Tuesday, 11 October 2016

That awkard moment when you don't care about the characters anymore... | Ghostly Echoes

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) by William Ritter

Published: August 30th 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers
Genres: young adult, fantasy, mystery, historical

Summary: 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, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancĂ©, 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, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

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.


I remember really enjoying the first book in the series, last year, because it was original and I was digging the Sherlock and Doctor Who vibes. Nevertheless, when I picked up the sequel, I remember having a hard time getting through it and thought it was because I wasn’t the mood. But, it seems like it happened again with Ghostly Echoes, which makes me so sad.

I really liked the world Ritter created: it’s rich and has endless possibilities, which he showed at the end of this third book. However, I sometimes find it very confusing, because supernatural creatures are everywhere and they’re all so different. I can’t process all of the information most of the time, which leads me to forget some important parts of the stories.
Moreover – and I had this impression in the second book – I think that because of the endless possibilities, the resolution of the mystery comes out of nowhere, because you can’t really see it coming. What I want, with mystery novels, is to be kept guessing, not to be left in the dark 90% of the novel, which leads me to understand… Nothing.

I was very excited about the plot of this third novel, because we were about to resolve Jenny Cavanaugh’s murder, Jackaby’s local resident ghost and I wasn’t disappointed on that point, because it was part of a much bigger plot, which will be resolved in the fourth book. Thanks to this plot, we dived more into Jenny’s past and to get to know her. In this novel, because of the foes encountered, we also learnt more about Jackaby’s past, which helped me to understand him even more.

However, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t care much for the characters in general. I had the feeling that Abigail was slowly fading, because we had so much backstory about other characters, but not about her in this one. The mystery aspect was very important but because of that, she was lacking a little character development, even if she was essential to the story at some point. However, for a few chapters, I felt like she was only a spectator and telling other stories. When finally, she had way more action, I thought it didn’t last long enough.

I felt exactly the same towards the ending. The revelation didn’t come as a shock, because I had been bored and confused for some time. In fact, the action I was interested didn’t happen until the last few chapters, which left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth, as I was disappointed.

Overall, I don’t know if, I, as a person that reads so many books, is the problem, or if the book is. It’s just that in the middle of all the books I read this year, I don’t think I’ll remember a lot from this book – which is already the case with Beastly Bones. I still think the concept of the series was original though, so I don’t regret reading three books about Jackaby and Abigail, but I’m not sure I’m attracted to this series anymore.


Have you read any books in this series? If so, what did you think? Do you have recommendations for fantasy novels set in a historical setting?

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