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Ripper

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3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,647 Ratings  ·  476 Reviews
You thought you knew him. You were dead wrong.

Carver Young dreams of becoming a detective, despite growing up in an orphanage with only crime novels to encourage him. But when he is adopted by Detective Hawking of the world famous Pinkerton Agency, Carver is given not only the chance to find his biological father, he finds himself smack in the middle of a real life investi
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Hardcover, 427 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Philomel Books
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2012 Young Adult Standalone Challenge
121st out of 242 books — 904 voters
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YA Historical Fiction 2012
58th out of 126 books — 804 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joseph
Mar 03, 2016 Joseph rated it liked it
"It's Harry Potter meets Angels and Demons!" Which sounds like a great story idea if your plan is to replace your editor's irises with dollar signs. In practice, this young adult novel suffers from being a little too familiar for anyone who's read the most popular of fiction.

Ripper is the story of Carver Young; a bullied orphan with skills. His notable companions at the orphanage are a brilliant, know-it-all girl who doubles as a love interest and a socially clumsy, misunderstood, red-headed bu
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Hazel West
May 15, 2013 Hazel West rated it it was amazing
To make a long story short: I totally loved this book! This is by far the best YA book that has come out this year--and in a long time as well. I loved the characters and their interactions with each other, and the whole story line was great as well. It was fast-paced, and, while, yes, it was predictable, adventure stories usually are and that doesn't take away from my love of this book. It was also a good "guy read" and books guys can enjoy are very few and far between in the Young Adult genre. ...more
antrea
May 18, 2012 antrea rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: 4-7 grade
I grabbed this book from the YA section of the library because the plot seemed amazing and intriguing.

The plot may still be amazing and intriguing - I couldn't force myself to finish it - but the writing style was not. Reading this book reminded me of years ago when I was reading my first chapter book. The chapters are annoyingly short and have abrupt cutoff points; after reading the first 5 or so chapters in about as many minutes, I quickly scanned to the back of the book and was not surprised
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Scott
May 30, 2012 Scott rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
So Stefan Petrucha has let old Saucy Jack out of the garden shed, this time to run around New York and get chased by a teen with steampunk gadgets out of an old Wild Wild West TV script. This is a kind of YA "The Alienist" as it is the mid 1890s and so the NYC police commissioner is Teddy Roosevelt, who is mostly antagonistic to the young hero, Carver Young (groan with me at the name) an orphan who wants to become a detective, for probably the same reason that Hermie the Elf wanted to be a denti ...more
rachel
As a fan of alternate histories (think The Alienist, another book featuring Teddy Roosevelt as a main character, or The Man in the High Castle), this is one of the craziest examples of the genre that I have ever read.

To wit (and really, don't read these spoilers if there's a chance you might read the book; I'm giving up EVERYTHING here):

(view spoiler)
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Ms. Yingling
Jan 14, 2013 Ms. Yingling rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Carver Young wants to be a detective, so when he is adopted from the orphange in 1895 by Detective Hawking of the New Pinkertons agency, he is happy. Several other children in the orphange have been adopted by families in the same circle, his friend Delia by a news reporter. There has just been a Jack the Ripper-like murder, and certain segments of New York society, especially Theodore Roosevelt, the Police Commissioned, are concerned. Hawking puts Carver to the task of finding Carver's father, ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
This may be a case of disappointed expectations.

I was first drawn to this book for the obvious reason that stories of Jack the Ripper interest me. I think it's the morbid fascination of an unsolved mystery - who was this man that did these horrible things, and what compelled him to act? So the large, bold word Ripper across the book with a slash of blood diagonally across - well, it draws the eye, dunnit?

And the blurb seemed interesting. An established fan of YA titles, I thought it could be an
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Erin
Dec 21, 2011 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, ya
This book was _so good_. Every time I was between commutes (when I read), I wanted to get back to it. It was serious and well crafted, the are characters complete, and overall the book had a gravity to it that reminded me of books written in the past. Definitely feels timeless.

I worried that the ending would disappoint me (as compared with the rest of the book), but it wasn't bad at all. Really, I can't get over how much I enjoyed this book. Of course, it being YA, there are some contrivances,
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Kyle Escotf
Nov 02, 2014 Kyle Escotf rated it it was amazing
The genre of this book is adventure/survival, mystery, and realistic fiction. The main characters of the book Ripper by Stefan Petrucha are Carver, Delia, Finn, and Mr. Hawking. Carver young an orphan from Ellis orphanage wants to be a detective because he wants to find out who his real dad is. One day his dream comes true when Mr. Hawking comes and leaves coordinates of the Pinkerton headquarters at Ellis orphanage. Once at the headquarters Carver shows Tudd Septimus his letters from his father ...more
Amy
Oct 17, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Wow. I had a feeling this book would be great, but I had no clue it would be as wonderful as it turned out to be. I’m in love. Can I have more books starring Carver, Delia, and Finn?

Carver Young is just a poor orphan with a lock-picking skill and a love for mysteries, when he gets oddly “adopted” by a retired Pinkerton agent, Albert Hawking. Hawking plans to teach Carver how to be a great detective, although his methods are quite crazy. Craver is brought into a secret society of detectives and i
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Mitch
May 09, 2012 Mitch rated it it was ok
A severe case of reader/book incompatibility. If I'd been half my age, I'd have given Ripper double the rating I'm giving it now, because the classification on this one is wrong. Despite the serious subject matter, Ripper is NOT a young adult book, it's a children's book. The writing style, the plot on rails, the transparent characters, I would've loved this book years ago, but now that I'm looking for something a bit more serious, meatier and grittier, all of it just irks me.

Actually, part of m
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SunriseDemon
Jun 03, 2012 SunriseDemon rated it it was amazing
I had just picked up a few books on my way home, and thought this looked interesting. What I didn't think was that I would be rushing to finish it in four hours. The entire plot is completly original, even though Jack the Ripper has been used before.

The phenomenon of serial killers is as interesting as it is terrifying, and Stefan Petrucha uses the terror to his advantage. The characters are multi-faceted and not cookie cutter and one dimensional.

One of the biggest plusses would have to be
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Zahra Jeraj
Jun 05, 2015 Zahra Jeraj rated it it was amazing
OMG this book is amazing and is now my new favorite books. Ripper is an amazing mystery and crime book based on Jack the Ripper. It is the best book and the plot is amazing. I figured out who the next victim was going to be and that what I love about the book, the fact that I had that chance and the fact that it explains all the step the detectives go through to solve these mysteries. I love books like this that have a lot of suspense and crime solving. The cover of the copy that I read from say ...more
Zachery Martin
Jan 25, 2016 Zachery Martin rated it really liked it
This book is about Carver, a 14 year old boy who lives in an orphanage. After being chosen by Mr. Hawking, Carver is part of a secret organization called the New Pinkertons and is given the task to find his dad after he discovered a note in the orphanage. This was a pretty good book because the ending explained everything in the whole entire book and had a satisfying middle section. The only reason I rated the book 4 stars was because the beginning of the book dragged and made me bored. You also ...more
Jessica Day
Jul 25, 2012 Jessica Day rated it liked it
Ripper is marketed towards the older YA audience due to its dark subject matter but I think it’s a better read for older Preteen/Younger YA readers. Yes, Ripper revolves around the future murders of the infamous Jack the Ripper, the characters and predictability are better suited for a younger reader level. Older readers will find the mystery predictable and the main character a tad juvenile, but younger readers will be able to appreciate the mystery more and relate more with Carter and Delilah. ...more
Mara
Wow. A truly amazing murder mystery/what if historical-fiction. I absolutely loved this book. Intriguing and fast-paced from the very beginning, Ripper is, in my opinion, one of the best YA books published this year. Carver is a resourceful young man, inquisitive, witty, and everything an amateur detective character should be. And he admires all of the best and brightest literary detectives. And Hawking has the classic, yet perfect, humor that all "foul-tempered, old mentors" are supposed to hav ...more
Travis Starnes
Oct 27, 2013 Travis Starnes rated it it was amazing
The plot progresses quickly with lots of exciting turns. This is obvious considering that at the beginning of the book Carver is in an orphanage and eventually ends up chasing Jack the Ripper. Along the way Carver meets future president Roosevelt, lives in an asylum and researches in a secret underground base. Stefan was able to take these great ideas and turn them into an amazing book with a fast-paced plot that keeps you wondering what will happen.

The book from the mystery standpoint is fantas
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Kara
May 03, 2012 Kara rated it really liked it
As seen on: Bookosaur

4.5/5

This book is bloody fantastic. See what I did there? Bloody fantastic, since it's a novel about Jack the Ripper?

. . . Oh, hey. I didn't expect you to continue reading after my word play there. Your persistence could only mean one thing: you really want to read a review. Alright, alright . . .

I loved this book to pieces.

. . . You're still here? Seriously? Even after thatone? Though I have many more of those bad boys up my sleeve, I will nonetheless crackon with my review
...more
Cyndy Aleo
Aug 22, 2011 Cyndy Aleo rated it really liked it
True confession time: when my name was called at Penguin's "What's Coming" panel at San Diego Comic-Con last month, I was a little disappointed, as just a few books earlier, they had an early release of the latest Dresden Files book, which wasn't yet out in stores. Still, the idea of an upper-middle-grade book about Jack the Ripper was an intriguing premise, and my kids go through books like potato chips. I put it off for a few weeks, because middle grade isn't normally my comfort zone in readin ...more
Amy Becker
Nov 27, 2012 Amy Becker rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-literature
Stefan Petrucha does an excellent job of showing a whole different side to Jack the Ripper in this exciting historical fiction, detective, mystery, thriller. We are introduced to the character of 14 year-old Carver Young as his orphanage is closing down and Detective Hawking, of the Pinkerton Agency, adopts him as a sort of apprentice. From there on out we are taken around New York City in the midst of numerous murders as Carver tries to learn who his biological father and where his true loyalti ...more
Danielle D
Aug 18, 2012 Danielle D rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-steam-punk
RIPPED caught my eye because of its visually appealing cover, and I bought it because the premise sounded promising. The story starts with a young man who is in search of his father. In this process, he hooks up with some of the best detectives in the world and gets sucked into the hunt for Jack the Ripper who appears to have begun killing women in NYC. It sounded dark and suspenseful, and I was excited to get started.

While the book was entertaining, I had a hard time imagining for what audience
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Cayla
Jan 05, 2014 Cayla rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I admit, I almost didn't read this book. I'm not a big fan of horror and too much gore turns me off as a distinct lack of creativity - and I fully expected 'Ripper', based on the title, genre, and cover, to be full of flying limbs and meticulously described mutilated bodies. A book about Jack the Ripper? It seemed inevitable. Thank goodness another reader(Mara :D) read the book before me and dispelled my fears. Given her glowing review and tempted by the intriguing description, I decided to take ...more
Kaye
Okay, you say that there's not enough YA for boys? Here, gentlemen, is a title that should tide you over.

At least for a little while.

Carver Young is an orphan. He has no idea about who his parents are, or what happened to them, but he does know one thing: he is meant to be a detective. Of course, that's a bit of a dream when you're living in an orphanage and reading dime novels to make use of your time. However, everything changes for him when he's adopted by retired (cantankerous, eccentric - w
...more
Trevor
Apr 10, 2012 Trevor rated it it was ok
A lot of people on this site seem to REALLY like this book, so maybe the problem is with me. I mean, I wanted to like it. I'm a sucker for Jack the Ripper stories, and Teddy Roosevelt is my favorite President. A fictional story pitting the two against each other should be right up my alley. But, in the end, I just found this one to be annoyingly over-plotted and convoluted. Carver Young, the 14-year-old orphan hero of the book, goes on a search for his father, which ends up getting him enlisted ...more
Andrew
Nov 11, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An orphan, fourteen-year-old Carver Young, is brought under the tutelage of a veteran detective belonging to a clandestine agency, where he is encouraged to hone his craft and solve a mystery that has plagued him all his young life: who is his father? Meanwhile, all across the city, mutilated bodies of aristocrat women are being discovered leaving many to believe that the infamous Jack the Ripper has resurfaced and taken up shop in New York City. With the city in crisis Carver is recruited to he ...more
Jan
Sep 15, 2012 Jan rated it it was ok
This was an exciting historical novel about Jack the Ripper, that brings the infamous serial killer to Gilded Age New York City. Carver has lived all his life in an orphanage, but one day is suddenly adopted by a Sherlock Holmes-esque Pinkerton detective named Hawking. Carver is determined to find out more about his family, but the only clue that he possesses is a letter purported to be from his father. Once he begins training under Hawking's tutelage, he begins to investigate the letter, which ...more
Taylor Verboven
Jan 04, 2015 Taylor Verboven rated it it was ok
The characters in this book are Carver, Mr. Hawking, Delia, Finn, and the ripper. Carver starts out living in Ellis orphanage dreaming of becoming a detective so that he can find out who his father is. One day Mr. Hawking makes that dream come true and takes him in as a detective. When Carver arrives at the headquarters, he is greeted by Tudd who asks him to turn over the letters he received from his dad at the orphanage. Carver reluctantly does as told. After Tudd looks at the letter a little c ...more
Ray
Dec 02, 2014 Ray rated it it was amazing
When fourteen year old Carver Young is adopted by a former detective of a world-renowned agency, he has no idea the mystery that he is going to solve in his first few months. Connecting a string of grisly murders to another mystery . . . that of the identity of his father. Stefan Petrucha has created a heart-stopping book, full of twists and turns at every corner. He knows exactly what to say, so that the reader is always entertained.
Serena
May 02, 2016 Serena rated it liked it
Ripper by Stefan Petrucha is not the gory thriller that many readers may expect, and rightly so, given that it is a young adult, historical fiction novel with a young main protagonist. Carver Young is an orphan in New York City in the late 1800s, who is thrust into the care of an older Albert Hawking, a former Allan Pinkerton detective. Carver is dragged into a fantastical world of secret agencies and cloak-and-dagger moments, all while the police are investigating some very real and grisly murd ...more
Angee Lewandowski
Sep 06, 2014 Angee Lewandowski rated it liked it
Clever plot twists and the 1890s New York setting with a bit of steampunk thrown in made this a super fun read for me. You don't have to be familiar with all the details of the real Jack the Ripper … the author provides all the background knowledge you need to enjoy this book!
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ENG 580 Spring 2014: Book #7 Ripper 1 7 Apr 21, 2014 05:13PM  
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Stefan Petrucha (born January 27, 1959) is an American writer for adults and young adults. He has written graphic novels in the The X-Files and Nancy Drew series, as well as science fiction and horror.
Born in the Bronx, he has spent time in the big city and the suburbs, and now lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, fellow writer Sarah Kinney, and their daughters. At times he has been a tec
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“Really, boy, unless you're ready to deal with the monster, you shouldn't go looking under the bed.” 17 likes
“It's toys, boy, all toys. You'll see more and more contraptions as you get older, but if I teach you anything, you'll learn that all of this is decoration. What counts is what's inside you and what you can see in others. ” 8 likes
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