I recently finished the Jacakby series, which consists of 4 novels. Instead of writing individual reviews for each book, I figured I would just do a round up of my feelings on the series as a whole. I often find that there are series (trilogies especially) that I LOVE after the first book but then my feelings wane as the series goes on. Sometimes even to the point that while I couldn’t recommend the first book enough, I no longer recommend the series itself.
I've included the summary for the first book below, followed by my summary.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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.
Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre
Back to my summary :)
The Jackaby series follows Abigail Rook and R.F Jackaby. Rook is a young woman from England who has come to the US to find adventure. Jackaby is Sherlock-Holmes-esque in that he is a quirky private detective. However, he has the added bonus of being a Seer, someone who can see auras and supernatural creatures. As a result, the cases he investigates are the ones that are more than what they seem. Shortly after arriving in the US, Rook takes on the job of becoming Jackaby’s assistant, so the series follows them on their adventures.
The first two books I flew through. I loved getting to know the characters and the way that they saw the supernatural world. I also liked that they were a bit simpler in that they are kind of procedural. I enjoy crime procedurals, so I liked following Jackaby and Rook as they solved their crimes with a bit of a twist.
Every character in this series is so much fun. Jackaby is odd, but loveable, Rook is strong and curious, and every other character that gets introduced (that isn’t evil) is just loveable. I also wasn’t able to figure out a lot the twists because of the supernatural elements, so that was fun.
The second two books take on a bit more of an overarching story that involves battels between good and evil. I tend to struggle with books that are the searching kind of adventure. Sort of like The Hobbit, where it’s just a long story about trying to get to the final destination. I also don’t do well reading battles. I find that I get bored with all of the descriptions and confusion and I just want to know who lives and who dies and who wins in the end.
While the third book was still a quick read for me, the fourth one took me a long time. It wasn’t because it was bad, it was just not a book that I could read for long periods of time. The final book was also a bit more supernatural heavy than the first three, so I think that made it a bit harder to read as well. I did like the way that the series ended and am sad to say goodbye to these characters.
If you’re someone who likes a bit of supernatural and enjoys procedural stories, I think you’ll like this series. Just beware that the last two books get to be a bit heavier. I still enjoyed them, but I just preferred the style of the first two books in the series a bit more. I honestly could’ve had a series of 10 books in the style of the first two. I get why the second two books went the way they did, and like I said, I’m happy with the ending, but I still would’ve liked more of the procedural side with characters I loved. I would also gladly read a prequel with Jackaby and even a check-in with Rook later.