Jackaby by William Ritter

Details: 299pp, Algonquin Young Readers hardcover
Release date: September 16, 2014
Series: Jackaby, book 1
Rating: 3/5
Buy: Politics & Prose BN.com Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Continue reading


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Just a small one for the past couple of weeks, with two out of three of the books being from the library! Being on a budget really really stinks….for more reasons than just the lack of book buying, too.

Haul 7:17:15


  • The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I’ve already read this one and I have to admit that the ending is a perfect one for the series!
  • Dune by Frank Herbert. I can’t stop craving all the science-fiction lately.
  • Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. I’ve been tearing through this one. Just started reading it yesterday and I’m already at the 85% mark, according to Goodreads! Will probably finish this one too before heading out for the night.

Oh guys. Oh man. I have a whole list of books to take out the library as well as an accrual of  both Kindle books and physical books lying around. But as most of the time, I’m open for recommendations! Are there any books you think I should read, like, NOW? Let me know! (: And happy Friday!

New TBR Additions (26): the incredibly overdue edition

As I’m slowly easing back into my blogging way I am also slowly adding more books to my TBR list. (Seriously, what would I do without Goodreads to help keep track of all my books?) These are just a few favorites and the most highly anticipated of the bunch I’ve added since my last post.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Even after all the hype I’d heard about this series, I went into it expecting it to be contemporary and therefore not for me. But there’s a thriller aspect to it too, which I’m loving! I only have the last book left.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I could go for another re-read of The Lunar Chronicles sometime soon and I’m so ready for another series! I think she’s in my Top 5 favorite (current/still living) authors.

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. The summary plants the book firmly within sci-fi which is what I’ve been craving more and more lately.

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier. Another Beauty and the Beast retelling that I’ve read is a little too mature to be considered YA. I’m intrigued.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. Apart from that beautiful cover design, I like…. 1) Victorian London; 2) that it seems to have a sci-fi twist; 3) there’s a mystery at its heart. YES PLEASE.

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

So far, 2015 has been a little anticlimactic when it comes to my emotions for books. I can’t even come up with 10 that made me overwhelmed with some kind of emotion by the end — these six (plus the Harry Potter series re-read) are the only ones that have done that so far this year. [Note: I am definitely accepting recommendations for reads that will make me emotional in some way!! You can head over to my Goodreads if you’d like to check out what I’ve read so far.]

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. From all the tumblr posts and other blog posts I’ve seen, I assumed that this book rested firmly in the YA contemporary range. BUT NO. I WAS SO WRONG. I’m reading book 2 now and still loving it.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. I re-read them all, so it counts, right?? RIGHT?? I will never NOT cry at certain parts of this series.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. I have not met a Jojo Moyes book yet that I have not thoroughly enjoyed (as you can see with Me Before You also making this list.) Granted, I’ve only read the most recently published, but still.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. This one was a ride, but the storyline was so thoroughly complex and I liked that it was not a passive read. I really had to keep my brain engaged to follow everything, but I loved it so much that it wasn’t a problem!

Undertow by Michael Buckley. This is my first from this author and I think he did such a good job with the idea that “YA is not just for teens” when he tied in some political undertones.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. It’s Sarah. And it’s Beauty and the Beast. How could I not love this? It wasn’t perfect, granted, but it created another badass kind of faery instead of the floofy ones we’re so used to.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This one made me really emotional. I think I enjoyed the story of The Girl You Left Behind a little more, but the characters in this one wowed me. I always just want the disabled characters to be happy!

Undertow by Michael Buckley

Details: 374pp, ARC provided by HMH for review — THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Released: May 5, 2015
Series: Undertow, book 1
Rating: 4.5/5
Buy: BN.comBooks-a-MillionBook Depository

Summary (from Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen. Continue reading

Unreviewed Books (6)

The Boy with the Hidden Name (Otherworld #2); by Skylar Dorset. The conclusion to the Otherworld duology, the story follows the same whimsical tone of the first book, The Girl Who Never Was. While still enjoyable and on the average side of entertaining, it was still underwhelming for me. There were plenty of stylistic choices with the writing that made me laugh in a very uncomfortable way. Alas, still fun. 3/5

A Dance with Dragons  (A Song of Ice and Fire #5); by George R. R. Martin. So so happy to jump back into this world! I might take long breaks between books, but I always end up enjoying them once I begin reading. Though well-written and evenly paced, this book wasn’t as gripping as others. Especially when it came around to chapters with characters who didn’t play a large enough part for me to remember them or who hadn’t appeared in the books yet period, I couldn’t help but go “HUH? who is this?” In addition, I also couldn’t help but notice the sexism more this time around. I still love Daenarys and some of my non-traditional ‘ships I feel more passionately about than ever. 3/5

Speaking of….Tatiana Maslany’s interview in Rolling Stone (5/7/15 issue)

It’s been some time since I’ve flipped through a Rolling Stone, more because I tend towards reading books rather than magazines. But the Hulk on the cover grabbed me, and then I found a small feature with Tatiana Maslany and her many characters in Orphan Black. At the end of the feature, she made the comment that to use the phrase “strong female character” is reductive because we never hear “strong male character”. That got me thinking.

I’ve used that phrase, “strong female character”, often in my posts and now that I think about it I’m not sure why. Obviously those characters are my favorite because they’re empowering, but how often do I actually run across a WEAK female character? Is it really necessary to specify, or is it actually reductive?

It’s still something that I need to think on a bit; this post is more like a vehicle to bring a conversation to the table so I can absorb more views (please share yours!). For my favorite genres, fantasy and science-fiction, however, I do feel that it’s somewhat necessary to specify only because of the perceived history of female characters within the genres. Science-fiction and fantasy have been thought to have a largely male fanbase which then leads to more male characters than female. When I think of classic fantasy I immediately think Lord of the Rings: a predominately male character base with a few females here and there who mainly serve as love interests….until Peter Jackson made the movies and [spoiler alert] Eowyn destroys the Witch King of Angmar instead of Merry.

Help me out here: what classic science-fiction and fantasy books can you think of that have females who do more than fall in love with the men? Who actively work to better or fight for their crumbling (or even flourishing) society/kingdom? And what do you think of Tatiana Maslany’s comment?