Author: Amy Carol Reeves
Cover Art:Dominick Finelle
Genre: Paranormal YA
Reviewed by: Kristina
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
In 1888, following her mother’s sudden death, seventeen-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. Even more horrifying, Abbie starts having strange visions that lead her straight to the Ripper’s next massacres. As her apparent psychic connection with the twisted killer grows stronger, Abbie is drawn into a deadly mystery involving the murders, her mother’s shadowed past, and a secret brotherhood of immortals—who’ll stop at nothing to lure Abbie into its “humanitarian” aims.
Amy Carol Reeves’s RIPPER brings a supernatural twist to one of the most famous serial killers to come out of London. A lot of the story takes place in the Whitechapel Hospital and here we see allusions to the murders before they happen in the story with a lot of historical details from the original Ripper cases including victim names, body discovery, and even authentic recounting of the dismemberment. This foreshadowing combined with the fact that one of the real theories is that Ripper was a doctor helped to increase the sense of foreboding and dread I felt while reading. I was suspicious of any doctor in Whitechapel Hospital which ended up being at least half of the secondary characters which wonderfully amped up the suspense and mystery.
While I enjoyed the unique story surrounding the Ripper murders I had issues with the paranormal aspects. Abbie has visions of the murders before they happen. We are given little reasoning for why Abbie has these visions besides a possible genetic link, and they didn’t do much to help that couldn’t have been done through non supernatural means. I felt RIPPER could have been just fine without the supernatural elements and been categorized as historical fiction instead of anything paranormal.
Visions aside, Abbie is a smart, resourceful, determined character but even knowing that she grew up on the mean streets of Dublin, I was baffled at her ability to fight. She seemed to be able to brutally fend off multiple grown men which, unless there was some hidden supernatural strength that came with her visions, didn’t make logical sense.
Overall, RIPPER did a good job exploring one of the most heinous unsolved crime sprees in history. It was creepy and suspenseful and kept me on my toes especially when Abbie got closer to discovering the true identity of Jack the Ripper. I really liked the focus on the horror and the mystery to identify the Ripper but felt the story could have been better without the supernatural elements.