As the title suggests, Ripper is about the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper. But it's not you average historical young-adult novel; it has a paranormal twist.
After the death of her mother, Abbie Sharp moves from Dublin to London to live with her grandmother. Because she is quite rebellious, her grandmother orders her to work at the Whitechapel Hospital. The hospital is located in one of the poorest parts of London and treats prostitutes and their children for free. But then the former patients start to get brutally murdered - and Abbie is getting disturbing visions.
I really liked the creepiness factor of Ripper. The ending really freaked me out - I didn't dare to continue reading it at night. Of course there is the gruesomeness of the murders itself. It isn't very much focussed on, for which I was glad. For those of you that aren't very familiar with the Whitechapel Murders; these women weren't just killed, they were butchered. There are pictures out there, if you have a stomach for it. I was glad there wasn't that much detailing going on about the murders, otherwise this book wouldn't possibly be rated as young-adult.
Ripper basically is an alternate history kind of thing featuring Jack the Ripper. I loved how the paranormal interwove with the actual events, how the victims had the same names as in reality but different stories and characters. I did a little background research to see how close the happenings in the book are to the real ones, and I have to give Ms Reeves a big thumbs-up. The victims are killed in the same places, yet somehow it fits perfectly into the story. I loved these little details.
Abbie is a great character, but I couldn't always identify with her emotions and actions. Sometimes I felt as if she was too kick-ass, and sometimes too much of a damsel-in-distress. One of my biggest issues was the love-triangle. The triangle in itself was okay, but she choose the wrong one. I hate it when that happens! I was completely rooting for the other guy.
Overall Ripper is a very enjoyable read, and I would recommend it for the historical mystery fans. It starts out very light on the paranormal, but it gets a bit heavier throughout the story. If the love triangle is scaring you off a bit; romance isn't the focus of the story. If the mystery of who Jack the Ripper is sounds interesting to you, give it a try!