Sunday, September 3, 2017

Review: The Dire King by William Ritter

"All right then, my sage young apprentice - what do we do next?"

"Something foolish, I imagine," I said. "Foolish and decidedly dangerous. That sounds about our style, doesn't it?"

Abigail Rook and her somewhat unusual employer Jackaby are once again seeking to solve mysteries of unnatural occurrences. There is a rend forming between the realms of fairy and the mundane world in New Fiddleham, New England. And there are zombies popping up. Abigail and Jackaby must solve the problems and seek the Dire King's accouterments (the crown, the spear, and the shield) before he can regain power. 

Meanwhile, Abigail and Charlie are growing closer. Jenny and Jackaby are as well in an awkward sort of way. The romances are put on the back burner while the fate of the world lays in the balance.

The characters are well drawn as they have been in the past books in the series. The sarcasm and snark that mark their interactions are evident as well, unintentional and intentional. I like the way the characters work together, especially the four main characters of Jackaby, Abigail, Jenny, and Charlie.

The plot starts out a little slow as we are reacquainted with the world in which they live. Then quickly picks up. More often than not, there is forward movement at a gradually increasing speed. As the end of the book approaches, it is positively breakneck. 

The book ties up loose ends. And the ending itself is bittersweet and rather surprising. It's a fitting end for the series. 

I gave this book 5 out of  5 stars. It's among the few books that I've read that made me both laugh and cry, although at different parts. Generally, I am not fond of books that make me cry, but this one is an exception. Great characters and well plotted, I heartily recommend this addition to the Jackaby series. I would start at the beginning with Jackaby, though, rather than jump in here at the end.

The Dire King was released August 22, 2017 from Algonquin Yong Readers.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions herein are my own and freely given.

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