Author: William Ritter
Information on series: This is book 2. Book 1 is Jackaby (which I previously reviewed). There's also a novella (book 2.5) available as e-book only. There is no information available on future books but I highly doubt this is the last one.
Audience: Young adult; may appeal to adults and even higher elementary aged kids.
Rating (scale of 1-5, with 5 being highest): 4.5
TL;DR: Chicago Tribune called this book "Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer".
Longer review: As you know from my review of book 1, Jackaby, I adored the audio book. Sadly the audio for book 2 isn't releasing until a month after the print book. For the sake of our genre study I read the print book of book 2. (And yes, I'll listen to the audio when it comes out). I decided to pick up this book at just the right time...my cable/internet/phone all were out one evening so I read this entire book in one evening. Picking up shortly after the events of book 1 I quickly fell back into the world of Jackaby and Abigail. I had forgotten how much I liked them. Just like with book 1 I couldn't help but picture Benedict Cumberbatch as I was reading this book. I love the quirkiness of Jackaby. You never know what he'll say or do next. I like how Abigail (much like Sherlock's Watson) tries to bring Jackaby back down to Earth. Yet she is brainy, independent and can handle things on her own. As we learned in book 1 Abigail has dreams of being a paleontologist so when dinosaur bones are found in a nearby town she can't wait to help. Jackaby and Abigail are called in when some of the bones are missing. I like the mix of their worlds. Abigail gets to use her knowledge of paleontology while Jackaby uses his detective skills. Of course there's a splash of supernatural activities going on. Maybe the dinosaur bones aren't dinosaur bones. Some of the characters from the previous book appear. You also meet some interesting new characters including some shape shifters that appear as kittens the first time we meet them. Like I said I read this in one evening. It's a nice, quick read with some hilarious moments sprinkled throughout. I think it would appear to guys and girls since there's a nice mixture of both sexes. I also think it would appeal to readers of all genres. There's something for everyone in this book/series.
There's a trend of Sherlock inspired young adult books. The ones listed below aren't fantasy, just Sherlock inspired.
Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly (available now)
Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty (available now)
Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (releases in March 2016)
Review by Jenny Ellis