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 the earth and the otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve daily mysteries in New Fiddleham, New England—like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why the undead are appearing around town.
Sequel to: Ghostly Echoes
Part of series: Jackaby (Book 4)
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Mild language; Mild sexual themes
Kirkus Reviews starred (June 15, 2017)
A paranormal private investigator and his clever companion make a last stand against the forces of chaos in this fourth and final book. As an assistant to eccentric detective/seer R.F. Jackaby, Abigail Rook experiences magic, mysteries, and romance. A “lady of science and reason” who accepts the supernatural, Rook prizes her madcap American adventures over her comfortable yet confining British childhood, but she finds her new home threatened by war. As a wave of racist attacks turns their whimsical house at 926 Augur Ln. into a cryptozoological asylum, Jackaby, Rook, and resident ghost Jenny Cavanaugh take a new case and uncover a bigger conspiracy. Hunting mythical talismans, the trio discovers the veil between the mundane world and that of the Annwyn (fae) weakening and the Unseelie armies of the Dire King gathering. Jackaby is a delightful supernaturalist Sherlock, but Rook carries the story, narrating with dry wit, alliteration, and an appreciation for the absurd; faced with war, bureaucrats, and a diabolical life-sucking machine, Rook frets about a potential proposal from her Om Caini (lycanthropic) swain, Charlie. Ritter sets his story in a geographically nonspecific, slightly steampunk 1890s New England port city. It’s helmed by a trio of white protagonists but offers a pointed and timely message about pluralism and the value of bridges over barriers. A humorous, energetic, action-packed, and magical conclusion. (Fantasy. 12-adult)
School Library Journal (August 1, 2017)
Gr 7 Up-The fourth and final book in the series sees Abigail Rook, Jackaby’s assistant, take the lead in this preternatural mystery. Previous familiarity with the characters is advised but is not necessary to follow the plot. In 19th-century New Fiddleham, New England, a mysterious threat from the ostensibly dead Dire King endangers everyone when the veil between this world and the fairy world, Annwyn, threatens to fall. Jackaby and Abigail are joined by a multitude of supernatural creatures, including Miss Rook’s shape-shifter boyfriend Charlie and housemate/ghost Jenny who is working on her ability to become corporeal with somewhat mixed results. The group ventures between worlds trying to figure out if the Dire King has returned, or if someone has picked up his mantle. Mayor Spade has also declared war on supernatural creatures; no one is safe in this fast-paced tale. The main characters struggle in battle and with figuring out what their future holds, which leads to an unpredictable conclusion. Though the overall plot is a fairly straightforward whodunit mystery, twists and turns provide for action-packed pages. Events that have been heavily foreshadowed throughout will come to fruition in a satisfying ending that offers tantalizing hints of the characters’ fortunes. This will most appeal to series fans and those who enjoy teen detective novels like A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro or Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star. VERDICT A strong purchase where the series is already popular.-Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, FL
About the Author
William Ritter is an Oregon author and educator. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark. The Dire King is the fourth and final book in his acclaimed New York Times bestselling Jackaby series.
His website is rwillritter.wordpress.com
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