The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot

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Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Supernatural, Abilities, Romance

Pages: 241

Published by Curiosity Quills Press




Henry Jekyll was a brilliant doctor, a passionate idealist who aimed to free mankind of selfishness and vice. He’s also the man who carelessly created a race of monsters.

Once shared secretly among the good doctor’s inner circle, the Hyde drug was smuggled into mass-production – but in pill form, it corrupted its users at the genetic level, leaving them liable to transform without warning. A quarter of the population are now clandestine killers – ticking bombs that could detonate at any given moment.

It’s 1903, and London has been quarantined for thirteen years.

Son of the city’s most prominent physician and cure-seeker, seventeen-year-old Elliot Morrissey has had his own devastating brush with science, downing a potion meant to remove his human weaknesses and strengthen him against the Hydes – and finding instead he’s become an empath, leveled by the emotions of a dying city.

He finds an unlikely ally in Iris Faye, a waitress at one of the city’s rowdier music halls, whose emotions nearly blind him; her fearlessness is a beacon in a city rife with terror. Iris, however, is more than what she seems, and reveals a mission to bring down the establishment that has crippled the people of London.

Together, they aim to discover who’s really pulling the strings in Jekyll’s wake, and why citizens are waking up in the street infected, with no memory of ever having taken the Hyde drug…

Heart-eating monsters, it turns out, are not the greatest evil they must face.


So, I’m a fan of Jekyll & Hyde. I’ve read the classic and well if you can’t tell by my reviews I’m a bit of a dork when it comes to reading supernatural genres!

Henry Jekyll was once a brilliant man who had such a strong passion for science and it was that passion which drove him to do the unthinkable. One of his assistants happened to be in the lab when he thought to test a serum out, by way of violence against a woman, Virginia Carroll. In the midst of chaos she escapes and deciding it best to flee to America rather than remain in London, she then discovers she’s with Jekyll’s child.

Enter the MC, Iris Faye, who is a strong female character with her abilities aside. She is just the right mix of feminine quality, in that she’s tender, understanding on some level, but also has a bite to her. She can hold her own and doesn’t expect help from another.

Elliot, a son of a doctor who is the Lord Mayer’s right hand, is akin to royalty in London, since the spread of the “Hyde” virus and the quarantine, there really is no government. The wealthy have become nobles, Buckingham Palace doesn’t hold true royalty anymore. Nearly a month ago Elliot thought to inject himself with a serum he created – one that would forever change him. It made him an Empath.

I came to adore and also wanted to strike Elliot a few times. Andrea Berthot created characters that had depth and individual personalities. Take away their names and you would still know who they are – this is important to me when I’m reading a book, for me it helps connect. The story could be subpar but if the characters are strong, unique and likable? Chances are I’ll really enjoy it – at least that aspect of it. They all made you feel for them in some manner. Which is great because they’re a large part of the story as well.

The plot itself was quite interesting and I enjoyed that idea, I felt as though it was missing something and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

I give it 3.5 stars. Mainly, Elliot became overwhelmingly angsty and I know his condition as an empath made him susceptible for this, but it often at times was too much.

It was a really good, quick read though and I’d definitely recommend those looking for a youthful spin on what would become of a second generation, Hyde? What would happen if it became a virus? Read to find out!





    1. It was that for sure! I’ll be looking for Andrea Berthot’s work in the future. I think.. perhaps… I heard a howl on the wind about a spin off coming out around late summer… 😉


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