Title: Ghostly Echoes
Author: William Ritter
Genre: Young Adult, Adult
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Date published: August 23, 2016
Page Count: 348
An e-copy of this book was kindly provided through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: “Tread lightly, Miss Rook,” warned Mr. Jackaby. “It would not do to push Miss Cavanaugh too far or too fast.”
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, 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.
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.
Ghostly Echoes, the third installment in the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series, features its much-loved quirky, courageous characters and sly humor in the scariest and most exciting volume yet.
William Ritter’s Ghostly Echoes was a very fun-packed read.
I enjoyed reading it throughout, although there were some bits which bugged me here and there. But I will get to those later. First, all of the good, because the bad is minuscule, and probably only bugged me due to my pickiness.
The characters were vibrant and I found that they were easy to differentiate between. When they spoke, they each had their own distinct voice, and their on particular way of speaking. One can also easily feel each character’s personality radiate out of their dialogue. Detective Jackaby and Miss Ritter’s banter was especially enjoyable.
The world-building was done very well. I was able to picture each location in my mind with the help of Ritter’s descriptive language. I was transported to the U.S.A. in the Victorian Era as easily as more fantastical places in the book (I won’t go into detail on those so as to avoid spoilers).
I greatly enjoyed William Ritter’s writing…to the point where slower portions of the book kept me engaged simply due to the rich language used. I have some quotes from this book which I need to write down, because they were just fantastically written and/or hilarious. Ritter’s wit definitely permeates his writing, and it was incredibly enjoyable for me to experience.
Now, as for the minuscule negatives. I found that I became very frustrated in places, because I was given the same information as the characters, but I would make important conclusions about said information a lot quicker than the characters. I was a little irritated at waiting for them to catch up, but then I reminded myself that their flaws make them more believable as characters. Plus, they are put under strain, whereas I’m sitting comfortably while digesting the above-mentioned information.
And the other maybe negative thing I have to say is that I found that the book was building toward a climax, but that it did not climax quite as aggressively as I felt that it would? Perhaps aggressively is not the right word, and that maybe I should use the word “explosive” in stead. There was a build up with very little release, in either case. But I do understand that this book, along with the two which came before it, are building toward the overarching climax of the entire story line. This was therefore not a major negative.
I recommend this book to those who like historical fiction, folklore, and colourful language which will keep you engaged throughout!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Reports of William Ritter’s birthplace are unreliable and varied, placing his hometown either in a series of mysterious Catacombs in Malta or in a nondescript town in Oregon. His parents, it can be confirmed, raised him to value intelligence, creativity, and individuality. When reading aloud, they always did the voices.
At the University of Oregon, William made questionable choices, including willfully selecting classes for the interesting stories they promised, rather than for any practical application. When he wasn’t frivolously playing with words, he earned credits in such meaningful courses as Trampoline, Juggling, and 17th Century Italian Longsword. These dubious decisions notwithstanding, he regrets nothing and now holds degrees in English and Education with certificates in Creative Writing and Folklore.
He currently teaches high school Language Arts, including reading and writing, mythology and heroes. He is a proud husband and father. When reading aloud, he always does the voices. (Source: Written By Ritter)
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