Previous Installment: Ripper
Brimming with romance and danger, the suspenseful Ripper series continues
The Conclave—a secret group with twisted ideals and freakish practices—has been wiped out, thanks to Arabella Sharp. Now there’s a new malevolence afoot. Fishermen are getting killed, their partially devoured bodies washing up on the shores of Scotland. Is the Ripper responsible? Or have the Conclave’s sinister experiments left behind something more monstrous? Abbie fears the worst when her beloved Dr. William Siddal vanishes. To save the man she loves, Abbie must comply with the Ripper’s dreadful orders—and put her own life in grave danger.
Just as a heads-up, I am going to try to keep this review as spoiler-free as I can for both Renegade and Ripper, although the summary above hints at the happenings in the first book.
After the rather heart-pounding, breathless events at the close of Ripper, I was super excited to read Renegade and see just where Abbie’s journey would take her next. The villain of these books is perfectly twisted and dark, with a major creep factor that – particularly in the first book – makes your skin crawl, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen when he and Abbie came face-to-face again. And while you certainly do see this villain in Renegade, Abbie’s biggest concern is her visions of a mythological creature known as a lamia, and her turbulent romantic relationship with William.
As the romantic aspect of this story was played up more and more, I became concerned that it would color my opinion of the story. I wanted more Ripper action, more Abbie being strong-willed and kick-ass, and was afraid her mooning over William and their spat close to the beginning would temper exactly what I loved so much about her in the first book. I am happy to report, therefore, that this wasn’t really the case; Abbie remained just as strong and stubborn as ever. I love that she is definitely bucking societal trends in wanting to go to medical school and continuing to volunteer at the hospital. She is just so absolutely full of spunk and life that you can’t help but love her!
Normally I don’t go for love triangles at all, and I do have to say that this one did annoy me just a tad, but I did enjoy watching Abbie come to terms with her feelings for both William and Simon, and her thought process as she tried to figure out what she wanted. While I don’t necessarily “ship” her with one of the other, I do have to admit to a fondness for Simon over William, simply because of his steadfast approach and his willingness to believe and lend a hand whenever Abbie needed it. Sometimes it’s the strong, sturdy ones who are the most swoon-worthy, and to me, that’s Simon to a tee. I loved that we got more information about his life, and his background, and what makes him so somber and still and quiet. I am definitely looking forward to more of him!
I do want to mention that your understanding and enjoyment of Renegade is very contingent on your having read Ripper. There are a lot of references throughout to characters introduced and situations that happened in the first book, so much so that you will be completely and utterly lost without that background. Just something to keep in mind if this review makes you curious!
Renegade is a really good continuation of Abbie’s story. The stakes are really being raised, and she’s really having to dig deep and confront quite a lot of darkness. There are a lot of questions raised at the end of the second book, and I can’t wait to see how they’re all going to be answered in the final installment. If you’re looking for a really well done Jack the Ripper story with a wonderful female lead character, do check these books out!
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.