Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s New York Times bestselling Jackaby series, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre. (Publisher’s Website)
In the highly anticipated sequel to the acclaimed Jackaby, Abigail Rook and Sherlockian detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby are back and on the trail of a thief, a monster, and a murderer. (Publisher’s Website)
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. (Publisher’s Website)
The Dire King By William Ritter
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I want to start off with a comment about the covers. I love how consistent they are. If you look closely you can see that each book has a different character as the portrait. I’m not sure who the character is on the cover of The Dire King, I don’t think it is Jackaby or the Dire King either. Maybe Charlie? I don’t think it matters, I still really like them.
This fourth and supposedly final book in the series was just as good as the others. It was perhaps a little slower paced, and a little darker than the others, but still a really good read. There are also some good twists in the story that I didn’t see coming and I was a little worried that the world was going to end but it was a very satisfying ending.
I still find all of the characters delightful. Jackaby is such a fun character. He really does remind me a lot of Doyle’s original Sherlock with his absentmindedness but still a hyper focus on the details. He is also somewhat quirky and has a very dry sense of humor that always brings a smile when I’m reading. His relationship with Abigail is really develops over the course of the books, but you can really see his fondness for her in this book. Also his relationship with Jenny finally blossoms.
Abigail is an amazing character. Even when things are just falling apart around her, she is thinking about others and about how to keep everyone safe. I love the little romance between her and Charlie. It is so nice to read a YA book where the romance does not take over the plot. They are very sweet together and I like how Abigail always comments on how he makes her feel, but within the confines of her Victorian setting.
Lots of supernatural creatures and places in this book, but there is some technology as well. It is a nice mix of historical and supernatural. The setting in the Fae world was marvelously dark and at times disturbing. I liked how the veil between the worlds was described and how horrible things could get if the veil should totally collapse. The history of the veil and how the two worlds used to be was well done as well.
Even though this one was a little slower paced until you get closer to the end, it was just as enjoyable as the first three books. This is the final book in the Jackaby series but the ending is open ended enough for the series to maybe continue. I certainly hope so. I will miss spending time with these characters and the world that has been created here.