The Resurrectionist by Paul T. Scheuring

The Resurrectionist book review

Rating: 2/5

What It’s About:

It’s 1820, and the physicians of London are on fire to unlock the secrets of human anatomy, some consorting with criminals to get their scalpels into a fresh body. Job Mowatt has become such a criminal-a body snatcher, a resurrectionist. The wages are just enough to keep his brilliant daughter, Ivy, clean and safe in London’s worst slum. When anatomist Percival Quinn asks Job to dig up a rare specimen-the wife of a powerful and dangerous man-Job knows instantly he is inviting trouble, but knows, too, that the payment would allow Ivy to escape the brief, miserable existence that awaits women of her class. All it will take is a single night’s work. A single night that will bring Job deeper into darkness and closer to death than he has ever been. Lords and ladies in their glittering mansions, six-bottle men and opium eaters in foul tenements, they all take their secrets to the grave…and sometimes the resurrectionist brings them back.


The Review

Thank you to PR By the Book and Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

While there were a few things that I liked about The Resurrectionist, there were too many things that made it hard to get through. The book was told from too many points of view, at least 7 from what I counted, and the character development was never enough. I wanted to read more about Job and Ivy’s background and journey of survival. Job’s love for his daughter Ivy was endearing Sadly, all the other characters story arcs took away the impact of their story.

Even though there were too many characters to follow, they all had interesting lives that I wanted to explore. The setting and lives of the characters were intriguing from a historical aspect. I enjoy reading books from this time period and some of the characters introduced concepts and themes that were new to me. I particularly liked that many of the characters were on the lower end of the social classes and the opportunity to learn more about their lives was enriching.

It was surprising to see that The Resurrectionist was just over 300 pages because it felt like to took forever for me to get through. The beginning and ending of the book were the strongest parts. The middle was where I really struggled. With each different character’s point of view, the author gives a backstory and more inner monologue than I knew what to do with. It dragged down the pacing and I often had to think hard to connect the pieces of what was actually going on with the main storyline.

Final thoughts

If there had been more a focus on a smaller group of characters, maybe there would more depth to the characters and story. This aspect of the book is the biggest thing that compelled me to give The Resurrectionist only 2 stars. Kirkus Reviews did give it a positive starred review and listed it on their best books of 2022, so maybe I’m just not the right reader for it.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought.

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