BOOK REVIEW: Jackaby by William Ritter


20312462.jpgTitle: Jackaby
Series:  Jackaby #1
Author:  William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Published:  September 2014
Language:  English
Format:  eBook
Pages:  250
ISBN: 9781616204341



Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, NA.
Average Goodreads rating: 3.81

“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.



My Rating and General Opinion


It was if not outstanding and entertaining little read.

The Writing

The writing was on point because I read the whole thing in a sitting with only a small brake. The description of the surroundings and characters was on point too. I didn’t feel anything really special about it, but it was good enough that kept you hooked.

The Story

Storywise, it felt like a bit of a flop, thank god it really did have its funny moments!! Maybe it was too much to put on a novel, but it felt short and the main plot/investigation… well, let’s just say there was barely no investigation at all. Also, for some minuscule clues, given at the beginning of the story, you could have guessed the culprit from the moment he appeared. So it didn’t keep you guessing or really intrigued, but it being a mix of mystery, historical fiction, folklore and fantasy, it had a lot more to give than it did and hopefully it will in the next installments!

The Characters

The characters were OK, our main protagonist was nice and fun, with personality and a good start.
Then we had the main male, that gives its name to the novel, which was OK I guess, but not likeable. I see how the writer tried to create his own sherlock, with his trait peculiarities… and just like that he created a character with “his moments” but that mostly lived in a world of its own.
By far my favorite characters were the side ones, Mr. Junior Detective, Charlie Cane, and Crazy Old Lady, Hatun. These really brought something special to the story and the plot and I would just have loved to see more of them… and hopefully I will!! (fingers crossed)


It wasn’t the best or most originally scripted, but I still plan on continuing with the series.


4 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Jackaby by William Ritter

    • matxi_books says:

      🙂 🙂 well the series got better (in the third one at least)!! Plot wise yes, quite simple, but apart from those gorgeous covers (which hopefully next year I’ll have in my shelves) they had something extra that made me want to continue!! I completely agree with you! I haven’t seen them around a lot… shame!! 🙂


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