Thursday, November 19, 2015

[Review] Jackaby by William Ritter

Title: Jackaby
Author: William Ritter
Series: Jackaby #1
Publisher: Algonquin
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 9781616204341
Pages: 299


"Miss Rook, I am not an occultist," Jackaby said. "I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion, and there are many illusions. All the world's a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain."

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 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.

It was late January, and New England wore a fresh coat of snow as I stepped along the gangplank to the shore.

Abigail was tired become an obedient daughter for her parents, she was tired watching her father went to find dinasaurs while the only thing she could do was listening to her mother's new gossips. So after contemplating her options for -I'm not entirely sure- a long time, Abigail left for her own adventure. Only it wasn't adventure she got but a puddle of mud, so with what was left of her tuitition money -which she stole of course- she was off again to come home. Unfortunately -or fortunately I should say- she sailed on the wrong ship and stranded in New England. Needing a job badly and no one but Mr.Jackaby was hiring, she landed right on his doorstep.

“I’ve heard lots of things, and one or two of them might even be true. Just about everyone’s got a story about that one."

Mr. Jackaby reminded me of Dr. Lightman in TV Series, Lie To Me. The way he talked about oddities which according to him is a true face of the world feels similar with the way Dr. Lightman explains facial expression and body language. Mr. Jackaby also has a very unique way of saying things that could make people misunderstand, that scene when he said Ms O'Connor is not 'special' was really funny.

“Are those pictograms? What’s that bit you just finished? The one that looks like a goose tugging at a bit of string?”
“That’s a seven.”
“Oh right—I see. I think.”

I didn't particularly take notice of the characters in this book except for Mr.Jackaby. Eventhough Mr.Jackaby's not the narator, Abigail is, but the uniqueness in Jackaby was what made me couldn't help but noticed him. Plus his actions and confusing explanations are what makes him stand out from the other characters. And there are nothing special about the other characters anyway, they are quite ordinary. Ah wait, I like Jenny and Doughlas.

"I assure you, I meant only that you are not special.” :p

There is only one villain in the book, that old demanding pain in the ass creature.

“That old woman? So she’s our killer?”

Hey, come to think of it, Jackaby is my first detective book, no wonder I was confused. Maybe it's the way they talked -it took place in 19 century- or maybe that's just how detective books works, I didn't grasp the explanation right away. Fortunately there are still humors in Jackaby so it's not boring, fortunately. Because except for the explanations, there weren't really interactions in Jackaby, much less heart-to-heart conversation.

"That the battles are usually in her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest battles always are.”

I like the discoveries though, solving each clue one by one, even if I guessed wrong plus that thing in chapter 13 was intriguing. And sadly there is only one bit of romance which I don't think could be classified as romance at all.

“So, it’s a ‘no’ on the job, then?”
“What? No, where did you get that idea?”

Overall, Jackaby is one hell of a ride and I really really enjoyed it.

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