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The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll & Mademoiselle Odile (A Shadow Sisters Novel) Paperback – January 22, 2013

3.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This explanation of the mysterious ingredient that animates Jekyll's transformation is well suited to readers who enjoy period drama laced with a bit of tame horror and not-so-tame blackmail.” ―BCCB

“Carefully researched and well written, Reese's novel appeals on scientific, historical, mysterious, and romantic levels.” ―VOYA

“[A] thriller that's steeped in historical detail.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Successful in spinning the familiar tale into one of war and romance seen from a female perspective.” ―Booklist

About the Author

James Reese is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dracula Dossier, The Book of Shadows, The Book of Spirits, and Witchery. Born on eastern Long Island, Reese now divides his time between Paris, France, and Tampa, Florida.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Series: A Shadow Sisters Novel
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish (January 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250016770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250016775
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,759,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating story that I couldn't put down. The author fleshes out the story's characters, so much so, that you wish you could get involved yourself to help the heroine reach her objective!
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Format: Hardcover
This well-researched and clever prequel for Robert Louis Stevenson's dark tale takes place during the Siege of Paris in the Franco-Prussian War (1870) with a young Dr. Jekyll and sixteen-year-old Mlle. Odile, who, with her brother, flee northern Spain to Paris after the murder of their parents, all the while trying to hide their Cagot heritage. The Cagots were despised as witches, and indeed the story opens with Mlle. Odile experimenting with her mother's dark secrets on zoo chimpanzees, to the great interest of Dr. Jekyll. This story is interesting, but is mired in the loquacious yet emotionally restrained narration by Mlle. Odile. How many times can a modern reader put up with `thusly', `said I', `said he', and liberally peppered with redundant French words, especially `enfin' and `Alors!'? Unending stream-of-consciousness colloquy as well as too many allusions to circumstances not told when they are brought up: "No, wait. Allow me, please, to put off the telling of that horrid tale." There is much potential for designing compelling characters and a story that readers would gladly trip the light fantastic with; here is the chance for a young and handsome Dr. Jekyll and a fiery, determined young woman to exhibit stirrings of physical attraction. At any rate, it's suitably arresting for young YA readers, ages 12 and up, who seek a diversion from vampires but want to stay on the horror track, albeit slogging along.
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Format: Hardcover
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A new character is added to the Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde outfit when Odile Ricau retells how her family secret lead to Doctor Henry Jeckyll first transforming into Mister Hyde.

Opening Sentence: The two men mistook me for dead; but I was very much alive. And regrettably so.

The Review:

The first thing I must mention is that I had to look up her name pronunciation on a translator application because I kept reading it like crocodile instead of daffodil without the "daff." Anyway, overall the book had a slow start, a sloppy middle, and a kind of hazy ending. The book starts with a sad recounting that establishes our narrator as Odile Ricau, a former homeless orphan living on the streets of war torn 1870 Paris and the time she spent with Doctor Henry Jekyll.

Odile and her brother Greluchon are homeless and orphaned after their parents were killed far away from Paris where they currently live. Odile experiments with their family secret in an attempt to heal her sick brother who is wasting away from hunger and sickness. Her brew mishap in the zoo causes Henry Jekyll and his manservant Poole to be interested in what the young woman was capable of, which leads her to ask for the doctor's help in curing her brother.

Jekyll is British, but in France during wartime because he was disgraced for his unorthodox scientific opinions and experiments. They bond as Jekyll tries to diagnose Greluchon and Odile experiments more with her family craft. We find out that Jekyll knows about Odile's salts and he steals the potions that turned a monkey mad and causes her brother to transform almost permanently into a government killing machine.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thought that the begining was very interesting. I read the first sentence in a bookstore, ad bought it because of it. However, the plot was very, very predictable, and once Jekyll ate the salts, I lost interest. Hyde was interesting because he was the bad half of Jekyll (duh) but even that got old after time. The middle two hundred pages could easily have been cut out since they were so repetitve. Odile was trying to find the secret of the salts, and save her brother. For two hundred pages.

SPOILER ALERT

By the end, I was wishing Jekyll figured out that the salts were ashes, and then had Hyde turn Odile into some.

Overall, I felt it was slow and repetitve. The good parts are easily overshadowed by the monotinous middle. And (a personal pet peeve that really bothered me throught the story) is that Odile has webbed fingers. The gene for webbed fingers is located on the Y chromosome which Odile, a girl, does not possess.
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