The Dire Kingby William Ritter
Series: Jackaby #4
Published on August 22, 2017 by Algonquin Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
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.
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The end is here.
No, really, the end of the world is just around the corner and Jackaby has a house full of supernatural creatures while Abigail attempts to create order amidst the chaos. Much like how these novels seem to go.
All the players are here as well as a few new ones in the conclusion of the Jackaby series. Though I can’t say the third book, Ghostly Echoes, was a particular favorite, I thoroughly enjoyed The Dire King which follows events from the previous book and brings everything full circle. This is definitely a series you want to read from start to finish and you’ll have no problem doing so because they’re such light, quick reads.
The Dire King was likely the darkest of the four, forcing the characters to face the potential end of days with the threat looming overhead. Jackaby is. . . well, he’s Jackaby. It’s hard to explain such an eccentric Sherlock-esque character in full without simply reading the books. Where in the previous installments his character has always been a source of humor, this book allowed for little of that. It’s one thing after another with little time for the comedy I’ve come to know from this series.
That was a bit disappointing but Ritter made up for it with plenty of action building to the final epic battle because what supernatural series is complete without a battle scene to end things.
And then there was the plot twist. THE PLOT TWIST. I was so busy keeping track of Jackaby and Abigail that I completely missed the clues for the twist and then WHAM it hit me over the head.
Speaking of Abigail. . . Okay, so I’ve been shipping the crap out of her and Charlie now since Beastly Bones and that’s all well and good but Ritter decided that he needed to stomp on that ship a bit. You know, pull the heartstrings (more like rip them out). I spent the whole book wondering if they would be end game and I can’t tell y’all the results of that hope but let’s just say I had a mini heart attack.
Was this the best ending to a series I ever read? No. Was it a lot of fun to read? Absolutely. That’s the thing about the Jackaby books. I wouldn’t call them my favorites but they’re light and fun with a good combination of mystery, humor, and the supernatural, to appeal to just about anyone. This ending felt. . . good. I feel like the series has been wrapped up well but with an opening for a future continuation should it ever come up.
And I would totally read a spin-off or continuation, mind you. Definitely need a bit more from the very ending.
A great ending to a good series. If you haven’t, check out the first book, Jackaby, and get it on your TBR!