Author: William Ritter
Age Group: Middle school and above
Rating: 2/4 Stars
Synopsis: “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” (Amazon.com).
As an avid mystery lover and Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, I went into this book with really high standards and expectations. This is probably, therefore, not the best book for me to review. I am biased and maybe I am also being a little hard on this story, but this was not my type of mystery. I really need my mysteries to be pretty jam packed and raring to go. Whenever I want a pick-me-up book that will get me excited, I always go for a mystery.
Now don’t get me wrong, because this book definitely had a fast plot. The events came one after the other and it was also a pretty fast read. However, the mystery overall wasn’t very exciting. I would like to say that the originality of the author’s ideas was a big plus and the main reason I kept reading, but the story-line was not quite as thrilling as I had hoped. The plot wasn’t necessarily predictable, but once I realized the truth of what was going on, it wasn’t a super amazing It-all-makes-sense-now moment. It just kind of happened and then the book was over. The feeling of an unexciting plot was probably due to the characters.
It’s not that they weren’t interesting and I never expect as much character development in mystery books, but the Holmes-Watson dynamic was portrayed almost too well in this book and didn’t help make the characters more likable. I saw their relationship very clearly, but the characters seemed to lack originality, aside from the fact that Jackaby could see supernatural things. So, the book did do a good job of portraying how the duo is usually displayed. I just wish there had been a little more interaction between them where we could see more original aspects and maybe some more character development.
Also, slight spoiler alert here, but one of the chapters is not even in the book! This was originally was kinda funny to me, but I honestly feel disappointed that there was just suddenly not a chapter there. Maybe some of you have read this and have had similar feelings…. but that was a little disconcerting.
So there you have it. I would recommend this book if you are super super into myths and supernatural stuff. Also if you want a pretty chill mystery read.
Happy Reading 2018–Let’s fly together!