**spoiler alert** Can I begin to describe how absolutely dreadful this book was? How jarring? How distracting her "creative license"? How much I hated**spoiler alert** Can I begin to describe how absolutely dreadful this book was? How jarring? How distracting her "creative license"? How much I hated it, the deeper I went in? How I wish I could give this a negative five star rating but have to settle with a 1 star?
Why did I keep reading it? Why in fact do I always keep reading terrible books I should set aflame (though wouldn't naturally, because this said volume belongs to the library--and they can keep it!)? Simply because I'm participating in the Reading Challenge (again).
I've already griped about the cover--not sure how that's supposed to say "I take place in Restoration London--AND I have nothing much to do with letters!" The cover is the least of this book's problems.
What we have here is a lot of amateur sleuthing on the parts of our protagonists and not a lot of adhering to, hmm, oh I don't know, perhaps her job (what, you mean Lucy wasn't employed to go sleuthing?) She comes back without food for supper, she goes off and disappears for hours--she's too busy not being a maid of all work (which frankly is what she's supposed to be). She in fact has quite a few rather modern sleuth-y conversations, administers CPR and apparently is beloved for her (nosy) intellectual mind. By the by, she expanded her own learning by listening through keyholes to one of the children's tutors--so STILL not doing her job. Consistently. For over a few years. What well-t0-do family employs bone-idle servants, especially when their household staff only consists of four people??
Let's also point on that policing was not even set into motion until 156 years AFTER this book takes place (thank you Robert Peel and the "Peelers"). Even at a stretch some watchmen might've been sauntering about around the 1670s but that's still after this book takes place.
Quite frankly if the author wanted everyone to be friendly-friends-of-equality she should've made the entire family Quakers. That I could have accepted better, though grudgingly.
As for the dialogue... oh the dialogue. I think Lucy actually (when in one of many strops) actually responded with "fine" to Adam. There were some other modern slang and usage but I can't quote any pages as I couldn't return that book fast enough tot he library. I do recall her using "Sir" more as a surly insult than as a proper form of address. Actually, I can't get into the forms of address because I just might start to get angry.
Mostly, the author comes across an an armchair author. Descriptions of London are vague, she throws out names of places to sound (to my mind) more authentic than as one who has walked there.
This review is disjointed I realize but all I can say is please, don't waste your time (or money) on this book. I certainly wish I hadn't....more
I don't think I could tell you a thing I read, I was simply reading as fast as I could to get through this book so I could put it behind me. I found tI don't think I could tell you a thing I read, I was simply reading as fast as I could to get through this book so I could put it behind me. I found the style and narrative aggravating but at least the author was consistent with it (much to my dismay). I was set on giving this a 1 star but the ending changed my mind as I thought it was illustrative of the emotion it was meant to invoke....more
I can't believe a day has arrived where I've been too busy to compose an update! Instead I will write a review.
I feel as though I always forget how adI can't believe a day has arrived where I've been too busy to compose an update! Instead I will write a review.
I feel as though I always forget how adorably delightful the dragons' conversations are when it's been a long period of time between readings. They're like opinionated, overgrown precocious children that sometimes remind me of a cat or two that I've had in the past. From a historical standpoint it was interesting to get their opinions on the war as it moves to Spain while our protagonists languish in Australia. My only complaint is that there was a lot of wandering and not a lot of progression in any direction, whether with the war or character wise. Towards the end I almost felt as though the author had written herself into a corner--however I know there are books following this one so surely that's not the case!
I will still continue reading her books as the dragons alone are a treat (I believe I might like them better than most of their human companions) but were I in these books for the revised History or even Regency England(ish) I might be less inclined to stick around. ...more
Ugh. Such a struggle to get through which is such a pity as I desperately wanted to like this book (and potentially the series). I think the only thinUgh. Such a struggle to get through which is such a pity as I desperately wanted to like this book (and potentially the series). I think the only thing I liked about this was the fact that it dealt with the World Fair in Paris.
I didn't like a single character. The writing was a little stilted but I will give the authors the benefit of the doubt and therefore lay the blame at the translator's feet. There was no suspense, no mystery. I just felt purely and utterly bored. The only reason why I didn't chuck this back into the library drop-off box (I'm counting my lucky stars I didn't purchase this) is because I'm a.) a compulsive reader and b.) I'm behind on my book challenge due to my busy work schedule.
So, Monsieur Legris, please stick to being a book-seller and leave the detective work to others....more
The term "historical novel" should be used extremely loosely in the case of this book.
I should also note it was no small miracle of will (compulsion)The term "historical novel" should be used extremely loosely in the case of this book.
I should also note it was no small miracle of will (compulsion) on my part that I was able to grit my teeth and finish this book.
I don't bother with summaries in my reviews as there's always the back/inside cover/sometimes-helpful-blurb-in-the-description-section-on-websites that will likely detail it better. Allow me instead to inform you what this novel is not.
1.) This is not a mystery. We are informed of the killer fairly early on and are dogged with his insipid presence throughout the book through italicized passages. For emphasis, presumably. Being Whitechapel in the year 1889 it should not surprise the reader to find that there is actually more than one murderer afoot. I'll try not to spoil anything (how could I though when they author does it himself so well?) Basically I can only believe that the asinine connection to the Ripper presence was the author's misguided attempt to ride on the Ripper's notorious laurels. It's certainly what drew me in initially when I glanced at the summary of the book.
2.) This ultimately has nothing to do with the Jack the Ripper though boy does the author try. Too hard in my opinion. Why did the author bother? The information he utilized was cursory at best. Maybe he presumed we already knew enough facts about the Ripper (or Saucy Jack as he insisted on calling him, which is fine except it was used like a given name for the Ripper) Except, I'm sorry, I've seen those photographs, I've read the reports, in fact the Ripper interests me greatly so I find I'm unable to suspend my sense of disbelief when you have not one but two characters that have managed to survive (well for a period of time in one case) having their throats slit to the bone. I'll be delving well and deep into the spoiler-y sort of zone if I get too much into it but how does that even make sense? There is so much muscle and sinewy, not to mention, you know, a major artery or two. I understand it is possible to survive having one's throat slit if the cut isn't deep, or isn't both of the major arteries and if the circumstances are right, if help is immediate and stellar. Shall we look at the date again? Shall we look at the district of London this little tale takes place in?
3.) This will not show an accurate picture of Victorian London in 1889. I mean, at this point why even bother setting this in England? I think the author became a little geographically confused, thought himself in New York for all the abundance of brownstones that made their startling appearance. This story, beyond the echoes of the Ripper failure, had no need to be set in London. In fact, I would've been a lot more forgiving if this had been set in say, New York or Boston or Chicago. Certainly the London geography was.... bizarre at best. Not to mention Inspector's wife's obsession with preparing mock turtle soup. Let's not forget the killer commenting on he prefers to abstain from electricity. On his salary it seems unlikely he would ever be able to afford it. Gas lighting I will give.
I think I've warn myself out with all of this griping but I'm sure my point has come across.
As of this moment, I think this will stand as one of the worst, if not the worst books I have read this year. If I could give this a negative 5 star rating I would. A dreary 1-star don't-bother-using-this-book-for-anything-other-than-fire-fodder. Though I only have myself to blame for slogging through this disaster, I hope you will take my advice and read something else....more