I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Jackaby (Jackaby, #1) by William Ritter
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on September 16th 2014
Buy on Amazon, B&N
“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”
Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.
Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.
Want a little alternate history with a paranormal Sherlock Holmes? Something unique and quirky?
New England, 1892. Abigail Rook has a knack for seeing the ordinary details in the most un-ordinary situations. It’s this talent that leads her to become employed by the strange and slightly insane R.F Jackaby.
When a serial killer begins to commit gruesome murders, striking fear in the residents of New Fiddleham, Jackacky wastes no time in getting involved. Only problem is the Police want New Fiddleham’s most bonafide quack detective far away from their crime scenes.
Meanwhile, Abigail is exposed to plenty of strange creatures and raises the question: just what has she gotten herself into? And does she want to continue being Jackaby’s assistant even if it could lead to her death?
Banshees, were-creatures, psychics and all manner of non-human creatures debut in Ritter’s young adult take on Sherlock Holme’s murder mystery genre.
Oh Jackaby, Jackaby.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Jackaby before I started. I guess I expected more macabre and less humour. I’m not sure, but I found myself a bit off kilter once I started reading the first book of William Ritter’s Jackaby series. The whole book was sort of like an introduction to Jackaby’s world and Ritter’s writing style..not that this is a bad thing..both are very crafty and wonderful.
I was satisfied with the novel in the end and I regret that I didn’t pay attention to the smaller details. I’ve gotten so comfortable reading novels with plenty of filler lines that I missed some really big hints regarding the villain’s identity and how he committed the murders. Thankfully, Ritter is kind enough to fill us all in at the end on the clues he sprinkled through out the book – which are really obvious once you finish the book!
Jackaby harks back to when detective mysteries were cunning and tricky with plenty of hints for readers to pick up on if they are paying close enough attention.
I loved the unique sense of humour. Jackaby is an odd ball with plenty of eccentricities and often I found myself grinning at the Sherlock Holmes type humour randomly dispersed among general dialogue. Jackaby, like Sherlock Holmes, lacks plenty of social graces and relies on Abigail to try to smooth feathers (not that he’s aware he’s even being inappropriate!). He’s often stuck in his own world, following leads without explaining himself to poor, exasperated Abigail who cannot help but follow.
I wasn’t sure whether I liked Jacaby until I started reading Beastly Bones and realized that Jackaby is only an introduction to a strong and fantastic detective team with some really amazing secondary characters. Honestly, I think this series is only going to get better with time..
This novel will appeal to Sherlock Holme fans, mystery fans, lovers of young adult paranormal series, tales of alternate histories and unique story telling. Jackaby is an intelligent and witty novel completely unlike anything else on the market, utilizing humour an paranormal investigation to solve mysteries that appear average at first glace.