September 2017 Reviews

The Dire King

Description 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.


The Dire King by William Ritter has 352 pages and was published in 2017 by Algonquin Young Readers.

Thank you to Netgalley, Algonquin Young Readers and William Ritter for the preview excerpt I was provided.

The Dire King is the 4th installment in the Jackaby series.  This review is based on the first six chapters that I read. I did enjoy this excerpt and I would buy the book to finish reading this story. It is a quick read and flows well. The characters feel comfortable and familiar. The main character, R. F. Jackaby is remarkably reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes. In addition, Jackaby’s assistant, Abigail Rook plays the role of a female Watson perfectly. I appreciate the imagination that it takes to bring a Sherlock-esque character to life in a paranormal mystery. It is especially creative.

The only problems I have with this novel, I believe, arise as a consequence of not reading the first three books. For example, I am unfamiliar with some of the creatures, such as “nixies.” Subsequetly, I think I would have enjoyed this book more had I read the previous novels first and I do plan to do so before finishing the rest of this book.

I gave this book a three because I did enjoy what I read. However, I will go back and read the other books and then review this one again in order to give a review that is more detailed and fair.

Rating: 3 Plot Monster Spiders


Notable Quotes:

“Those things aren’t magical.”
“Of course they’re magical! Argh! You infuriating man! If a unicorn came and sat in the corner of your office every day, then by the end of the year you’d be hanging your coat on its horn. There is magic in your life! Not appreciating it does not make it any less magical. Yes, some of that magic is dangerous, but so are scissors and electricity and politics- and plenty of other completely human inventions!”
― William RitterThe Dire King

“I read the first few,” said Jackaby. “I’ve instructed my duck to just file the rest directly under P. I left it to him to decide if that was for politics or paranoia.”
― William RitterThe Dire King

MDW original review. Source: Netgalley.


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