This novella takes place between the first and second Jackaby novels. While it was an enjoyable read, novellas generally just leave me wishing the author had taken the time to develop a full-length book.
In The Map, Abigail wakes up half-hoping that her eccentric employer has forgotten her birthday. However – no such luck. With some magical time-and-space-traveling party crackers, Abigail and Jackaby find themselves scampering around both the seen and unseen worlds. Jackaby’s ability to see all things as they are – including magical creatures – aids the pair throughout their adventures, but I love that Abigail’s ability to see the ordinary is so necessary to balance Jackaby’s viewing of the extraordinary.
The relationship between these two protagonists develops throughout the story, leaving the pair good friends at the end instead of merely coworkers, and I liked that.
The story was a little thin in my mind, leaving some gaps with a sort of Well what do you expect from a novella attitude, which I think is unfair to short stories, as they do have the potential, when crafted correctly, of delivering a full and well-rounded tale. The Map was a pretty solid 3/5 read. While enjoyable for someone pursuing the series, it doesn’t really have a great deal to offer as an objective book in its own right.