Review Blog

Feb 17 2016

Beastly bones by William Ritter

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Jackaby bk 2. Algonquin Young Readers, 2015. ISBN 9781616203542
(Age; 12+) Recommended. Mystery. Paranormal. Following Jackaby  (YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults) comes another exciting mystery story set in 1892, New Fiddleham, New England. This time Abigail Rook and Jackaby not only have to face shape-shifters disguising themselves as kittens but an unidentifiable beast has starting attacking humans and animals in Gad's Valley, where bones have been unearthed in a recent dig. Charlie Cane, police detective is now living in Gad's Valley and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the trail of a monster and a murderer.
Fans of the first in the series will be very pleased to see this sequel, with its exciting action and feisty detectives. Some new characters are introduced and add depth to the story: Nellie Fuller is a clever reporter on the trail of both the murders and the mysterious bones, and Hank Hudson an intriguing trapper who threatens Charlie's secret. The competition between two archaeologists over the rights to the dig also add some tension as Abigail and Jackaby race to find out how the beast is growing in strength and size. The romance between Abigail and Charlie is only very lightly touched on, but is compelling too, as the reader wants to find out if shy Charlie will be able to get enough courage to woo Abigail.
Readers who have enjoyed the Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathan Stroud and The city of orphans series by Catherine Jinks will welcome this series and the slight cliff-hanger at its conclusion indicates another book to come.
Pat Pledger

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