Saturday, September 13, 2014

Jackaby by William Ritter


Jackaby William Ritter

2.5 stars

Abigail Rook has just arrived in New England. She isn’t supposed to be there, but she can’t contain her wanderlust attitude and hope for adventure. She meets R.F. Jackaby at a bar in an odd encounter and finds herself working for him as an assistant to his investigations. Jackaby isn’t like other investigators though, he sees things that aren’t really there- or at least seem like they wouldn’t be. As a series of gruesome murders begins to occur Jackaby and Abigail must uncover who the vicious killer is before it’s too late. I was so excited for this one. The cover is gorgeous. I was really intrigued by all what this novel had to offer, but everything just fell flat. Jackaby is novel that is mediocre. There’s no other way to describe this novel. It’s simple in plot, writing style, characterization, as well as suspense build up. If it wasn’t for the interesting crime scene visits or the remaining fifty pages, I would’ve gladly DNFed this novel. I expected quite a lot out of Jackaby and was disappointed. I do have to commend Ritter for the usage of paranormal and fantasy lore. It was very entertaining at times, but at others it was randomly thrown into a scene and just seemed like information overkill. The easiest way to describe this novel is odd. That sometimes is a great thing, if done correctly. Sadly, Jackaby lacked in the departments necessary to make an odd novel entertaining and fun to breeze through.

The main female character is Abigail. I have nothing to say about her. She was a heroine, but she was also more of a cardboard cutout than character. I feel that besides her want to be adventurous, I know nothing about her. I didn’t connect to her. She has zero personality. I just didn’t connect to her at all.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3

The main male character is Jackaby. Jackaby and Abigail have no romantic relationship, which is kind of nice. It makes their partnership strictly businesslike and not all lovey-dovey. Jackaby does have more characterization than Abigail. He seems slightly more solid, but still not really a solid enough character for me to form any thorough opinion on liking or disliking him.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 3.5

The Villain- I did like the lore behind this villain. It was very different from what I usually read, but still not a solid enough characterization or buildup of lore to qualify as anything other than me scratching my head and asking if that’s it.

Villain Scale: 4

The side characters are all very entertaining. There’s a banshee, an old assistant turned duck, a ghost, a homeless woman who isn’t as crazy as she seems, a werewolf, and a crabby police chief. It’s very entertaining, but also some of these characters felt like fillers to add in random information that wasn’t necessary to the investigation or novel.

Character Scale: 4.5

Jackaby is mediocrity at its finest. I’m extremely disappointed in this one, but that doesn’t mean that somebody else won’t like it. I recommend this to fans of paranormal mystery. I don’t recommend this to fans of Sherlock because that would feel like a bit of a letdown to go into thinking this is Sherlock with Supernatural combined.

Cover Thoughts: The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I just love the colors, the fading effect, and how classy it looks. It’s a beautiful cover. If I loved this book I probably would’ve bought it to show off on my shelf for the cover alone.

Thank you, Netgalley and Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I agree with you about the cover, it is great. It's a shame the book wasn't.

    1. It was a shame, but I think it just wasn't meant for me.