The Dire King (Jackaby #4)
Release Date: August 22nd 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Synopsis: The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times best-selling series the Chicago Tribune called “Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer” sends the eccentric detective and his indispensible assistant into the heart of a war between magical worlds. The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.
The epic conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series features sly humor and a quirky cast of unforgettable characters as they face off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.
“A little Dr. Who, a little Harry Potter, and a lot of Sherlock, New York Times bestselling author Will Ritter’s Jackaby series has thrilled YA readers with magic, mystery and adventure since the first book introduced us to a supernatural sleuth and his trusty assistant. In The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel (on sale August 22), Ritter sends the series out with a bang, with even more mystery, romance, and the most epic battle yet. We hope you’ll strongly consider prominent coverage for The Dire King–and all the Jackaby books—as we say goodbye to our crime-solving friends in New Fiddleham.
“A humorous, energetic, action-packed, and magical conclusion.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Ritter’s debut novel
Jackaby (a New York Times bestseller and 2015 Pacific Northwest Book Award winner) introduced readers to R.F. Jackaby, a quirky detective with a knack for the supernatural; Abigail Rook, his skeptical and observant assistant; Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly landlady of 926 Augur Lane; and Charlie Cane, a shape-shifting police officer. Beastly Bones and Ghostly Echoes followed the crime-solving team from their home in New Fiddleham to the depths of the underworld as they uncovered more clues about the evil forces behind Jenny’s murder.
This series has easily become one of my favorite series ever. It started out very subtle. A good first book that left me intrigued, a second book that had me so super sold, and a third book that left me so very, very eager for the fourth. And the fourth – this very book? It left me super book depressed because WHY CAN’T I HAVE MORE??? This book was the perfect finale for this series, and I can’t wait until I get to see what Ritter does next.
This book was perhaps the most fun I’ve had in this series and perhaps in a book in a long time. We get all the wonderful Jackaby elements: a fascinating, complex mystery that didn’t have me guessing the culprit right away; cute little ships that took away nothing from the true story; lovable and complex characters; our sassmaster paranormal Sherlock at his absolute finest. However, this story brings something that I had always been intrigued about: the inclusion of all new supernatural creatures. That’s right – this book is brimming with supernatural creatures and I LOVED EVERYTHING SECOND OF IT. IT MADE IT SO FUN AND SO FANTASTIC AND I’M STILL CRYING AND IN A BOOK HANGOVER BECAUSE IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.
The plot was intriguing; Jackaby was at his finest (seriously, his sass was unparalleled in this one); Miss Rook is still one of my favorite heroines ever; Charlie is adorable; and the supernatural elements were handled with so much care and craft. Ritter’s writing style is absolutely brilliant. AND MY BABY DOUGLAS WAS THERE AND MENTIONED AND HE’S JUST AN ABSOLUTE DUCK GEM.
There were a few items that I thought could have used a bit more details to them and there were some questions left unanswered (which I really, really wanted answered). And the ending did wrap up a bit more abruptly than I wanted to since I mean, a LOT happened at the ending and I wanted a bit more of how everything was dealt with. However, I think the ending was a very fitting end and really how it needed to have ended.
If you haven’t gotten in on this series yet, you definitely need to dive in pronto. This series will have you laughing, cheering, and maybe even shedding a tear every once in a while. It has wonderful heroines who kick some major butt, hilarious supernatural creatures, two fantastic heroes, and plots that are intricate and intriguing. This book was a wonderful way to end the series and you best believe after I finished this book, I immediately preordered it and then went and went in completed my set by buying the other three books. That’s how good this was. Five crowns for this finale and an Anna rating, because I get some major Jackaby vibes from her.
“It may not have been woven with wool from a rare yeti, or dyes mixed by Baba Yaga,” I told him, “But I’m sure it was made with love. And also with an ice pick.”
“Of course we’re going to go looking for the rend,” said Jackaby. “And the crown, the spear, and the shield. There’s too much at stake now to start worrying about little things like being brutally murdered.”
“That will suffice,” Jackaby grumbled loudly from behind me. “Yes, yes. You are young and your love is a hot biscuit and other abysmally romantic metaphors, I’m sure. You do recall that you saw each other yesterday?”
“All right then, my sage young apprentice – what do we do next?”
“Something foolish, I imagine,” I said. “Foolish and decidedly dangerous. That sounds about our style, doesn’t it?”
WILLIAM RITTER is an Oregon educator and author of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.