Review #147 // Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Seek – Anthony O’Neill

Dr Jekyll & Mr SeekSeven years after the events of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mr. Utterson, Jekyll’s lawyer, is due to inherit Jekyll’s estate. When someone shows up claiming to be the Doctor, Utterson is the only one who knows the truth–that Jekyll is dead, because Jekyll was Hyde.


Why this book?: I enjoyed the original story, and thought this would be interesting. Plus, the cover.

I would like to thank the people at Black & White Publishing for allowing me to have an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really, really wanted to love this. I love Gothic literature, and The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was one of the first that I read. I loved how weird and dark they were, and how they spun the supernatural in it as if it were real life. The original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is all of that shoved into a novella, so it was just my thing. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Seek, the so-called sequel, took everything I loved about the original, and threw it out the window.

I’m not trying to say that the idea was bad or that the author did a horrible job doing it. I just think . . . O’Neill went about writing a sequel to the original in the wrong manner. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Seek attempts to follow the general outline of the first while giving it it’s own spin. It doesn’t do a good job of that. O’Neill warps Gabriel Utterson’s character to serve his idea of what the sequel should be, and it just didn’t mold with the old story. It felt artificial, like he was using the old story to benefit his.

What really frustrated me was the ending. Without spoiling it, I Just have to say that O’Neill tried shoving a very odd ending in a space it didn’t fit into. And yes, I’m aware that the old one did a similar thing, but the difference is this: While this sequel shoved all of the explanation into the last chapter, the original spread out a few hints here and there, pointing to the fact that Jekyll was doing something a little impossible. In this one? All there is an explanation that points to facts that were barely there, and that, when explained, didn’t make much sense.

Final Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall?

This book is the definition of trying to be something it’s not, and failing miserably. O’Neill’s writing wasn’t bad, and it echoed the classic Gothic writing pretty well. However, the story didn’t fit what it was trying to be, and nothing clicked with me. I hate what was done with the characters, and how Utterson was diminished to . . . well, his character was ruined.

Would I Recommend?

If you like Gothic literature, maybe. Like I said, it echoes the feeling of classic Gothic lit very well. It’s just, if you’re a fan of the original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I would maybe skip this. So many things happened and weren’t explained, and it just wasn’t worth the time it took to read.


Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek

Additional Information:

Published: September 1st, 2017

Publisher: Black & White Publishing

Page Count: 256

Genre: Historical Fiction/Gothic/Mystery

Synopsis: via Goodreads

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Continues…

Seven years after the death of Edward Hyde, a stylish gentleman shows up in foggy London claiming to be Dr Henry Jekyll. Only Mr Utterson, Jekyll’s faithful lawyer and confidant, knows that he must be an impostor – because Jekyll was Hyde. But as the man goes about charming Jekyll’s friends and reclaiming his estate, and as the bodies of potential challengers start piling up, Utterson is left fearing for his life … and questioning his own sanity.

This brilliantly imagined and beautifully written sequel to one of literature’s greatest masterpieces perfectly complements the original work. And where the original was concerned with the duality of man, this sequel deals with the possibility of identity theft of the most audacious kind. Can it really be that this man who looks and acts so precisely like Dr Henry Jekyll is an imposter?

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