- Series: Whyborne & Griffin (Book 1)
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 15, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1482528150
- ISBN-13: 978-1482528152
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 327 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin) (Volume 1) Paperback – March 15, 2013
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"Jordan L. Hawk's skillful prose and abundant imagination have come together to tell a story that couldn't have been more perfect if it'd tried." ~ Lisa Horan, The Novel Approach
"I actually don't have enough stars for this book or this author's talent. If you're going to buy one book this month... quarter...year... it would be this one." ~ Rhys Ford, author of Sinner's Gin
About the Author
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny and single mother. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.
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Top customer reviews
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Percival Endicott Whyborne spends his days working in a museum as a comparative philologist, and he is perfectly content with his solitary life. When private detective Griffin Flaherty believes that an ancient book may be the key to his case, Whyborne offers to help with translation. Before he knows it, the shy and withdrawn Whyborne is thrown into the middle of something that defies explanation. Something truly terrifying is afoot, and Whyborne and Griffin must team up if they are going to defeat the evil that has been unleashed. As Whyborne spends more time with Griffin, he finds it more and more difficult to suppress his feelings. He thinks it impossible that Griffin could ever return those feelings. But after seeing some of the things that he has seen, Whyborne should know that anything is possible.
It’s hard to describe Widdershins. It’s a Victorian-era American m/m paranormal, but parsing it down into a few descriptors does not do it justice. It’s so much more than that. To begin with, Widdershins refers to the name of the New England city that Whyborne calls home. His ancestors have lived in Widdershins for centuries, but that’s all I can say about them without giving away too much. Widdershins is a rather staid locale, but there is something sinister lurking beneath the surface.
Whyborne and Griffin are an unlikely pair, but despite their vast differences, their mutual understanding is established almost immediately. I love that Griffin is the more outgoing one, but Whyborne is significantly taller. I loved the way their relationship developed slowly, but once the spark was lit, wow!
If I had one complaint about this book, it would be that Whyborne does not like his given name. Percival is a perfectly lovely name, but he doesn’t like it. He likes Percy even less. Griffin’s solution for a nickname is rather endearing, but you’ll have to read the book to find out more about that.
I would absolutely recommend Widdershins. This is the perfect blend of romance, mystery, and action. I have actually read the first three books in the series. The tenth book has just been released, and from what I understand, Hawk plans to end the series with book eleven. Armed with this knowledge, I have been rationing out my reading experience even though every instinct has me wanting to ignore my family in favor of a marathon reading experience. I am certainly looking forward to reading anything and everything Hawk has to offer.
However, given that the last part of the book was an improvement over the first, I do plan on reading the second Griffin and Whyborne novel.
To be more specific in my review, without making it too long, I identified the following:
Contrived emotions and hackneyed emotional situations, showing the author did not (at first) think through her characters very deeply and so relies on cliché and formula.
Repetitive and vague description that does not advance the story, contribute to the overall mood, or help develop the characters
Characters making premature statements about what’s happening in the story not supported by the story up to that point; these amount to shortcuts used to quickly convey attitudes or traits, resulting in writing that feels superficial – e.g. telling the reader how to think and feel without providing a foundation in the story for doing so.
Unrealistic dialogue and emotional states in response to traumatic events
Hackneyed dialogue (just a few of many examples):
“Am I really the first to look beneath the cold exterior and see the passion seething within?”
“Living here had not been like growing up in a museum, but rather a mausoleum”
“You’re like a bottle of fine champagne, yearning to be opened. Year after year, the pressure building slowly, with no release. And ever since I met you, all I could think was what it would take to make… you… pop.”
Irrelevant metaphors that are sometimes inconsistent with and add little to the rest of the section in tone, content, or context (“The whisper of the ocean was like the deep throb of a giant’s pulse”)
Occasional anachronisms that undermine the historical feel of the period: for instance, did the press snap pictures in 1897? The terminology of snapping pictures would not been used at this time. Further, while halftone prints were used in papers, photojournalism as we know it started well after the turn of the century.
Finally, Hawk pays homage to H.P. Lovecraft by using some of his fictional places. While I'm all for honoring those whom we admire, it's a bit odd given that Lovecraft was a homophobe who considered being gay a perversion.
These characters are interesting enough that I want to get the next book right now, but am saving it as a treat for later. This was my first time reading anything remotely Lovecraftian; I tend toward the squeamish and easily spooked, so I've avoided anything that could be remotely labeled 'horror'. This really was the first thing I've read that is in that realm, and I found this touching lightly on the unpleasant and not off-putting at all.
Of course, you cannot live among fantasy/sci-fi/gaming aficionados without some exposure to the place names and concepts. That said, I found the setting compelling and navigable without needing more than a passing familiarity. I think an absolute newcomer would be able to read and enjoy this tale.
The intimacy was just that; intimacy, rather than gratuitous sexy times. It served the story, rather than the opposite.
There were some areas where I felt the pacing was a bit rushed, although it made sense within the arc of the story. Likewise, the dialogue occasionally felt a bit overblown. Again, I think it served the atmosphere, but it pushed me out of the story a bit.
All in all, I found this a delightful diversion, with an appropriate balance between erotica and plot. If you like M/M romance with a bit of supernatural and historical AU, I recommend this book.
Most recent customer reviews
The Lovecraft theme runs wide and deep, but tweaked enough to be original.Read more