[REVIEW] Beastly Bones

Series: Jackaby #2
William Ritter
 young adult, historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, supernatural, adventure
 September 22, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon

The highly anticipated follow-up to the “rich world”* of the “lighthearted and assured debut,” featuring an “irresistible character” whose first thrilling and original adventure “demands sequels.”* 
“I've found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I've known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.” 
In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural. 
First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad's Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer. 
Praise for Jackaby: 
“Ritter's debut skillfully blends science with the supernatual and balances whimsy with violence.” —*Kirkus Reviews, starred review 
“Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review 
“A riveting mash-up of mystery and folklore, with vivid details and striking turns of phrase. And Jackaby is an irresistible character.” —The Horn Book Magazine

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I asked for a sequel, they gave me one. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!

The unusual dinosaur, the stolen fossils, the unsolved murders, even the ominous pale man - they were all tied to those rocky foothills like frayed threads from the same cord. There were secrets buried behind that canvas wall, and I was resolved to unearth them. -loc1382, eARC

Mystery! First Jackaby and Abigail were presented with a shape-shifting creature, chameleomorphs, Jackaby called them. Later on, they received a letter from an old friend, Charlie Cane now goes by Charlie Barker, about the death of a woman. While the were no reports on foul play, that she was ill, Charlie does not buy the story. He thinks that there's something more about her death.

Solving the Case. At first, I was honestly confused at what's going on. I do understand what happened but I can't see how things were connected. A part of me kind of wanted to put this down for good but I ended up deciding against it and continue reading until things started making sense.

I like how Abigail's specialization or background was actually put to practice. One of the things I didn't like much from the first book was how Abigail ended up being set aside (okay, not completely since she's there.. right at the heart of what's going on... but it felt that her skills were kind of neglected or set aside). Beastly Bones really made up for that by giving way to Abigail's specialization, archaeology.

While I do like Abigail gaining some spotlight, I didn't enjoy the talks about femurs and dinosaur bones and the like. Initially, I thought that I'll get interested but I ended up getting tired reading about it.

Jackaby leaned in and adopted the sort of hushed, secretive tones that one nearby cannot help but overhear. "Miss Rook, on a scale of one to pomegranate, how dangerous would you say this situation has become?" -loc60

I really like the little straight jokes every now and then. It's really perfect for the tone of the series and to Jackaby as a character. It's also a great break from the seriousness that builds or the boring atmosphere that occasionally builds up for me.

I also like how the series actually opened up a bigger mystery on hand. Aside from what's happening in the novel, we were introduced to a bigger mystery that could stretch to a book or two. For all I know, it could even be the series' main mystery. There was also the side mystery on Jenny Cavanaugh. It really caught my interest but was quite disappointed since it was set aside.

The romance (how can I even forget that?) is definitely one of my fave aspects of the novel. I ship Abigail and Charlie!! I like how it doesn't go all over the story but you know that it's there and that there's something going on between the two of them. I also like how Abigail feels quite awkward about it. This is definitely one of the things I'd like to look forward to on the third book!!

Revelation. It's really interesting how things actually made sense. As the mystery begins to unravel, things started becoming more thrilling. Not in a thrilling I'm-excited-to-know-who but more like things are started going more adventurous or action-oriented which was quite similar to the first book. 

OVERALL, Beastly Bones is an interesting paranormal mystery. It's a rollercoaster ride for me. I almost put it down but I didn't. I finished it, had a satisfying ending. I have to admit that it wasn't as good as the first book but it was quite thrilling all the same (but that's later on the book). Beastly Bones is a recommended read for paranormal mystery fans. I don't find it as good as the first book but it's a nice sequel especially since it actually started a bigger mystery for the series to handle.

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What I Like: (1) the interesting paranormal creature Jackaby mentioned in the beginning (cannot get over reading Manananggal from the Philippines), (2) the side characters - the members of the site excavation and media person - forgot their names. ugh). They were a fun bunch always arguing, (3) how everything was put together, (4) action-packed climax, (5) the romance (shipping Abigail x Charlie!!)

What I Didn’t Like: (1) I didn't find it engaging. I got bored. I wanted to put it down at some point.

~I received this book in exchange for an honest review~

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