When I first came across the synopsis for Things in Jars, it seemed right up my alley. It sort of reminded me of The Impossible Girl or Jackaby, both of which I really enjoyed (click the links to check out my reviews). But, having not read anything by Jess Kidd, I didn’t know what I was in for.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.
Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.
Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jarsis a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.
Things in Jars is the kind of book I don’t enjoy reviewing. Because it sounds like something I should have really enjoyed, but, unfortunately, I didn’t. I can totally see why so many people love this book, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
Jess Kidd’s writing was definitely unique. And normally I love unique writing – it’s actually something I actively seek out in books. But Kidd’s style just didn’t speak to me. There wasn’t anything wrong with it – I can definitely see why so many people love it – I just had a little trouble connecting with it. Which was really disappointing, because I wanted to like this book.
The story itself was interesting. I liked the cast of characters, they were quirky in a really fun way. And it’s no surprise that I’m a fan of the Victorian London setting – especially the dark side of Victorian London. Sadly, it just wasn’t enough for me to love this book.
★★☆☆☆ – I’m disappointed that Things in Jars wasn’t for me. The writing was just not something I enjoyed. But I can see why so many people loved this, so don’t let my review turn you off from reading it if it interests you.
I’m curious to see what other readers thought of this book. If you’ve read it, or are planning to, let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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