As I sat reading them I was so excited to have kids of my own one day, so I could read these to them. But then I realizThese books are the best thing.
As I sat reading them I was so excited to have kids of my own one day, so I could read these to them. But then I realized they're pretty spoilery, and would I rather have my kids enjoy these when they're kids OR watch their faces as it is revealed that Darth Vader is Luke's father?
Thank god I have many years to figure out the answer. ...more
The March family, with sisters Jo, Amy, Beth, Meg and their mother, Margaret, are a very charming acquaintance and following their big and small advenThe March family, with sisters Jo, Amy, Beth, Meg and their mother, Margaret, are a very charming acquaintance and following their big and small adventures in everyday life and love is a sweet and humorous ride.
Each chapter covers a new and different episode in their lives and there’s not any particular main plot. We simply get glimpses of their lives from one Christmas to the next. It makes it easy to dip in and out of, you don’t have to remember exactly what came before, but can read a chapter here and there, when you need a break from whatever dreary thing you’re doing.
Most importantly, it’s fantastic to read a book where 5 women have center stage, while the men are reduced to minor, supporting characters. The sisters and their mother all vary in personalities and ages, and it’s wonderful to see them interact, clash, love and learn their life lessons as time goes by, always supporting each other.
It’s a little heavy handed with the moralizing and slightly oversimplified, but it’s also meant for girls younger than I and a time much different from now. I wish I’d read it when I was a young girl myself, I think I would have liked it.
It’s a nice little book to snuggle up with, when you need to feel a bit better about the world. ...more
“All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”
Jackaby is the most fun I’ve had“All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”
Jackaby is the most fun I’ve had reading a book for a long while. It’s a lighthearted mystery and detective novel, heavily inspired by the well-known Sherlock Holmes, with a dash of the paranormal and inexplicable. Well, it’s not that inexplicable when you’re like Mr. Jackaby and gifted with the ability to see supernatural creatures and phenomena.
Of course, being a daring, eccentric detective is hard work, so enter Ms. Rook, newly appointed investigative assistant and a headstrong, perceptive and adventurous young lady. She’s our point of view, our storyteller, and her character does a wonderful job of maintaining a grounded curiosity, that we, as readers, easily fall into, and suddenly you’re hooked.
I genuinely enjoyed this book. It isn’t often I’m capable of just sitting back and enjoying the ride, but I completely let go this time. The first few pages were a bit heavyhanded and over the top, as if William Ritter wasn’t quite sure how to begin, but the moment the supernatural entered the scene he truly hit his stride and I was swept away by a myriad of curious descriptions and remarkable occurrences. It’s a well-balanced mix of folklore, common mythology and supernatural creatures we’re familiar with or have likely never heard of before. All centered around a gruesome murder.
The murder-mystery is slightly predictable, I’ll admit, but I still ended up sitting at my computer and reading this at 1am after my boyfriend had fallen asleep. Not because I was dying to know WHO had done it necessarily, rather because I so caught up in the adventure and was eager to continue it.
I am confident that the next books will have much more intricate and complex mysteries – they’ll likely also grow darker – but for this first book, what we were given was an interesting murder case, and some wonderful establishing of characters, relationships and worldbuilding. The force of this book is not the case they’re on, even though it keeps you reading, it is getting to know our characters, being introduced to the remarkable, magical and quirky life of Jackaby, and seeing exactly how well Ms. Rook fits into it. More than anything I was surprised and delighted at how well William Ritter manages to blend together the paranormal and the normal. I love that, by making Jackaby one of the only ones with the ability to see ‘behind the veil’, we only get glimpses of this entirely different world that exists right beneath the fingertips Ms. Rook, and all other ordinary people. It charms and intrigues, because it isn’t entirely open to us. Add that to the always pleasant setting of 1900th century England, you’ve created something that is certain to draw people in.
At least it did me.
If you’re looking for some lighthearted, quirky and well-written fun, with the occasional brutal murder and magical creature, then this is a very good place to start. ...more