March 28, 2013

Review: Ripper

By: Amy Carol Reeves
Published: April 2012 by Flux
Format: Paperback, 340 pages
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

I felt hot breath on my neck, and, horrified, I knew that he stood behind me...

It's 1888, and after her mother's sudden death, Abbie is sent to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. When she begins volunteering at Whitechapel Hospital, Abbie finds she has a passion for helping the abused and sickly women there. But within days, patients begin turning up murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. As more women are murdered, Abbie realizes that she and the Ripper share a strange connection: she has visions showing the Ripper luring his future victims to their deaths--moments before he turns his knife upon them. Her desperation to stop the massacres leads Abbie on a perilous hunt for the killer. And her search leads to a mysterious brotherhood whose link to the Ripper threatens not just London but all of mankind.

Rating: 1.5/5

Jack the Ripper, the serial killer that fascinates so many, even after a century and some twenty years. Don't lie, you know you're fascinated on some level about what happened in the East End, and I am too. That's why I grabbed this book without reading much of the description and without bothering to read a bit of it first. It's my mistake.

In the beginning, Abbie chases a pickpocket and I thought to myself that this book was probably going to be pretty good. I'm a sucker for Victorian pickpockets. Don't ask me why. But the book took a downward turn for me after that. It just wasn't for me.

Let me start with Abbie. I just didn't like her. She annoyed me. I felt Reeves attempted to make her this strong, bad-ass-sort-of character, but she came off as...well, an attempted strong, bad-ass-sort-of character. I didn't like being in her head, I never felt the fear from her or the emotion, and the emotion was what I really wanted. When it came to her love interests--which...I don't particularly know if it was a love triangle, a love square, a love...whatever--I felt nothing. Not a thing. That probably also stems from the fact that I didn't like any of the other characters. Except for maybe Mariah, and Mary was all right too. Characters that I liked the most were hardly in the story, which is a problem.

The plot was all right. The overall premise was a great one. A paranormal twist on the classic serial killer with a girl who sees visions of when he strikes? Very cool. But I just don't know how I feel about its execution. It was exciting for me. I never had my heart racing. I never cared to guess who the Ripper was or what was really going on. Instead, I found myself skimming. And oh dear, when I start to skim, that's not a good thing. I was out of the story and found myself incredibly bored. 

What bothered me the most, though, was the writing. The dialogue felt forced and over the top to the point where I found myself groaning. Writing historical dialogue is hard, I get it, but I think Reeves took it too far. The style was much too tell-y for me. I did this and I thought that throw me out of the story like I was some bug crawling across the pages. Notice the "tagline" of narration at the top of this. Why need the "and, horrified"? I mean, seriously. Don't tell me she's horrified, for crying out loud. The effing Ripper is there. You better be scared, girl. Why need the "I knew he stood behind me"? Hello! You felt his hot breath, girl. Course he's there! Jesus Christ.

I'm being rather hard on this book. Maybe because I expected to be blown away with creativity and an interesting twist on The Ripper. Maybe I've never read a Flux book I didn't like. Maybe I saw so much behind the writing and the characterization that when it didn't pull through, I just got mad and sad and all those feels. For me, the book had a lot of potential. It was a quick read and I really enjoyed the general premise, but it just wasn't for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment