The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

One pitch-black London morning, a ghoulish little man tramples a young girl and continues heedlessly on his way. Caught by a passerby and returned to the scene of the crime, the man is forced to pay £100 in restitution. He produces ten pounds in gold and a check for the remainder. Curiously, the check bears the signature of the well-regarded Dr. Henry Jekyll. Even stranger, Dr. Jekyll’s will names this same awful and mysterious little man, Mr. Hyde, as the sole beneficiary. Troubled by the coincidence, Dr. Jekyll’s attorney visits his client. What he uncovers is a tale so strange and terrifying it has seeped into the very fabric of our consciousness.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Published January 5, 1886 by Longmans, Green & Co.
Format: e-book/audiobook; 64 pages/3 hours 3 minutes
Classics/Science Fiction
Also By This Author: Treasure IslandKidnapped
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts:

I was really looking forward to reading this spooky gothic classic by Robert Louis Stevenson, especially during the Halloween season. Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed. While the novel’s plot and characters were intriguing, I found the writing style incredibly boring. It took me at least two weeks to finish a three hour audiobook, mainly because I kept zoning out and losing interest as the story went on.

Everyone knows the basic plot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: a curious scientist drinks a potion that turns him into a murderous lunatic, and overtime Dr. Jekyll becomes consumed by this psychotic half of his split-personality. It’s a fascinating plot for a story, which is why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde remains so popular over a century later. While I did enjoy the beginning and the end of this novel, I felt that the middle dragged on without very many exciting things happening, aside from some very lengthy passages of dialogue that could have used a sentence or two of description.

I would recommend this book to fans of gothic lit and classic sci-fi (namely H.G. Wells’s novels), but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend an audiobook version unless the narrator is extremely entertaining. I believe the version I listened to was from Librivox.

You May Also Enjoy:

img_1269FrankensteinThe Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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Soulprint by Megan Miranda

soulprint

Most people agree it’s better not to find out who you once were. And if you do find out, it’s best to keep that knowledge to yourself. Because while the soul has no memory, the world does, and that is usually enough.

Soulprint by Megan Miranda
Published Feb 3, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Format: e-book from Netgalley; 368 pages
Also By This Author: Fracture, Hysteria
                                                            Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website

                                                            My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Synopsis:

With the science of soul-fingerprinting a reality, Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned for the crimes her past-self committed. In an attempt to clear her name, Alina unintentionally trades one prison for another when she escapes, aided by a group of teens whose intentions and motivations are a mystery to her. As she gets to know one of the boys, sparks fly, and Alina believes she may finally be able to trust someone. But when she uncovers clues left behind from her past life that only she can decipher, secrets begin to unravel. Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat the past.

Thoughts:

Alina is a 17 year-old girl who is being “contained” on a guarded island for her own protection (or for punishment). Why is she being contained? Because in a past-life, Alina’s soul belonged to a fugitive named June Callahan. The science behind “soulprinting” is that when a person dies, their soul is essentially reincarnated into a newborn, who grows up to lead his or her own life but studies showed that they would exhibit similar tendencies. Throughout the course of the novel, Alina is trying desperately to prove to the world that she is not June, but unfortunately for her, the more she tries to break away from June, the more she starts to understand and sympathize with her.

Soulprint is one of those stories that stays inside your brain for a few days after you finish reading it, and I think that’s because the world that Megan Miranda creates is not far-fetched. The idea behind categorizing people has been around for ages; sometimes it’s used to protect others (for example, identifying people as sex offenders and making that database public), but it has also been used to control and annihilate people (in the case of the Holocaust). In Soulprint, people are defined by who their soul belonged to in a past life. Officially, this is meant to be private knowledge. Only an individual can find out who they used to be. But since this is a dystopian novel, you already know that there is something much bigger going on here. In the novel, June Callahan became a fugitive after she publicly called out people for being criminals in their past lives. And at the start of the novel, Alina Chase is paying the consequences…but are they hers–or June’s–to pay?

Read This Book If…

…you’re intrigued by sci-fi/fantasy stories, especially if they deal with ethical issues.
…you’re a fan of dystopian themes in literature.
…you’ve ever been curious about genetic memories or other similar sci-fi motifs.
…you’re looking for a book that fits into multiple genres like science fiction, fantasy, young adult, suspense, and romance.

“Yes, I wanted out,” I say, my voice firm and practiced. “I always wanted out. Because I was being held, inhumanely and unconstitutionally.” The speech I’d come up with last year pours out of me. “Because my soul is my own, and the world is punishing me for something that no longer exists. The world is the only one with a memory. Not my soul. June is dead. I am the only one here. I am Alina Chase.”

Final Musings:

Soulprint captivates you from the very first page. There is a constant suspense looming that something huge is about to happen, and the characters have solid motivations that anyone can identify with: greed, love, guilt, innocence. I found myself having a hard time putting this book down, and for anyone who enjoys intriguing sci-fi/fantasy novels, I would recommend Soulprint to you in a heartbeat!

My soul was not meant to be in a cage. Not then, and not now.