Book Reviews Books

Book Review: THE DIRE KING (JACKABY #4) by William Ritter

In THE DIRE KING, Jackaby and Abigail must fight to protect not only our world, but the world beyond the veil!

!SPOILERS! if you haven’t read Jackaby, Beastly Bones, or Ghostly Echoes!

The Dire King is the perfect ending to the Jackaby series. It is really hard to talk about the book, however, as it feels like at every turn there is another plot twist which I, at least, never saw coming. If you were like me and got to the end of Ghostly Echoes and were screaming that you wanted more, than this is the book for you.

One of the things I loved about this book was the introduction of more mythical and magical creatures. What I have found most memorable about this series is the inclusion of creatures which you don’t always read about in YA fiction. Yes, New Fiddleham has its vampires and elves but it also has red caps and banshees. I would love a book series just about these creatures and how they live in and work in New Fiddleham.

The novel definitely alludes to some major socio-political topics, such as the treatment of minorities. Although the topic was handled with a deft hand, it certainly left me thinking about what happens one member of a community committing a terrible act– such as pretending to the mayor’s wife so that you can help your father rule the world– can cause the rest of the community to be unfairly punished and treated with suspicion. This topic has been mentioned specifically in relation to the treatment of Charlie Barker. However, in this novel it is much more prevalent.

Character-wise, Jackaby is as crazy as ever. There is something so completely likable about him and I want to be the one going on crazy adventures with him! Don’t get me wrong, I love both Abigail and Charlie. I just don’t love them together. Abigail really came into her own in this novel and I hope that there may be more books about her adventures in the future. I honestly cried over Charlie. He was beautiful and perfect in this novel and as I am a dog person, I wanted to give him all the cuddles. I cannot really say any more about the budding romance but to say I wish I could throw weed killer on it. Last but not least, Jenny– sweet Jenny– was terrifying! I know that we have seen a hint of her true powers in previous books as she has learned to control them with the help of Jackaby and Abigail, but I had no idea how intense she could be.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and it provided a solid ending with enough plot twists to keep me on my toes.


The Dire King is available for purchase from Amazon.

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.