Even though this type of book is right up my alley, it was kind of a let down
Reviewed in the United States on 31 October 2019
This book, oh man. I cannot tell you how excited I was to read this book! I mean, it’s right up my alley! Hunting down a notorious serial killer? Ummm, yes please! Unfortunately, it was kind of a let down 😩 I'm disappointed and it's almost at myself for not loving it? Which I know is insane. But I was so looking forward to it and it was just not what I expected at all.
I think one of my main issues with the book was the action... or, the lack of action, I should say. I came into this book thinking it was going to be this intense mystery/thriller—I mean, we are talking about Jack the freaking Ripper here! But there wasn't really anything thrilling about it! Not like the thrillers I'm used to, anyway. We were halfway into book when I realized that nothing had happened. They’re working on unraveling the mystery, sure, but it was all so painfully slow! And even the end was anticlimactic! Sure, things went down, but there was no real fight between the characters.
But speaking about the mystery, I figured out who the Ripper was way ahead of time, and Audrey Rose was being unbelievably blind about it and it was driving me insane! It was frustrating because she kept trying to force, her suspicions, I guess, onto this one person, when it didn’t make sense. She was aware that it did not make sense, yet she was still determined to find this guy guilty. There was one other person that did make sense and she did not see it! It was so obvious to me who it was, chapters ahead of the reveal! I had even figured out the motive. But Audrey Rose was being very dense, the killer was literally right in front of her face, and we were in his lair, and she still didn’t put things together! Not even by his demeanor which gave everything away! We, the audience, pretty much already knew who the Ripper was, but not Audrey Rose. Nope. I could not believe how dumb she was being. It was frustrating!
But I will give the book this, that ending still surprised me. While I had figured out who the killer was and what their motive was, what was being done was even more terrifying than I imagined. It was insane!
As for the characters... they were... fine. Okay, my favorite character was actually Audrey Rose’s brother Nathaniel. He was so funny and sassy and I just really loved his relationship with his sister. Audrey Rose loves her brother and he’s very protective of her, and I just felt like they had a great sibling relationship going on. It was very heartwarming. I always love a good sibling relationship.
Audrey Rose I really liked in the beginning. So, this book obviously takes place in the 1880s when the Ripper murders went down, but I really liked that Audrey Rose was ahead of her time and she was her own independent woman. She was feisty and sassy and took shit from no one. I loved Audrey Rose’s snarky moments when she would talk back to the condescending men around her. That was fun. Lol. There was a part where she confronted her dad and she told him that respect is earned not given and just so much yes! That was an awesome scene! BUT...
Mother used to say, “Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”
I loved this, I really did, but it got old fast! Girl, I freaking get it! You live in the 1800s back when they thought males were the superior gender and women only served to, well, serve their husbands and carry their children. I get it! I get that they try to put you down and think less of you because you are a woman. I get that you can do what they can do, better even, and you show them so. Good for you girl, really. But I get it! Is the repetitiveness of me telling you that 'I get it' bothering you yet? Because this is what it was like reading this book. It was very repetitive when mentioning all of this. Over and over and over.
Audrey Rose: "I was a young girl growing up in a world run by old men. I’d pick and choose my battles wisely."
Me: Yes, as we are reminded every other freaking page! I. Get. It.
And then there’s the love interest, Thomas. I tried to like him, I really did. But it just didn’t happen. I almost feel like he was supposed to be portrayed almost like Jace/Will Herondale from the Shadowhunters Chronicles— arrogant but charismatic and lovable. But Thomas just wasn't quite there. He’s got the arrogance down pat, but besides that, he’s pretty emotionless. It is mentioned a lot throughout the book how he’s so good at turning off his emotions... umm, yeaaah. That was my issue! He was practically a robot! Jace and Will are arrogant, yes, but they’re also sassy and fun and have a range of emotions. I mean, Audrey Rose noted his “frigid demeanor” and this is what bothered me about Thomas! She claims that Thomas is only charming when he’s around her (and she adds “occasionally” to that statement! Occasionally !), but I was like. “Pfft, not even.” Lol. And his flirtations towards the end of the book just made me go 🙄😒 because I just wasn’t into him. There was nothing charismatic about him. Three pages before the end of the book is when Thomas decided to FINALLY shows some emotion. Took him long enough. 🙄 He just left much to be desired, and I think that's what pushed me to pick up City of Fallen Angels after I finished this, which I think I should thank this book for because I enjoyed it quite a bit! Lol.
And I’m sorry I keep comparing him to the Herondale boys, but I can't help it! The Infernal Devices takes place around that same time and I don’t remember Tessa being so annoying with her independent woman thing. Like, I’m all for it, obviously, but you don’t have to hit me over the head with it! And there's also the similarities between the love interests, Will and Thomas. I obviously prefer Will who IS arrogant and can be quite a jerk, but at least he shows emotions. He actually feels like a real human being!
And okay, I do admit that Audrey Rose and Thomas had some fun interactions and bickering and stuff. Some. 😉
I had such high hopes for this book. I kept hearing great things about it and was so excited to read it. And then I finally did and I was reading along just waiting for some action to take place, just waiting for me to fall in love with Thomas... and it just didn’t happen. I am so stunned because this book is right up my alley! Mysteries? Yes please! But this mystery was predictable, there were no thrills, the characters were meh most of the time, and while I loved Audrey Rose for being ahead of her time and being independent, the repetitiveness of her saying so was beyond frustrating. It was such a disappointment and I am genuinely sad it didn't work out for me. I did love that Audrey Rose was a woman of science and she was basically training to be a medical examiner—that is awesome! And this actually made the book nice and gory, which I liked. And that end with her dad was very cool! Very heartwarming. So even though this book was mostly a disappointment, there were some things I liked about it. But will I be continuing this series? Yes. But only because I own the other two books. Lol. I've been buying the series as it was releasing thinking I was going to love it. So since I have them, I might as well read them. 🤷♀️
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