Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 1
Genre: Paranormal (Historical)
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
Some things should stay buried.
Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.
So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.
As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?
This was an interesting book. It was paranormal set in the early 1900s and the amount of detail of how the world worked back then--from clothing to conveyance--was perfect. Hawk was so specific that even the negative views on women and gays of the time were accurate. While reading, I felt like I had lived during that time and understood exactly what Hawk was describing. In fact, it was so well written I felt like I was reading a gay version of Sherlock Holmes.
I also really liked how the magic was formed, although I was disappointed that there wasn't more explanation. It was scientific and therefore Whyborne could experiment. It also didn't require any special circumstance of birth or ability, just the knowledge of what to study and the will to commit to the spell. Whyborne was able to learn it in amazing time and that made the book far more interesting.
What I struggled with was the predictability of the story. I had the grave robbing and thefts from the museum figured out far before the main characters even started to investigate it. Unfortunately, when the characters did catch up with me, their process and explanation did feel boring. I also kept expecting a twist to surprise me, but everything was very linear. Even the conflict in the romance was expected.
This was a well-written book. I enjoyed reading it and I will be reading the rest of the series.
I did enjoy reading this book. The historical accuracy as well as the interesting way of using magic kept me hooked. The plot was a bit predictable and linear, but interesting enough that it kept my attention. I will be getting the next book in the series.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.