Thursday, August 31, 2017

ARC Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Written by: Melissa Bashardoust
Published: September 5, 2017 by Flatiron Books (Macmillan)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale 

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother. 

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all. 

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at ALA in an exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I seriously loved this book. When I first heard about it, being pitched as a feminist Snow White retelling, I was super intrigued. And so I of course picked up a copy and even got a free download of the audio. It was this audio download that made me pick this up now, needing a new audiobook. And I am so glad I did because this book and it's audio was AMAZING!

One of the things I loved about this book was the atmosphere. So much of a good audiobook, and fantasy for that matter, hinges on the tone and atmosphere. This was definitely a good one. The writing was beautiful and descriptive which is something I like to see in my fantasy. It definitely pulled you into the story and immersed you into the world. The narrator of for the audio did a great job in doing just that. She captured everything so well you could see and almost feel it. It really all worked to create a fantastic atmosphere and setting.

But as far as the setting goes, I'm not sure it was too hard to establish that atmosphere because this was a fantastic setting and world. There is a Frozen comparison being thrown around with it definitely seems apt in more ways than one. One of the main ways is with the world. It's a world where a curse has frozen over the kingdom and the people are trying to cope. It's also a world of magic, including magic involving snow. That being said, this could have come off as a very uncreative magical system and it didn't. It felt unique and interesting. I like my magic to have clear rules and while this one could have used a little more explanation I still really liked it. It added a lot of dimension to the story and the world of this book.

But I think my favorite this about this book was that story. It was a very complex story full of surprises and lots of political intrigue. There are multiple perspectives and moments in the past and present, which can be tricky. But I felt like it all unfolded in a way that made sense and made for a creative and engaging story. Plus it was one of those books that feels like a modern fairy tale. It had elements and vibes of classic fairy tales but when it really came down to it, this was a unique story that felt original. As far as the retellings aspect I think it was one of those where the original story is merely a jumping off point. If you are looking for a strong Snow White retellings you will not find that here. But that was totally fine with me because I loved the story.

My only problem however was with the fact that much of the conflict in this book could have easily been resolved. We were in the head of both of the main characters and we therefore know what their thinking and what they want but the other characters didn't. At a certain point it just felt like it wasn't dramatic irony anymore and was just manufactured drama. It did all come together in the end with more of a big boss but for awhile there it was a little frustrating.

But I will say, that didn't get in the way of me liking the characters. In fact, I think the author was able to create some really complex and interesting characters. I'm typically a fan of strong female characters who act feminine and that's exactly what I found here. I found two women and a dispute over the crown. Normally that would lead to a lot of scheming and bickering but that did not happen here. They were kind rulers who cared about their people and both were kind rulers who cared about their people and what was best for their kingdoms which made them extremely likable. But they also cared so much for each other. The real heart of this book was in the relationships between Mina and Lynet. And that in and of itself was more refreshing and enjoyable than anything else.

On the whole, I really loved Girls Made of Snow and Glass. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. It was a beautifully written story with a creative world, likable characters, and an engaging plot.

I give Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! This book was really fantastic and I think everyone should read. It had such a fantastic modern fairy tale vibe that if you like fairy tales, retellings, or YA fantasy you should definitelt pick it up. I would absolutely recommend it. Especially the audiobooks. It was fantastic!

Have you read Girls Made of Snow and Glass? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Empress by S.J. Kincaid

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: The Empress
Series: The Diabolic #2
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Published: October 31, 2017 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: The thrilling sequel to S.J. Kincaid’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Diabolic that called “the perfect kind of high-pressure adventure.”

It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

Why I'm Waiting:

This is one of, if not, my most anticipated book of the year. When I read The Diabolic two years ago, I loved it. Like LOVED it. It was one of my favorite books of the year and probably my biggest surprise of that year. My only criticism was that I wanted more, that the story didn't feel over. Well imagine my surprise when it was announced the series was in fact getting more.

But the first book in this series was amazing! It had this fantastic science fiction world, great characters, and an amazing plot full of surprises and so much political intrigue. I cannot wait to see what happens next to Nemesis and Tyrus. I know it is going to have just as much drama and just as many twists as the first book. I read Kincaid's first series and it got better as it went on and I expect just that with this series.

I also listened to the audiobook for this first book and I really liked it. I was hoping to get a copy of this book at ALA and I did not get one. Which is totally fine but now I am wondering if I want to get the audio or not. Decisions, decisions. One thing is for sure, I NEED a copy of this book as soon as possible.

What about you? What are you waiting for this Wednesday? Are you waiting on The Empress along with me? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gem Mysteries

A weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

What even is a hidden gem? I had the hardest time coming up with this list because I had no idea what to consider a hidden gem. Maybe ones from smaller publishing houses, or ones without a lot of hype, or ones that doesn't have a lot of reviews in Goodreads. I ended up going with books that not a lot of people talk about. So here are some of my favorite mysteries that I don't here a lot of people talking about.

1.) Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas - My Review / Add to Goodreads
I know there are a lot of people who are fans of Dangerous Girls. I definitely hear that one talked about by people. But like no one ever talks about Dangerous Boys. I mean DG is definitely better but this is a fantastic mystery.

2.) Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham - My Review / Add to Goodreads
This was my favorite book of the year until a few months ago. It's really amazing and I seem to be the only person to have read it. But seriously, it's really amazing. It's a top notch historical mystery and everyone should read it.

3.) Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little - My Review / Add to Goodreads
This is an adult mystery but don't hold that against it. It's got a Veronica Mars meets Gilmore Girls vibe to me and those are two of my favorite shows. Plus it's a really interesting mystery and the ending is phenomenal.

4.) The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma - My Review / Add to Goodreads
Speaking of phenomenal endings. So here's the thing about this book, everyone who reads it loves it. That's just a fact. It's that good. But like I don't think a lot of people have read it or if they have, they don't talk about it. And I do not understand why.

5.) Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehring - My Review / Add to Goodreads
I think there was a little bit of hype surrounding this book when it came out but since then you don't really hear people talking about it. This author has a second book coming out soon and I'm excited to read it because his debut was really good.

6.) Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Arementrout - My Review / Add to Goodreads
Everyone talks about JLA's romances, supernatural or otherwise, but no one seems to talk about her mystery. I have not read her other books but I have read this and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't perfect but it was a good solvable mystery.

7.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich - My Review / Add to Goodreads
I read this book years ago and I still think about that ending. Like I'm still not entirely sure what it all meant and that is the sign of a good mystery/thriller to me. I mean more than a few books on this list are like that for me.

8.) The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - My Review / Add to Goodreads
I need more people to read this series because I need more books. I need a third book in this series. It's a really amazing mystery and is basically like a YA Scandal. Why don't more people talk about this book. Read this book and talk about it.

9.) Final Girls by Riley Sager - My Review / Add to Goodreads
This book came out pretty recently and like no one was talking about it. Maybe because it's adult but still, you guys, this book is amazing. It has that 80's and 90's teen horror vibe to it and a mystery that totally caught me off guard, which almost never happens.

10.) The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas - My Review / Add to Goodreads
This is another book that had some hype around it when it first came out but no one talks about it anymore. I really liked it and I think fans of YA mysteries would really enjoy it as well. I recently read her second book, Little Monsters, as well and that one might actually be better.

There you have it. The ten mysteries that I think are hidden gems. If you like mysteries and haven't read any of these you should definitely check them out. I loved them all and which more people would talk about them. What mysteries would have been on your list? What books did you add? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Monday, August 28, 2017

ARC Review: Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Wonder Woman Warbringer
Series: DC Icons #1
Written by: Leigh Bardugo
Published: August 29, 2017 by Random House

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at ALA in an exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I am a huge fan of Wonder Woman. She has always been my favorite superhero and not just because she is the most mainstream female hero. So I was really excited to hear that there were going to be YA books about the DC heroes, including this Amazon princess. And then I was even more excited when I heard it was going to be written by Leigh Bardugo, who I also love. And this was an absolutely fantastic read.

The thing I liked the most about this book was the characters. Leigh Bardugo just does such a brilliant job with characterizations and this once again allowed her to show that skill. First of all we have the titular Amazon, Diana Prince. I know that Leigh is a big Wonder Woman fan and it showed in the character she created. It absolutely captured the spirit of Wonder Woman and everything I love about her. Her desire for peace and love of mankind despite their flaws. You also got to see her in full badassery throughout the book defending those who she was sworn to protect, which let's be honest is everyone. I think fans of the character will appreciate Leigh's treatment of her and those who don't know her will connect with Diana just like I have.

But the secondary characters is really where this book shines. Leigh is a master at character depth and creating odious and slightly dark characters. And while these weren't as dark as some of her other books they were still incredibly complex and odious. I spent a lot of the book questioning their localities and I loved that about them. But also, the banter. Oh my gosh you guys, the banter here was on point and like I don't mean romantically. The way the characters talked, their jokes, and wit. It was all so fantastic. My favorite was probably Nim who was full of sass and knowledge. Theo was pretty good as well. He easily could have just been comic relief but Leigh gave him a lot of depth. All of these characters could have been very one-dimensional but none of them were under Leigh's hand.

I also really appreciated that this is a book that was rooted in Greek Mythology. My favorite Wonder Women stories are always ones that have roots in the mythology. This one definitely did just that focusing on the characters from the Trojan War and some lesser known Greek gods and goddesses. It added some interesting dimension to the world and the plot development.

But I will say, it focused more on the Greek mythology then it did on the character mythology. This is not a Wonder Woman origin story. If you are not familiar with the character and how she came to be, jumping in at this stage may confuse you. This is a story all it's own. As someone who does know Wonder Woman really well I appreciated that. It felt like it was written for someone like me. But if you are new to the character then maybe it isn't so accessible. Or maybe I am wrong and you will appreciate not getting bogged down in whether or not Diana was birthed from clay or from an affair between Hippolyta and Zeus. Who am I to say.

No, the plot of this book was something entirely it's own. It was definitely an interesting plot for sure. It was full of surprises and unexpected twists, some of which definitely had me reeling. It also did what a lot of Leigh Bardugo books do where It very slowly built to an exciting conclusion. The beginning was definitely more on the slower side but even during those parts it was still really readable. My only criticism however is that I wanted a little bit more action. Now I don't mean fight scenes. There were just enough of those. I mean I wanted more adventure and drama. There were just some moments where I didn't feel like the stakes were very high. I feel like Wonder Woman deserve that kind of story and it happened in the end but I would have liked more of that throughout.

But all in all this was a really great story. It was everything that I was hoping for in a Leigh Bardugo written Wonder Woman story. There were great characters, a world rooted in mythology, and a plot full of surprises.

I give Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Wonder Woman or if you are new to the character. Or even if you are looking for a book full of mythology with great characters then check this out. It's a great read and I'm so excited for more DC Icons.

Have you read Wonder Woman Warbringer? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Friday, August 25, 2017

ARC Review: Sleeper by Mackenzie Cadenhead

Title: Sleeper
Written by: Mackenzie Cadenhead
Published: August 1, 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: As if surviving high school wasn’t hard enough, Sarah Reyes suffers from REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, a parasomnia that causes her to physically act out her dreams. When she almost snaps her friend’s neck at a sleepover, Sarah and her nocturnal habits are thrust into the spotlight and she becomes a social pariah, complete with public humiliation. 

When an experimental drug comes onto the market that promises nighttime normalcy, Sarah agrees to participate in the trial. At first, she seems to be cured. Then the side effects kick in. Why does a guy from her nightmare show up at school? Are the eerily similar dreams she’s sharing with her classmates’ coincidence or of her making? Is she losing her mind or does this drug offer way more than sleep?

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I really wanted to like this book. It sounds like a fantastic idea. When I first heard about it I thought it would be totally up my alley as an interesting combination of things I love. But in execution I really did not enjoy it. It had some of the worst things about some of my favorite things.

I never thought that this would be a bad thing, but this book reminded me a lot of Heathers. I love Heathers, it's a dark comedy with a good revenge story. This book however didn't hit me in the same way that Heathers does. It definitely has that revenge angle. In the very beginning the main character is ousted from the popular cliche because of something that she can't control. A main part of the book is her getting back at those for turning on her. You do feel a little bit of empathy for here but you don't feel the same sense of justice that you get with Heathers. You also don't have the humor or, honestly, the heart. I feel like this book took some of the worst things from Heathers and ignored the best.

I think maybe the biggest thing that prevented me from connecting to the revenge plotline was the characters. For one thing, I never really connected with the main character. Yes, you feel a little bit of empathy for her alienation but not enough for me. She's just not a very good heroine in my opinion. I don't need my main characters to be kicking ass and taking names (in fact I often dislike that), but I do need them to take control of their storylines. This girl did not do that. She let other people talk her into basically everything, and even in the big climax it was someone else who figured out how to defeat the villain. How am I supposed to get behind a hero who is characterized in this way? I wasn't able to.

As for the secondary characters it was much of the same thing. I didn't connect with them. Probably the best example of this with the male lead. I really hated him. There were definite Heathers vibes with him but just as the MC lacked the heart of Veronica Sawyer, Wes has none of the charm of J.D. I never understood why Sarah liked him and let her talk him into going on this revenge plot. He was just a massive jerk and I wanted him gone. And as the book went on it just got worse. Plus the romance here was so frustrating. It was Twilight-esque in the way the characters interacted. I'm not a fan of a lot of romances but this one definitely didn't come close to winning me over.

The one thing I did like however was the world of this book. It was definitely a unique and interesting world. The idea of a drug being used to help people invade dreams was definitely a cool concept. I really liked seeing the characters invade others dreamscapes and what happened when they were in there. It had this cool sci-fi invasion of the body snatchers feel to it. Although I do wish there was more explanation of some of the aspects of the world. There was a little bit of that later in the book but I could have used it in the beginning when everything was being established.

When I started reading this book, it did pull me in but unfortunately it let me go very quickly. It's not a very long book and despite the fact that I read it basically every day it still took me a week to finish it. I thought I was going to breeze through it in a couple of days but I didn't do that. It really dragged. In fact I really only finished it because I skimmed through the last quarter of the book in about a day. I just wanted it to be over. And that is never a good thing when you are reading a book.

I give Sleeper by Mackenzie Cadenhead 6 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Bypass. I really just did not enjoy this book. It had a lot of promise and an interesting concept and a compelling world but with characters I did not connect with and a plot that was missing some of the charm and interest I was hoping for.

Have you read Sleeper? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Dire King Blog Tour: Interview with R.F. Jackaby and Giveaway

Hi Everyone! I have a very exciting post for you today as part of the blog tour for The Dire King. Many of you may know that I am a huge fan of the Jackaby series. That's why I jumped at the chance to help the ladies at the Fantastic Flying Book Club plan this tour for the final book in the series. If you missed the review I posted on Monday, check that out here.

And so as part of the blog tour I have a super exciting post to share. I was able to secure a very rare interview with the titular character of the series, one Mr. R.F. Jackaby. If you are not aware, Mr. Jackaby is not only the titular character for the series but also a paranormal investigator. I was able to ask him a few questions about himself, his colleagues, and his work. Scroll down for all that. But first, some info about The Dire King. 

The Dire King (Jackaby #4)

by William Ritter
Release Date: August 22nd 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Synopsis: The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times best-selling series the Chicago Tribune called “Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer” sends the eccentric detective and his indispensible assistant into the heart of a war between magical worlds. 

 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.

The epic conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series features sly humor and a quirky cast of unforgettable characters as they face off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.

About the Jackaby series

"A little Dr. Who, a little Harry Potter, and a lot of Sherlock, New York Times bestselling author Will Ritter’s Jackaby series has thrilled YA readers with magic, mystery and adventure since the first book introduced us to a supernatural sleuth and his trusty assistant. In The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel (on sale August 22), Ritter sends the series out with a bang, with even more mystery, romance, and the most epic battle yet. We hope you’ll strongly consider prominent coverage for The Dire King--and all the Jackaby books—as we say goodbye to our crime-solving friends in New Fiddleham.

“A humorous, energetic, action-packed, and magical conclusion.”
 —Kirkus Reviews, starred review Ritter’s debut novel

Jackaby (a New York Times bestseller and 2015 Pacific Northwest Book Award winner) introduced readers to R.F. Jackaby, a quirky detective with a knack for the supernatural; Abigail Rook, his skeptical and observant assistant; Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly landlady of 926 Augur Lane; and Charlie Cane, a shape-shifting police officer. Beastly Bones and Ghostly Echoes followed the crime-solving team from their home in New Fiddleham to the depths of the underworld as they uncovered more clues about the evil forces behind Jenny’s murder.

Hello Mr. Jackaby, Thank you so much for agreeing to answer a few of my questions. I am a big fan of your recent exploits and cases in New Fiddleham and Gads Valley. I know the book related to your big case with The Dire King is coming up so I thought this was as good a time as any to get to know you a little better.

1.) For those readers who might not be familiar, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Yes, of course I can. What a silly inquiry.

2.) You live in New Fiddleham, how would you describe the city to those who might want to come visit? 

Hm. Yes, how to put it simply? New Fiddleham’s aura is a maladroit shade of heliotrope with undertones of bright anticipation and rhythmic distress. It smells like hope and boiled potatoes and also over-seasoned frustration. Except on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays it smell like cabbage. Miss Rook informs me that the roadways feel like they were designed by chimpanzees throwing handfuls of wet linguini at a blank bit of parchment and tracing the noodles, but I find her theory improbable. Where would the chimpanzees have boiled the water? Anyway, the roads and I have gotten along just fine since we’ve gotten to know each other.

3.) 926 Augur Lane is a very unusual place. What unique features did it have when you moved in and what did you add? 

The building was like any other, I suppose—three stories plus a decent attic space, a trim little garden, a spectral undead remnant of the previous owner, and a well-maintained kitchen. I made minor modifications only. These included demolishing the kitchen to create a functional modern laboratory, rebricking the facade with custom apotropaic masonry, making room in the master bedroom for a humble observatory, and transforming the spacious third floor sitting room and adjacent chambers into a selfsustained ecosystem with a prominent duck pond. I did keep the original drapes.

4.) Speaking of 926 Augur Lane, it's owner and proprietor Jenny Cavanaugh is currently a ghost. Can you tell us about your first meeting Jenny? 

I was enlisted to perform her exorcism, actually—but I found the spirited specter perfectly well-mannered and frankly far more grounded than most corporeal humans I have met. I made tea. She seemed to find me amusing, not that I recall saying anything funny. As the conversation wore on, I found myself quite enamored with Miss Cavanaugh’s sharp wit and her forthright good humor. In the end, I informed my client that the ghost would be staying precisely where she was for the foreseeable future, and that should he make any further efforts to expel her from her family’s estate, I would personally attend to the lady’s defense. My client decided to be done with it and bequeathed the property to me.

5.) You recently began working with a new assistant named Abigail Rook. How would you describe Abigail to our readers? 

Abigail is hopeless. She has very little sense of self-preservation, no rational fear in the face of absolute peril, and a burning curiosity that could kill a hundred cats. She reminds me a little of myself when I was her age. I’m quite proud of her progress. Although, in spite of the very clear instructions in my advert, she did look right at the frog. Right at it.

6.) Describe your relationship with the New Fiddleham police department. Would you say it's a good working relationship? 

I think the New Fiddleham Police are beginning to come around to me. I have even been given special access to certain areas within the precinct. Well, access to the inside of the holding cells, mostly. Also they allow me to keep some of my things in their evidence lockers. It’s a special sort of relationship.

7.) You are a many of science and logic. What, in your opinion, is the most important skill for a detective to have? 

Extrasensory perception is a real time-saver, obviously. Except in especially tricky cases, like when the perpetrator turns out to be just something woefully ordinary, like a human being. I almost always miss those ones.

8.) Which mythical creature would you not want to meet in a dark alley? Which one would you love to meet instead? 

I would dislike encountering one of the hecatoncheires in a dark alley, if only because conversation is always so uncomfortable—I am never sure which head to took at. Also, they are tatanic giants, so there would not be much alley left after they had stuffed themselves into one. I would much prefer something small, like a sprite or pixie.

9.) If someone suspects they may have an unusual or perhaps mythical occurrence on their hands, what should they do? 

That depends entirely upon the occurrence. If one finds oneself speaking to a large, golden fish, for example, I would advise one to word their wishes carefully. If one finds that furniture is frequently rearranged in the morning, I might suggest giving the new arrangement a try for a day or two. Some poltergeists have a real eye for interior design if given the chance. If one finds oneself facing a large, black hound with three monstrous heads, I am told he is partial to cake. Consider bringing cake with you at all times. Just in case.

10.) You have quite an unusual security guard at 926 Augur Lane. Can you tell us a little bit more about Ogden? How did he come into your life? 

Ogden is a robust specimen of the genus Occulus Flatulanum, although Hank Hudson, the fellow who procured him for me, prefers the vernacular ‘eye fart frog.’ Ogden is actually quite an affable and agreeable amphibian, so long as one avoids touching him, moving his terrarium, standing too near, standing too far away, breathing too heavily in his direction, or looking at him. It is only when provoked that he emits a noxious gas from his eyes, which can quickly fill a room. It is an odor that hangs about like an unwelcome relative.

11.) You have a library at 926 Augur Lane. What's your favorite book? 

I get the most practical use out of my rare edition of the Apotropaicon, although Mendel’s Magical Menagerie remains dear to my heart as a childhood favorite.

12.) What has been your most memorable case to date? Why was it so memorable? 

My most memorable case would have to be my first. Something very bad came for somebody I cared for, and it fell to me to save her. I didn’t.

13.) By request of my interviewee, the thirteenth question has been redacted. 

Your understanding and cooperation on this issue is greatly appreciated.

14.) What is next for you? What can we expect from you on The Dire King? 

Not enough, I’m afraid. Things have gotten a bit out of control, even for me. Miss Rook had a nice little word for it—what was it… cataclysmic. Yes. Things are just a little cataclysmic right now, but I intend to give it my best shot.

15.) And finally, a kind of silly question I ask everyone I interview. If you were trapped on a desserted island, what dessert would your island be made out of? 

A perfectly reasonable query. Saltwater taffy is the obvious choice in an oceanic environment.

Thank you for your interest in my work. Should you find yourself in the area of New Fiddleham, particular if you find yourself there in or around 1892, be sure to stop in

Thank you so much for being here Mr. Jackaby. It was my pleasure sharing some of your wit and knowledge with my readers.

If you have not read the Jackaby series I highly recommend it. It's one of my all-time favorite series because it perfectly combines history, mystery, and fantasy. You can enter a giveaway for the first book down below. If you need more encouragement, my review of the first book in the series, Jackaby, can be found HERE. And if you are up to date, you can find my review of The Dire King HERE.

WILLIAM RITTER is an Oregon educator and author of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Definitely check out some of the rest of the tour. There are some really cool and exciting posts coming up. And again, read the Jackaby series. If I can make one thing clear it's that this series is amazing. Read it and thank me later. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!