The preview for Guilt By Degrees by Marcia Clark made me sit up and take notice, wanting to read more.
I remember short pants…floods. Do you? Made me smile. Nice touch, Marcia.
I love that Rachel has to finish every book she begins…regardless…
The romance is slow burning and I think she takes as many cold showers as he does. LOL She hold her secrets close to her vest, sharing with no one, not even her BFFs.
Step by step, danger hovering. The writing for the Rachel Knight series keeps getting better and the suspense more intense.
I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Guilt by Degrees by Marcia Clark.
MY MARCIA CLARK REVIEWS
So behind that it's from May 8th. General anxiety, anxiety about my fellow Jews, depression, and stress have made it hard for me to really function, and either read or review for large swathes of time.
Tom Taylor's Gabby is brilliant: innocent and hiarlious, full of heart and warmth while she's threatening anyone who wants to hurt her or her family.
Far superior to the movie version of Gabby, although I'd been hoping she'd be another clone - this time of Laura Kinney, aka X-23 from the Logan movie and comics.
Just reread my original review, the spoiler rant in particular = LOL, I was so annoyed and most of those things don't bother me anymore. *shrugs* The logic about some things still doesn't make sense, but eh. I can live with it. And I'm especially pleased that
Griffin being given magical sight didn't alter him much at all. He just has an extra handy skill for helping Whyborne. And I think it's clear now that the vortex under Widdershins gives Whyborne his power, I'm not sure why I didn't pick up on that the first time through.
Continuing on with an observation made in earlier books during this reread regarding Griffin's past partners:
So now we're in Griffin's POV and he's suddenly been with women for pleasure as well as for work, and he finds them attractive and pleasing. Not to the extent that he does men though. He can sleep with them, but he much prefers men. Which is still not what he told Whyborne earlier. He made it sound like sleeping with women was a chore, but here he says he enjoys it. So either Hawk decided to change this halfway through, or Griffin was not being entirely forthcoming with Whyborne earlier, and neither of those explanations exactly sits well with me.
I found this more tense than the first time I read it, because I knew a lot of the big things that were coming but couldn't quite remember how we got there and who got out alive. And of course, now I'm trying to remember if some of these people show up again in later books in any significant way.
Scarrow in particular. That name jumped out at me immediately and I was waiting for it to be revealed he was actually in cahoots with Turner. I completely forgot about the Cabal.
I'm so glad I decided to do this reread.
Original review 7/21/15:
I want to get my complaints out of the way first, so here goes: MASSIVE SPOILERS (includes issues from this book and the previous book Bloodline):
One of the things I loved about Whyborne when we first met him was that he was this ordinary guy learning to come into his own power, both in his day to day interactions and in his sorcery. It was really awesome to see him gain confidence and learn to assert himself against his bullies, and find this power within himself that he had all along. And then it's only because he has ketoi blood, which pretty much puts all his powers on this other, outside influence that he can do nothing about. Which makes no sense because the ketoi don't have magic. Somehow, being a ketoi hybrid and coming from quasi-sorcerers makes him a super powerful sorcerer??? It's possible we still don't have all the information on this yet, but from what we've been given so far, there doesn't seem to be any other explanation, and it's especially annoying when combined with what happens here.
Because now Griffin, darling, courageous, strong Griffin, who was perfectly ordinary - and hence extraordinary - has been made magical by yet more non-magical creatures. How does that work again? How can something that doesn't have magic make someone magical? It makes no sense. So far, he can only see magic (and I did love how all those sections were described; they were super cool!), not perform it, and he can telepathically communicate with the umbrae somehow, but I'm cringing already at how this may be used to superpower him in later books. At least he got to choose it, and he was able to put aside his fear of the umbrae because of it, so there's that.
Also, the use of "husband" was just too contemporary and distracting for me throughout the book.
Ok, now that I got that off my chest, this was another fun adventure. It's summer now when I'm reading this, hot and muggy, but even so I could feel how cold and wet it was in the Alaskan wilderness while Whyborne, Griffin, Christine and Iskander were digging through the permafrost. The setting comes alive, and there's just enough detail sprinkled at just the right places and in just the right amount to not overwhelm you. Some authors would make this feel like a thesis on their research, but Hawk tells you just enough to paint the picture and let your mind take over from there. And if Hoarfrost wasn't enough to get your imagination going, the trek to the glacier is a marvel. There is so much imagery in those chapters that the whole thing comes alive.
Unlike the previous full-length novels in this series, this one is told from both Griffin's and Whyborne's POV. It did take some getting used to, since I'm so accustomed to reading these in Whyborne's voice, but Hawk has a distinct voice for each of the MCs. Once I got a few chapters in, it didn't bother me at all, and I really enjoyed getting to see the action from Griffin's POV this time. It's especially important here because this is, by and large, Griffin's story. He's found one of his brothers, Jack, who's mining for gold in Alaska. When Jack uncovers a strange discovery beneath the permafrost, one that can spell certain doom to humanity, Whyborne and Griffin head off to help stop the terror before anyone - Jack included - can be any the wiser. Jack's mining partner, Turner, isn't so sure they're on the up and up. (Jack and Turner? Com'n. You're just trying to get me to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl again, aren't you? Not that I need an excuse for that. ;) )
Throw in a reverend/mountaineer, a bunch of redshirts, and some sled dogs, it's a recipe for a rollicking good time.
I did enjoy seeing Whyborne begin to realize the limits of his studies with sorcery. He has a lot of natural power, but he's never studied the arcane like other sorcerers have, and that puts him at a disadvantage. As we saw in the previous book, that could have spelled disaster, and the same goes true for here. Mastering a handful of spells does not a wizard make, Percy. Now, get thee to Hogwarts.
Given Griffin's history with family trouble, I had been hoping just as much as him that his reunion with his brother would go as hoped. Griffin deserves a family! But of course, he already has one in Whyborne, Christine and now Iskander. Still, after things ended so horribly with his adopted family, I wanted him and his brother to have a happy ending here. Their reunion isn't perfect, and they're both so desperate for a connection that they overlook key things about each other. There's also Griffin's fear of the shadow monster that has plagued him throughout the series, and I was not expecting that to take on the tone it did or tie into the family theme, but I really liked how Hawk handled that and weaved it all together.
I do wish Iskander had been given more to do. I want to learn more about him, aside from him being in love with Christine, though he did get to contribute to the mission in helpful ways. Getting to see Christine's vulnerable side, not that she'd admit to having one, gave some nice depth to her character as well. I did at times feel like the narrative forgot they were there, between all the stuff going on with Whyborne, Griffin and Jack.
There was a spot near the end where the altering POVs got a little repetitive, but it only happened in those two or three chapters. I also felt some of the chapters were shorter than they needed to be to accommodate the shifting POVs, but that is a very minor issue. I also didn't notice as many typos in this book as in previous ones.
And now I have to wait for the next book. Boo. :(