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review 2017-06-29 18:48
Hunter of Demons (SPECTR #1)
Hunter of Demons - Jordan L. Hawk

This is an odd one. I'm going to give it four stars, because I do think it deserves it, but I'm going to put a huge caveat on that, which I'll get to in a minute.

 

Ms. Hawk certainly has a grand imagination. All her worlds, whether I can get into them or not, are well-detailed, well-thought out and the world-building is pretty smooth, giving you want you need to know when you need to know it without burying you in extraneous details. That is the same here. She's put a different sort of twist on vampires here. Certainly, vampires actually being demonic spirits isn't new, but in this world, vampires are thought to not actually exist. Ghouls and werewolves, sure. But vampires? Hah! Except they do. It's the method of transfer from one host to another that differs, and I quite thought it to be more complex and have the potential for more conflict that in typical vamp lore. We certainly get to see those conflicts emerge here and start to be explored, and since the way the possession works, you can still sympathize with Gray while understanding why Caleb is justly upset by all this. Neither of them asked for or wanted this; they're just going to have to find some way to make do. End of series spoiler:

And since this whole first series and part of the second series is already released, I know that Caleb and Gray aren't able to be separated, so I assume they will have to and do eventually come to some mutual understanding/acceptance of their fates.

(spoiler show)

I really enjoyed all the stuff that gets explored here, though I did think Caleb's trust issues with SPECTR and with John went away or started to fade just a little too quickly. I would think Caleb would be more suspicious than he ends up being, and would therefore be looking for more ways to manipulate the situation and John - but that doesn't happen. Of course, he's forced to stick around since they're hoping John will figure out a way to get Gray out of Caleb's body, but that doesn't mean that someone like Caleb, raised with a deep distrust of the system, would thaw out as quickly as he does. 

 

Now for my caveat - obviously, this is M/M(/U) (Caleb considers Gray to be "male" but Gray really doesn't have a gender), and romance is a must. There's no real romance in this first book, which is fine because that would've been misplaced. There's plenty of lusting and lusty thoughts, of course, and John gets a little too handsy with someone he's supposed to be protecting/holding in custody. John gets a wee bit unprofessional, but doesn't cross the line into totally unprofessional until they finally have sex in the last chapter. I have a couple of issues with this that prevented me from being able to like the scene, aside from the extreme unprofessionalism:

1) While they just came from a horror show of a death match with the lycanthrope and their adrenaline would be high, causing them to act rashly, I just couldn't stop thinking that Caleb's breath and mouth must've tasted like blood. Gray had just drunk a lycanthrope dry, and Caleb didn't even stop for mouthwash. Plus, even with near-instant healing powers, Caleb would've had some blood from his own injuries sustained during the fight. Shower first?

 

2) Holy consent issues! Caleb wants John and vice versa, but Gray was obviously way uncomfortable with all this and had no idea what was going on. Even though Gray's an unwanted hitchhiker inside Caleb, and Caleb was desperate to get laid for a variety of legit reasons, that still means that Gray hasn't given his consent to this. At this point, we don't know much about how this possession works. We know that sometimes Caleb is aware of Gray and can carry on discussions with Gray whether aloud or in their head, and sometimes Gray seems to "go away." But we don't know if Gray is "there" all the time or has the ability to "check out" or just makes it appear like he's checked out. Gray's had access to the memories of all his prior hosts, including their sex lives, but those were always in sepia tone, if you will, and this is the first time he's experiencing it firsthand and in technicolor with stereo surround sound. That he's subdued and quiet afterward probably just means he's processing and trying to make sense of what just happened, versus being traumatized by it, but I hope this is resolved before Caleb and John boink again. For now, I'm labeling it dubcon. YMMV.

 

3) Actually, consent is a huge issue throughout the story, what with the forced possession. Caleb doesn't want to share his body with Gray; Gray didn't intend to inhabit a body that didn't stay dead, and in fact has no control over which bodies he does inhabit. So dubcon/noncon is just a fact of this premise. Caleb's miserable, Gray's confused and doesn't know what's going on. Neither of them are really happy about this, though Caleb's pain is clearly much more prevalent and pressing. Still, it's more or less a mutually distressing experience, until the climax. Gray overrides Caleb's consent when he decides to not just kill the lycanthrope but drink all its blood. Dude! Caleb's a vegetarian! :P And also, that's gross. Gray would've even gone after Caleb's SIL if Caleb hadn't begged him not to. So maybe you don't care about #2, because Caleb's free to do what he wants with his body without having to check in with Gray - and I would agree to that IF this series wasn't sold as an M/M(/M) romance. But it is, so my issue with #2 isn't so much that it happened in this instance - because like I said, Caleb's desires were totally valid - but concern about how this is going to be handled in future installments. If you want me to believe this is a mutual romance among all three, then at some point - preferably sooner than later - the various issues of consent need to be addressed.

(spoiler show)

 

The writing is strong enough, and the characters and premise are interesting enough, I'm willing to at least give the next book a try and see how this develops from here. 

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review 2017-06-06 03:06
Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin #9)
Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin Book 9) - Jordan L. Hawk

I probably should've at least skimmed the previous book before reading this one, because I didn't remember it nearly as well as I thought I did. Thankfully, the author provides enough background info/reminders that I wasn't completely lost, as the plot is very much reliant on the events in Fallow. 

 

This was a fun ride. I continue to be amazed that Ms. Hawk can keep these characters and this world fresh - and still be picking up steam for more down the road! Griffin and Ival's relationship is as strong as ever, there's a new police chief in town determined to "shake things up" and cause problems for our protags, and we've got the Endicotts back in town causing their own special brand of disturbance. 

 

What I loved most about this, besides all the typical stuff, is how much Whyborne's relationship with his father has changed - and how his father himself has changed as a result of that. I never thought I'd actually like Niles, but he's come a long way from his first appearance in this series. Percival has also grown so much from the first book, and while he sometimes regrets the loss of his quiet simple life, he knows these changes are inevitable and can't be denied or ignored. I won't say any more on that though.

 

To end:

Librarians are the coolest.

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review 2017-05-17 11:44
Huh. Interesting twist.
Drinker of Blood (SPECTR Series 2 Book 3) - Jordan L. Hawk

I liked it as much as the others. 

It's a solid series.

 

And I liked the twist with the new entity.

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review 2017-05-09 18:55
Threshold by Jordan L. Hawk
Threshold - Jordan L. Hawk


I listened to this book on audio and the narrator is not my favorite. I wasn’t thrilled with his performance in “Widdershins” and it was pretty much the same deal here. He simply has no oomph to his voice, there is very little to no emotion behind any of the words and I’m a reader who needs the oomph. I don’t enjoy having a story “read” to me. I need a performance. And it’s all about me, right? Anyway, this story is good enough for me to mostly ignore the sometimes awkward/sometimes stilted delivery and the lack of tone change in most of the character voices. Christine is done right though so that’s awesome.

This time lovebirds Griffin and Whyborne and their colleague Christine are investigating strange goings-on at a coal mine. There’s some humor, dastardly humans, some spicy love making, ancient monsters with pincers and surgical skills (yes! Gross but, yes, I loved it!). What more could I want in a story? Nothing, I tell you. Ok, maybe a little angst but that’s here too as the pair have their first real fight, face some insecurities and kiss and make up.

If you don’t like horror you will need to skim and think of this during the scary bits.


This is book #2 in the series and I most definitely recommend reading them in order so you can watch the main couple fall in love and solve their first really weird case in Widdershins. I don’t follow many series because I’m too lazy to keep track of them but this is one that calls to me. I may read the rest in paper format though unless I hear that the narration gets a whole hell of a lot better . . .

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review 2017-02-05 20:03
Originelle Mischung aus historischer Fantasy, Krimi und homoerotischer Liebesgeschichte
Hexbreaker - Jordan L. Hawk

Erstmal zwei Hinweise: 1.) Das Buch ist zum Zeitpunkt dieser Rezension noch nicht auf deutsch erschienen. 2.) Es enthält detailliert beschriebenen einvernehmlichen Sex zwischen zwei Männern.

Nur noch ein Kapitel!

Das dachte ich mir kurz nach Mitternacht. Einen Wimpernschlag später war es auf einmal 3 Uhr früh, aber an dieser spannenden Stelle konnte ich unmöglich abbrechen... Die Nacht durchzumachen, um das Buch in einem Rutsch fertig zu lesen, erschien mir in dem Moment als die einzig logische Konsequenz - und nein, ich bereue gar nichts, denn das Buch hat mir von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite sehr viel Spaß gemacht. (Die Augenringe werden in ein paar Tagen verschwunden sein. Hoffe ich.)

Ich lese sehr selten Liebesgeschichten und noch seltener Erotik. Ehrlich gesagt langweilt es mich, wenn die Handlung nur der Aufhänger ist für Kitsch oder Sex! Umso erfreuter bin ich, wenn ich ein Buch finde, das alles vereint: eine originelle Geschichte, lebendige Charaktere, einen schönen Schreibstil, eine Prise Humor und Romantik, die wirklich ans Herz geht. Für mich bot "Hexbreaker" genau diese seltene, wunderbare Mischung.

Das Buch spielt Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts in einer magischen Version unserer Welt. Kurz gesagt: es gibt normale Menschen, es gibt Hexen und Hexer, und es gibt Vertraute. Letztere sind Gestaltwandler, die eine bestimmte Tiergestalt annehmen können und vom Wesen her viel mit diesem Tier gemeinsam haben. Gehen ein Vertrauter und ein Hexer einen magischen Bund fürs Leben ein, dann verstärken sich die Fähigkeiten des Hexers ungemein, was nicht nur Prestige und Macht bedeutet, sondern auch berufliche Möglichkeiten und somit Geld. Eigentlich hat jeder Vertraute einen seelenverwandten Magier, der für ihn bestimmt ist, aber es kommt allzu oft vor, dass ein Vertrauter eingefangen und gewaltsam gezwungen wird, den Bund mit einem anderen Magier einzugehen... Denn die Vertrauten werden von manchen Magiern behandelt wie Eigentum oder Haustiere.

Die Welt erschien mir gut durchdacht, mit historischem Flair und einem wirklich ungewöhnlichem Magiesystem!

Ja, es ist Fantasy, es ist eine Liebesgeschichte, aber es ist auch ein spannender Krimi mit unerwarteten Wendungen. Denn Copper Tom Halloran und Vertrauter Cicero müssen einen Kriminalfall klären, und zwar schnell. Menschen, die an sich harmlose Zauber konsumiert haben, drehen vollkommen unvermittelt durch und fallen den Nächstbesten mit Zähnen und Klauen an - buchstäblich, und das erinnert Tom an etwas in seiner eigenen Vergangenheit. Hier spielt einiges eine Rolle: Anarchisten, ein Schwarzhandel mit Vertrauten, magische Verbrechen, die Rechte von Minderheiten...

Die Hauptcharaktere sind mir schnell ans Herz gewachsen, denn beide sind auf ihre eigene Art liebenswert: der ruhige, ernsthafte Tom und der charmante, extravagante Cicero. Natürlich begegnen sie einander anfangs mit gegenseitigem Misstrauen, natürlich kann sich die Liebesgeschichte nicht ohne Probleme und Rückschläge entwickeln, natürlich bedienen die beiden schon so ein bisschen die Klischées, aber darüber hinaus ist die Geschichte kein bisschen abgedroschen, sondern sehr einfallsreich. Alle Charaktere sind vielschichtig, lebensecht und glaubhaft, und ich freue mich schon darauf, einige davon in den nächsten Bänden näher kennenzulernen.

Der Schreibstil hat mich voll und ganz überzeugt, mit einer sehr dichten Atmosphäre, großartigen Bildern und einfach einer gewissen Qualität. Auch die Sexszenen fand ich zwar durchaus explizit, dabei aber keineswegs peinlich oder stillos, sondern sehr ansprechend!

Die Liebesgeschichte fand ich wunderschön und rührend. Ja, manchmal ist sie vielleicht ein kleines bisschen kitschig, aber es hält sich wirklich noch im Rahmen und wird auch immer wieder durch ein wenig Humor aufgelockert.

Das (ungekürzte) Hörbuch fand ich sehr gut gelungen, und vor allem Tristan James als Sprecher ist gut gewählt, denn er spricht die verschiedenen Charaktere so, dass man sie gut unterscheiden kann. Auch die erotischen Szenen spricht er angenehm, ohne dass es klingt wie aus einem schlechten Porno!

Fazit:
Gay Romance (homoerotische Liebesgeschichte), historische Fantasy und Krimi - "Hexbreaker" ist eine gelungene Mischung, und das sage ich als Leserin, die normalerweise weder Liebesgeschichten noch Erotik besonders gerne liest. Die Erotikszenen sind explizit, aber die Geschichte, die Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts in einer magischen Version unserer Welt spielt, ist eben nicht "nur" erotisch, sondern darüber hinaus originell, komplex und spannend.

...und ja, sehr romantisch und ein bisschen kitschig, aber trotzdem sehr ungewöhnlich und interessant. Ich als Liebesgeschichten-Muffel fand die Liebesgeschichte richtig süß!

Source: mikkaliest.blogspot.de/2017/02/hexbreaker-hexworld-1-von-jordan-l-hawk.html
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