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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Hardcover with dust jacket. Jacket shows mild wear to surfaces including light scratches, mild indentations, and other light wear. Edges, corners, and the outer edges of the closed pages show moderate wear including edge indentations, bending / curling / crumpling of jacket edges, a vertical crease along the inner flap of the front cover portion of the jacket, and other general wear. Pages are clean and there are no markings noticed upon several scans of the book; however, there is some bending / wrinkling noticed to some pages. Overall this book is in good condition.
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Jackaby Hardcover – September 16, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Jackaby Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Ritter’s debut skillfully blends science with the supernatural and balances whimsy with violence. The smartly paced plot wraps up neatly, but the rich world of this debut demands sequels.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk.” —Publishers Weekly


“Ritter’s debut skillfully blends science with the supernatural and balances whimsy with violence. The smartly paced plot wraps up neatly, but the rich world of this debut demands sequels.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Smooth writing and inventive . . . background touches (like Jackaby’s tenants and pocket contents) characterize this supernatural riff on the typical Sherlockian murder mystery. For a lighter read-alike, try Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s Sorcery and Cecilia (2004); for a darker tone, perhaps Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart mysteries.” —Booklist

“Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk.” —Publishers Weekly

“Fans of Jonathan Stroud's The Screaming Staircase will appreciate Ritter's initial foray into the realm of supernatural . . . Avid lovers of fantasy will enjoy this quick read.” —School Library Journal
(Review quotes)

From the Back Cover

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 the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--seem adamant to deny.

“The rich world of this debut demands sequels.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“We honestly couldn’t put it down.” —Nerdist.com

“Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk.” —Publishers Weekly
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Jackaby (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (September 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616203536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616203535
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I understand why Sherlock Holmes is so appealing to younger readers. I would suggest that his matter-of-fact approach, occasional shyness and awkwardness, eccentricity, independence, and direct speaking style make him a very accessible character. I also understand why so many authors have created so many different young Sherlock Holmes characters for younger readers. The problem I encounter in many of those books, though, is that the authors work so hard to place young Sherlock into the Holmes canon that they overlook plot, character and action in their focus on making their young Sherlock look like he will grow into the classical adult Sherlock. As a consequence sometimes the books are more like academic or fanboy experiments than entertaining reads. (The lesser efforts are just exercises in name dropping.)

All of this is the long way around to "Jackaby". Here we have a young Sherlock type and a young Watson type, but no effort is made to observe all of the detailed Holmes niceties. Rather, Jackaby is free to develop as a new, different character, with a refreshingly distinct and yet still engaging style. He's still a bit of a know it all, still a bit supercilious, and still an odd combination of encyclopedic knowledge, eccentricity, and detachment. We're still in 1892, although in New England rather than Baker Street. Oh, and our hero Jackaby has the ability to see spirits and uses his supernatural skills in the course of his investigations.

I went in to this expecting that the supernatural angle might be relied upon as a quick and dirty way to resolve mysteries and conclude investigations, but that isn't true. While the mysteries are a bit obvious, the author plays fair enough with the investigative process.
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Format: Hardcover
I went into this now knowing what to expect. Sure, I read the synopsis and concluded that it was a historical mystery book, but that is pretty much all I got from it. I actually had not heard of this book before spotting the lovely cover on the shelf of my local Books-A-Million book store.

When reading this all I could picture was a crazy Johnny Depp from the movie From Hell where he was a crazy detective type person solving Jack the Ripper murders. Throw a bit of paranormal, faeries, werewolves, trolls and the like into the mix, and you got R.F. Jackaby, along with newly arrived, Abigail Rook, you have yourself a detective team.

The story went well. I mean, I read the first 10 chapters in a flash and couldn't wait to read more, but once you got past that, it seemed as if the story started to fall flat and drag on. After about 6 or 7 more chapters of that, it started to pick up again and then towards the end it started to come together quite nicely.

All in all, I would say this is a great first book to what seems like a truly one of kind series. I hope the next book stands up to this one.
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Format: Hardcover
What caught my eye first about Jackaby was it’s beautiful cover and the blurb about it being Doctor Who meet’s Sherlock clinched it for me as a need to read book. Jackaby did not disappoint.

The story follows Abigail Rook as she tries to make her way in the world. She’s just arrived in New Fiddleham disappointed from what should have been her great adventure, but only turned out to be too much work for not enough reward. Still eager to find her place in the world and not have to rely on her parents she takes a job with the eccentric R. F. Jackaby an investigator who is more than he seems. What follows is a sometimes serious, sometimes funny, and often insane investigation of the strange and chilling murder of a reporter.

Jackaby surprised me with its delightful prose that pulled me right into the world William Ritter has created. Ritter does an excellent job weaving together his words as he paints a delightful Victorian setting and more than often I would actually stop reading just to re-read a passage of description to take in the scene he was describing. Words that jump off the page at you and pull you right into the story is something I really enjoy reading but don’t often see.

Each of the characters was a delight to meet and grow to know as I made my way through this book. Abigail’s strong personality and optimistic spin on things helps to root me in the ground whenever Jackaby starts to get a little crazy. And what’s not to like about the odd investigator? His quirks, like his affection for his silly hat, and his tendency not to notice the normal things are endearing qualities. And whenever I almost lost myself in his silliness he always does something to remind me how sharp he really is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a delightful ride! I knew by page 23 that I would be wishing for a long line of 'visits' with Abigail and Mr. Jackaby. The book balances the description of the surroundings and making the area come alive with good pacing and a lyrical quality to all-you-survey making this an easy read without being too simple or overwhelming.

I love the determined 'chin up' attitude of Abigail and her ever growing take on late 1800s femininity... She is a smart woman bound and determined to create her own destiny. Jackaby is a cross between Harry Dresden, Einstein and Sherlock Holmes... and will be an interesting character to watch his development as the cerebral, distractible oddity that he is... The side characters are interesting as well. Hatun always knew she would live forever.

I highly recommend this book. It's a fun read and a good who-dun-it story.
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