Jackaby has been on my radar since last year, but it took me a while to finally get around to reading it. I’m really into Sherlockian books these days, and this one also had a bit of a steampunk/paranormal edge to it that really intrigued me.
Synopsis: When Abigail Rook meets R.F. Jackaby for the first time she is pretty sure he might be insane, but she needs a job and he needs an assistant with an open mind and a strong stomach. The townsfolk have warned her that he’s a weird one, but even they don’t know just how weird his work can get. 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.
I’ve come to realize that I know a lot more about mythical creatures than the average person. I had a feeling from the very beginning that I knew what kind of creature was committing these murders, and I even had an idea of who that murderer might be. It probably wouldn’t be so obvious to the average reader, but anyone who has read a lot of creepy fairy tales would probably be able to figure it out quickly. It’s still a great mystery, and there were a few other twists that I didn’t expect so knowing who the official bad guy was didn’t take anything away from it for me.
“That the battles are usually in her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest ones always are.”
― William Ritter,
I really enjoyed some of the side characters in this book. Jackaby’s housemates and friends are some of the more interesting aspects of the story. It’s a bit hard to believe that so many people in this world refuse to acknowledge magic and the paranormal when there is tangible proof just about everywhere you look. Sure, Jackaby is the only one who can see “most” of the magical world, but some of the more obvious paranormal activity has been experienced by multiple people in their community and still everyone says “oh, that’s just Jackaby being crazy”?
I read Beastly Bones, the second book in this series, right away and thought it was good but left me with too many cliffhangers. It does have even more great characters, and I actually didn’t figure things out right away, so that’s a plus for it! Of course, now I have to wait for the rest of the series, which is infuriating for any reader. I really have to stop reading these unfinished series. I always end up becoming less interested over time, and if the authors are really slow to publish then I may never finish because I don’t want to have to reread the original books to remind myself what happened.
LC rating: (really fun series, looking forward to the next book)