Jackaby | Spoiler Free Review

Hello, lovelies!

Jackaby is a book I read during my holiday in France. I love reading when I’m not at home. Most of the time I like the books even more because they remind me of the fun I had during that trip.


jackaby cover

Jackaby by William Ritter

Publisher Algonquin Young Readers

Published date September 16, 2014

ISBN 1616203536

Page Count 299

Genre YA, Fantasy, Mystery


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.




I really liked Jackaby. It didn’t go as I expected it to go, though. Somehow, I had no clue that there were going to be fantastical elements in this story. I must’ve not paid much attention when I read the synopsis. At first, it threw me off, but when I got used to it, I really started to enjoy the story.

Jackaby himself was a character really similar to Sherlock Holmes. They were both peculiar, disliked by the police and shared incredible deductive skills. I love Sherlock Holmes, so I didn’t have that much difficulty with this. Although, it just felt like Sherlock Holmes was thrown into a fantasy novel.

Abigail was a decent character. She was the person that almost every girl can relate to. Recently, I’ve been loving reading about characters with unique (good or bad) personality traits. Abigail didn’t really stand out. She had the stereotypical YA personality: pretty, naive, stubborn, you know what I mean. I understood that she couldn’t be as ‘special’ as Jackaby. He was the extraordinary character of this book. I didn’t hold any grudges against her.

I picked this book up, mainly because I was in a mood for some crime and murder. I have been obsessing over mysteries for a couple of months. I’ve binge-watched Netflix documentaries and other series, I finished Pretty Little Liars, am currently watching episodes of Buzzfeed Unsolved and read some crime novels. I can’t get enough of it, haha.

The mystery of this story was enjoyable. I wouldn’t place it with my favourites, but it definitely didn’t bore me. As I said before, it took me some time to get used to the magical elements, but the author did a great job developing the story. There wasn’t too much fantasy to make it easy for the author to make up a murder mystery. I didn’t see the ending coming, but I wasn’t shocked either.

Although I loved the crime-solving parts of the story, I would’ve liked to see some scenes not involved with the murder. That way I could’ve gotten to know the characters better. There are two other books in this series, so there is a big chance that we’ll discover more about their personalities. At least, I hope so.

There wasn’t much romance in this book, and I really enjoyed that. Cheesy romance has become a serious turn-off for me.


This book is an excellent choice if you are looking for a lightweight story but with a strong plot at the same time. It did not give this book five stars because it didn’t ‘wow’ me as much as I expected it to do. But, I’m sure I’ll pick up the other books in this series soon.

If you read this book, definitely let me know in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

Thank you so much for reading! Liesje


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