Jackaby by William Ritter
Book Description: 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.
1. This is my new favorite series.
2. William Ritter is my new favorite author.
3. Abigail Rook is my new favorite character. Her father, an archaeologist, tells her that field work is no place for a young lady. So what is a young lady to do? She leaves (or runs away from) her privileged upbringing, and steals her tuition to travel the world on her own. She’s utterly inspiring. She’s also smart, capable, and downright brave.
That probably tells you all you need to know regarding how I feel about this book.
I loved this book so much that I bought the audio version preformed by Nicola Barber. She is amazing. She added so much to this story. She is one of those narrators that can breathe a whole new kind of life into a book. I can’t imagine the voice of Abigail Rook sounding any other way now. If you read the book first and then listen to the audio you can fully appreciate how perfect of a choice Nicola Barber was for this series.
I liked all of the possibilities in this story. Abigail Rook is introduced to a completely different world that has been right under her nose. She is introduced to this world by R.F. Jackaby, her new boss, who has a house full of surprises. There is an unbelievable attic, a resident ghost and a special duck. This book is imaginative and magical.
I kept reading that this was Sherlock Holmes with monsters. I think the only thing they have in common is that the assistant is telling the story. Jackaby isn’t solving cases because he’s board and brilliant. He solves cases because he wants to learn and help. I’ll admit that he has a people problem but I think it has more to do with Jackaby being single minded and yet oblivious where people are concerned.
Don’t get me wrong I love the Sherlock Holmes stories. I’ve just always had this idea that Holmes wasn’t completely honest with Watson. Like he was putting on a show for him. It was like Watson only got to see one side of him and Holmes only shared what he wanted to share. It obviously wasn’t his drug addiction. Jackaby doesn’t divulge too much either but it comes from a different place. Abigail is new and Jackaby has good reason to be protective of his assistants. He honestly likes Abigail and believes that the way she sees the world is important. He doesn’t want her to get hurt, not that that stops her because she can be single minded too.
Consume this book anyway you want. It’s fantastic. If you love well written supernatural mysteries with unique characters then you will love this book as much as I did.
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