Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves

From Goodreads: In 1888, following her mother's sudden death, 17-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother's request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there. But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. 

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Based on the summary, I thought Amy Carol Reeves’ Ripper had the potential to be a novel I’d really enjoy. Unfortunately, even though Jack the Ripper was on the loose, I never got the urge to flip pages as fast as possible to see what would happen next. Personally, I attribute this to the plot (which ends with an open ending) and the characters.

The first half of the book sets up how Abbie begins working at Whitechapel Hospital and introduces you to some of the doctors working there. Nothing really exciting happens until patients start getting murdered and their bodies are found mutilated. While the police suspect Jack the Ripper is potentially a doctor due to the precise incisions made on the bodies of the dead, Reeves adds a bit of intrigue by having Abbie experience visions of the serial killer before he murders each of his victims. The historical element of the book though seems to be replaced by supernatural elements in the second half – a change which I wasn’t fond of. The air of mystery around who Jack the Ripper could be disappeared; and I just couldn’t muster up the energy to care about how the supernatural twists affected Abbie. Here’s also where the characterization came in.

There’s isn’t anything about Abbie that particularly stands out in my mind other than that she doesn’t want to be a demure lady and is attracted to two doctors who form part of a lacklustre love triangle. In fact, sometimes Abbie acted like a TSTL character, running all over the place and sneaking out at night without a care for her safety.

Ripper was released on April 8, 2012 by Flux.   

Comments About the Cover: I really like the background because it manages to evoke a feeling of creepiness. I find the foreground a little odd though for some reason. 

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Flux Books) for free via NetGalley.


  1. Meh, with a TSTL protag and a pointless love triangle, this one doesn't interest me, but I would be interested in checking out The Name of the Star at some point.

    I wonder if anyone else can only see Anna Paquin when they stare at this cover...

  2. I didn't get to this one as it archived really early on Netgalley, but judging from your review it sounds like that something I wouldn't enjoy at all. Some of the flaws in this one reminds of why I didn't enjoy "The Name of the Star" by Maureen Johnson, except her Ripper was more interesting and the murders were always on the cusp of the story.

  3. Uh oh, TSTL characters are never good. I've never understood the desire to go out late at night alone when a serial killer is on the loose. I'd be shut up tight in a booby-trapped house:) I think I'll pass on this one!

  4. Z! Your frankness slays me! LOL

    I bet you are a blast to hang out with IRL.

    I can't say I really fault for not wanting to be a lady, because seriously, what woman wants that? But seriously, running around doing silly things when you could be spending time heating up that love triangle between TWO doctors. Yeah, that's no bueno!

  5. Uh oh, a TSTL heroine, eh? Boo! Thanks for the honest review. And I agree, the cover is a bit odd...

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  6. Another Jack the Ripper story!!! I think I would love it if JTR stories became a new trend -- I'm still trying to find THE one for me! :) I'm kind of sad that Jack the Ripper doesn't fully grip you in this story, but I know exactly what you mean when you say that new elements introduced in a book (like this supernatural one) usually replace older elements (like the JTR mystery) instead of coincide with them.

    Still, awesome honest review, Z! <3 :)


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