Tag: Jordan L. Hawk

Readathon

Posted October 24, 2020 by Nicky in General / 0 Comments

So it’s time for a readathon, and with a sick rabbit, I need the distraction. Let’s go!

13:00: 

I’ll be starting with Jordan L. Hawk’s Stormhaven on my ereader (the delightful Onyx Boox Poke2). Here’s the opening survey:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
South Yorkshire, UK, where we have just moved into tier 3 lockdown.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I haven’t thought about a stack for this one. I have a mini-shelf of next-up books which might qualify (The Angel of the Crows, by Katherine Addison; Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia; Phoenix Extravagant, by Yoon Ha Lee; Cemetery Boys, by Adrian Thomas), but I’m going to go by my whim.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
No specific snacks laid in! But I’m rather fancying a helping of peanuts or two.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I’m currently studying for a degree in Infectious Diseases, in this year of the plague, 2020. I believe in being curious about your fears and going toward them (safely) rather than away! Seriously, best tip anyone ever gave me about anxiety. Relatedly, one of the books I have on the go at the moment is about infectious diseases through history: Murderous Contagion, by Mary Dobson.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I used to be super hardcore and feel bad if I did anything but read and the bare necessities. That hasn’t suited me in a long time, so I’m planning to be relaxed, and also play my video game, watch the rugby and hope someone wipes the smug off Ntamack’s face, and maybe find an audiobook to do some cross-stitch. Don’t burn yourself out; if you need a break, take it.

14:24: 

Finished Stormhaven! My next pick will be Mexican Gothic, because why not? But first I need to warm up and find my Wales jersey ready for the game.

17:07: 

I’m about 100 pages into Mexican Gothic now, after I took a bit of a break to get warm and then play Hades. I think I’ll take a bit of a break now to do some more work, and then read more of Mexican Gothic until it’s time for the game!

23:23:

Had another pause to game a bit, then watched the game. Then I got back to it and finished reading Mexican Gothic! I think now I’ll go back to my reread of The Eagle of the Ninth.

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WWW Wednesday

Posted July 8, 2020 by Nicky in General / 7 Comments

It’s Wednesday again! So here’s the usual check-in. You can go to Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now!

Cover of Invasive Aliens by Dan EatherleyWhat are you currently reading? 

Actively, I think it’s pretty much just Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch — my loan got renewed from the library even though there were people in the queue, which is weird but I’m not arguing, because it lets me take my time and let it sink in a bit more — and Invasive Aliens, by Dan Eatherley, which I will probably sit down and finish as soon as I get done with this post.

Invasive Aliens is okay, but it feels a bit scattered; there are themes to the chapters, but it starts becoming a bit “and ANOTHER thing” after a while.

Cover of Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders by Aliette De BodardWhat have you recently finished reading?

I read Aliette de Bodard’s Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders yesterday in a hot bath, and narrowly resisted the urge to arise dripping and covered in bubbles to read bits to my wife, since Asmodeus is definitely her sort of thing. Instead I took photos of the relevant pages and sent them to her via chat, circling the good bits in red. It was rather nice.

(And yes, she’s convinced and plans to read it.)

Cover of Ninth House by Leigh BardugoWhat will you be reading next?

Book club reads this month are Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo and The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu, and I’ve been meaning to read both more or less since they came out, so that’s probably something I’ll do soon. I’m probably in the mood for a palate-cleansing murder mystery from the British Library Crime Classics series first, and maybe an installment of the Whyborne & Griffin series by Jordan L. Hawk as well. I also have a wicked bad urge to reread John Scalzi’s Lock In, and I might just listen to it.

So basically, as usual, it’s anyone’s guess.

What are you currently reading?

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Review – Threshold

Posted July 7, 2020 by Nicky in Reviews / 3 Comments

Cover of Threshold by Jordan L. HawkThreshold, Jordan L. Hawk

Threshold takes Whyborne, Griffin, and their friend Christine to a mining town, after Whyborne’s father (who has a large stake in the company) asks him to investigate the strange rumours coming from the town. It’s time for more horrors, some amateur spellcraft on Whyborne’s part, and an awkward meeting with one of Griffin’s former coworkers. They investigate the mystery — and the mysterious changes of personality from a prominent member of the company — while Griffin and Whyborne trip over their relatively-new relationship and their insecurities.

The relationship stuff is… a bit frustrating to me, mostly, because I felt that it was somewhat contrived. We can’t have them be too settled in themselves, so Whyborne has to be jealous and Griffin has to be hiding something, and no one can just talk about it and tell the truth. They figure themselves out without it being dragged out too long, but Whyborne’s huff with Griffin felt very similar to his reaction in the last book, and that… bothers me. Like, can you ever just sit down and listen to Griffin’s explanations? Maybe trust him a little?

I really hope this will not continue to be a theme of these books, because it’s one that I’ll get tired of pretty quickly… and otherwise it’s a lot of fun! And it’s not that I don’t want to see any conflict between the leads, but I’d prefer it not to be something that is so thin and well-worn. I’m still enjoying this series a lot, but one more book of this kind of lack-of-communication will quickly start turning me off. Here’s hoping some more trust develops between Whyborne and Griffin!

All that aside, I tore through the book. The mystery and its explanation are perhaps a little obvious, but some of the details come as a gruesome surprise, and there are some genuinely horrifying moments. Christine is amazing throughout, and I have a feeling that — support Whyborne though she does — she’d concur with my second paragraph completely. She’s a joy, and a breath of no-nonsense fresh air.

Rating: 4/5

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Review – Infernal Affairs

Posted May 10, 2020 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Infernal Affairs by Jordan L. HawkInfernal Affairs, Jordan L. Hawk

I loved Widdershins, and pretty much expected to love this one because of it. And there’s quite a bit to enjoy about it, mostly involving Chess: they’re non-binary, they drive a hot pink car with a vanity plate saying NBINARY and a they/them bumper sticker, and they seduce a crossroads demon into making them a hero (leading to said demon’s disgrace in Hell, dooming them to an eternity of processing new souls as they enter Hell). They’re unashamedly themselves, all over the place, and that’s lovely.

Buuut, the humour and the sex/attraction-focused relationship didn’t quite work for me. I didn’t believe that Ralgath and Chess were that attached to each other, and I didn’t have much skin in the game when they were in peril. Everything just happened very fast, from the relationship to the plot, and… I’m not that good with humour or this style of plot. I’m sure it’s a lot more fun when you aren’t a humourless lump like me — but I’ll stick to Whyborne and Griffin, with their angst and pining and more solid plot. Sorry!

Rating: 2/5

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Review – Widdershins

Posted May 8, 2020 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Widdershins by Jordan L. HawkWiddershins, Jordan L. Hawk

I’ve been meaning to try out Jordan L. Hawk’s work for a while, partly at the urging of Portal Bookshop, and partly because I already loved K.J. Charles’ work — and this series crosses over with one of Charles’ series. If you’re a fan of K.J. Charles, this is definitely going to be for you; it has many of the same hallmarks.

Whyborne is a philologist working in a small museum who gets suckered into helping an ex-Pinkerton detective (Griffin) unravel the murder of a museum patron’s son. At first, he’s just meant to translate a coded book for the detective, but he quickly finds himself drawn in deeper — partly due to interest in the case itself, and a large part because he finds himself attracted (of course) to Griffin. Both of their pasts become absolutely key to the investigation, laying them bare to each other (in more ways than one, hurr hurr) and forging an incredible bond.

Their relationship progresses pretty fast, but it makes sense that it does: both are lonely, and Whyborne in particular has been hiding his desires and repressing everything for a long, long time. It’s also great fun to watch as he opens up and throws fears to the wind, figuring out how to stand tall in his own way. I liked the glimpse of his family (or mostly just his mother), and the slight complexity to his relationship with his father that creeps in at the end.

All in all, I’m excited to read more, really!

Rating: 4/5

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