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This book's description lead me to imagine a young Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, a young female Companion (like in Dr. Who). That is pretty much what I got - with a few other modifications. Jackaby is a prickly, fast-talking, socially-awkward pontificator much like Holmes, though without the darker sociaopathic edge of the true Sherlock. He runs his own investigative service and butts in on police cases as Sherlock does. However, our Jackaby sees fae/faeries, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures, which Holmes would have had no truck with. The fantastic element is used by the author to lighten the mood of the book, add humor, and hone Jackaby's sharper edges (perhaps to the character's detriment overall). Abigail Rook, our girl Friday, is lovely, open, intrepid, and game for adventure. She has run off from her scientific parents and dull university studies to seek adventure, so she is primed to take a job as strange Jackaby's new assistant and to discover this supernatural world. Her presence and the fae all make the book seem aimed at a YA audience, and help to tone down the grisly bloody murders that the book is focused on.
All in all, the book should appeal to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who fans, but may be a bit light and a bit YA to really satisfy adult readers. I was never sure how old Jackaby was - early twenties? Some of the bumbling absent-mindedness of the characters seemed to show immaturity, yet he is presented as a man rather than a young man when talking to the police. No one really seems to raise an eyebrow at Abigail living at his house unescorted though. The audio narration by Nicola Barber is very good, energetic and smooth.
39 of 39 people found this review helpful
What happens when Sherlock has a son with supernatural sight? You get "Jackaby". Jackaby is without a doubt a good listen. The mystery kept me on my toes, and there were multiples times I cried out "noo" as the story unfolded. Also Nicola Barber did a fantastic job as narrator. Her voices were clear, unique, and added to the characters.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful