Beastly Bones: A Jackaby Novel by William Ritter

Beastly Bones

“So often,” Jackaby said, “people think that when we arrive at a crossroads, we can choose only one path, but—as I have often and articulately postulated—people are stupid. We’re not walking the path. We are the path. We are all of the roads and all of the intersections. Of course you can choose both.”
William Ritter, Beastly Bones

Goodreads Review

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.

My Review

I bought the first Jackaby novel last year at the Texas Teen Book Festival. I had never heard of William Ritter or of the book. I noticed it as I was walking past the BookPeople tent, perusing the books for sale and LOVED the cover. I also like any type of book set in the 1700s or 1800s. I’m not the biggest mystery or Sherlock Holmes fan but that’s not what makes these novels. Yes they are very similar to Sherlock but the writing is so witty. I love Jackaby and Abigail Rook. She’s the most perfect assistant for Jackaby. She’s intelligent and sassy in her own sarcastic way.

What I really loved about Beastly Bones was that the setting was quite different. I really enjoyed it being on a farm and there being the mystery of the Dinosaur bones. It was Sherlock meets Jurassic Park meets Tom Bombadil from Tolkien’s tales.

And Charlie was back! I had a feeling he would be… His and Abigail’s flirtation continues in this book and it drives you crazy the whole book! Until the end! Hurrah! I can’t wait to see what the next book brings. There will definitely be a next book. Ritter leaves you with a big cliffhanger. There’s a lot going on with Jenny the ghost in this book and creepy, pale stranger. The next book will be about them.

I think Ms. Rook is one of my favorite book characters. In Jackaby she is struggling with her decision of basically running away from home to have an adventure and to be her own person. She feels thrown into this job with Jackaby by Fate and is constantly trying to figure out if she’s actually qualified for the job. But Abigail is intelligent, and a match of wits for Jackaby. She finally figures out her place in the world.

In this book she is struggling with her feelings for Charlie. Should she pursue him or does that conflict with her idea of being her own person and living a great adventure? Surprisingly enough, Jackaby helps her (sneakily might I add) through this internal struggle. It’s great! I love them both.

Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James

Goodreads Blurb

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.

My Review

Well, I read the first one so I had to read the second one too, right?

I enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, if only for the Twilight parallels. I tried hard to like this one as well. But a lot of the dialogue in this book was sooooo repetitive. YES YOU LOVE CHRISTIAN, YES YOUR “INNER GODDESS IS DOING THE HOKEY POKEY, YES YOU’RE CRAZY AND INSECURE…. WE GET IT!

The dialogue, Ana’s thought process, it’s like I read the same line throughout the book a million times. I did enjoy the bit with Leila in it. It added a little more depth to the story but it ended there.

In the end, you see the thoughts of Ana’s disgruntled ex-boss who has been fired from SIP because he was getting creepy and frisky with Ana. He’s obviously pissed at Christian and Taylor for beating the shit out of him and causing him to lose his job and at Ana for rejecting his creepy ass. But it didn’t fit! Nowhere else in these books does the perspective change from Ana to another character. Not once. I get that James wanted us to know something was going on with Charlie Tango, but his whole point of view felt really out of place. I wish it could have been better blended into the story.

It felt as if James were trying to leave the reader with a cliffhanger but it wasn’t necessary. When Christian finally makes it home from his helicopter crash in the book you hear the insinuation that it was someone tampering with it so I think the readers already got the hint.

And of course, Ana is moving too quickly with Christian and accepts his marriage proposal. OF COURSE! Because that is how their entire relationship works, and I guess if they did anything correctly it wouldn’t fit the story line. But man! Slow your roll Ana! You just graduated college 2 seconds ago.

The only reason I continue to read these novels are because of how crazy they are. They are literally crazy and awkward and that halfway makes them interesting to read. It’s very weird knowing the story is set in Seattle, Washington but everything sounds like British in your head. The dialogue and Ana’s train of thought do not “sound” American. James uses a lot of British diction.

I’m not sure I will read the third one. At the time being, I’m not interested in knowing how Ana and Christian story ends.

Bound by Susanne Valenti


Goodreads Review

Locked in the darkness all hope should be lost but Maya has never felt so alive. She will have to fight for her survival even harder than before but she’s never had so much to live for. Everything has changed again and there are many obstacles in her way but she can’t give up now. Fate keeps conspiring against her but she is determined to get back to the city which owes her so much. They took her family, her home and the truth from her and she won’t stop until she’s paid them back.

My Review 


I gave this installment to The Cage of Lies series 4/5 stars. While I still loved the story and characters I felt like it was a little slow at the get-go. I enjoyed their journey and I enjoyed the ending (Valenti is great at leaving you with a cliffhanger!) but I wasn’t crazy about the gang staying so long with Lee’s mine-folk. I felt just as restless as Maya and the gang. I just wanted them to be proactive and to be in the city all ready!

I thought the fight between the mine-women and the girls of the gang comical! They didn’t have a prayer. But I also thought that part in particular was a little long.

But I loved the rest of their journey. I enjoyed the end of the Creeper King, the killer catfish in the lake, Taylor’s Dad being saved by Livi, etc.

I still love all the characters. Although Blane’s character made my heartache throughout the entire book. I just wanted Jayden to show up, safe and sound. But I know he didn’t have the same happy ending as Coal. 😦 Whhhhhyyyyyyyy????

I must say, I am so happy Taylor and Alicia are a thing now… Or almost a thing. They’re both Robins to different Batman’s. And they deserve some happiness too! It seems like they are both always on the outskirts of Coal and Maya’s limelight. I feel the same about Crystal too. Yeah, she’s not the most moral person, but she has a big heart and she’s loyal to those she cares about.

One thing that made me nervous at the end of this book was how it’s been so hard to get to Maya’s parents. I’m scared she has gotten worked up about them being alive and well but what if that’s not the case? What if the Wardens have been doing something horrible to her parents all along? What if they don’t remember her? What if they’re actually not alive? GAAAAH! The suspense is killing me!

I think the Dwellers on the bottom floor will end up helping them. They seem like they hate the Wardens as much as the gang does. Maybe they will create an uprising in the next book!