Sunday, June 3, 2012

DAC IV ~ April: Ripper

Author: Amy Carol Reeves

Summary: A paranormal mystery involving London’s most notorious killer 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.
My Review: While I've rather grown to like spins on the infamous Jack the Ripper, this one was slightly lacking in certain aspects. I hate to right off the bat put down a book and I did like it for various reasons, but over all it was just a light, quick read and since it was so short, it lacked description and detail in certain areas.
Characters: The characters were interesting and I was immediately from the get-go trying to figure out who Ripper was (I turned out to be half right). I found Arabella to be a bit too reckless and some the character relationships a bit dull. I think if a bit more research had been done to make this a bit longer and little more effort was put into the characters personalities, it may have been a better read.
Plot: While it was interesting how Reeves angled the story to try and explain the identity of the Ripper, I couldn't help feeling like I'd seen this angle somewhere before. Or it just didn't have enough depth to it to make it believable. And it just followed along at Arabella slowly got intermingled with the Ripper case. The area with her having visions of the attacks was extremely irritating. If we want to see what the villain is up to, we right in third person, we do not resort to visions. Whenever authors get that through their heads, I'll never know.
Disclaimers: We're talking about Jack the Ripper here, and Arabella works at a hospital, so there's some rather disgusting description. I wouldn't say though that it was thoroughly disgusting. I mean, we have her gagging and loosing super over what she sees and all we manage is a half hearted squirm. It's one of those instance where as much as I'd hate to read it, there just wasn't enough detail. I think there may have some brief language but it's the out-of-place kind. Another thing that bothered me about this book was when it got iffy it was all of a sudden, and didn't fit at all. Sensual wise it was tame, but there is some playful bantering/flittering and kissing and it just was such a short book and it just didn't feel right in that aspect,like it was thrown in just because. Later on we have it a bit more intense when Arabella gets attacked. Though nothing too risque happens, it just, yet again, feels out of place. As if these are the only factors that make it young adult level.
Favorite Character: William
Favorite Quote: N/A
Recommended: Older teens
Over-all Rating: ★★★☆☆
~ Darkitty

Blood Red Road
by Moira Young

Burton & Swinburne: Book 3 ~ Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon

Author: Mark Hodder

Summary: It is 1863, but not the one it should be. Time has veered wildly off course, and now the first moves are being made that will lead to a devastating world war and the fall of the British Empire.
The prime minister, Lord Palmerston, believes that by using the three Eyes of Naga - black diamonds possessing unique properties - he'll be able to manipulate events and avoid the war. He already has two of the stones, but the third is hidden somewhere in the Mountains of the Moon, the fabled source of the Nile.
Palmerston sends Sir Richard Francis Burton to recover it. For the Kin's agent, it's a chance to redeem himself after his previous failed attempt to find the source of the great river. That occasion had led to betrayal by his partner, John Hanning Speke. Now Speke is leading a rival expedition on behalf of the Germans, and it seems that the battle between the former friends my ignite the very war that Palmerston is trying to avoid!
My Review: I've liked these books better and better, but with Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon, I wasn't entirely pleased with it. I mean, the graphic detail isn't something I enjoyed. I did like how Hodder was still throwing in time travel and still explaining things that happened back in book one. He's description and fun characters keep you reading till the end.
Characters: I find it amazing, I've never read the work of an author who thoroughly doesn't think twice about offing his characters. I mean you just read along, slack-jawed as one by one they "leave" the plot-line. But still, beyond that, they are all just as fun to read about, the good and the bad and those hovering in between.
Plot: I must say, some aspects where a bit predictable. I don't mean everything, but by now you should be very familiar with how Hodder is think and where he wants everything to go. I'm not saying the end itself but certain aspects were no surprise to me. I actually was a bit miffed when he decided to "dispose" of a certain character, but I of course I knew that was going to happen since the beginning of this story arc. Now just impatiently awaiting his next few books.
Disclaimers: I really believe these books have gotten more violent as they've gone along. I wouldn't say they've gotten worse in any other areas, but definitely with the gore. With it's setting in a wild Africa and the back and forth due to time travel, we experience firsthand the terrors of war with Hodder's vivid description. Truly not for the faint of heart. The profanity is still hovering where it always is and sensual wise, it's relatively tame. And as a side note, we're still mentioning Darwin here and there. And there was mention of one gay relationship but nothing intense.
Favorite Character: Swinburne
Favorite Quote:
“The four stern engines have gone wonky. I think it's something to do with the doo-dah forcing the thingamajig to bang against the wotsitsname. There's not much poetry in engineering, is there?”
~ Algernon Swinburne
Recommended: Adult
Over-all Rating: ★★★★☆
~ Darkitty
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