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Title: Ghostly Echoes (#3 Jackaby)
Author: William Ritter
Published: 1st of August 2017 – Algonquin Young Readers
Format: Paperback – 352 pages
“There is something humbling about knowing that an entity capable of moving mountains and reshaping continents still takes the time to tend to the smallest patch of dirt. Little things matter. Footsteps matter.” – Ghostly Echoes
Hello Hello! How are you?
I hope your week is going well so far, mine is very, very busy, hectic and frustrating, but I thought that a review would be a nice little addition to the blog this week (and it has been sitting in my drafts for ages, so it was high time it saw the light of day)!
I buddy read Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter, the 3rd book in the Jackaby series with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses. We read this book at the end of October, and we loved it! This is the book where things shifted in this series. We flew through it and had so much time reading it, so keep on reading this review to find out more.
Disclaimer: As this is the third book in this series, there are some unavoidable spoilers in this review. If you would like to read this book series but do not want to be spoiled, you can head over to my review of Jackaby (#1) or Beastly Bones (#2) instead!
Tread lightly, Miss Rook, warned Mr. Jackaby. It would not do to push Miss Cavanaugh too far or too fast.
Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder–her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny s fiance, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all.
Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.
Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter is the third book in the Jackaby series, a YA fantasy mystery historical fiction set in New Fiddleham, New England in the 1890s. I have been loving buddy reading these books with Candyce, and I think that so far, this third book is our favourite in the series. The first two books were so good, but this one gave me real murder mystery vibes with a lot of great supernatural undertones and I feel like everything is coming together and the final book is sure to have a big showdown, I can’t wait!
This book is once again set in New Fiddleham, only the characters visit parts of the town that we have never seen before, including some darker and sinister places that I guarantee you would not want to visit. It was the perfect choice for October as there were a lot of spooky vibes!
I really love the writing style in this book and I think that it makes the setting and the world-building absolutely incredible. I find the descriptions to be so vivid, I am always whisked away into the moment and I sometimes struggle to put the book down once we reach our daily quota of chapters. If you like eerie settings with a lot of detail and a magical, haunting feeling, these books are for you!
However, this book also has wonderful funny moments, there is a subtle humour that just got me every time, as well as a lot of character developments and relationship growth.
“Bertram!” Jackaby patted him on the arm affably as he bustled past him into the front hall.
“It’s been ages, how are the kids?”
“I remain unmarried, Mr. Jackaby, and I’m afraid you can’t be seen just now.”
“Nonsense. Miss Rook, can you see me?”
“Well, there you have it. You must have your eyes checked, Bertram.”
– Ghostly Echoes
I am not going to go into detail over the characters as I usually do in my reviews as this is the third book and I don’t want to spoil anything. But I do have to say that Jackaby, Abigail, Charlie and Jenny have turned into such an amazing mystery-solving team and I love them so much.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Abigail and Jackaby have turned into one of my favourite detective duos. Jackaby has wit, he is so intelligent, he doesn’t have much tact, but at the same time he is very tactful, I have no idea how to explain it but he exudes sarcasm and an absolutely brilliant mind. I love learning about him, this book focuses mostly on Jackaby and Jenny, their backstories, some of their secrets and I loved getting to know both of them more.
Jenny has turned into another of my favourite characters, in fact, the whole series compiles some of my favourite characters and I’ll be so sad when it’s over. Jenny is both a mother hen and an invaluable friend. She cares so much for Jackaby and Abigail. She is determined and my heart goes out to her, she is so strong!
When I first started this series, I was afraid that Abigail was going to ruin it for me with her manners and polite etiquette, but she totally knocked that out of the park. Yes, she is polite, she has manners, she is very much a woman of her time, but she is also so much more than that. She doesn’t let society conform her, and thanks to her friends, she is turning into such a marvellous, independent and strong-willed woman. I absolutely love reading strong female leads, and if that is something you like too, I can’t recommend this series enough.
I can’t just keep blathering on about the characters because we’ll be here all day, but I just have to repeat myself one more time: I love them all – well, except for the baddies, and there are loads of them! All the characters compliment one another and I am loving seeing their development and growth throughout each book and each new mystery to unravel.
“There are lots of people out there who are terribly hateful. She could avoid a whole lot of trouble and dress and act as they want her to, but she chooses to be herself. That’s brave. Also – the last time we met she stopped Jackaby from hurting the men who hurt her. They might have killed her. Kindness is an act of bravery, I think, just as hatred is an act of fear. I’m sure can appreciate that not all strength is muscle, Mr. Finstern. She has a strong spirit, and I believe she is brave about the way she chooses to use it.” – Ghostly Echoes
I don’t really know what to say here because my brain is a complete mess, but what I will say is that where books 1 and 2 were more on the specifically supernatural mystery side and a lot more like Charmed, Supernatural or other TV shows like those, Ghostly Echoes becomes so much more and really resembles the vibes you get from Elementary.
These books are marvellous, but Ghostly Echoes is by far my favourite at the moment. It has such a great feel to it, it is written so intelligently and even if you don’t get some of the references of the time, you can’t help but see the amount of research and imagination that goes into creating this world, meshing known historical facts with imagined creatures that we all know from fairy tales and legends!
This book is marvellous, it has so many things going for it, including great characters, ghosts, the Underworld, long-kept secrets that are starting to unravel, a complex and interwoven mystery that we keep getting little snippets of as the characters understand all the cogs behind the hidden baddies, and such a witty and beautiful prose that keep me turning the pages as fast as I can go.
“This city is alive. It has a soul, and that soul is a glorious mess of beliefs and cultures all swirling together into something precious and strange and new.” – Ghostly Echoes
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was a fantastic third instalment in a great series. If you love mystery, YA, fantasy and historical fiction, then don’t wait any longer and pick up this series. I can’t understand why I don’t hear about this series more because both Candyce and I love it so much!
I gave this book 4.5 stars, I’m holding out for The Dire King and hoping that it trumps all expectations and that I can award it 5 stars! I don’t have anything bad to say about this book, I loved every minute of it and had we not divided the book into daily quotas, I think we could easily have finished it in one sitting, it’s that good! I am very excited to pick up the 4th and final book in this series soon and I hope you will consider giving it a go!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,
“My brick. My house. My whole wide world.” – Ghostly Echoes
Atmosphere – 8
Start – 7.5
Pacing – 8
Ending – 8.5
Characters – 9
Theme – 8
Style – 8.5
Total = 57.5
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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