Hello and happy Monday everyone! I hope your week started in the best way! This would be my last week at work before vacation and I am so excited! It would be a long week but I am waiting for my reward!
And today I am here to talk to you all about a series I have recently finished (yay) and that I enjoyed quite a lot!
The Dire King
Author: William Ritter
“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”
Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.
Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.
The best thing of this series is that delivers what the synopsis promises: we have a really good YA Sherlock’s retelling (sort of, and I cannot really say about Doctor Who, because I am not a fan of the series, I have watched a couple of episodes so I can’t say!) with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre. I am quoting here, as you can see, because it really is true. And I may be biased, but I love some cheeky humor, so here we are!
To be completely honest, I didn’t fall in love with the first book. I enjoyed it and I had fun reading it, sure, but I was expecting something more. So once finished I was left with the impression of something lacking. But it wasn’t all bad, and I decided to try the second book before making a decision. And I am really glad to have done so because I fell in love with this series!
It is not one of my favorites, that’s true, but it is good. And it is the perfect series if you are in for some fun, good banter, action and mysteries, with some light in it. It is not demanding and it is the perfect series if you want to relax and have fun, with supernatural creatures at every corner and a good mystery thrown in it.
The best thing about this series is the characters. There are a lot of good things, but the characters are what really make the difference. Jackaby and Miss Rook are a fantastic pair. He is constantly immersed in his own world, so to speak, or better yet, in the supernatural, while Miss Rook is a no-nonsense straightforward girl. They complete each other, and they are amazing together. Their dialogues are some of the wittiest and most fun that you can find around. (And I am not talking about anything romantic here, I am talking about their working relationship and their friendship).
“We do it by the book, then?”
“Precisely. By the book. Yes. Except that there isn’t a book.”
“Right. We do it by a vague but nevertheless tenacious commitment to the book that there isn’t.”
“That’s why I like you, Miss Rook – you catch on to the subtle nuances so quickly.”
And what’s even better is that their relationship grows with them, Miss Rook and Jackaby help one another growing and the amazing thing is that both of them help the other to be a better person. Jackaby has a lot of quality, he is brilliant, he knows a lot of things and he knows the supernatural world. He is good at heart, he wants to help others because it is the right thing to do, but he is just not so strong with the “human-side”. Feelings and tact are two big unknowns for him, and Miss Rook helps him being more human, more at ease with feeling. While Miss Rook is thrown in a completely new world, she wasn’t aware of the supernatural before starting to work for Jackaby, and slowly the reckless attitude of her employer rubes on her, too.
“On the other hand, you should never have chosen to work for me in the first place. It remains one of your most ill-conceived and reckless decisions to date – and that is saying something, because you also chose to blow up a dragon once.”
And with our two MCs, we have some other interesting characters to keep them company. Jenny is the sweetest ghost ever, Charlie, who is loyal and optimist, and a lot of supernatural creatures who help the story move along. They all have some interesting qualities in them, and meeting them is always surprising.
As for the plot, the first two books are more mystery oriented, while the third and the fourth are more oriented to saving the world. On a personal level, I preferred the plot of the first two books, but the third and the fourths show us more about our characters, and their growing relationship and they gift us with more funny scenes and improbable things.
“Am I the only one who sees that this is a terrible idea?” Jenny said, hovering anxiously over us.
“No, no” I assured her. “We are well aware. That’s why we’re moving forward at all.[…]
But aside from the fun and the banter, the absurd dialogues and the variety of supernatural beings, you can find more between these pages, the plots are always captivating, and there are some interesting points of views represented, that would make you think, and some moving moments. It really has a lot going on, without being a demanding reading.
And what about you? Have you read this series? Let me know!