*gasp* This book was AWESOME! That’s about as simple as I can get when it comes to explaining how I felt about a book. It’s true! I loved it from the moment I started reading it, through the entire course of the action and romance, and all the way to the exciting conclusion!
Widdershins, by Jordan L. Hawk was awesome. However, I would hesitate to recommend it to everyone out there. For one thing, it’s a spine-tingling paranormal adventure mystery with monsters, resurrected sorcerers, and just enough weirdness to keep you on your toes. For another, it’s an m/m romance with several vividly depicted love scenes. So if you’re not a fan of borderline horror or romance involving two men, this isn’t for you.
It was, however, very much for me! Which is strange to say because horror, mystery, and paranormal are not generally genres I seek out.
What made Widdershins so fantastic was the depth and vividness of the characters. ALL of the characters, not just the first-person narrator. Although that first-person narrator, Percival Endicott Whyborne, was one of the most engaging and thorough characters I’ve read in a long time. Whyborne is a philologist, a classic introvert, and describes himself as only being good at translating dead languages and hiding in his office. He has a richness of thought and emotion though, very real human dreams and failings, and is a better man than he thinks he is. He is drawn into a murder investigation, magic, and romance all against his wishes and then proceeds to have no idea how good he is at all three.
Whyborne is pulled out of his carefully ordered existence by ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty. Griffin is outgoing, charming, personable, and has so many layers that even with all the revelations that happen (very smoothly, I might add) throughout the book, I still feel like there’s more to him to discover. He is, in many ways, the exact opposite of Whyborne. In many ways they are absolutely destined for each other.
A special shout-out needs to go to the character of Christine as well. She is Whyborne’s friend, a butt-kicking, fearless, no nonsense Egyptologist working at the same museum as Whyborne. Christine cares deeply for her friend and her job, but she is also highly conscious of being an unconventional woman with a lot to prove in a profession that is hostile to her and to women in general.
I love how Hawk captures the spirit and flow of the time (late 1800s) so brilliantly with both the action and circumstances of the story and with her prose. She has a unique voice (Thank you! At last! Everything lately was beginning to sound the same!) and a choice of words that is both true to the time while still being easy to understand. Well, at least for me. I have a pretty big vocabulary.
I also need to make special mention of the love scenes. I’ve read some m/m romance (although I should probably read more as I’m about to write one), but there has often been something wanting in the love scenes. It’s almost as though previous writers have gone for physical description as a gimmick over actual emotional description. Hawk writes her love scenes with all the frank description of a m/f romance, but also with all the emotional description that should be there as well. Men are not total animals when they make love, and Hawk is very good at describing the whole experience. I was taking notes for my own writing later.
So the long and the short of it is that Widdershins was an amazing book that I enjoyed reading. I hope to read the rest of the books in the series soon, although I just got handed a LARGE pile of books that I have to read. I won’t be able to do book reports on those books either, so if you notice the numbers skipping on my reports in the next few months, that’s why.