Author: William Ritter
Publication Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
“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.
Ugh, I hate to say this because I was so looking forward to reading it. I mean, a mix between Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes? Okay, I haven't watched Doctor Who since David Tennant left, because confession time, Matt Smith annoyed the hell out of me (go on, shout.)
There. I just gave you more reason to. :)But anyway, onto the book!
I love Historical's and I love ones set in different era's but I do have to be in the mood for them, so maybe that was my problem with Jackaby. Or maybe my problem with Jackaby was that it was so goddamn boring. Eccentric interesting characters? Yes, plenty. Exciting story/plot? Uh-no. Either way, it's not my cup of tea.Abigail Rook recently arrived to New England and seeking employment she finders her way to Jackaby's office. He, a little reluctant, takes her on as an unofficial temporary assistant, on the first day, she follows Jackaby to a murder crime scene. From there on out, a string of murders follow, enabled by creatures and things of the paranormal along with Jackaby and Abigail, they set out to find the murderer.
The plot was too much predictable for me, usually it takes me at least halfway to figure out who it is-or at least guess at who it is. However, in Jackaby...I knew who it was the moment the perpetrator arrived on the scene, so to speak. And guess what? I was right! So yeah, the plot and twists just weren't shocks or actual fun as it unravelled. It made me bored. A lot of bored that I actually skimmed most of the second half before I was reading it but then I was zoning out and had to reread and then just couldn't be bothered. I did, however, love how it was written though, it's like a story within a story. Well, the authors writing the novel of the main character writing the novel.Now, I didn't totally hate it because I did like the characters- they're actually what made me carry on reading and actually finish it. Abigail's a strong gal, she doesn't want to be married and have a man taking care of her. She wants to take care of herself, pay her way forward, be the one in control of her life and owe nothing to nobody. She's strong willed and a very respectable character.
Then we have the eccentric bunch, Jackaby, of course, and this is where the Doctor Who and Sherlock mention comes from because I totally see it- maybe a little too much. But still, it was always fun with him around.
Jackaby, although predictable and not exactly original, held the eccentric quality you expected and the characters are the thing that truly shine.