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.
Regrettably, the original review for this novel mysteriously disappeared – after someone forgot to save it – and since Microsoft sucks old, sweaty socks, I’ve been forced to retype and remake the entire review…
So, I apologize for this even suckier review than normal, I didn’t have a whole bunch of time to redo this, but I had to do it. You know the saying,
“If you can’t do it right, do it anyway”
(is that not right?)
Disclaimer: My rating of a 3.5 (B+) is graded on a curve because this was the debut novel of Mr. Ritter
Jackaby is a fun novel. Throughout, we follow the partnership of Abigail and Jackaby. She’s a rebellious runaway following her dreams of adventure and fulfillment, whereas Jackaby is an eccentric, witty, sometimes charming sometimes rude, supernatural (consulting) detective. She sees the normal and he sees the
unnormal unusual, because he’s like a seer or something.
The best thing about Jackaby has to be the unorthodox fantasy theme Ritter gives us. It’s very original because it’s focused around folklore (which I love) that Jackaby attempts to pass off as science. Jackaby would also have to be a positive point of the novel because I was definitely getting Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who vibes, however, he was lacking in many areas and just didn’t capture the true essence of the aforementioned characters. Another positive point would be the lack of real romance and the extremely platonic partnership between Abigail and Jackaby. Abigail does have a budding love with a certain young detective (cop?), but it’s occurring in the shadows, besides he’s got his own secrets.
The worst things about Jackaby was the lack proper action. The book is short – appx. 299 pages – so, having to read half of the novel for anything exciting to happen (or really anything at all) was quite boring. This also accounts for the fact that Abigail isn’t a great narrator, with her stale observations and dull chatter. Don’t get me wrong, she had her moments where I enjoyed her narration, but mostly I wasn’t interested. Nevertheless, the story is interesting and it’s fun to read about them finding the supernatural murderer…which Jackaby should have figured out much sooner than he did.
This is a series so I expected book 2 to advance above this novel…I’ve read book 2 but I didn’t get that…you’ll just have to wait for that review……
I know this review isn’t great, but I suggest you check out this one —> Jackaby