Algonquin Young Readers
September 22, 2015
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* Jackaby review *
The highly anticipated follow-up to the “rich world” of the “lighthearted and assured debut,” featuring an “irresistible character” whose first thrilling and original adventure “demands sequels.”I loved venturing back into the world of R.F. Jackaby and Abigail Rook. That great blend of Doctor Who meets Sherlock (either BBC or CBS version) from the first book is undoubtedly present in this second installment.
“I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”
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, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.
Jackaby has a personality that you will not soon forget. He seems oblivious to some of the more logical, expected reactions and actions of people. He is full of odd, sometimes supernatural knowledge and has an incredibly unique way of approaching his life and his cases. When he's paired with his new assistant, Abigail Rook, their characters are just about perfect.
Abigail is now more acquainted with Jackaby, his behavior and his personality. Her acceptance of how he is along with her more logical, even approach is a great balance. She also seems to bring out more of the humor in his character, either through her follow-up statements and/or reactions or her presence.
I loved that we got to see more of her character in Beastly Bones. We know her background from Jackaby and that introduced her to working for Jackaby, to starting her life on her own in America. Now, though, she is past that initial adjustment phase and we see more of her personality, her wonders of the future and of love. The author does a great job of making her character serious, intelligent and inquisitive when it comes to her work with Jackaby, but also awkward and unsure of herself where Charlie is concerned. It made her an even more likable character who was easy to relate to.
The mystery of Beastly Bones is bigger and stranger than I expected - even having read Jackaby. It's full of wonderful creatures - with brilliant histories and mythos. How they come into the story, the roles they play and how it all impacts the characters and the rest of the story is fantastic.
The Jackaby series is great, it has an incredibly unique and unforgettable character, another character who gets even better in this second book, secondary characters that enhance the story and are well done and mysteries that are unexpected but well formed and exciting. This isn't a series that relies only on an extraordinary character or fantastic mysteries to be solved, it has both - and more.
I hope that there are a lot more Jackaby books to come, with Jackaby, Miss Rook, Charlie, Jenny, Douglas and somehow Hudson
[Clothing wise, I keep picturing Jackaby as bit of a blend of
plus his hat, of course!)
digital copy received from publisher, via NetGalley