Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/05/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Historical, Horror, Paranormal
When Griffin’s past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves?
Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help—but how can he, when Whyborne won’t tell him what’s wrong?
When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain.
To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.
Fallow is the eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.
The wind strengthened from over the ocean, coiling around the slender figure standing atop a craggy rock. She might have been some barbaric sea goddess, dressed in nothing but golden jewelry and a skirt of knotted seaweed. Dark swirls marked her pearlescent skin like war paint, and the stinging tendrils of her hair writhed as the autumnal breeze grew into a gale.
My first though? Woohoo, Persephone! After that? Wow, what an opening paragraph! And what immediately follows? Hahaha, you’ll want to read to find out, but I will say typical Whyborne.
I’m just going to get this out of the way right now: I try hard not to go overboard with the squee in my reviews when I absoposilutely love a book because that isn’t all that helpful to most people trying to decide if they want to read it or not. But sometimes? Every once in awhile, ya gotta frackin’ let the squee loose. I’ve loved this series from book one, Widdershins, and these characters are some of my all time favorites, ones that I find joy and comfort and excitement in spending time with them. Every time. No joke. Including this one.
Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll do my best to provide a review that might actually prove useful.
Oh, Ival and Grif, surely you’ve by now learned that keeping things from each other in order to “spare” or “protect” one another never works. When will you learn? How many lessons do you require? I groaned a bit when this appeared to be the case, a carry over from the last book and the events that took place then, the past summer in Widdershins. I feel like knocking their heads together. And they’re equally guilty of it. I know this because we get both their points of view in this tale. For real, though, this dual keeping of secrets threatens to undermine the truth of the incredible strength of their relationship. Luckily, and wonderfully, the dual POV is used to fantastic effect, creating mini cliffhangers at the end of many a chapter, causing my heart to race right along with the action.
As is the norm in this series, Hawk lays on the creeptastic with the paranormal inclusions. Magic, maelstrom, shadowsight, and… well, you’ll find out.
Griffin’s voice is stronger than ever, which works out considering where most of this story takes place and the role he plays. It feels like Hawk has delved deeper into and understands him better than before. Most importantly his character’s narration is approaching parity with Whyborne’s and that makes for even smoother storytelling, complex emotion, and greater investment from me as I’m experiencing their lives. It also allows for more exploration and development of the relationship he and Ival have. Passionate, intelligent, stubborn, loyal, and still learning, they both are, and it’s awesome. It’s so cool to watch a writer’s progress continue, particularly into an eighth story in a series, and the benefits it bestows upon her characters. Brava.
Christine, also as usual, demonstrates that she is badass. She doesn’t hesitate to voice or carry out her plans when it comes to protecting these people she loves, this chosen family. These are true of all of them but she is often first in line to make it happen, whatever ‘it’ might be, no matter how dangerous or uncertain the situation. All four of these characters, these best friends, this chosen family – Whyborne, Griffin, Christine, and Iskander – show growth and solidity in their characters, matching their author’s writing. I will say, though, for as much as Iskander does in this story, I would love to see an even larger role for him, or rather more exploration of his story, how he came to be the person he is, how does it feel to be him during these crazy events, and being married to Christine. My inquiring mind wants to know.
Magic, adrenaline, humor, fear, love, gore, and many things coming full circle bring on the kind of symmetrical connections that then bring on the tears. At least they did for me.
”I see you,” I murmured, once he let me speak again. “And I love what I see. More than I would ever have thought possible.”
You’ll have to read in order to find out who is making such a beautiful proclamation. 😉
~ I also own a copy of this book.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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