Book Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

Posted February 20, 2016 by love2dazzle in Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

Book Review: Jackaby by William RitterJackaby by William Ritter
Series: Jackaby #1
Published by Algonquin Books on September 16th 2014
Genres: 19th Century, Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Mysteries & Detective Stories, United States, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audiobook, Hardcover, My Own
Buy on Amazon

“Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” —Chicago Tribune 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 the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--seem adamant to deny.“The rich world of this debut demands sequels.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review “We honestly couldn’t put it down.” — “Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk.” —Publishers Weekly • A Top Ten Fall ’14 Kids’ Indie Next Pick • A 2014 Kirkus Reviews Best Book for Young Adults • A 2015 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Title • A 2015 Pacific Northwest Book Award Winner • A 2015–2016 Georgia Peach Award Nominee • A Junior Library Guild Selection

“Jackaby” by William Ritter was so much fun to read. I enjoyed every little bit of it. The cover of “Jackaby” is so gorgeous. I think the cover is just so appealing. I think if I hadn’t had heard about this book already that the cover would draw me in just as much.

Abagail Rook is trying to make her way in the world and she ends up in the employment of Mr. Jackaby. Now Mr. Jackaby discourages Abagail Rook every chance he gets telling her that the job is way too dangerous for her. Ms. Rook has a good attention for detail. She ends up being the perfect companion to keep up with Mr. Jackaby. I love Ms. Rook because she has guts. She doesn’t let anyone or anything stop her.

Now Jackaby isn’t your typical detective. He is a seer. He is able to see the paranormal activity that the normal human eye can’t see. He investigates the unknown, the paranormal, the weird, and the ugly. Those things that one can’t explain is what Jackaby tries to figure out. The main character is a great reincarnation of the fantastic Sherlock Holmes. Jackaby is a mystery to the reader. The reader wants to get to know the main character better because he is so intriguing. One can’t help but want to get to know him better. I am looking forward to knowing more about him.

The one thing about the novels that I didn’t like a lot is the fact that the novel was very predictable. There really wasn’t as much mystery as I thought there would be. I figured out who the villain was right away. I wasn’t sure what the villain was but I did know who it was. In some ways that takes away the mystery of the story when I figured it out right there in the beginning.

The narrator of “Jackaby” caught my attention right away. Nicola Barber is a great narrator. Barber is able to capture the reader or listener and hold them there. Barber really makes the reader feel a part of the story and I really like that. I like how close I was able to get to this book and all I need now is more. I have been putting off reading the second book because I want to listen to it.

William Ritter is a great author. I really liked his debut novel “Jackaby.” I have had the pleasure of meeting William Ritter in person. Ritter is a fantastic writer. I love how he writes this Victorian Era with paranormal activity. I really look forward to seeing how Ritter grows as a writer and what he comes up with next in the Jackaby novels.



About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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