Release Day Review: Dead Man’s Reach (Thieftaker Chronicles #4) by D.B. Jackson

July 21, 2015 Review 3

Release Day Review:  Dead Man’s Reach (Thieftaker Chronicles #4) by D.B. JacksonDead Man's Reach by D.B. Jackson
Series: The Thieftaker Chronicles, #4
Published by Tor Books on July 21, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Historical, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 368 pages
Source: Publicity Agency, Publisher
Sexual Content: references to sex, kissing
Reviewed by: Kristina
4 Stars

Boston, 1770. The city is a powder keg as tensions between would-be rebels and loyalist Tories approach a breaking point. One man is willing to light the match to ensure that he has his revenge.

The presence of the British Regulars has made thieftaking a hard business to be in. Ethan Kaille has to resort to taking jobs that he would otherwise pass up, namely protecting the shops of Tories from Patriot mobs. When one British loyalist takes things too far and accidentally kills a young boy, even Ethan reconsiders his line of work. Even more troubling is the fact that instances of violence in the city are increasing, and Ethan often finds himself at the center of the trouble.

Ethan discovers that some enemies don't stay buried… and will stop at nothing to ruin Ethan's life. Even if that means risking the lives of everyone in Boston, including the people that Ethan loves most.

To say the Thieftaker Chronicles series is well researched and practically throws you right into pre-Revolutionary War Boston with its attention to detail of life and events happening at that point in American history is a massive understatement. Being a history geek I relished in remembering all of the things I forgot from American history class about what was going on then and seeing the smaller daily life details of the tension felt by the American colonists in the 1760's was so much fun. Magic is so easily woven into DEAD MAN'S REACH that I'd almost believe that magic users really did exist in Boston then!

The story in DEAD MAN'S REACH is about the consequences from the previous books and is basically an epic historical thriller with magic thrown in to make things interesting.  And interesting it is. I tend to try to play detective along with the main character and here I kept suspecting everyone of being the big bad. I even suspected Ethan Kaille for a half a second out of sheer desperation of trying to figure out the twist. One of the issues I had with this book is the way in which Ethan performs his magic through cutting or biting himself to make himself bleed. I can't stand seeing people slice human flesh on tv and apparently can't handle it when people do it in books. While I enjoyed the uses of magic in this world I almost wanted Ethan to stop just so I wouldn't have to read about him pulling out his knife again.

Knife usage issues aside the characters are just as complex and interesting as the plot of DEAD MAN'S REACH. While I enjoyed Ethan Kaille's tenacity and loyalty I found myself wanting to hear more about the side characters especially Sephira, Ethan's main thieftaker rival. She is one seriously tough woman and while she is one of Ethan's antagonists I so want to know more about her and what her life is like. This is supposedly the last book in the Thieftaker Chronicles but I am hoping for something more in the future. Perhaps there is a short story or another book set in this world?

If you love historical fiction with a touch of magic, and the darkness of a thriller then you'll love DEAD MAN'S REACH and the previous books in The Thieftaker Chronicles.

Series Titles:

1. Thieftaker

2. Thieves' Quarry

3. A Plunder of Souls

More Reviews: Similar Titles:
  • The Dresden Files
  • Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell

3 Responses to “Release Day Review: Dead Man’s Reach (Thieftaker Chronicles #4) by D.B. Jackson”

  1. D.B. Jackson

    Thanks for the kind review, Kristina. There are many Thieftaker short stories out already, and I have every intention of bringing them together in a collection before long. But I thought you might like to know that Sephira Pryce’s origin story (Sephira as a 12 year old) can be found in BIG BAD II from Dark Oak Press. And “The Price of Doing Business,” a story about Ethan’s first encounter with Sephira, came out last year at Tor.com and is still available there.

    Thanks again!

    Best,

    David

    • Kristina

      Thanks! And I will definitely track down Sephira’s story now that I know it’s out there! I’m looking forward to the collection of the short stories. 🙂

  2. Mina

    I really have to read this series – sounds wonderful!
    Thanks for the review!