1888 The Ripper File

“Welcome to Jack the Ripper 101. My name is Dr. Teagan Faelynn. I know the true identity of history’s most notorious serial killer – because he came for me.”

The discovery of a new Ripper journal sends Teagan on a journey to London… or so she thinks. But she finds herself plunged into a hidden world of witches, fairies, dragons and Valkyries – and that’s just her friends.

How can Teagan hunt the Ripper and bring him to justice? In the modern world, or in a secret Victorian England where nothing is as it seems? 

Join the Paranormal Institute for Research and Rescue. 

And travel back in time to solve a centuries-old mystery – if you survive…

Critic Evaluation

Cover Design Score: 8

When I was glancing at the book options, this immediately caught my eye and I wondered what it was because it seemed eerie and mysterious.  The colors are fitting for a dark, paranormal thriller and the gold font really pops against the black London outline.  The only thing I would change about the cover is “Book One of The Paranormal Research and Rescue Institute”- it looks slightly odd having it in two font sizes.  I would try it all in the smaller font size since the larger is also the same font and size as your name.  Also, it seems like the word ‘series’ should be there after Institute. 

Book Blurb Score: 8

The blurb sucked me in and I was excited to start reading.  A paranormal, murder mystery, time travel filled book- sign me up!  The last two lines, however, would sound better if they were combined: “Join the Paranormal Institute for Research and Rescue and travel back in time to solve a centuries-old mystery.”

Formatting Score: 8

The formatting was fine and mostly consistent.  However, there were a few places where the breaks within the chapters didn’t have the symbol separating them.  For example, on page 128 there are spaces and a change of font indicating the break, but no symbol.  Also, there aren’t page numbers... you might want to include them especially if there will be printed copies.

Grammar & Spelling Score: 6

This is in need of some editing.  There are typos throughout the entire book and places where words or punctuation are completely wrong or missing.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Page 22 – Ovidia is spelled wrong
  • Page 44 – Quotation marks are missing
  • Page 86 – The 18th century is the 1700s… this should either say 1800s or 19th century
  • Page 189- If you mean that Faery has a 1500s feel, 15th century is also wrong

Like I said, these are just a few examples, but these were the ones that jumped out as the most obvious when reading it.

Plot & Structure Score: 5

This wasn’t what I expected.  Being a paranormal, mystery, sci- fi type of book I thought it would be full of action, magic, and twisted new ideas.  The parts of the book that I really enjoyed were those parts.  For example, the changing stained glass that turned out to be the way to Faery, the whole concept of time traveling for research and crime prevention, and details like being marked by the dragon ring – all of these things were creative, interesting, and fun to read!  The problem that I had with this is that there weren’t enough of those things.  Some of it seemed to be brushed by really quickly without much description.  For example, on page 83 there is one line that says she met with a cousin to learn Fae magic.  That’s it?  It’s not even mentioned anywhere what those Fae powers even really are- it seemed like that was thrown in as an afterthought.  But this could’ve been a really cool thing to develop more about what those powers are and maybe the training is really strange and unique.  Or the time travel itself, maybe there could be more details on what they had to do and how it felt… because this read like they just had to think of that location, and they were there.  Even the climax of the book- being captured by the Ripper and Ovidia and Bran show up to rescue her- it was brushed by quickly with how they basically jumped out and caught him and it was over.  This could have been a great opportunity for a big action scene where those magical powers really come into play.  Basically, I felt like this story just was focused on the wrong things.  There were a lot of descriptions of dinners, drinks, and clothes… a lot of things that really didn’t do too much to progress the story.  Less of that, and more of the paranormal would make a huge difference.  

Character Development Score: 5

I liked the variety of magical beings, and some of the descriptions of them were really good.  For example, I could really see Cleo with her huffing puffing dragon ways and Ovidia as a diva warrior.  Some of what fell short for me, is some of what I mentioned in the plot comments- which is magic!  Sometimes I forgot that Teagan even had powers because that part wasn’t developed much.  There is so much that can be done with her and trying to learn about her family, powers, and abilities.  I just wanted more!  Also, much of the dialog didn’t seem natural and like how people would really speak to each other.

Originality Score: 6

I would have rated this higher if the paranormal aspects were developed more.  The creativity and ideas are there.  I don’t want any of my comments about the plot or characters to discourage you because I truly love the concept that you have.  There is so much potential for a series on these characters and the institute.  But keep the details and surprises coming!  The more stained glass travel and dragon markings ideas that you have, the better!  Those are the types of things that will make your stories stand out.

Pacing Score: 6

Again, maybe just refocusing some of the plot would help in this area.  A lot of big events seemed brushed over quickly, while a lot of minor events were described in greater detail. 

Use of Language Score: 6

This is another area that I feel I could score better if some of the other issues I mentioned were changed, such as the dialog becoming more natural.  Overall though the vocabulary used in some of the descriptions of places and clothes did a great job at creating a visual.

Overall Readability Score: 5

Honestly, I thought of stopping many times due to the things I already mentioned.  But I kept reading because I wanted to get into the heart of the magic and see where you would take this story.  Like I said, I love the concept you have and there are so many things that can be done with this! As this book currently is, it was difficult to overlook all of these things, but with some revisions this could be fantastic! 

This book received a critic's score of 63 out of 100 possible points.

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