The Dire King

By William Ritter

Source: Purchased

Series: Jackaby #4

Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Published by Algonquin Young Readers

My Rating: five-stars

The Dire King

Cover image and synopsis 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.

Oh boy, was I excited for this book! The Jackaby series has become one of my favourites, and while I was sad to learn that The Dire King was the last book in the series, I was really excited to see what was going to happen to the characters I love: Abigail, Jackaby, Jenny, and Charlie.

While I thought the previous book, Ghostly Echoes, did a nice job of connecting the stories of each book together into a bigger picture, this book had the difficult task of making it all mean something. What were all of these individual stories building to? It turns out it was building to a pretty epic finale. I was sucked into this story and the high stakes for all involved right away. I read this in a couple of days, and absolutely did not want to put it down.

So much happened in this final story, including new alliances forming, betrayal, heartbreak, death, battles between good and evil, and through it all, Abigail and Jackaby were their same wonderful selves. I’ve loved reading about Abigail’s growing confidence and skill in her work, and her partnership with Jackaby by now feels like a partnership between equals.

Being the last in the series, this book was bittersweet, but still had the fantastic writing and the humour that I’ve come to expect. And I don’t want to spoil the story, but there were a couple of events that really surprised me, along with some things that I’ve been waiting (hoping) for, and I loved it all! And at the end, I had tears in my eyes, right up to the very last line on the very last page.

This is truly a wonderful, magical, fun series. I try to describe it to people like a paranormal Sherlock, but it’s more than that. It’s got mystery, monsters, humour, heart, and adventure, in a historical setting in one of the most unique homes I’ve come across in my reading experience.

I will definitely be re-reading these books, and I am so looking forward to William Ritter’s next story. This series is an absolute must-read!

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