Review | Things In Jars by Jess Kidd

Image of the ebook kindle edition of the book things in jars by jess kidd. The front cover features the title and the author alongside an image of a large drip of water and inside the drip is the silhouette of a girl. The book cover is displayed on a kindle paperwhite and it is laid on a pastel coloured background paper that looks like vintage drawers. To the left of the image is a title that reads ' Review Things In Jars by Jess Kidd,'

This book isn't what I expected it to be. I was under the impression Things In Jars by Jess Kidd was a dystopian, science fiction novel but it's actually a victorian crime novel mixed with historical fiction and a hefty dose of science fiction and fact. 

The book involves an unconventional array of characters, there's our heroine, the no-holds-barred Bridie and her 7 foot housemaid for starters. There are mythical creatures such as Ghosts and Mer-people as well as a plethora of utterly despicable privileged white males. 

The novel draws influence from medical science and that macabre interest we all have in "things in jars" like shrunken heads and pickled brains. A key concept explored in the story is 'how far people will go to pursue their interest in scientific anomalies and just where do the boundaries lie in relation to ethics, morals and scientific advancement?'

It's a somewhat tough read with the archaic language. The violence and suppression of women makes it quite dark and heavy at times but it also has the lightness of a comedic crime caper with the head strong female protagonist Bridie teaming up with the aloof ghost of a dead boxer named Doyle. It's an unexpected read.

It's explores a weird mix of class divides, social commentary and uncomfortable ethics but it's somehow a very entertaining read despite the heavy topics it explores. It rather reminds me of an episode of Johnathan Creek with it's mystical storyline and jaunty off-beat characters. 

It's such a mixed bag of a novel that I'm not even sure if I enjoyed reading it, it felt a slog at some points but it's such a unique mix of genres and characters it kind of works. I could easily see this novel translated to the small screen. I think the characters of Bridie and Doyle would translate really well into a televised supernatural crime series and I think it would be a rare occasion that the adaptation is better than the book. 

 Thanks For Reading 

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