That is going to change, I have 63 ebooks I need to read and review, at least five beta reads, and a staggering TBR stack. Book reviews are going to be a lot more common on this blog. I will try to make them entertaining and as gif filled as possible.
Onto the review!
This one has been catching my eye on the shelves, for a while. I love Gothic, Victorian reads, so I added it to my list. I also have a slight interest in Jack the Ripper. I was curious how historically accurate is was going to be, and after reading the blurb I assumed, not very.
My first problem with this, is the blurb gives too much away. It was amazing how much I deduced by that simple line. This is a book with a fairly small cast of characters. I right away dismissed Jack being her love interest and settled on family. This was before I even started reading.
Second problem, she only has three family members.
Her Father- who is terrified of disease to an almost crazed affect (due to her mother's death from Scarlett fever) and addicted to opium.
Her Brother- Trying to do everything and keep it all together. The golden child.
Her Uncle- who is a Doctor and Professor, who spends most of his days cutting up corpses.
There will be no spoilers in this review, I am simply trying to show that my pool of suspects was quite small. Granted Kerri, does admirably at throwing in a slew of red herrings, I think in hopes of putting you off the scent, and I think you are supposed to assume Jack is one of her love interests. Since I had already decided against that, none of them worked to sway my opinion.
It was too simplistic for me, I was absolutely convinced of who it was in chapter three.While I was right and figured out who the Ripper was, the motive and reason behind the killings was a little harder to figure. I had a loose theory that was dashed rather quickly. That I didn't guess, and to be honest his reason was a bit unrealistic in my book. Though considering the strangeness of the actual account, I have to salute Kerri in her use of the facts to weave an intriguing story.
My only other issue is the feminism that runs rampant in this book. Now, before you all come at me with pitchforks, let me explain. I am a girl, feminism doesn't bother me on a whole. I do agree that women have been treated unfairly and history can prove that. My quibble is that Audrey Rose seems like a 2017 girl living in a 1800's world and that can take you out of the beautifully crafted world the book is set in.
I would prefer to see her more like Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes who was a bit ahead of her times and incredibly clever, still lived under the confines and propriety of her time. Audrey is not like that. She constantly bemoans her life and confines of her gender, even though she is rich and besides having an unwell father, has a fairly easy life. All intense scenes are accompanied by her complaining about her skirts. I don't think a 1800's girl would care or even be concerned about it. It was just how things were. She also does some stupid things, and wait for it is saved by a man. For all of its gallant attempts, this book fails to break away from some overused tropes.
Now, onto the parts I did like.
The setting of this book was gorgeous. Detailed and well researched, the author put in the work, and loved how she worked in so many tidbits about the time period and the sensory details were delightful. It was so wonderfully Gothic, and perfect read for this time of year.
Also all the medical and procedural facts were interesting and added a lot to the story. Macabre and creepy, exactly what I would expect from this type of novel. I learned a lot about postmortems and organs and blood splatter. The tension and stakes were high, the pacing was fast. I never felt like the story dragged. I tore through it in about a day.
The writing was fantastic, I love the way the author twists her words. The description was always so clear and well detailed. The characters are both colorful and enjoyable. She also gets a lot of points in my book for creating the wondrous beast that is Thomas Cresswell. The perfect blend of English gentlemen and complete scoundrel. He also has a mind like Sherlock Holmes, along with a gorgeous face. Him and Audrey make for a hilarious duo, who are constantly trying to one up the other.
As for content, for those of you wondering. It's a story about Jack the Ripper, expect it to be dark, bloody, and fairly violent. It would be a disappointment otherwise.
I would give this book four stars.
Despite my few quibbles, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I bought the second one the day after I finished it. That review will be next. I think this author will be staying on the bestseller list for awhile.