great moments I highlighted in my kindle notes. Mr Todd’s was a truly eerie and enigmatic character, as was A.R.

The mehs
Although there’s potential for chemistry between Lafayette and Eliza established in the first five chapters it is largely only expressed through Lafayette this time around. There’s great banter, but no emotion on Eliza’s part, which is a shame as it would up the stakes and drama of their interactions.

Cons
Zero world building and limited character development, everything was geared to drive the central and supporting plots. Additional characters added were left two dimensional and the relationships between Eliza and Griffin, Eliza and Lafayette and Lafayette and Griffin were rushed and a missed opportunity. Again the conversations Eliza has with Mr Todd and A.R. were not developed as much as they could have been.


message 13: by Sian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments These weeks 5 chapters where mainly about Eliza not much from Lizzie, I agree it is more easier to read but I found myself a little confused as at the end of the 1st 5 chapters Lizzie had killed billy now she hasn't... A very confusing plot twist.
A.R. and Mr. Todd are both lacking any charater development.


message 14: by Wealie (last edited Jun 10, 2018 05:30AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Wealie | 410 comments There are some serious plot holes - whether the author did it deliberately to keep the readers guessing, or if it was poor writing again remains to be seen. As the book is titled ‘The Diabolical Miss Hyde’ we do seem to be seeing a lot more of Eliza than the titular Lizzie. Hopefully the next five chapters will be more illuminating.


message 15: by Sian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments Fingers crossed that it will be :)


message 16: by Wealie (last edited Jun 17, 2018 01:04PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Wealie | 410 comments 15 chapters and 48% in and my rating stays a tenuous 3 🌟🌟🌟. A lot seemed to happen and yet not enough of substance to clarify any of my theories, yet it opened up more questions. A little too obtuse overall for my liking.

The hyperbolic descriptions of the gritty side of London was back a bit too, but nowhere near the annoyance levels of the first five chapters and mostly when we are reading from Lizzie’s POV.

I disliked the way the author seemed to use words you wouldn’t associate with Lizzie’s vernacular, given her ‘wild working class girl’ portrayal. For example “I’ve had enough of his insinny-ations”. Misspelling the words to excuse their use by Lizzie as if to infer she doesn’t know them that well was contrived and just plain sloppy and annoying. Also I found the author when in Lizzie’s POV in these chapters tended to drop the affected cockney stylings more often than not, which as an English woman was refreshing, but as a reader inconsistent.

Lafayette is obviously more than he seems, potentially having his own shadow self - However, given the author’s inconsistent writing I’m not taking it as read until it is spelled out in no uncertain terms. Again the chemistry between Lafayette and Eliza and then separately with Lizzie is woefully unexplored.

The introduction of yet another bit player in Geordie the ‘scapegoat murder suspect’ was poorly handled. The scapegoating was so obvious given he was a simple lad who couldn’t write and yet he was still dangerous enough to get the drop on the trio, stab Griffin and almost send Eliza tumbling to her death. I found it weird that no one though to pursue him or have constables search him out after his acts of violence. No, the author was more interested in hamfisttedly shoving his inability to be the murderer down our throats, than follow any realistic procedural suspect handling.

My theories, some of which are contradictory:

* A.R. is Lafayette’s shadow self and is the Chopper
* A.R. is Mr Hyde, the shadow self of Eliza’s father and only part left of him after her father’s soul departed
* A.R. Is the shadow self of Mr Todd
* Mr Todd’s shadow self is the Chopper and committing the murders to gain Eliza’s attention
* The Chopper is A.R. And is committing the murders for some unknown motive connected with Eliza, Lizzie or both
* Lafayette was part of Eliza’s father’s inner circle and friends with Finch

I’m going to read 10 chapters next week and then the remaining 9 the following week to ensure I finish the book in June and because I’m hoping to not be quite so annoyed by making more progress.


message 17: by Sian (last edited Jun 19, 2018 01:04PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments I felt that there are some major plot-holes that need filling...thats fine I'll read them as well


message 18: by Wealie (last edited Jun 24, 2018 01:10AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Wealie | 410 comments 2.5 star review at 75% in having read 25 chapters.

Pros
We finally have some resolutions appearing, which initially I didn’t think were that many until I listed them out:

* Lafayette doesn’t have a shadow self so speak, but he’s a werewolf. However, we’re none the wiser as to whether he knows Lizzie and Eliza are the same person and he’s having sex with the former while courting the latter, which is confusing and makes me like him a lot less if he doesn’t know they are one and the same.

* A werewolf likely killed Beane, but it wasn’t Lafayette.

* The chopper’s identity is still unknown, but one of his victims was in a relationship with another woman with an uncommon understanding of the technology leaving the aether evidence at the murder scenes.

*The aetheric evidence is the product of a transporting machine the murderer is using to escape the scene.

* A.R. Is the Rat King aka Arthur is King, aka Eddie Hyde, aka the shadow self of Henry Jekyll and true father of Eliza and Lizzie.

* Johnny and Finch have both been working for A.R. All these years to keep Lizzie and Eliza safe.

* Issac Newton the Philospher isn’t dead and is at the heart of the corruption in the Royal Society and hell bent on bringing down the Rat King and using Eliza to do it.

Cons
There were yet more characters introduced, in Mr Perceval and Ms Morton, the scientists doing work with electric fluid. Ms Morton is a lesbian who had a relationship with the second of the Chopper’s murder victims. Though they pour some light on the Chopper murders I’m finding it difficult to keep all the plot threads open in my mind.

The weird sexual tensions, including Lafayette sleeping with Lizzie, while courting Eliza, Eliza’s strange affinity with Mr Todd and the flashbacks to when she visited him, Eliza’s strange reaction to A.R. When they meet down in the castle. Weirdly it seems Eliza is the more sexually perverse out of her and Lizzie and the lines between the two characters inhabiting the single body are blurring. Perhaps this is intentional on the author’s part, but I’m struggling to see how this is adding anything to the main story, which could do with some sub-plot thining and focus!

Final thoughts for this week
It’s good to see some of the plots coming together, but there’s still too much else going on with incidental characters getting in the way of pushing the central plot and characters on. Lafayette has gone from being a seemingly central character to a side note. The focus on the central murder pops in and out at will and more focus is put on Eliza/Lizzie’s origins and the new plot of the Philosopher’s search for the Rat King.

There’s just too many threads to pull together in the nine chapters remaining and as I know there are two sequels I fear I’m unlikely to get the satisfactory ending out of this novel I want.

This novel is annoying me intensely, perhaps because there are flashes of brilliance, without which I could have just discounted it. In the end I think I’m unlikely to read the two sequels, there are just too many other books out there to read. I’ll finish up the nine remaining chapters next week, but not holding my breath to change my mind.


message 19: by Sian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments It is nice to see more of a development in the storyline...with us finding out who AR is.
I was not liking the way lizzie and eliza are becoming one identity i found that very confusing.


Wealie | 410 comments Sian wrote: "It is nice to see more of a development in the storyline...with us finding out who AR is.
I was not liking the way lizzie and eliza are becoming one identity i found that very confusing."


It’s like the author is trying to cram in every Steampunk and Urban fantasy trope into one novel and also make it a paranormal romance and mystery/thriller. Makes for quite a confusing soup!


message 21: by Sian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments Ruth (Wealie) wrote: "Sian wrote: "It is nice to see more of a development in the storyline...with us finding out who AR is.
I was not liking the way lizzie and eliza are becoming one identity i found that very confusin..."


Definatly it seems like the author wasn't focused...it is all over the shop


message 22: by Sian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sian (hunnibee) | 16 comments Finished I left with more questions than answers....eliza has feelings for todd but he try to kill her then lafayette and eliza end up together anyway


message 23: by Wealie (last edited Jul 08, 2018 09:54AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Wealie | 410 comments Hi Sian, sorry so late in responding had a mare of a fortnight at work, so was behind on reading!

The final chapters although quick and fast paced and jam packed with plot development were not a fun read for me. Too much and too little was revealed at the same time. I hated the triple bluff ending, first its Temple, oh no it’s not and suddenly in barely three paras we’re to undo our disliking of his character because he tried to warn Eliza and wrote revolutionary pamphlets [mega eye rolling]. Then it’s Dr Fairfax, only for it to finally be revealed it was the lacklustre friendly junior Doctor whose name escapes me because he was such a badly realised character with little to know charisma to suggest he would have the audacity to be a murderer. His reasoning (even for a madman) seemed incredibly weak. Him being another werewolf added nothing to the story. A better blind would have been for him to have been under the subtle influence of Mr Todd!

Mr Todd’s actions in the final few chapters were pretty incomprehensible to me - but then he is a serial killer whose sanity is in question. However, nothing was as mind bogglingly crazy and non-sensical to me as Eliza being attracted to Mr Todd on some level. Unless Mr Todd is really charismatic and attractive in a way that the author failed to convey I really don’t understand this.

I disliked that neither Lizzie nor Eliza saved themselves in the final act. Nope the little women required a combination of an obsessed serial killer and reluctant werewolf, both of which of course were men - YAWN. Surely this was the point for either Lizzie or Eliza to shine, or play on the fact that they are not nearly so different as it at first seems - though I have separate problems with that idea. For a novel that took great pains to highlight social injustices towards women it robbed itself of giving it’s central character the ability to be a truly independant woman and/or saving the men, thereby underscoring a central premise that women are just as capable as men!

I really disliked the hackneyed ‘Frankenstein’ plot thrown in to tie together all the disprite plot threads. Considering the author did little to really explore the Jekyll and Hyde character trope, adding in the Frankenstein monster theme at the eleventh hour was sloppy at best.

It was blatantly obvious this was not a novel that was going to give you any satisfaction other than knowing three main plot points:

* Who the Chopper was, why he did it, how he was connected to Eliza and how it tied in with Eliza’s father’s past.
* Lafayette was a werewolf with a beyond professional interest in Eliza (even though he slept with Lizzie and she’s infatuated with him, where Eliza is at best ambivalent). That he knows about her divided spirit and seems okay with it. That it seems he’s only working for the royal for his own ends and wants Eliza to work with him in an ‘unofficial’ capacity.
* Eddie Hyde is alive, is A. R. and the Kind of the Rats, that he’s the shadow self of Eliza’s father and is the biological father of Lizzie and Eliza, not Henry Jekyll. That he loved Eliza’s mother and was also responsible for her death and with the aid of a ‘Victor’ (one assumes Dr Frankenstein) attempted to resurrect her, which led to Henry Jekyll’s death.

So at the end we still don’t know much about the Philosopher and we’re teased with Eliza’s letter to read the next installment (God NO!!!!) to find out his true intentions and how far he’ll push Eliza, plus what Eddie Hyde is really up to as King of the Rats, what has become of Mr Todd and his intentions towards Eliza (especially given it looks like he works for Eddie Hyde and of course what will happen between Eliza/Lizzie and Lafayette.

In the end I give it two stars, the principal concept was good, but woefully unexplored and to a certain extent made moot by the way the characters of Eliza and Lizzie have developed to by the end. It has flashes of brilliance, such as the banter between Eliza and Lafayette and the gadgets, but for the most part these are not fully explored or realised in the novel.

There were far too many characters, so every character (including the titular Lizzie) was under-used and under-developed with the exception of Eliza, who I went from being non-plused about at the beginning of the novel to really disliking by the end. In the cuminating chapters of the book I really couldn’t care if she lived or died.

There was very little true exploration of the divide between Eliza as the ‘true’ self and ‘Lizzie’ as her shadow. As the novel wore on the two started to have more in common with each other and there wasn’t any true tension between them , in fact they seemed to be living together semi-harmoniously ?!

So, I won’t be reading the next story, the pay off just isn’t worth the agony of reading it :-)


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