The monstrous ladies of the Athena Club have one last adventure in the final installment of Goss’ (European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, 2018, etc.) trilogy.
Mary Jekyll and the rest of the Athena Club, made up of women who’ve been experimented on by famed literary men like Drs. Jekyll, Frankenstein, and Moreau, have returned home from their European escapades. Ready for a break from adventuring, Mary is horrified to discover that both the kitchen maid, Alice, and Mary's friend (and perhaps more than friend) Sherlock Holmes have gone missing. The club goes to Sherlock’s office in Baker Street to look for clues while alternating chapters from Alice's point of view reveal her upsetting predicament. As it turns out, the woman keeping her captive is actually her mother, who is a member of a sinister organization called the Order of the Golden Dawn. The two of them share the mesmerizing powers of the title, which they gained from, you guessed it, dangerous experiments performed by Alice’s grandfather. They are able to manipulate what others see, including changing their own appearances, which will come in handy for the Golden Dawn’s plan to take over England by kidnapping the queen and replacing her with Alice’s mother in her mesmerizing disguise. As Alice tries to learn all she can about the group’s schemes, her friends work just as hard to rescue her. But will they make it in time to save the queen as well? The first two books' problems are still present here, with too much exposition and largely pointless commentary from the characters themselves. But the tone is lighter and the prose shows marked improvement, making those issues far less noticeable. The villains are more compelling, the plot twists land well, and the literary-character mashups don’t feel so forced.
An uneven series ends on a high note.