Book Review

Book Review: The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult historical fiction +fantasy
Length: 352 pages
Author: William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: August 7th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

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 the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, Jenny Cavanaugh, begins to give way. But before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

The epic conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series features wry humor and a cast of unforgettable characters facing off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.

READ EVERY LAST DANG PAGE OF THIS BOOK.

Or you might feel like throwing it across the room. Like me. Then I read it all. Then I got the ending I was demanding from my bookish soul.

This was a great finale! Definitely the best book of the series by far.

I loved watching all of the story lines come together. Seeing all of the characters align. It all was beautifully woven and closed the ending as it should be. I wasn’t left with questions or concerns. I closed the book at peace. That’s a good ending. There was even a double crossing betrayer that I had no idea was coming. It was a twist that added an edge.

ABIGAIL AND CHARLIE ARE SO DANG CUTE. Absolutely precious. This was the first time I wish they had some more screen time. I was smitten with Charlie and their interactions. They were a great, simple, no drama relationship that added the touch of romance to round out this series.

Jackaby and Abigail are once again a dynamic duo. Jenny became team member number three and I loved having her around more! The banter and dynamics between everyone always make me smile and really appreciate their friendships. I was so happy that Jackaby got the ending he deserved. It made a lot of sense and I figured it would have to move in that direction to bring closure.

This is one of those books that handles the addition of literally every magical creature from fairytales and folklore well. They’re SO MANY CREATURES. I love learning more about them and the way they each added their own touch.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult historical fiction/fantasy/paranormal mystery
  • Language: one word (witch)
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: knives, magic, swords, murder, animal attacks, vampire attacks, physical

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Tropes

I found this topic easy and hard all in the same breath. I also could think of more tropes I DON’T like easier than I could come up with tropes I DO like. When I’m reading a great book I honestly don’t notice many tropes (besides the first one below). After the fact and seeing other reviews I realize how many tropes were actually present in the plot. But you better believe I notice when tropes are done poorly, making them stick out like a sore thumb.

So after a lot of thought, I’ve come up with some that I remember that I love. Not in any order, except for the first one because ENEMIES TO LOVERS ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY.

I added some covers of books that remind me of the trope, it’s definitely not an exhaustive list!

Enemies to lovers

OH MY GOODNESS. This is really my one and only ultimate trope and it never gets old. NEVER.


Someone being secretly royal

I’m looking at you Throne of Glass.


A romance that begins with one of them undercover

And no, not in a bad way. I’m thinking along the lines of The Kiss of Deception and The Traitor’s Kiss. That moment when the reader knows what’s going on, but they don’t yet and the fall out leads to a passionate kiss. YES.


Families with a lot of siblings

Big families (Dance of Thieves – Ballenger clan) are great. I love all of the banter between siblings. SO FUN.


Forbidden romance (star-crossed lovers)

UGH WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BE TOGETHER FOREVER?


Parents who are still alive (at least one)

I like a present parent, what can I say?


When a legitimate villain does a good thing

I’m a sucker for a bad guy who makes one good move in their time.


A good partnership with fantastic banter

I LOVE when the banter is off the charts between a working friendship. These are some great examples.


Squad goals

Squad 313, Night Court, Court of Terrasen, Skyward. This is without a doubt one of the greatest tropes ever.


Royalty living in exile, running away

Banished royalty gathering a group to take back their throne? YESSSS.

What are some of your favorite tropes? What about least favorite? It was fun seeing how many tropes are in one book! Lets talk in the comments!

Book Review

Book Review: Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) by William Ritter

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult supernatural
Length: 377 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: June 28th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.

GETTING BETTER & BETTER.

This installment was my favorite yet, another simple quick read that I devoured in a day.

I love the world that Ritter has built. And each book has added another piece to the world itself. We get to see new locations, adventures and characters that only add to the book.

Jackaby is so fun to watch. He has some of the best small talk and one-liners and seeing him have some feelings?! YES. It’s also great that we got some back-story on him and I like this new layer it added to his character. My favorite is that this book is heavy on the friendship. And while I love romance, when a friendship is done so well you don’t even notice it’s awesome. Abigail and Jackaby have a great relationship and genuinely care for each other, what a great duo.

Charlie and Abigail took a much bigger backseat than in the previous books. Almost as if it might have been best to not even have a romance component for Abigail (unless it all comes together in book four, to be determined). I think they’re SO CUTE, but since I wish we had more of them it’s hard to love this romance wholly.

What I realized in this third book was that so much from the beginning of this series is pulling through to the finale. There’s been a lot of build-up and slowly peeling away the layers to create what I know will be an amazing finale. I love how nuanced some of these aspects have been and how it’s all falling into place.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult supernatural fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss or two
  • Violence: murder, vampires, physical, some magical

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Book Review

Book Review: Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + mystery
Length: 296 pages
Author: William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality . . .

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, members of a particularly vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens. A day later, their owner is found murdered, with a single mysterious puncture wound to her neck. Then, in nearby Gad’s Valley, dinosaur bones from a recent dig go missing, and an unidentifiable beast attacks animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Policeman Charlie Cane, exiled from New Fiddleham to the valley, calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer. 

I ENJOY ANYTHING THAT REFERENCES DINOSAURS.

I am hooked by anything that references paleontology. The fact that Abigail comes from a family with a paleontologist, and she herself loves the field only made me more excited when this book had that as its main focus.

What’s even better is what the dinosaur turned out to be! I loved the intrigue and mystery surrounding the whole case itself. Kept me guessing and even set up for the next book which I appreciated.

I am still laughing out loud at Jackaby and his antics and phrases. He has some good moments and I love his character! He’s actually funny and so often it’s not done well. I love his dynamic with Abigail and that they seem to appreciate each other (even when they are both terrible at showing it). They are a dynamic duo and Abigail can hold her own which makes her character even more lovable.

Not to mention the cute romance brewing between her and Charlie. It’s nothing in your face. It’s this nice background love story that you are cheering for, but not flipping pages just to read about them. I like where things are headed for them and that they seem to understand each other and what it would take to be together.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + mystery + historical
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: ancient creatures eating people, murder, most violence is because of creature attacks

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Characters from 2019

This week for Top Ten Tuesday is a Character Freebie!

I wanted to highlight my favorite characters from this year! My only rule is that is has to be new characters. I will only choose characters that are new to me in 2019 (so no series that I am continuing). I hope to highlight some new books you may not have read yet!

Though as I made this list I realized I loved too many from one book so I did combine as necessary. WHOOPS.

I will link as many reviews as I have!

SpensaSkyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson

If could name all of the things I love about Spensa we would be here all day. She is strong, tenacious, unwilling to back down, but is also fiercely loyal and loving to those around her. This book was AMAZING and I literally have no chill about reading Starsight this fall.


Alyssa ana’Raisa – Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster || Shadowcaster || Stormcaster || Deathcaster

When Lyssa walked onto the scene in book two of this fabulous series I was DONE. I love a warrior heart that I want to cheer on through every facet of a book.


Persephone, Suri, Brin, Moya & Arion – The Legends of the First Empire Series by Michael J. Sullivan

Age of Myth || Age of Swords (RTC – 5 stars)

I am obsessed with these ladies y’all. I’ve only read the first two books (Age of Myth & Age of Swords) because I’m waiting for my library copy of Age of War (book three of six). And I am loving this so much. These women hold their own and are bright and cunning. If you’re a fantasy love (especially like Sanderson) check out these!


Alex & Sage – The Traitor’s Circle by Erin Beaty

The Traitor’s Kiss || The Traitor’s Ruin || The Traitor’s Kingdom (releases TODAY!!)

One of my latest OTP’s (I have many). I love these two even when their lack of communication in book two had me anxious and shouting at my book. STILL LOVE. I am so excited to finish out this series Tuesday! I especially love that Alex doesn’t hinder Sage. He trusts and believes she can and will do what she says. Nobody holding her back.


Squad 312 – The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising

I LOVE EVERY MEMBER OF THIS TEAM (especially Kal, of course) . This book was absolutely amazing and I love this writing duo.


Jackaby – Jackaby Series by William Ritter

Jackaby || Beastly Bones (RTC – 4 stars)

Jackaby is so clever! His antics actually make me laugh out loud. I love his dynamic with his work partner Abigail Rook. I need to finish this series stat.


Lara & Aren – The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

MY NEW FAVORITE NEW ADULT FANTASY ROMANCE.

Take note and look for my review on July 15th. I loved every single piece of this book and can gush for hours. I need more people to read this to discuss!


Bayr – The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

I love anything Amy Harmon writes, this was no exception and I absolutely fell in love with Bayr. You watch him grow up in the book and UGH if it doesn’t pull at all the heart strings. All I wanted while reading was for him to get his happy ending.


Vhalla & Aldrik – Air Awakens by Elise Kova

RTC – 4 stars

I’ve only read the first book (and part of the second), but you know when you read a book and know in your bookish soul that you will love these characters? This is how I feel about them.


Percy & Annabeth – Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (RTC – 5 stars) || The Sea of Monsters (RTC – 4 stars)

Another series I’ve only started (and am only getting to now – I KNOW I KNOW), but I am loving these two! I feel like I’ve seen some spoiler-y stuff that they’re endgame? I SURE HOPE SO. But I also love where their friendship is and how much they care and respect one another.

Have you read any of these books? What is on of your favorite new to you characters of 2019? Lets talk in the comments!

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer TBR

Hello, Top Ten Tuesday!

I think this is a great topic this week and I’m excited to get to it. I feel like a lot of books don’t actually come out during the summer. They all come out in May so we can read them all summer. Because of that, most of my picks are things I’ve interested in getting through this summer before the new releases of the fall come out!

BECAUSE FALL WILL BE AMAZING. Summer has lots of great options too.

Here we go.

Age of War (The Legends of the First Empire #3) by Michael J. Sullivan

I AM LOVING THIS SERIES. Take note: it’s full of so many amazing b.a. heroines that I can’t put it down. It’s a great epic fantasy! Highly recommend.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

I have finished book one (why did I wait so long to read these?). And I’m hopeful I can get through the rest this summer!


Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson

I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS BOOOOOOOOOK.


Rage (Stormheart #2) by Cora Carmack

I HAVE BEEN WAITING TWO YEARS FOR THIS. THE HYPE IS REAL.


Wild Savage Stars (Sweet Black Waves #2) by Kristina Perez

After being blown away by the first book I am super excited to see how this book plays out. It’s based off of Tristan & Isolde.


Recursion by Blake Crouch

My husband and I both enjoyed Dark Matter and we’re both intrigued to see how Crouch’s sophomore book goes.


When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

After loving Next Year in Havana, I immediately added this to my TBR. Now I need to wait til my library gets it in.


All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

I’ve read almost all of her books, but missed this one last year! I heard this one will rip out my heart, what else is new?


Jackaby Series by William Ritter

I have read Jackaby and I have the rest of the series sitting in my house. I need to get on this.


The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

IF I DO ANYTHING THIS SUMMER I WILL FINISH THIS AUDIOBOOK. It’s 45 hours long y’all. I’ve listened to 10 so far and have barely made a dent. I’m really enjoying it, but since it’s an epic fantasy it just takes longer to work through.

Have you read any of these yet? What’s a book on your summer TBR? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + mystery + historical
Length: 299 pages
Author: William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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. 

LOVE THE QUIRKY CHARACTERS.

I feel a short and sweet review coming.

This was a simply Sherlock-esque book with some twists. I loved that Jacakby’s abilities allowed him to see all sorts of paranormal and fantastical things. The unique mix of creatures and monsters in the world kept me on my toes.

I loved having Abigail Rook as the POV. She sees Jackaby in a light we wouldn’t get from his side (and frankly, might be a bit scattered if we did, haha). She’s stubborn, insightful and easy-going. It was effortless to fall for these characters. Jackaby definitely reminds me of Sherlock and I laughed out a loud a few times at the things he would say and the banter between him and Abigail.

The mystery had its own enigma that even surprised me a few times. I was amazed that the entire 300 page book took the space of three days. It makes me curious for the rest of the series as to how they’re spaced out.

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle-grade/Young adult historical fantasy/mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: descriptions of bloody murders, a few fight scenes with guns, physical and the supernatural

Instagram || Goodreads