Jackaby himself is at times unlikable, in that he seems unaware of the rest of humanity, or at least cares only for them in terms of his "seer" ability. Abilgail is a fierce runaway, a privileged English girl who left a safe home for adventure. She is badass! She uses books as weapons, and is willing to bend her beliefs and perceptions in order to help Jackaby. She is my kind of heroine!
The novel was fast paced, and the story was edge of your seat. Hatun is an interesting character, both reliable and unreliable at times. She exists in this world, but sometimes oscillates to the supernatural world, or into a false world. I am hooked, and would love to hear more about her in future books.
There were certain parts of the book where I became annoyed, in terms of Jackaby, but you accept this due to his eccentricities. The world created for this book is vivid, detailed and in depth. You are sucked into post-civil war America. A time of industrialization, knowledge, science, but mixed with the occult and old world traditions. Fantastically melded, you cannot discern one truth from another. The book makes you want to believe in the impossible, even if it means there may be monsters lurking in the dark.
I am also impressed by the female empowerment displayed in this book. Several female characters directly protest treatment that would paint them as weak. Abigail, on more than one occasion, mocks men's belief of how women should act or feel. The nurse, Miss O'Connor, slaps Jackaby in the face when she believes him to be disparaging her sex. This book means to show the power of a woman, painted against a time when women were second class citizens.
I am eager to borrow the next in the series! Magic, mystery, and two hard-core, mostly likable, detectives leave me itching for another far-fetched, or maybe not so unlikely, tale.