Tag Archives: William Ritter

Book Review: The Oddmire, Book 2: The Unready Queen by William Ritter

Algonquin Young Readers
TBP June 2nd, 2020
272 Pages

Human and goblin brothers Cole and Tinn are finding their way back to normal after their journey to the heart of the Oddmire. Normal, unfortunately, wants nothing to do with them. Fable, the daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark, has her first true friends in the brothers. The Queen allows Fable to visit Tinn and Cole as long as she promises to stay quiet and out of sight—concealing herself and her magic from the townspeople of Endsborough.

But when the trio discovers that humans are destroying the Wild Wood and the lives of its creatures for their own dark purposes, Fable cannot stay quiet. As the unspoken truce between the people of Endsborough and the inhabitants of the Wild Wood crumbles, violence escalates, threatening war and bringing Fable’s mother closer to the fulfillment of a deadly prophecy that could leave Fable a most Unready Queen.- Goodreads

William Ritter is one of my favorite writers. If you haven’t taken the time to read the Jackaby series, you need to.  It is a young adult fantasy mystery and it is fantastic.

This book, The Unready Queen is a good follow-up to the first read.  Not as great as the first one but extremely solid with character development, family (and family boundaries) and plenty of magic. But also what should be noted in this book is how humans suck. *shrugs* it is what it is.

The book is a slow build. For sometime there is only vague hints that something big is about to happen and the foreshadowing within this novel was great.

What I loved most about this read was the world building i.e. the Wild Wood. Ritter has a way of telling magic. There are details that show a care in research and an appreciation in nature. I was completely involved in this world that when he described where the city, I was over it LOL

I also love the growing pains that are exhibited within this novel. Tinn and Cole are becoming much more different and their goals are shifting. Not saying good verses evil but they are growing up and technically have different form of lives even though they are together a lot.

I love seeing their dynamic.

Fable is an interesting character and I say that because she is a mix of a rebellious teenager (although she is not a teenager), naive child, and extremely powerful being. Her desire for knowledge is refreshing because no one else seems to want to know things. They just do.

Ritter stresses the differences between Humans and those of the Wild Wood.  The baseline of wanting to live in peace is their common goal but other than that the moral ground is completely different.  It didn’t take much for the Humans to want to “get rid” of the begins in the Wood. It didn’t take much for them to want to destroy everything.  I was so frustrated.

But overall, I enjoyed reading this novel. There will be a third one and I look forward to that.

3 Pickles

Book Review: Changeling by William Ritter

Algonquin Young Readers
TBP July 16th, 2019
272 Pages

Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the fateful night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong.

After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted from his task. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart. Not knowing which to bring back, he leaves both babies behind.

Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. Then when they are twelve years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic.

 The boys must leave behind their sleepy town of Endsborough and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, crossing the perilous Oddmire swamp and journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and discover who they truly are.- Goodreads


How freaking perfect was this book?! I probably just start off by saying anything William Ritter writes, I will read it. If you haven’t taken the time to read his Jackaby series, you are missing out. Seriously missing out. But this book review isn’t about Jackaby but about the new series called Oddmire.

As a disclaimer, you need to know that this book is for middle school children; however, there are adult themes that a child may miss but you will not. This book with all its magic and fantasy holds on very tightly to family, different types of family, traditions and most importantly love and its different forms.

The book is told in different point of views; the brothers, Tinn and Cole, the Mother, Annie, Kull and another person that I will not mention at this time. The different perspectives adds this layer that clearly separates the emotions the author wants you to feel. However, one emotion that is not present at all in this book is excitement; specifically Tinn and Cole. They not exactly excited for the adventure and rightfully so. This somber mood does not change at all in this book, however, the really cool thing about it is it doesn’t bring you down. You have that hope that everything is going to be alright when there are moments you strongly believe things won’t be alright.

I wouldn’t say that this was a slow read. It is very detailed without it feeling as if the author is reaching or dragging you along. You are invested because there is something new being added to the story (tastefully being added) and you don’t feel overwhelmed. Everything is connected and the ending although a little lackluster was a pretty decent way into the second book.

Overall, if you like fae, magic, etc but don’t necessarily enjoy the violence or the protagonist trying to fight tradition, this would be a good book for you even if you aren’t a child.

4 Pickles

If you don’t believe me how good this book is, take a look at the prologue below ^_^

The Oddmire – Prologue Excerpt

NetGalley Review: Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter

Algonquin Young Readers To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015 304 Pages
Algonquin Young Readers
To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015
304 Pages

If you haven’t read the first book, check out my review for it here.

Abigail and Jackaby have just gotten use to each other when they are called upon another supernatural case. 

Their first call comes from a woman who unknowingly has dangerous shape-shifters disguised as kittens for pets but is found the next day dead with a mysterious puncture wound on her neck.

Next they are called to Gad’s Valley, home of police detective Charlie to find newly found dinosaur bones missing and a growing pile of dead bodies. 

No longer just looking for the supernatural but Abigail and Jackaby are looking for a very human culprit. 

Ritter is very good at keeping you interested and then finally giving you exactly what you was looking for. In this book it took a bit longer to actually get to the meat, the pure excitement of the book but when it did it was perfect.

I am not going to get too much into the characters because that was done in my first review and not much has completely changed. But I will add how I loved the fact that Abigail didn’t do what most leading women in these types of books do. I hate the fact that women in fiction and in real life feel that they can’t have it all or both. I really loved the fact that Ritter touched on this and did something great about it. It really won my heart.

I also loved the fact that there was no predictability within this book; even the bigger picture left me surprised. It made me excited for the next read.

The pace of the novel was a bit slow not too slow where I felt I needed to put the book down but slow enough to notice. I didn’t mind this too much. But what I did mind was the fact that there is still so much missing on Jackaby. I was hoping for most insight on his past. I am sure it is to come but I am wondering how many books before I actually feel as if I know him.

Overall, another great read.

4 Pickles

Impatiently Waiting For: Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter

Algonquin Young Readers To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015 304 Pages
Algonquin Young Readers
To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015
304 Pages

“The highly anticipated follow-up to the “rich world”* of the “lighthearted and assured debut,”† featuring an “irresistible character”‡ whose first thrilling and original adventure “demands sequels.”*

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”-Goodreads

NetGalley Review: Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter

Algonquin Young Readers Published Sept. 16, 2014 299 Pages
Algonquin Young Readers
Published Sept. 16, 2014
299 Pages

It is 1892 in New Fiddleham, New England and Abigail Rook, fresh off the boat,is looking for a job. In this job search she meets R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of with the ability to see the supernatural.

Abigail, who notices details in the ordinary is accepted as an assistant for Jackaby and embarks on a case to look for a serial killer. The police believe it is an ordinary man, however Jackaby knows it is something more.

This book is a play on Sherlock Holmes. So when I first began reading it I was very excited but then that excitement dulled down.

The reason the excitement dulled down was because it was too much like Sherlock Holmes. Yes, the supernatural spin to it does change things but Jackaby is Sherlock. This bothered me. It showed a lack of originality. Did I like Jackaby? Yes. But he wasn’t his own person.

I thought Abigail was played down way too much. She wasn’t as quick on her feet as I expected her to be; considering the fact her father was an adventurer and although she wasn’t apart of that she yearned for that type of life.

However, despite this, I really enjoyed the story and how it developed. The author was very good at keeping the story going. It did slow a considerable amount; as if the author wasn’t sure how to continue it but it was a good read. No points though for trying to show a romantic side though.

Overall, I would recommend it.

3 Pickles