Book review: Jackaby by William Ritter

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You know, when a blurb says something like “Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games in an epic new series” or “If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll love this thrilling, darkly funny debut,” I’m immediately skeptical.  How many times can I say it: Don’t set your readers up to be disappointed. That said, I largely ignored the blurb for this one: “Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel.”

Sure. Doctor Who meets Sherlock.  I rolled my eyes.  I set that thought aside.  And I started reading.  And much to my surprise, this book is exactly like what would happen if you mashed up Doctor Who and Sherlock.  Great job, marketing team!

In Jackaby, Abigail Rook has just arrived in New England circa 1892.  She needs a job and pitches herself as the new assistant to Mr. Jackaby, a paranormal investigator.  While Jackaby has an eye for the extraordinary, Abigail notices the little, ordinary things that might otherwise be overlooked.  Abigail and Jackaby make a great team, and their first case together is a serial killer.  While I might have solved this mystery myself within the first few chapters, watching Abigail and Jackaby get there was sure a wild ride.

One thing that I really appreciated in this book was the utter lack of romance between Abigail and Jackaby. They are colleagues, and maybe sometimes friends, but nothing more.  That’s not to say that there’s no love interest in this book – I don’t want to give you the wrong impression – but it’s not Jackaby and it happens in the shadows, never taking away from the main point of this book: the mystery.

The book is well-written, entertaining, and engaging.  The plot is very fast-paced and all the characters were loveable. I mean, just look at this quote:

That the battles are usually in her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest ones always are.

Once I finish my ARC’s and current library checkouts, I hope to head right into Beastly Bones.

Final rating: ★★★★☆