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The Jekyll Revelation por Robert Masello
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The Jekyll Revelation (edição 2016)

por Robert Masello (Autor)

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8913235,287 (3.48)16
While on routine patrol in the tinder-dry Topanga Canyon, environmental scientist Rafael Salazar expects to find animal poachers, not a dilapidated antique steamer trunk. Inside the peculiar case, he discovers a journal, written by the renowned Robert Louis Stevenson, which divulges ominous particulars about his creation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde . It also promises to reveal a terrible secret--the identity of Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately, the journal--whose macabre tale unfolds in an alternating narrative with Rafe's--isn't the only relic in the trunk, and Rafe isn't the only one to purloin a souvenir. A mysterious flask containing the last drops of the grisly potion that inspired Jekyll and Hyde and spawned London's most infamous killer has gone missing. And it has definitely fallen into the wrong hands.… (mais)
Membro:NPJacobsen
Título:The Jekyll Revelation
Autores:Robert Masello (Autor)
Informação:47North (2016), 492 pages
Colecções:read
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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The Jekyll Revelation por Robert Masello

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If one thing is evident about me and my literary affections (and there's a lot more than one thing, but let's just go with it here) it's that all you need to do is mention Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to get my attention. I am a huge fan of the story, of all its various renditions, and how well any popular culture actually gets to portraying the proper Jekyll and Hyde that Robert Louis Stevenson created. (Hint: almost none.) So when this came across my feed in NetGalley, I jumped on the chance to read the ARC.

That being said, this review is coming out far later than it should have, and I went and borrowed the book from Amazon to finish it. But I'm especially grateful that I did.

The book has two timelines: a modern one, where we follow Rafael Salazar and the coyotes he's monitoring in Topanga Canyon, California, and the other beginning in 1881, following none other than Stevenson himself. It's nearly impossible to figure out why we're following both of them, and I found it difficult to invest myself in the book at first, because I couldn't figure out why I was supposed to care about Rafe. There wasn't anything wrong with him, I just didn't have a connection. I mean, I agree that coyotes are probably cool and a good thing to study, and environmental agents should have places in books too. But.

As time went on, it began to clear up. Stevenson was in a far away portion of Switzerland, hoping to find some cure for the health issues that had been plaguing him for far too long. During his time there, a wolf begins to play a very prominent role in the story--and just around then, Rafe starts noticing that there's something bigger than his coyotes wandering around the woods here. Now I'm getting interested.

We follow Stevenson, through journal entries, through his time in Davos (Switzerland) and the trials and tribulations he faced there--and here we begin to see where we may be going, with the introduction of a strange elixir that Dr. Rüedi gives to him, and the sudden surge of strength and indifference to danger that comes along with the taking of it. Sure enough, we follow into the time where Stevenson writes and publishes Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, his own struggles with duality--and then, as it did in real life, the onset of Jack the Ripper and suspicions being leveled at Stevenson.

Meanwhile in California, Rafe has found a large steamer trunk in the middle of a lake and doesn't quite know what to do with it, though he knows he doesn't want the local riff-raff getting their hands on it. Once open, he finds antique clothes which have clearly seen better days, an assortment of other knick-knacks, a pocket watch with unfamiliar initials carved on it...and a strange journal, which seems to have tales of Switzerland in it. And as things start to get bizarre with the people around him, he starts to wonder what else he's unlocked with this trunk.

It's a truly fascinating look at the times; I had been unaware that Jekyll and Hyde and Jack the Ripper coincided in real life, and that apparently RLS had in fact been considered for one of the Ripper's possible identities. A quick glance through some basics of RLS's life shows that the basics--where he lived, when he was there, nicknames he's given--are all true. Of course, there are some liberties taken, and they're pretty easy to pick out. But all things considered, it's a wonderful piece of fiction.

I do think that the modern-day portions of the book are lacking. I don't really have much drive to care about Rafe, no matter how cool he seems, and there are a lot of characters who are introduced simply to be a plot point...and then vanish again. It's clear by the end that the author wants to bring the whole story around to meet back up with itself, but there's not a strong connection to hold onto. If that had been strengthened, I think it would have been better--but all things considered, even if they'd just been taken out entirely, the story would have been just as enjoyable. It feels like a missed opportunity.

However, as you can see from my rating, I haven't let that detract from my opinion overall. No matter how long it took me to get into it, once I was hooked I read the book in mere hours. The tone is perfect, the setting is good, the pacing is spaced without dragging. I enjoyed seeing Stevenson in his version of London, and the pieces of Jack the Ripper poking in. (I also noted some homages to real people in the names, though I don't know if they actually existed in that time and place, or not. It was still nice.)

In the end, a very enjoyable book, and certainly enough to make me interested in other things Masello has written. He's good with his words, and better with his research. Especially if you have a fondness for RLS, Jekyll and Hyde, or Jack the Ripper, I'd very much suggest picking up this book. It's well worth the read.

Rating: ***** (Highest Recommendation) ( )
  KOrionFray | Oct 5, 2019 |
The Jekyll Revelation follows the story of Rafael Salazar, an environmental scientist studying coyote populations in Topanga Canyon, California. In a pond that has almost evaporated due to drought, he finds an old abandoned steamer trunk. The trunk contains old clothes, a child mysterious flask and a the journal of Robert Louis Stevenson. As Rafael goes about his work, surrounded by poachers and drug dealers, he dives into the journal and learns a terrifying secret about Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS).

The book alternates between journal entries, and the present day. The journal begins in 1881, as RLS, already a famous writer, is heading to the Hotel Belvedere in Switzerland where a world renowned pulmonologist has established a clinic to treat those with respiratory illnesses. The journal follows RLS as he undergoes treatment at the clinic, and then moves back to London. It is also during this time that he writes The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And as Jack the Ripper begins to terrorize London, suspicion falls on RLS as the police begin to wonder if this is a case of life imitating art.

This book is a great example of embellishing historical fact to create a fiction grounded in the truth. I found the historical portion of the book much more compelling than the present day story. Although Rafael's story was interesting, it just didn't have the punch of RLS's story.

A blurb from the description states "A chilling curse is transported from 1880s London to present-day California, awakening a long-dormant fiend." I did not feel like the story lived up to this. I did not find the action in the present day to be chilling at all. The journal entries from the 1880s were definitely more chilling and enthralling.

I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received a free ARC from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
The tantalizing cover and the intriguing blurb made me interested in the book. The identity of Jack the Ripper is a subject I find fascinating and I was curious how Robert Louis Stevenson would fit into this story. This book has two storylines and in the present storyline are we introduced to Rafael Salazar who is an environmental scientist. He discovers in an old truck a journal that turns out to be written by no other than Robert Louis Stevenson and the present storylines alternate with the journal entries.

I found the intro of this book promising with Robert Louis Stevenson trying to find if not a cure something that would make him better since he had been suffering from bad health since he was a child. And, it's now he meets a doctor that will change his entire life. In the present time, Rafael Salazar is studying coyotes in Topanga Canyon when he and his trainee Heidi stumbles on the trunk with the diary. But, the trunk also has a flask containing a portion that would be best to leave alone.

As much as I enjoyed the beginning of the book did it come a time after I read little over half the book when I found myself questioning whether I should continue reading or not. The story started to become a bit dull, and I found myself not enjoying either storyline. However, I did not give up and the story picked up. Well, at least the journal entries got better, I still did not find the present storylines that interesting with Rafe having trouble with his sister Lucy, the meth heads and his puppy love for Miranda. And, as I came to think of now when I'm writing the review, Heidi who was with him when he found the trunk and later on when they almost died in a car crash just disappeared from the story. And, that was just too bad because I liked her. I can't say that Rafe and Miranda interested me that much, but for the story to take the obvious direction was it necessary. And, here we have the big problem for me with this book. It was too often pretty obvious what would happen, no twist to the story that astonished me. Although the ending, the last entry in the journal both solved a question that I had back in my mind and was an interesting turn of event.

Still, I'm glad to have read the book. It may have had some weak moments in the middle of the book, but the story picked up towards the end of the book even Rafe started to interest me a bit more than when he was having trouble with the meth heads and Miranda's boyfriend Laszlo.

I want to thank 47North & Little Bird for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
I really enjoyed the way historical facts were entwined with fiction in this book. Famous historical names made it more interesting. The story from the present balanced out the story set in the past. Well written book. ( )
  scot2 | Aug 23, 2018 |
I was chosen by Netgalley to receive an advanced reader copy of “The Jekyll Revelation” by Robert Masello. Given that fact, it has not altered my opinion on the book at all. “The Jekyll Revelation” has a scheduled release date of November 8th 2016.

Who doesn’t love a good Jekyll and Hyde story? Being a 90’s kid, immediately I was reminiscent of the Pagemaster in all it’s cartoon glory. I was not expecting this book to be cartoony in the least, but between the title, and my love for a good retelling is what lead me to request a copy.

“The Jekyll Revelation” starts like any typical historical fiction; in the past. It seems as though Robert Louis Stevenson, author of “Treasure Island” and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, has unwillingly stumbled upon an incident he presumed he left back in London.

The reader switches perspectives between Stevenson, and Rafael Salazar; an environmental scientist in the state of California. Masello draws the reader in within the first chapter, and quickly leaves you wanting more as the perspectives change. At first it is unclear what role the past has on the present, but the mystery unravels itself with each turn of the page.

For the complete review, please visit:

https://quitterstrip.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/if-you-have-it-within-your-power-t... ( )
  mspoet569 | Aug 18, 2018 |
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26 November, 1894
From: Robert Louis Stevenson, Vailima House, Samoa
To: W. E. Henley, 18 Maybury Road, Old Woking, Surrey, England

Dear Henley--
What I must tell you now, I tell you with dread.
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While on routine patrol in the tinder-dry Topanga Canyon, environmental scientist Rafael Salazar expects to find animal poachers, not a dilapidated antique steamer trunk. Inside the peculiar case, he discovers a journal, written by the renowned Robert Louis Stevenson, which divulges ominous particulars about his creation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde . It also promises to reveal a terrible secret--the identity of Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately, the journal--whose macabre tale unfolds in an alternating narrative with Rafe's--isn't the only relic in the trunk, and Rafe isn't the only one to purloin a souvenir. A mysterious flask containing the last drops of the grisly potion that inspired Jekyll and Hyde and spawned London's most infamous killer has gone missing. And it has definitely fallen into the wrong hands.

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