Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes
Mark Stewart is one incident away from becoming a juvenile delinquent, and his parents have had enough. They ship Mark off to London England to stay with his eccentric aunt Agatha who is obsessed with all things Jack the Ripper. After a strange twist of luck, Mark is struck by lightning, and he wakes to find himself in 1888 Victorian London.
His interest in a string of murders Scotland Yard has yet to solve make him a likely suspect. After all, why would a young boy like Mark know so much about the murders? Could he be the ripper they’ve been searching for? Convinced the only way to get back home is to solve the murders, Mark dives headfirst into uncovering the truth.
Mark’s only distraction comes in the form of the beautiful Genie Trembly, a girl who is totally out of his league and who may have already caught the attention of the infamous ripper. To save her, he’ll endanger both their lives, and risk being trapped in the past forever.
I received an ARC of this book on behalf of Month9Books. This book will be released on September 23rd, 2014.
This was a terribly interesting read. I love Mark, and quite enjoyed getting to know Genie as well. And the concept of unexpectedly time-traveling back to the middle of Jack the Ripper’s murder spree was quite a bit of fun.
Before I started reading, I was concerned that this would present itself as a classic example of a plot that needs to be forced to work with very patchy fills for the plot gaps. I’ll be fair and say that there definitely still was one (a rather rushed explanation of the time-travel, but this is fantasy, and that clearly wasn’t really the point of reading this), but some of the big ones I expected weren’t there. Example: I was concerned that the “Convinced the only way to get back home is to solve the murders” bit from the description would prove troublesome. However, even though Mark is angling in that direction, he still leaves plenty of room for doubt. And, quite frankly, he did what any rational person might: make a halfway decent assumption and roll with it. Would I have made the same choice? Maybe, maybe not. But I’m not a borderline delinquent teenage male whose mother is more or less an expert on Jack the Ripper.
Some of the writing could be more polished, but that may very well have been caught between the printing of the ARC e-book I was given and the actual publication date. Otherwise, the only negative thing I can say is that the ending was a bit rushed. Since I’d already mostly pieced everything together by then, I didn’t feel that I missed out on any needed explanation.
Something I don’t often talk about in my posts is the idea of mis-direction. I allude to ways to do and to not do foreshadowing, but rarely tackle mis-direction. Forbes does a solid job at creating a cast of characters who could all be suspects while Mark is trying to find the infamous Ripper. There’s some pretty delicate foreshadowing in there too that I have to applaud—obviously, I won’t be sharing the comment I’m specifically recalling here.
All in all, I was quite pleased with this read.
Posted on August 28, 2014, in High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, Young Adult and tagged book reviews, books, fantasy, jack the ripper, kit forbed, month9books, shadows fall away, the ripper, time travel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.