My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Brimming with romance and danger, the suspenseful Ripper series continues
The Conclave—a secret group with twisted ideals and freakish practices—has been wiped out, thanks to Arabella Sharp. Now there’s a new malevolence afoot. Fishermen are getting killed, their partially devoured bodies washing up on the shores of Scotland. Is the Ripper responsible? Or have the Conclave’s sinister experiments left behind something more monstrous? Abbie fears the worst when her beloved Dr. William Siddal vanishes. To save the man she loves, Abbie must comply with the Ripper’s dreadful orders—and put her own life in grave danger" -Goodreads.com
Arabella Sharp is tormented. Tormented by her past, her visions, her paramours and of course, tormented by Max. She only thinks the Conclave is done, but it may be just beginning. Max still persistently pursues Abbie, albeit from a distance, as he tries once again to get her to join him in taking the elixir and becoming immortal. He has a new plan, Seraphina, and it looks like a new pawn as well, William.
"There couldn't be a hell, because if there was one, I would be burning in it already." (loc. 2129)
Although I found the story interesting, it seems to deviate a lot from the first book. I felt like it was a completely different book, or series, as it really doesn't have anything ripper-related. In the first book, I became very fond of Abbie and her revolutionary ways towards women's' liberation and standards, but in this book I found her weak and diminished. This, I have resolved, is because of her crippling love propelled actions and decisions. I personally would have nothing to do with William, especially with the way he transformed, it's quite dangerous. Yet Abbie has another courter, Simon, who is sensitive, well-recieved and tame. Guess who she keeps getting drawn back into. William. This not only made him distasteful, in my eyes, but I was also rooting against him the entire book. Perhaps this is the authors plan? For all I know he could be possessed, or turning into an immortal vampire of some such. I'll have to find out in the next book.
Love triangle aside, with the story starting off a bit slow, I was very pleased to have the plot pick up more after Part Two. I enjoyed Seraphina as an antagonist and wish she had more power and that her wrath with Abbie lasted longer. Maybe even have her side with Abbie to go against Max, since he has enraged them both. The mysterious plights of William kept me a little more interested in the story as well, because you get a sense that he has something to do with the cemetery murders and will play a very important part in Max's plan. I feel like Max is more after William than Abbie, and that this ploy is foreshadowing the next book, which I wouldn't mind reading as well.
Amy Carol Reeves' writing style is wonderful. Her word choices and syntax feel historically accurate and makes reading the book enjoyable as she takes her readers into the dark depths of murder and revenge as it spans not only Whitechapel and it's surrounding locations, but social classes as well. The author brings us into a new, paranormal and mythological, view of The Ripper and how as an organization, it spans even greater than what is humanly perceivable.
From the day I happened across the first book, Ripper, in my local library last year, to now finishing the second book, Renegade, I have no regrets. This is an interesting take on Jack the Ripper and I have enjoyed the vision that Reeves has set before us. I look forward to the third book of the series as this one guides us through the understanding that Max is not to be underestimated in who he will use, and what he will do to obtain the elixir and to have Arabella Sharp all to himself.
"Reason could not persuade me that I had not fallen into a web, some terrible game." (loc. 943)
First Line: "She strayed further from her home than she had in years." (loc. 24)
Last Line: "'He is doing dark deeds, dark and terrible deeds.'" (loc. 3190)
Review of Ripper (Ripper #1)
Galley provided by NetGalley via Flux books
*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes.
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Expected publication: April 8th 2013 by Flux (first published April 1st 2013)
ISBN: 0738732621 (ISBN13: 9780738732626)