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.
Book Review: 3/4
Imagine for a second that you have just stumbled across a novel that combines all of the themes you most love. These of course are tales of deduction, with a witty character that is additional a high-functioning sociopath. Of course this novel has elements of the supernatural woven into it’s pages, but not just your flimsy written to the death supernatural, but lore based elements that have intrigued you since you discovered fairytales. Well then, aren’t you glad you stumbled across Jackaby.
Jackaby follows Abigail Rook, a young woman who has just arrived on the shores of New Fiddleham after desperately seeking adventure and failing rather miserably. Still wistfully hoping that she will live a life similar to her fathers, one filled with adventure of course, she applies for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. Jackaby is a detective, but his cases lie in the unseen rather than the ordinary realm.
Jackaby as a character had the wit and charm of Sherlock, who he most certainly is based on. Although I believe the humour was right on mark I just wanted to know more about him. The brilliance behind Sherlock is that he is a multifaceted character, one that has clearly defined flaws. I felt as though on the service Jackaby was reminiscent of this character but not to the degree I would have liked. In a sense I guess he was too similar to the Sherlock character that although he was a delight to read about he wasn’t as intriguing as he could have been. I would have liked to know more about his history, and delve deeper into the darkness of his world.
I thought the use of lore was really interesting, and created a unique world that was new and fascinating. Where introduced to banshees, and trolls, mixed up spells and ghosts. Again though, I wanted more. I believe it could have been a lot darker, which I would have loved. Since we read from Abigail Rook’s point of view, I wish that we got to learn more about Jackaby’s world rather than fleeting characters that provided hopeful but then a disappointing level of insight.
The mystery component was incredibly obvious, which is a let down when you figure it out earlier on but have to wait till the end for the characters to. This doesn’t make the novel unenjoyable, but it does make it obvious.
If you’re looking for a quick read that you can most definitely see as a pilot episode of a new series, then this book is for you. I did like it, don’t get me wrong, I thought the supporting characters were magnificent and truly melded well into the story. Despite how odd they were. The tale is unique, and I haven’t read anything like it before.
Do you think you’ll pick this one up?