Author: Jordan L Hawk
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Between his father’s sudden—and rather suspicious—generosity, and his own rash promise to help Christine plan her wedding, Percival Endicott Whyborne has quite enough to worry about. But when the donation of a mysterious codex to the Ladysmith Museum draws the attention of a murderous cult, Whyborne finds himself in a race against time to unlock its secrets first.
Griffin has a case of his own: the disappearance of an historic map, which quickly escalates to murder. Someone is sacrificing men in dark rituals—and all the clues lead back to the museum.
With their friends Christine and Iskander, Whyborne and Griffin must discover the cult’s true goal before it’s too late. For dark forces are afoot at the very heart of the museum, and they want more than Whyborne’s codex.
They want his life.
Review: When the cover reveal for Maelstrom came down, my first thought regarding the intense expression on Whyborne’s face was – oooh boy, I think the sorcery is gonna hit the fan in this book! As I gleefully discovered, the captivating cover and title are a perfect pronouncement for the action and revelations found on the pages within. Even the swirl of the maelstrom on the cover is moving counter-clockwise – a.k.a. widdershins.
This is book 7 in one of my favorite series of all time and let me tell you, Jordan L. Hawk’s fertile imagination shows no sign of drying up. As with each preceding book, I was under the spell of her writing, and totally immersed in Whyborne and Griffin’s whirling world of magic, mystery, murder, and mayhem. As with Hoarfrost, this book is written in alternating POV.
What begins as another mysterious case for Griffin is followed by murder, the return of occult forces, more secrets involving Widdershin’s history, hard won truths, and some seriously super freaky creepazoid shit. Oh the horror!! :-O Get ready to shiver and shudder and turn up the lights. Awesome.
Whyborne should be in his glory. His love for Griffin burns hotter than ever, his best friend Christine is about to be married, his father is being solicitous, his mother is flourishing, and The Ladysmith museum has been bequeathed the entire occult laden library of the late Graf de Wisborg. Alas our Whyborne tends to have a strong cynical streak. He’s worried that Christine isn’t tending to wedding plans, he’s suspicious of his father’s kindness and he’s concerned about what may be found amidst the Graf’s books. Let’s just say his cynicism is well founded, on more than one front. The tumultuous state of affairs which is the norm in Widdershins – and seemingly ever present surrounding Whyborne & Griffin – is soon swirling full speed.
I really loved how seeing how Whyborne has steadily grown into an acceptance and self- assurance regarding his gift of sorcery and his deep kinship with the Ketoi, but at the same time realizes he has much to learn. His deep seated mistrust of his father is an ever present under- current he struggles with. Griffin is also learning to better understand and control his recently realized supernatural gifts, and to better understand Whyborne. I particularly enjoyed one method Griffin used of, ah, channeling his talents. Phew! The casual nature of Whyborne and Griffin’s seaside visits with Heliabel and Persephone, and their cultural exchanges are just too cool. The way all of the characters matter of factly discuss their past and present other-worldly encounters is a hoot. Whyborne at times seems more horrified by motor cars and telephones than he does of hideous monsters and evil sorcerers. Indeed the author’s trademark dry humor and comic flair is well represented throughout the story. Understatement!
A large cast of secondary characters play strong supporting roles. And here I must cheer for Miss Parkhurst getting a larger role. Yay!! Some very, very enlightening and sobering harsh truths about several of the characters are revealed. Particular curiosities I had about a few of them were answered. I was fist pumping about some and heartsick or pissed about some others. Miss Parkhurst and Persephone – I’m keeping my eye on you two, just sayin!
As the story progresses, it becomes clear events encompassing the previous six books in this series are evolving, well, full circle. With a vengeance. The evil occult forces and the deepest powers in Widdershins are on a collision course to a crisis point. Will Whyborne and Griffin unlock the key to what must be done to stop annihilation? Will Whyborne’s personal doubts prove his undoing? On their path to finding answers we find out who would fight at their side, and who would betray them. Would Christine and Iskander’s wedding ever come to be? I tell you I was shocked by some revelations, saddened by others, and sickened by one. I laughed and I cried. The climax of this book nearly had me cracking my Kindle screen, I was gripping it so tight. The action is second to none. The Whyborne and Griffin series features every other book being set in the city of Widdershins….. I’m certain this is no accident. All things lead back to Widdershins . Or is that Whyborne?….
I can no longer imagine my world without the presence of Widdershins, Whyborne & Griffin and company. They are as real to me as the world outside my window. I’m so excited to see where their epic journey takes them in future books. Jordan L. Hawk, I thank you for sharing your vast imagination and talent. You rock.