This sequel to Ripper (2012) takes readers back to Abbie Sharp’s late-Victorian London.
Previously, Abbie learned that she inherited her psychic powers from her late mother and that the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti was her father. Doing charity work at first promoted and then reluctantly tolerated by her snobbish grandmother at the Whitechapel Hospital, she spurned the advances of sweet Simon St. John, accepted those of mercurial William Siddal, discovered an aptitude for medicine and single-handedly took out an evil cabal of immortal alchemists—all but one. Now she finds herself plagued by visions of a dreadful lamia, a man-eating monster that’s half woman, half serpent. She also stumbles upon horrific acts of cannibalism in London’s cemeteries. Could the remaining member of the Conclave be responsible? Well, duh. Reeves’ story hits all the expected formula notes, including resurrecting the love triangle among Abbie, Simon and William. It also makes a waggish reference to Dickens and more labored ones to other English classics. But it’s conveyed in such incompetent, faux-Victorian prose it’s hard to imagine readers persisting to the exceptionally silly conclusion—which, heaven help them, sets up further sequels. Commas fling themselves about with little regard for grammatical rules, appearing where they don’t belong but going AWOL where they should be, and malapropisms abound—sometimes multiple times on a page.
An insult to all readers, teen or otherwise. (Paranormal historical fiction. 13 & up)