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The Jekyll Revelation Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B010JG1YFO
- Publisher : 47North (8 November 2016)
- Language : English
- File size : 2689 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 493 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 67,067 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Strange in that it links Robert Louis Stevenson with Jack the Ripper. Even stranger, it links him in with a host of misfits and low lifes in present day California. As to the first, the author presents the connection with Jack the Ripper which, although he suggests certain coincidences to support it as well as the reasons for the suddent cessation of the Ripper murders, I found the notion a bit too fantastical but at the same time I feel he could have done more with it . Aside from the question of iis importance to the substance of this book, the back and forth to the second link was too disconcerting for me and I would have preferred the author kept his story in the nineteenth century. Nevertheless I like the basic idea of tying together historical characters and events to make enjoyable and thought-provoking reading. I will certainly read another of this author's books with the hope that it will be more gratifying for me than The Jekyl Revelation.
In Masello's narrative, he told two stories alternatively - past and present. One story was set in Topanga, California in present time. Rafael Salazar, an environmental scientist, unexpectedly found Stevenson's journal recording Jekyll & Hyde notes for his famous novella. Missing from the find was an actual container of the mind-altering potion used by the character, Hyde in the story. The following set of crazy events threw Rafael into dangerous and hair-raising situations. The past story depicted Stevenson and his Jekyll & Hyde experiences (merged with Jack the Ripper). The story was mysterious with a Gothic flavour, and the plot gradually unpacked intriguing information.
Masello wrote well in the first half, though the pace was slow. I found it dragged in the middle, for a time. The plot was quite crowded, so things got confusing and left me with a few questions. Happily, the interest level picked up dramatically and headed towards the riviting conclusion as the two stories were finally linked.
I can't say I loved 'The Jekyll Revelation'. My thoughts settle somewhere between very interesting and 'what?' I think the main problem the book had was, while the telling of the two stories was a great idea, it was an ambitious task that worked in places and not in others.
Rafe is your average underpaid civil servant scientist living in Topanga Canyon, California. As long as he avoids the local bikies and their meth lab, two local petty criminals, and his landlady's boyfriend, he should be able to study his coyote pack in peace. Yeah, doesn't happen. He discovers a trunk belonging Robert Louis Stevenson things go sideways and he uncovers the truth about Jack the Ripper.
The Jekyll Revelation is an interesting novel that combines historical fiction with a modern day tale. Leveraging an intriguing factoid regarding the suspicion of Robert Louis Stevenson being a person of interest in the Jack the Ripper murders - due to the play based upon his novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - made this story compelling. Masello manages to emulate Stevenson's style* for the found diary passages revealed throughout Rafe's modern adventures. And the twist. I thought I had figured it out early on. I was wrong.
As a kid I was a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson's, so this was an enjoyable read. I'm not normally a fan of stories that co-opt famous historical figures - unless it is done in the style of a James Rollins or Steve Berry historical McGuffin adventure - as it can feel like shoehorning. But I enjoyed the melding of two timelines to tell a tale of Jack the Ripper worked well, with this feeling like Stevenson's final tale.
* I'll admit it has been decades since I read Robert Louis Stevenson's oeuvre as a kid, so my memory of his style could be muddled.
NB: I received a review copy ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review.
Top reviews from other countries
In the end, however, I found myself disappointed. The novel opens well, maintaining Masello's usual expert weaving of past with present as the storyline of previous centuries is interwoven with events in the present, raising the question of how the past ties into contemporary events while capturing our interest. The idea of Doctor Jekyll's serum being real (even if Jekyll and Hyde 'themselves' were not) would have been fascinating on its own, but the idea of including Jack the Ripper in that storyline was just as engaging, giving the most mysterious serial killer in existence an extra edge to his history.
However, in the end, that part of the storyline felt like a letdown. While the build-up to establish the 'origin' of the serum was interesting, once it was actually introduced as a serious plot element, it felt almost superfluous to requirements. For me, what has always made the concept of Jekyll and Hyde fascinating is the idea of a good man being 'addicted' to the darkness, Jekyll initially believing that he can essentially 'control' what he does as Hyde while balancing it out with his actions in his original identity, but this storyline completely removes that element of conflict, as those who use the serum appear to be pretty much bastards with or without it, with no clear reason to take the serum other than that they appear to like it.
No matter what Masello suggests about the characters, if there isn't a clear line between what they would do before and after they drink the serum, than in my view, it is not a 'Jekyll & Hyde' story, but merely a tale about people experimenting with unusual drugs. While the final conclusion offers some interesting twists regarding Stevenson's history, the present story feels almost unsatisfying, as the drug and related discoveries are tame catalysts that are never used to their fullest potential.
This was my first introduction to this author and I was sufficiently impressed to follow up with another of his books - The Medusa Amulet - which I have just started reading.