book review
4 Stars, Book Reviews

{REVIEW} Jackaby by William Ritter


by William Ritter

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pub Date: Sep 16, 2014
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Length: 299 pages
Spoilers: Marked
Goodreads ♦ Amazon($9.95)



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.


The characters in this story, Abigail Rook and Mr. Jackaby, lean heavily on the quirky side. Abigail stands out from the culture of the time period in which this book is written as she is strong, stubborn, and independent. Mr. Jackaby is just quirky in general. He rivals Mr. Sherlock Holmes in this regard, and it really enhances the narrative of the story.

Explore the World
I really enjoyed the world building in this book. It was implemented well into the historical setting and utilized well in regards to the plot. Most of all, it was fun to read about and explore. Though, I would have liked a little bit more explanation of the world and its going ons, but perhaps there will be more in the sequel.

Predictable, but Cute
Some people have said they were bored by this book because the mystery wasn’t that hard to solve and it was easy to unravel all the secrets the book had. I would agree. The mystery wasn’t very profound. The bad character was easy to figure out, but I was more interested in the interactions and world building of the story than the actual mystery. So, it didn’t bother me. I still found this story to be quite cute.


finish the series

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4 thoughts on “{REVIEW} Jackaby by William Ritter”

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