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Title: Beastly Bones (#2 Jackaby)
Author: William Ritter
Published: 2nd of August 2016 – Algonquin Young Readers
Format: Paperback – 320 pages
““Miss Rook,” he said, “the greatest figures in history are never the ones who avoid failure, but those who march chin-up through countless failures, one after the next, until they come upon the occasional victory.” He put a hand on my shoulder. “Failure is not the opposite of success—it’s a part of it.” – Beastly Bones
Hello Hello! How are you all?
It’s finally the weekend, yay! This week has been so long and I’ve had loads of online classes that all had technical issues, I’m glad I have the weekend to read and rest aha!
It’s been a while since I read this book, but I finally sat down and got the review ready for it. Candyce and I have nearly finished the last book in the series actually, and we are having so much fun!
Disclaimer: This is the second book in this series, so there might be some spoilers for the first book in my review. If you would like to read this series and don’t want to be spoiled, head over to my review of Jackaby instead!
I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality . . .
In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, members of a particularly vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens. A day later, their owner is found murdered, with a single mysterious puncture wound to her neck.
Then, in nearby Gad’s Valley, dinosaur bones from a recent dig go missing, and an unidentifiable beast attacks animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Policeman Charlie Cane, exiled from New Fiddleham to the valley, calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.
Beastly Bones by William Ritter is the second book in the young adult mystery historical fiction fantasy series (which is quite a mouthful) called Jackaby. As soon as Candyce and I finished Jackaby, the first book in the series, we knew we wanted to continue it on and we were so happy that we picked it up because we both absolutely loved this second instalment.
This book starts off where the last one ended, I absolutely loved this world the first time around and I absolutely loved it the second time around. We got to see all our favourite characters again and met some new ones, there were plot twists and close misses and it was so great!
This second book in the series starts in New Fiddleham, a small town in New England, U.S., where Abigail Rook now resides, with Jackaby, in the house on Augur Lane. Following their last adventure and mission, they are following some new leads which take them to Gad’s Valley, where another beloved character had been sent at the end of book one, but I won’t say who.
I really do feel that the setting and atmosphere of these books are on point. I love historical fiction and they scream historical to me, and I love the added bits of lore and unexplained phenomena because they make this quite a spooky story.
I also liked that our characters went to Gadston in Gad’s Valley to follow some leads and they found a whole new case. This was much more of a rural setting compared to New Fiddleham, it had the feel of the countryside and a slightly desolated and lonely aspect to it, which I actually found went hand in hand with the intrigue.
I really like this author’s settings and world-building, I can picture myself there and that means a lot to me, I feel like I am in America, back in the 1800s, chasing creatures and ghosts across the countryside alongside Jackaby, Abigail and Charlie and it really is a wonderful feeling.
““So often,” Jackaby said, “people think that when we arrive at a crossroads, we can choose only one path, but—as I have often and articulately postulated—people are stupid. We’re not walking the path. We are the path. We are all of the roads and all of the intersections. Of course you can choose both.”” – Beastly Bones
Abigail: Abigail is the narrator of this book and she is still my absolute favourite, I love her so much, she might actually be in the list of my favourite characters of all time. She isn’t a fragile or vulnerable woman, she isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty, she is independent, she has grit, she is witty and I just can’t help by smile and laugh when she makes a quick remark or shows her strength. I love how the author wrote this character, she is so likeable.
Jackaby: Jackaby also has to be one of my favourite characters because come on, it’s Jackaby right? I liked having more of an insight into this character in this book, he is very likeable despite him not being that approachable, but you definitely get awkward genius detective vibes from him. He just reminds me SO MUCH of Sherlock Holmes from Elementary, it’s ridiculous and I think it’s one of the reasons I love him so much, I cannot wait to read more!
Jenny: We didn’t see much of Jenny this time around but gosh that ending!! And even the start!! I got a little worried for a minute because she seemed to be spiralling out of control, but with how it ended and the implications of everything, I’m just so excited to read the third book in this series. I’m pretty sure she is going to be centre stage in Ghostly Echoes, I’m really looking forward to knowing more about her, it’s so intriguing.
Charlie: Charlie is probably one of my book crushes now. He is a gentleman, and kind and sweet, but also has a strong sense of protection and loyalty. Again, it was nice to know more about him, there was a scene between him and Abigail where he talked about where he came from and it revealed just how sensitive he is. I hope we will see him again, I mean, we have to after what happened, but I’m going to sound boring, I love him!
Nellie: Nellie wasn’t around much, but the parts that she was, she was REALLY there. Nellie is the kind of strong-willed, fiery, independent woman that I love to read about in books. She knows what her life is, she knows what she wants, she knows who she is and she knows how to get what she wants. I found her really spunky, she was a great addition to this plot.
Hudson: I didn’t really know what to think of this character at the start, but he is a crucial part of the book, you only find out why at the end though. His attitude was kind of weird to me at the start but I have to say that the author knows how to portray his characters and I really got a Southern trapper vibe from Hudson!
“The trick about falling is to catch yourself before you hit the dirt.” – Beastly Bones
Murder: This is a mystery series, so there are bound to be murders, although, in this book, we didn’t concentrate that much on murders, there was another really interesting plot and although the murder was a very important part of it, it wasn’t the biggest. I do love a good murder though!
Mystery: The mystery in this book is a really unique one and quite frankly, I loved it because I’d never read anything like it. This series has a lot of paranormal mysteries, so if this is something that you like, then you need to pick this series up. I also love the fact that Jackaby is always one step ahead and knows the answer before anything else, this really made me think of Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes from Elementary and it made me love this book even more.
Archaeology and myths: I am a sucker for anything that has to do with history, so when I read this blurb, I was sure I was going to love it. Abigail and Jackaby head to Gad’s Valley because of a missing dinosaur bone on a new dig site, but I was really not expecting what happened, I think it was great. This book’s plot is basically based on archaeology, history, myths and the paranormal, it was great!
Relationship: The main relationship in this book is the one between Abigail and Jackaby. They are not in a romantic relationship, but they are colleagues and I feel like they are starting to become true friends in this book. It was lovely to see them get to know one another, and I’ll talk about that more in my final point. I also want to touch on another relationship that blossoms, but I don’t want to spoil you, so you will have to read it yourself (sorry), I can say though, that it’s so cute.
Detective duo: Abigail and Jackaby are one of the best detective duos I have ever read, it’s a theme I adore in books, I love when two characters come together, I love when they really complete one another and I loved their dynamic. They really go well together and I just can’t wait for more of these two paranormal detectives.
Trigger Warnings: blood, gore, death, explosions, violence, murder, strange creatures, past setting (and all the hierarchical and patriarchal elements to go with it), fighting.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
I don’t know if you can tell by now or not, but I absolutely loved this book! I knew I was going to enjoy it because Jackaby (book one) was really good, but this one was even better and I still can’t believe that I never hear anyone talk about this book. I’m so glad Candyce and I got the chance to read it because we had so much fun and we are really looking forward to picking up Ghostly Echoes (book three).
The writing style is really nice, it flows, this book has great pace. I never found myself bored and okay, this is basically historical fiction so you have to be ready for past behaviours and talk, but it really didn’t bother me. I think the author has done an amazing job of creating this series, of weaving different genres into one book and I just love how his character shines through. It’s dark and spooky, it has humour, it has twists and turns and I love it.
I gave this book 4.5 stars, I nearly gave it 5 stars but it is just missing a tiny spark to get it up to the highest rating. I do love this book and this series so much though, and if this sounds like the book for you, you definitely need to check it out, I guarantee you’ll love it!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,
“Some girls work in shops or sell flowers. Some girls find husbands and play house. I assist a mad detective in investigating unexplained phenomena—like fish that ought to be cats but seem to have forgotten how. My name is Abigail Rook, and this is what I do.” – Beastly Bones
Atmosphere – 7.5
Start – 8
Pacing – 8
Ending – 9
Characters – 8.5
Theme – 8.5
Style – 8.5
Total = 58
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK – Amazon FR – Amazon US – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Audible FR (affiliate link) – Waterstones – Barnes and Noble – Audible UK – Scrib’d – Kobo