"Hatun sees a different world than you or I, a far more frightening one, full of far more terrible dangers, and still she chooses to be the hero whom that world needs. She has saved this town and its people from countless monsters countless times. That the battles are usually in her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest battles always are."
Author: William Ritter
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon
This was the 2nd book that I finished for the #ProjectTBR Read-a-Thon. Not very many people talk about this book, but it is said to be a mix of Sherlock and Doctor Who. That plus the gorgeous cover had me interested. This book follows Abigail Rook as she comes to America and searches for a new job. She sees an ad for an assistant to a detective. This detective is Jacakaby and he is not your typical detective. He focuses on crimes of the paranormal world. This book is supposed to take place in 1892 in New Fiddleham (basically a New England town).
The setting of this book was the main flaw for me. The style of dialogue and how Abigail thought did not fit in with the time period, in my opinion. While this is not a huge thing, for me it really hurt the book. And this is not to say the book was not enjoyable, the opposite really. I just think this book would have been even better had the time period matched the writing.
I absolutely loved Jackaby as a character. He reminded me very much of BBC's Sherlock and I loved it. There were so many lines of his that were so ridiculous, but so well done at the same time (I really struggled with coming up with just one quote for this review, so there will be two more at the end of the review). Jackaby's character is paired with Abigail who was a fantastically written character. She was a very strong independent character who was on her own and looking for adventure. She found this adventure with Jackaby. I really enjoyed the progression of the their relationship throughout the book.
The only other "issue" I had with this book, and I use the word issue lightly, is the lack of mystery regarding the murder and Jackaby and Abigail solving work to solve it. Jackaby is a detective and Abigail and him are working to solve a string of murders. However, this did not feel like a mystery book to me. I was not on the edge of my seat reading to find out who the killer was. For me, I was more focused on our characters and learning more about them.
The last thing I want to mention is my appreciation of the lack of romance. There was the suggestion of something between Charlie and Abigail, but it was not at all a major part of the book. I appreciated that we could have the friendship between Abigail and Jackaby without romantic feelings.
For me, this book was all about the characters. I loved them. While the story and the plot was not my favorite, it was the characters that really made me love this book. Charlie and Jenny were two side characters that I really enjoyed and I hope in future books we get to see more of them. And the writing of these characters was great. This book also did not have a chapter 13 which I thought was phenomenal. I loved the line about Jackaby not wanting the contents of chapter 13 to be included. And the end letter that Jackaby wrote to the police was also great.
Rating this book has been a real struggle. Initially on GR I had given it a 3.5, but I feel like I enjoyed this book more than other 3.5 books. At the same time though, does it deserve a 4 when I did have some issues? I think I'm going to stick with the 3.5, but know that it is a high 3.5.
♛ ♛ ♛½
Let me know in the comments if you have read the book or plan to read it!
"'So what are you?' I asked. "A magician? A wizard?" "I told you Miss Rook, I don't go in for that sort of thing. I'm a man of science." "Well, what do you call what you do?" "I call it ratiocination. Deductive reasoning.'" - pg. 99
"Pockets. I was thrilled. I have never understood the aversion to pockets in ladies' fashion- as though it has become some great shame to appear as if one might actually need to possess anything." - pg 153