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The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel by William…
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The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel (edition 2017)

by William Ritter (Author)

Series: Jackaby (4)

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1069161,032 (4.18)6
Member:MickyFine
Title:The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel
Authors:William Ritter (Author)
Info:Algonquin Young Readers (2017), 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:library book, ebook, YA fiction, fantasy, mystery, supernatural

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The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel by William Ritter

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
3.5 stars. I noticed as I progressed in this series that it became more serious and there was less humor. I really enjoyed the humor of the first book and I wish they had all kept it going. ( )
  Catsysta | Aug 5, 2018 |
I read the first book in the series back when it was first released. I loved it but never got around to finishing the series. That is, until I had finally caught up on review copies for February and found myself looking for something new to read. There are so many books I could have chosen during this time – other series I have been meaning to finish, books that have been languishing on my shelves for over a decade. Yet, the Jackaby series is exactly what I needed at that point in time.

The series never takes itself too seriously. It is as raucous and bizarre as the synopsis indicates. At the same time, it is very much a story with heart. Jackaby is more than the odd detective with rare skills. He has a hidden soft side that you don’t really understand until the end of the second novel. Abigail has spunk, which is something you realize almost immediately but which never fails to impress throughout the series. Even better, every once in a while there would be a sentence so in keeping with some of the brouhaha in today’s society that I had to stop and marvel at its perfection. I found myself looking forward to these gems even as they continued to surprise me when I finally ran across one.

I went into reading these novels expecting silly fun with great characters and a good mystery. What I got out of them was so much more than that. They are reminders to love and accept one another in spite of or maybe even because of our differences. They are reminders to keep your mind and your heart open and to never fail to help someone in need. They are affirmations that we are more than the boundaries set by others and that we all deserve the chance to grow and shine. While still quirky and highly entertaining, they are also inspiring. Honestly, you cannot get much better than that.
  jmchshannon | Mar 8, 2018 |
Though this ends on a huge light note ( pun for the readers ) it was not the book outta the series that has impressed me the most. Books 1 and 3 were my favorites.
I keep forgetting , until I find myself deep within its pages, that Jackaby sounds like he might be in the spectrum a little bit. His lack of interpersonal skills with humans always seems to sneak up and smack me in the face. Other than the hand print in my cheek, This was a ssslllooowwwww A book with too many deaths, why is there so much violence? those damn fairies, oops did I spoil the big crescendo of suspense? No , because this book is about as predictable as me dancing to a Madonna song, it’s just gonna happen.
So, save that ya coins, and tune into my social media page to watch me GET INTO THE GROOVE! ( )
  MrNattania | Jan 26, 2018 |
So, here we are with the last book in the Jackaby series. It was both thrilling and bittersweet to read this book. It's always sad when a series end. I would recommend reading this series from the beginning and not read this one without having read the previous three books. In many ways is it one story that has taken place over four books.

What I loved about this book and the whole series are the quirky characters, the humor, and the mysteries. The Dire King has several funny moments, often thanks to Jackaby, who in many ways reminds me of a younger Sherlock Holmes. Which makes Abigail Rook his Watson. And, yeah she does play her sidekick role very well, adding balance to Jakaby more eccentric ways. Storywise is this book just as good as the previous books and I quite liked the twist at the end of the book. It felt very suiting like everything has been leading to this and I do hope, despite this being the last in this series, perhaps to see the characters in a new series one day? *puppy eyes*

The Dire King is an easy-going and well-written book and I recommend it warmly!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
(Originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com.)

“Ghostly Echoes” did a nice job of tying together all the pieces methodicly laid out in the previous two books. More than that, it gave us some much needed history for many of our main characters, as well as, importantly, the villain. The stage was set, and all that remained was whether or not Ritter would be able to balance the light tone and quirkiness at the core of the series with this more serious plotline. The answer is mostly! While there are spots that I believe could have been improved or more fleshed out, I’m happy to report that I finished this book, and this series, pleasantly satisfied.

There was a lot to get done in this book. The supernatural world has been exposed to the general public, once and for all. The series “big bad” is gearing up to make its move. And there are two romantic plotlines that needed to be handled, both with fairly large obstacles standing in there way. Charlie is still a wanted man for this actions back in book one that exposed his identity as a shapeshifter. And now, in a city that is spooky at the barest hint of the strange, his position and future are all the more uncertain. And Jenny, while making great strides forward with her ability to function more fully in the living world, is still, well, a ghost.

After learning that his wife is a supernatural being who has been operating behind the scenes for years in the service of her villainous leader, the governor of New Fiddleham is not messing around. But with this new found belief comes fanaticism, and Abigail and Jackaby are horrified to see the city’s jail cells filling up with all manner of innocent, supernatural beings. It’s a literal witch hunt. I very much enjoyed this portion of the story. Many of the side characters we’ve met throughout this series were either already familiar with the supernatural world, or, for whatever reason, more open-minded to the positive aspects of these beings. Here, we see the negative side of humanity when confronted with beings they don’t understand, and I think this balance added a healthy dose of realism to a series that could, at times, veer into the twee with its characters.

I also very much enjoyed the exploration of the two main romantic plotlines to the story. Jenny and Jackaby’s relationship has been later to the show, and while I’m still not convinced that this was a necessary addition, I was pleasantly surprised with the way this played out. Importantly, Jackaby’s utter cluelessness wasn’t undercut by his being turned into a second romantic hero. While I may still have preferred the series to have left his character single in the more traditional “Sherlock Holmes” manner, I was satisfied with what Ritter did with him here.

Abigail and Charlie, however, have been slowly building towards this point throughout the series. They have had to confront not only the challenges of Charlie’s public image issues, but also explore the balance between their personal and professional lives. It was fun seeing these two work together on a case in this book, witnessing the fact that they work together not only as romantic interests, but as equals who respect what the other brings to the table.

The larger story, that of the Dire King himself, was also very intriguing. The fae world was blown out and we see that up to this point we, and the characters, have mostly been operating in a tiny slice of this strange and complicated world.

The story concludes on a bitter sweet and more serious note than I had expected. But I found this to be particularly refreshing. When I picked up this book, it took me a bit of time to again slip into the particular tone of this series. All four books have been written in a rather simple style, often playing with words and phrases in a comedic way. This style, while fun, also tends to undercut more serious moments in the story, and knowing that this was the conclusion to the series, I was a bit more put off my this lightness when dealing with these more serious issues. However, Ritter doesn’t shy away from consequences in this book, light writing tone or no light writing tone.

All in all, I very much enjoyed this book and the series as a whole. Definitely check it out if you enjoy re-imagingings of Sherlock Holmes type characters, and historical fantasy. The writing style is on the lighter side, however, something that may read as strange to fans of adult fiction. But keep an open mind! For all of its quirkiness, there are real monsters hidden in this text! ( )
  thelibraryladies | Dec 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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In this conclusion to the Jackaby series, the eccentric detective and his assistant Abigail Rook find themselves in the middle of a war between magical worlds. An evil king is using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. In New Fiddleham, Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they try to close the rend between the two worlds, and discover why zombies are appearing around town. As the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, Jackaby's feelings for 926 Augur Lane's ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to deepen. Can they defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether?… (more)

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