Jackaby by William Ritter (Book Review)

Publisher: Algonquin
Page Count
: 299

Something very simple drew me towards this book – the cover! I swear, this entire series is so freaking beautiful and I love the colors, the person in profile with another one in movement. It’s a reoccurring theme for all the books and I cannot wait to have them all on my shelf (and yes, book two is already waiting to be devoured next). But aside from its beauty, Jackaby is a mix of Elementary, Doctor Who and Teen Wolf set in the 19th century and I couldn’t be here more for it.

Jackaby was a fun book to read. I am not the biggest fan of detective stories usually, because for some reason I find most of them too predictable, but I didn’t mind it too much here. I saw this book more as a way of getting to know the characters and setting the scene and parameters than an intriguing and unsolvable case study. Jackaby seems like Eleven (from Doctor Who not Stranger Things) meets Sherlock with his funny, child-like quirks yet his complete misunderstanding of basic human interactions sometimes. At the same time Abigail Rook makes for a formidable and independent Watson-like associate. I loved that she didn’t buy into the stigma of how women were supposed to be at the time and the way she knew how to use that knowledge to her advantage. The two immediately clicked as a team and offered some hilarious conversations. My heart was captured by the one and only Detective Charlie Cane though. I think I may have found my latest literary crush and hope he will continue to be a fixture in books to come as well.

“Monsters are easy, Miss Rook. They’re monsters. But a monster in a suit? That’s basically just a wicked man, and a wicked man is a more dangerous thing by far.”

Again, the actual case wasn’t all too interesting for me. I was far more intrigued by the variety of supernatural creatures that were introduced, opening up a whole universe of possibilities for future stories. My inner know-it-all rejoiced whenever I guessed the type of supernatural being correctly and was equally amazed when I heard about something I didn’t know much or anything about before.

Overall, I really liked the book and am looking forward to what the future holds for Jackaby and Rook and all the other characters! I can’t wait to see where some relationships will be taken in the upcoming installments and am sure that there is far more supernatural stuff to discover.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A fun, if a little bit predictable, read.

Have you read Jackaby? Do you think it would be an interesting story for you? Let’s talk!

45 thoughts on “Jackaby by William Ritter (Book Review)

  1. Yay!! I’m so glad you read this. This series is one of my favorites of all time and I don’t have a lot of people to talk about it with. DM me on Twitter if you ever need someone to share theories with or to commiserate on feelings with haha. I can’t wait to see what you think of the other books!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve had Jackaby on my shelf for a few years now, but I haven’t seen much talk of it. I bought it on a whim because of the cover. Your review makes me want to go pick it up right now, I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great review for this book Kat. I’ve seen Jackaby around a fair bit, the cover is definitely distinctive, but until I read your review I don’t think I ever realised what this book was actually about. The fact that you described it as a mix of Elementary, Doctor Who and Teen Wolf set in the 19th century has me hooked already. 😀
    It sounds like it’s full of great characters, and the fact you’re getting ready to start book two soon shows how good you found it too. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the second one just as much. 🙂
    Again great review! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Beth! I hope that the Doctor Who reference isn’t too confusing, because there is no time travel or the likes, but Jackaby just really has a vibe about him that screams Eleventh Doctor haha
      I really couldn’t wait for book two. I’ll probably order the third one while reading Beastly Bones, just to make sure I’ll have more of the series ready.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I love the cover for this as well!! Yeah I think the case will be less interesting to me too than all the supernatural creatures in it. And the characters do sound interesting, even if it was a bit of a predictable read. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it was a solid get-to-know-everyone kind of book, where the whole case wasn’t really THE biggest focus point. And it was very entertaining and that has to count for something 🙂 I really, really hope I can get through the book I am currently reading so that I can read the sequel.


  5. I have to say, I really love that cover, it looks beautiful! I haven’t read a lot of detective stories, actually so I have no idea whether I’d enjoy them or not… I’m trying to recall a book that has kind of a “detective” plot that I’ve read, but…. I just can’t?! Anyway haha I’m really glad you had a great time reading that one, even if some parts were a bit predictable – if you enjoyed the characters overall and the great supernatural creatures, that’s still a win I guess 😀 Lovely review! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m super excited to read this myself? I think I passed it over a few months ago -but I regret that now. I’ve missed out on a really amazing sounding book!!

    Liked by 2 people

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