Jackaby by William Ritter
YA Historical Paranormal
Algonquin Young Readers | September 16, 2014
Who wouldn’t want to read a book called a mix between Sherlock Holmes, Dr Who, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer? This girl would want to, which is why I was excited to finally start Jackaby! It really measured up, too! It was a well blended mix of deduction and the supernatural. It’s a delicious recipe, for sure.
When I started Jackaby it made me think of The Monstrumologist. They’re both similarly set in the 1800’s, and were about the study of the Supernatural. Where The Monstrumologist was darker, more gothic, Jackaby was lighter and more comical. William Ritter took a familiar idea, but gave it a new spin and I really really liked it.
However, while Jackaby’s character is compared to Sherlock, I think I prefer Jackaby more. He’s focused, to the point of being oblivious, but he was never unkind. He was gentle and compassionate, and that made him someone I want to continue reading about. I liked him, a lot. I think I can even see myself developing a little book crush. It hasn’t happened yet, but he’s got the originality that usually draws me in.
While I do feel like historical fiction is presently inundated with modern thinking heroines, when I think there should be more historically accurate stories, I have to admit I really liked Abigail. She was plucky and witty. I loved how she lightly joked about Jackaby’s flighty behavior, but it was never cruely. Even though she just met him, it was always affectionately. Like, how we love Luna Lovegood but we affectionately joke about her.
What I think I enjoyed most about Jackaby was the lack of a romance between the two main characters. There is romance in the book, and I think it’s going to be adorable, but it isn’t between Jackaby and Abigail. Their friendship is exactly that, just friendship. There aren’t enough books like this.
This was a win, and I’m already looking forward to catching up with everyone else and read the rest of this series.