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Ghostly Echoes: A Jackaby Novel by William…

Ghostly Echoes: A Jackaby Novel (2016)

by William Ritter

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Love this series. Love the characters. Can't wait for the next one. ( )
  Tiffy_Reads | Mar 19, 2018 |
I read the first book in the series back when it was first released. I loved it but never got around to finishing the series. That is, until I had finally caught up on review copies for February and found myself looking for something new to read. There are so many books I could have chosen during this time – other series I have been meaning to finish, books that have been languishing on my shelves for over a decade. Yet, the Jackaby series is exactly what I needed at that point in time.

The series never takes itself too seriously. It is as raucous and bizarre as the synopsis indicates. At the same time, it is very much a story with heart. Jackaby is more than the odd detective with rare skills. He has a hidden soft side that you don’t really understand until the end of the second novel. Abigail has spunk, which is something you realize almost immediately but which never fails to impress throughout the series. Even better, every once in a while there would be a sentence so in keeping with some of the brouhaha in today’s society that I had to stop and marvel at its perfection. I found myself looking forward to these gems even as they continued to surprise me when I finally ran across one.

I went into reading these novels expecting silly fun with great characters and a good mystery. What I got out of them was so much more than that. They are reminders to love and accept one another in spite of or maybe even because of our differences. They are reminders to keep your mind and your heart open and to never fail to help someone in need. They are affirmations that we are more than the boundaries set by others and that we all deserve the chance to grow and shine. While still quirky and highly entertaining, they are also inspiring. Honestly, you cannot get much better than that.
  jmchshannon | Mar 8, 2018 |
This was another really cool book. It lead way for another book in the series and I cannot wait. I did read out of order , don't do that. I missed something from book 2- it was kinda confusing. But I figured it out eventually. But again I so recommend this book. ( )
  MrNattania | Jan 26, 2018 |
I think that the Jackaby series is one of the best YA series ever! And, I'm not a big fan of YA. It's just not a genre I read much from. But Jackaby is a brilliant series and the latest book, Ghostly Echoes is just like the previous two books absolutely great. I like that this book finally deals with the Jenny Cavanaugh mystery, something I have been waiting for since the first book. I like how in each book you learn more about the characters and the strange creatures in it that most people don't know about. Unlike Jackaby that has the ability to see them, and here we finally get an explanation for it. How his "gift" came to be.

I loved reading this book. I find the characters are beautifully written with depth and the story is imaginative. And, I also love how funny and thrilling it is to read. If I had to recommend one YA series to someone that wanted something adventures and funny would I chose this one. It's a great book and I can't wait to see what the future have in store for jackable, Abigail, and Jenny.

I want to thank Algonquin for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
(Originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com.)

Trekking right along with my read through of the Jackaby series, “Ghostly Echoes” starts off basically right where “Beastly Bones” leaves off. Jenny, the local friendly ghost whose murder has went unsolved for a decade, has finally decided to take things into her own hands. Literally. She actually learns how to pick up things. But this is an important step, and one that coincides with the return of murders that seem to match the M.O. of her own assailant many years ago.

This book represents an interesting turning point in the series so far. Up to this point, the books have been largely stand-alone novels. Sure, a few things will be referenced here and there, but very few plot lines carry through directly from one book to the other. However, in the last book, Ritter laid the groundwork for a “big bad” to best all “big bads.” And one who had been operating in the background all along. Here, we find this is very true, with the plot lines from not only its direct prequel, “Beastly Bones,” but also from the first book in the series, “Jackaby,” being tied together to a larger mystery.

However, this book was very hit and miss for me, tonally. Ritter was essentially wanting to have his cake and eat it too with this one. The larger plot line and mystery were intriguing. Both Jenny’s burgeoning abilities to operate in the real world, the murders that seem so similar to her own, and the clues that begin to point to a strange organization that is operating with its own nefarious agenda were interesting. There was a lot to get through just with this main story line.

But Ritter had also to pay off the set-up he had built with the previous two books where readers expect to find wit, strange beasts, and madcap adventures. All of these bits, while good, seemed to fit in strangely with the more serious tone of this book. I found myself getting pulled one way and the other when the book would veer back and forth between the main story and the smaller interactions that, while important to the overall plot, felt more light and oddly out of line with the rest of the story.

As I mentioned in my last review of the series, the story is at its best when the character of Jackaby is used sparingly. He did have more page time in this story than the last, but this book also did a lot of work building up his past and making him into a more three dimensional character with deeper inner struggles than the simple “wacky Doctor-like” character he has been presented as for the last two books. I was happy to see him becoming more of a character than a plot point.

Towards the end, Ritter did seem to find his footing a bit better, sending Abigail off on an adventure of her own. However, Abigail probably was the least served character by this change of pace to the series. As I mentioned above, Jackaby’s past and character are fleshed out more fully. Jenny becomes an actual character in her own right beyond simply being a friendly ghost and friend to Abigail. But Abby herself? Largely it just feels like she was there to narrate the story to us. And while she does get her own action, it is only that: action. There didn’t feel like there was a lot of character development for her in this book, which I sadly missed. Also Charlie! He was barely there!

So, in conclusion, this book was a bit of a mixed bag. I very much liked the added depth that was given to the greater story line that now pulls through all the books in the series. And Jackaby himself is a more intriguing character now that it has been revealed that he is more than just a quirky, gimmick. But my favorite character, and the main character of the series, was left dangling a bit. And tonally, the book was a bit all over the place, teetering between a more serious larger plot line, and the expected wackiness established in the first two books.

The next and final book comes out this summer, however, and I am still excited to see how Ritter wraps up this all up! ( )
  thelibraryladies | Sep 15, 2017 |
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Mr. Jackaby's cluttered office spun around me.
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"The highly anticipated third volume of the paranormal detective series perfect for "readers who enjoy Doctor Who, Supernatural, Grimm...and of course, Sherlock Holmes stories, and who are ready to say up into the wee hours." Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly landlord of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the services of her detective-agency tenants 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 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" --… (more)

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