By: Will Ritter
Release Date: August 23rd 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.
Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.
I’ve been so excited about Ghostly Echoes because I’ve adored both the prior books in the series, Jackaby and Beastly Bones. Each book focuses on a character and the backstory and mystery surrounding them. In Ghostly Echoes the focus was on Jenny, the ghost that cohabitates with Jackaby at 926 Augur Lane.
As with both books before I felt the pacing was even and as always I loved the characters. I didn’t feel as connected to this story because Jenny hasn’t ever been the main focus for me. I’m eager to hear Jackaby’s story (we did get tid-bits and with the way this ended I think we’ll learn much more in the next and final novel). I think we all have been curious though to find out what exactly had happened to poor Jenny to leave her in her ghost-like way. Many questions are answered and we get to see much more of Jenny and her past.
In this book I felt that Abigail was able to really stand on her own and she took matter’s into her own hands. There were many instances where she had to go forward on her own and without the aid of anyone. She continued to grow and as always her brave and loyal attitude made her very likeable.
In this book we see so little of Charlie- he does enter the fray about midway or so but his presence was very minimum and there was very little in the way of romance or interactions between him and Abigail.
I really liked how Ritter incorporated ancient myth into this story and tied together plot points throughout this novel and the series as a whole. I found the mystery to be intriguing and not obvious. Of course, the supernatural bits are so much fun and really add to the historical feel of the books. Jackaby remained my favorite character and perhaps that was why this was so far my least favorite of the series. His role didn’t feel nearly as strong and his character felt a tad glossed over. We did get a little glimpse into his childhood but I wanted much more (as I said above).
I found Ghostly Echoes to be a quick and entertaining read though out of the series I connected less with this one than the others. I did enjoy finding out more back-story about Jenny and like where things are leading for the next book.