books, FANTASY, review

Review: Jackaby series by William Ritter

So, I finished the Jackaby series in the month of October. Jackaby has been a series I’ve read for years and I’m really upset it’s finished. SO, because I am so upset, I decided to bless y’all with a review of the series. Yes, I’ve written a review on it all ready, but those are old, so let’s read one that’s newer, bigger, better! 😉

24001101Book 1: Jackaby

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.

 And yep, it’s just as ridiculous as it sounds. Jackaby sees what we can’t see, energy, paranormal creatures and is the link between the Other World (let’s name it that way) and Our World. Werewolves, redcaps, gnomes, trolls, ghosts, old assistants turned into ducks… all kinds of creatures are found in this book. It’s A LOT of fun. Is it well written? Absolutely not. Is it ridiculous? Heck yeah. Is it enjoyable? Incredibly! Abigail is quite annoying ( she’s not like other girls you know!!!11! [Hate that trope]) but she grows as a person throughout the series thank God. This is the type of book that will get you out of reading slump. Especially if you love creatures other than human. It’s very fantasy heavy, but in a good way. It feels realistic and the creatures are just like you and me, bakers, teachers, policemen… you name it, which is a great way of introducing these creatures to us.

24001095.jpgBook 2: Beastly Bones

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, members of a particularly vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens. A day later, their owner is found murdered, with a single mysterious puncture wound to her neck. Then, in nearby Gad’s Valley, dinosaur bones from a recent dig go missing, and an unidentifiable beast attacks animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Policeman Charlie Cane, exiled from New Fiddleham to the valley, calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

The only thing you need to know about this book: DRAGONS. There are DRAGONS in this one. Also, it’s a “wild west” themed book and that makes me very happy. Just as ridiculous, just as badly written, but STILL as enjoyable. The characters are ridiculous , they just seem to have one quality and their personalities are based on that. The female characters in this series are very: “Look at me i’m not like other girls!!! I’m cool!!! I’m SUCH a feminist!!!!” but it does get better folks, promise.

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Book 3: Ghostly Echoes

Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

Ghostly Echoes made me cry. I love Jenny, she’s a GEM and a really great character. Funnily enough, she is the most developed character in the entire series. She really grows as a person and I just love Jenny OK. This book was really needed in the series, Jenny has been a side character for far too long and she is SO important. This book involves a lot more mythology than fantasy creatures, we even go to the after life. Reviewing this series without spoiling everything is harder than I thought, haha. This is a really strong book in the series, you can tell that the author is growing as well and it’s just a real pleasure to read!

33590221.jpgBook 4: the Dire King

The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether

The Dire King is the weakest book in the series. It was really fun, don’t get me wrong, but it felt rushed, the relationship between Jackaby and Jenny feels forced and it needed just a bit MORE. It’s the shortest of the bunch and you can tell, it really needed a few more chapters to really capture what we are reading. We never get to know why there are freaking ZOMBIES in this book (ok, weirdly explained but I still don’t understand how) and it leaves some plot holes. Basically, I’m hoping for a second series to rectify this mess. I’m glad I read it, I cried when it was finished, but some of these things were just really far fetched and again, we just needed MORE. I almost want to say you should skip the fourth one, but it was a really fun and quick read.

Long story short: I love this series SO MUCH. It isn’t amazingly well written, it isn’t a master piece, it isn’t special, but it’s so much fun and I love the ridiculous adventures of  Abigail and Jackaby and I nééd another series! This isn’t a book if you want a serious intense series, but it’s a series you take with you on holidays or when you are commuting. If you noticed that we have a similar taste in books by reading my other reviews, I don’t think you’d go wrong with this one! 😉

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