This retelling of the Jack the Ripper case took a more conspiracy theory ridden outlook than many others that I’ve read. It played on the idea of racism and people in power carrying these ideals. It even outlaid a future plan for the Ripper until he is stopped. A greatly different point of view in fictional retellings of the notorious butcher that I have read so far.
The introduction to this story filled me with intrigue. Not because it was a great opening to a story, but it explained where the author’s origin to this story came from. Accompanied by a photo, it made this story seem all the more plausible. And one that I would almost like to imagine actually happened.
This is the first time since I was a kid that I decided to pick up this book. And I’m really glad that I did. It is such a fun, happy, easy read and one that I struggled to put down. The combination of Roman history; a young, slightly too confident heroine; and a mystery that is both dangerous and grotesque work brilliantly together. Unlike many of the other whodunnit type stories that I’ve read, this one isn’t going to keep you up at night. There is just enough going on that you want to know who the real culprit is, but it’s not realistic enough that I could imagine any of this happening to me…
We all like to think that family means everything. That there is some kind of tie created by blood that can be impossible to escape. Speaking from my own experiences, that’s not necessarily true. And this story definitely echoes that theory.
Although this short story is in a collection of vampire romance stories, I didn’t really find it all that romantic. Alright, the man and woman get together, she saves him, and then they run off into the mist together to live happily ever after. But it really just didn’t feel that… romancey. In that aspect it was quite bland. But, overall, I liked the take on historical fiction and the storyline.
This short story really made me decide to pick up my book on The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper. It had this beautiful complexity and background to the storyline that I wasn’t expecting. There was also a lot of information and context in it that completely went over my head because I really don’t know all that much about Jack the Ripper.
I really need to do a little more research on Jack the Ripper before I continue reading too many of these short stories. They’re amazing, and I love the journey that they take me on, but I don’t click as to the character’s names and the theories as quickly as I do with topics I’m far more knowledgeable on. So, it took me a while to figure out whether Martha was a woman who was a likely suspect, or one that was a likely victim.
I really wasn’t expecting a Trickster story with a Chinese spin on it when I started reading this story. I was kind of expecting another Native American / Coyote story. But I really liked the fact that there was a very different spin on the Trickster tale. For starters, it is based in California during the Gold Rush and features a time long gone.
This is my first ever Jack the Ripper retelling. Or alternate history. And I kind of thought that it was a nice, gentle introduction. Especially since I know next to nothing about Jack the Ripper in the first place. Bertie not only pulled me in immediately, but it also made me want to read far more stories like this (so lucky I have a whole collection to dig through).
I haven’t read this book in a very, very, very long time. As in probably not since high school. When, to be honest, a lot of the intricacies of this storyline went a little over my head. So reading this amazing, amazing novel for the second time when I have much more knowledge… well, it was an absolutely awe inspiring treat. One that I was incredibly sad when it ended… so luckily there are two more intensely complex stories in this trilogy.