The Jekyll Revelation is a two for one story. First off, you get a great story about Rafael Salazar, an environmental scientist working in rural southern California. Then, you also get a fictionalized journal of Robert Louis Stevenson. And from me you’re going to get a two for one book review.
Once I saw The Jekyll Revelation, I thought that I should read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I know it sounds terrible, but I had never read this classic before; sure, I’ve seen the adaptations, thought that I knew the story, but now I know and understand that I never really knew Stevenson’s story at all.
My favorite part of The Jekyll Revelation was Stevenson’s journal. I loved how Masello captured the spirit of the times. There was a true distinction between the style, tone and vocabulary of the journal and Rafael’s story. This gave a certain “credibility” to the journal. I felt like I was reading Stevenson’s actual journal.
It is easy to forget that the late eighteen hundreds were a renaissance period in English literature. Masello gives us a vivid reminder through the journal. We get to meet Stoker and hear about Oscar Wilde, and Gilbert and Sullivan. Again, it’s easy to forget that all of these literary icons were working with, and competing against one another.
Masello gave me two underdog heroes to root for. Rafael and Louis both had their challenges and demons to fight. I connected with both and I loved the back and forth journey with each one.
Early on I thought that I knew where each of the stories were going and they both more or less did go in that general direction, but the author took me in some unexpected directions and not exactly where I thought that I would end up. That is the sign of an excellent storyteller.