Book Review: The Heartless City

The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot - eBook, 241 pages - Published by Curiosity Quills Press (first published August 17th 2015)

The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot – eBook, 241 pages – Published by Curiosity Quills Press (first published August 17th 2015)

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return of my honest opinion.

The Heartless City is based on the infamous story of Jekyll & Hyde, with a wonderful new plot.

London is infested with Hydes thanks to Dr Henry Jekyll. Jekyll is also responsible for Iris; an American girl with a unique talent.

Buckingham palace is home to the Lord Mayor, as well as his son Cam and the doctor and his own son, Elliott Morrissey. Elliott also has a strange gift, but not one he was born with. After taking a serum intended to remove his empathy, Elliott found that it did quite the opposite. Instead, he became an empath – able to feel the emotions of those around him as if they were his own.

The characters in this old-fashioned story are all very different, including the strong, independent female figure of 15-year-old Philomena Blackwell. She refuses to fit in with the typical norms of her time, which I really liked.

Elliott’s new empathy is also used to confront the negative opinions on homosexuality when he feels his friends love for each other and realises that it is no different to the love he himself would feel for a girl. I absolutely loved this little sub-plot.

The book is written to sound like it was written in the 1900s, when it was set. However, I found the story a little slow at times, and then far too fast toward the end. Everything just kind of happened all at once. That being said, the conclusion was very clever and interesting.

It was definitely an interesting read. I tend to just read more modern novels, so this was a refreshing change. But there are definitely a few things that could be changed, so I’m going to give 3.5 stars to The Heartless City.



  1. I recently read this book, too, and I like that you mentioned Elliot growing to accept his friends’ homosexuality. It was a good sub-plot for the book. Unfortunately, I have to say that I didn’t find the ending to be interesting given the predictability of it and it truly did kind of all drop at once. It was kind of anti-climactic in my opinion. Even so, it was an interesting book to read. Perhaps, I too, am more accustomed to a different style of book. Nice review. ^.^

    Liked by 1 person

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