Author: Amy Carol Reeves
Pub: April 2012; Flux
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Thriller
Etc: Props up to NetGalley
Here's the thing about this book...if it did not revolve around the historical and commercialized serial killer Jack the Ripper, I think that the book will be a bit forgettable. Luckily, the author was clever enough to write a plot around him though because the characterization and development just isn't enough to keep this book on the forefront of one's mind.
After losing her mom, Arabella is forced to leave the life of traveling and working class to live with her wealthy and diplomatic grandmother. Arabella is surrounding my luxury and stuffiness, so she jumps at the opportunity to work at the Whitechapel Hospital in the desolate side of London. Whitechapel is known for its charity toward the street prostitutes and their problems. For obvious reasons, the upper east side of London prefers to overlook these degenerates. Her grandmother becomes even more reluctant of Abbie's new job when a murderer is attacking those women that the hospital protects, heals, and saves.
This WOULD work. In fact it SHOULD work. Reeves is clever enough to even throw in a hint of mysticism. Abbie gets visions, and as the murders increase she almost seems to see through the Ripper's eyes. This part is pretty fascinating. Also, I won't share any spoilers, but the whole coming together of the story is equally as interesting. Clever, clever Miss Reeves.
So, why did this book not wow? I mean, there are so many wonderful elements that would make this a great work, right? This is going to sound lame, so please, no shoe throwing. Bottom line is I just didn't care for any of the characters. I know, I know. Geez, of course I realize how that sounds. But it's true!! There were boys. And there was some love. And some friendship. AND EVEN family matters. But if you were to ask me the deets of any of those, I'd have scarce the memory to tell you and I've only read one other book since completely this one. Not good, people, not good at all.
Which means, what did we learn? Reading the Ripper will be loads of fun. It will entertain. It will be clever. It will even keep you up into the wee hours of the night. BUT if you read this when it first comes out, I seriously doubt you'll remember much about it when you log your top ten lists of 2012.
So, read. Have fun. And then let it go.