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 mostly enjoyed my time with Jackaby, but after coming highly recommended I was hoping for more.
- I enjoy the time and setting, 1890s New England not being one of my usual literary destinations.
- The story is Sherlock Holmes inspired with a paranormal element.
- The characters were interesting and have room to grow as the series continues.
- Even though the story is about Jackaby and his assistant there is no wiff of romance between them, huzzah! The titular-guy-falls-for-the-new-gal trope has been way, way over done.
- In its place there’s the hint of a romance with another character and I like where it may head.
- While I like the setting it wasn’t evoked very well. I could picture the inside of houses well enough but once the action headed outside I felt lost.
- The mystery wasn’t all that mysterious.
- There are tons of paranormal creatures but the lack of world building makes each feel like a one off. I don’t need a taxonomy of creepy crawlies but a hint at some structure would be nice.
- Overall the writing and characterization were thin and obvious. It’s a common complaint I have with YA books, but there you go. ~shrug~
While I might recommend Jackaby to my niece I don’t see myself continuing the series.