Series: Jackaby #3
Written by: William Ritter
Published: August 30, 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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 fiancé, 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 received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA and also on Edelweiss. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***
Genius! This book is genius. This series is genius! I am consistently impressed by how entertaining and amazing this series is. This book has been on my most anticipated books of the year list because I love this series so much and Ghostly Echoes was just one more example of why.
For one thing this is a series that perfectly blends humor, mystery, fantasy, and action. It has it all. I'm not kidding, there are so many different elements to these books that you wouldn't expect it all would work together so well but it does. William Ritter is able to effortlessly craft a story that combines all your favorite things into something different and amazing. Every book has me entertained from beginning to end as I'm attempting to figure it all out and then I am constantly surprised by it.
Part of that is because it is so well-plotted. This is the perfect example of what I love in a mystery. It's solvable but it's not predictable. And just like that little aside where Jackaby explains that mysteries are not always easy to figure out, this one is complex. There is a lot going on here but it all comes together so well into a conclusion that has you both surprised and not-surprised. There are great clues along the way and when it is all revealed you are completely enthralled. Everything really comes together in the end. I honestly wasn't sure that it all would because there are so many different elements working simultaneously but like I said before, it's all handled so well and is so entertaining.
But this is also an incredibly action-packed story. I seriously could not stop reading this book. I've been trying to tell myself I wasn't in a reading slump but I was just reading so slowly but if I was this book cured it. I was so hooked that I just breezed through it. That may have been because there are tons of amazing moments of action and adventure that had me on the edge of my seat and worried about how it would all end. Speaking of the end, it really built to a thrilling climax and it did it slowly. I kept thinking there couldn't possibly be more coming and then there was. And when the book was done I was left needing the next installment because it still isn't over. But the great part is that it left me wanting more without leaving me with a cliffhanger. It resolved the individual plot of this book while leaving the big questions unresolved. That's something this series has always done really well and I appreciate that.
I also really love the world of this series. There has always been a lot of great supernatural and mythological elements to this series but here there were even more. This was very much a "big picture" kind of novel where elements from the previous books came together to explain the larger context and world of the story. It also really developed the big bad who still hasn't been revealed and I dying to find out who and/or what they are. I can't wait to learn more in the next book. But it was fantastic to see Jackaby and the gang go toe to toe with such a sinister antagonist and some really insidious magical creatures.
But I think my favorite thing about this book is the characters. This is one of those series that is full of complex and quirky characters that I have come to love in three books. They feel so familiar and at the same time, like the plot of this book, surprise me in the most entertaining way. Many of them had some great development in this book and showed a different side of themselves.. Jackaby, usually so snarky and deadpan showed his softer side, and Jenny, usually so exasperated with the shenanigans got involved with the plot in a big way. But this is Jenny's book after all so it was great learning more about her and seeing her in action. In general, the characterizations here are just so fantastic and it is a consistently fantastic thing about this series..
Every year, a Jackaby book makes it on my list of the best of the year and Ghostly Echoes will I'm sure make it this year. It's a genius and entertaining read with a great mystery, thrilling plot, fascinating world, and complex characters. I absolutely loved it.
I give Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter 10 out of 10 stars.
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you are a fan of this series you will not be disappointed by this next installment. It's amazing! And if you have not read this series, get on that! It's absolutely a new favorite and a brilliant YA historical fantasy series.
Have you read Ghostly Echoes? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!