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Hexslayer (Hexworld) (Volume 3) Paperback – September 18, 2017
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And I was right about that, because this book was just about everything I wanted out of it.
I quite adore this series, with its wonderful blend of history and magic. Once again we are in early 20th century New York, amidst a growing discontent between the non-magical parts of the populous and the witches and familiars that keep the magic coming. After the events of last book I was pretty sure that things were not going to be going well for familiars in this story. And they really aren’t. Laws are now tightening on what unbound familiars can do, and the Dangerous Familiars Squad is cracking down on any familiar deemed too aggressive to be free amongst the general populous. Needless to say, Nick is not a fan.
Which, in the Rules of Romance, probably almost guaranteed that Jamie was the one who makes Nick go against all his tightly held beliefs. Not only is Jamie a member of the MWP–which would earn Nick’s ire all on its own–but Jamie’s uncle is one of the lead officers on the DFS. Watching them clash over this, and their different beliefs on how familiars and witches should behave, was a lot of fun. And I really liked that I kinda got both sides on this. I mostly agree with Nick, to be honest, but I can see how Jamie, who was raised by his uncle to respect authority and follow rule and order, can see the laws and their enforcement as the correct way to go about things. Both Nick and Jamie have to learn to reevaluate their beliefs, and it might not be easy, but it does make for good reading.
While I might have spent the majority of the book thinking Nick was a bit of a horse’s a$$, he was also written sympathetically enough that I cared about him. Despite my desire to remove the three foot plank form his a$$ and use it to beat some civility into him. And I really love Jamie and the way he has to continually fight everyone around him to see that just because he lost part of his leg in the war, that doesn’t make him useless or in need of constant pity. Nick’s easy acceptance of Jamie’s disability and the way he viewed Jamie as an annoying witch–and not as the “broken” witch–did a lot to endear him to me.
On the whole this is a really good book. I’ve yet to come across a story in this series that I would not happily reread, and I can’t wait to get more. The only slight issue I have with this story is that I kinda figured out who the killer was early on, but there were plenty of unseen twists to make up for that in the end. I’ve highly recommended every book in this series so far, and I’m not about to stop now. Pick this one up as soon as possible.
The author has done a great job of creating a cast of characters with very different personalities and relationships. All of the characters from past books show up here, and it's great to see how everyone interacts. As for the main characters in this book, though: Jamie is a complex guy. He's been willing to do what he was told all of his life, and he's slowly learning that maybe that wasn't always the best course to take. Grieving and unsure, he's trying to figure out where he should go from here. I loved Nick's personality, horse-like in his stubbornness and brusqueness, but with a compassionate streak that he doesn't often show. Jamie and Nick are a hell of a couple, and watching them come together even against Nick's refusal to do so was fun to watch.
The overall story is a heck of a ride (so to speak). I've only been to Central Park a few times and I like how Hawk has captured the feel of the place, with its obscure buildings and features. I like that as a reader I was guessing culprits along the way and getting proved wrong again and again. That's a hallmark of a great suspense story for me. This book does not end with a cliffhanger, but we are left knowing what will be coming up in the next book and who will be involved. All of that makes me happy. I will be pre-ordering Book #4 as soon as it's available!