Ripper's Row is the collaborative effort of D0nnie Light and Shawn Weaver. The two authors take the infamous Jack the Ripper and of all things, turn him into a hero. The public at large might know Jack as a horribly brutal serial killer, but in reality he is a tortured soul who hunts down vampires and their entourage. You see, all of Jack's victims are blood sucking demons and Jack's mission is to purge the earth of these vile creatures who have robbed him of his one true love.
I loved the take on redefining society’s belief in a decades old legend. How many stories have been written about the serial killer from the poor streets of London? My guess is a few hundred. I can also fathom that none have portrayed Jack as the hero. That originality was ingenious. Unfortunately the ingenuity stopped there and we are then given the dry old vampire tale we have been fed since Bram Stoker first enlightened the world to the walking dead. Garlic, crosses, wooden stakes, etc., I really was hoping for a more unique take since the premise of this book was so original.
The book opens with a little background on London and a brief synopsis of Jack the Ripper and then dives into his first kill. You definitely get a feel for the atmosphere throughout the writing and I could hear the clopping of cobblestones underneath people's feet as I read through the pages. I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but I admittedly enjoyed the backdrop of this story very much. Both writers did a nice job on making you feel a part of the era that implanted Mr. Ripper on all of our lives. I also think the book did a nice job of mixing the action in with some nice character development on what made Jack click.
I did get the feeling a professional editor wasn't used in proofing the book. My guess is the two authors proofed each other’s writing. There were many areas of repetition, from words to passages. The book would be better served if it were combed through a little more thoroughly. I remember "darkness" used about 8 times in the span of two paragraphs and being told that paper sales was the primary goal of the Ripper stories on three different occasions. I continue to laugh when I write editing issues in reviews as I seem to get some of the same comments on my writing. Maybe that is why I am sensitive to the issues, not sure.
Anyway, overall I enjoyed the story. If you like a nicely packaged tried and true vampire story with an interestingly twisted backdrop, you will enjoy the read. It doesn't break any new ground but it has established an ingenious take on warping historical villains into heroes that I very much enjoyed. Overall a nice job and I would be interested to see what the pair comes up with on their next adventure. I do hope they use their imagination to propel me as a reader into something completely different, they obviously have the imagination for it.