Title: Deosil (Whyborne & Griffin #11)
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 11, 2019
Genre(s): Paranormal, Historical, Fantasy
Page Count: 244 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Whyborne, Griffin, and their friends have faced down cultists, monsters, and sorcerers. But their greatest challenge is now upon them.
On the return voyage from Balefire Manor, Whyborne receives the worst news possible: Widdershins has fallen before the onslaught of the Fideles and their servants. There’s still time to stop the return of the Masters, but that window grows shorter by the hour.
Together with Christine and Iskander, Whyborne and Griffin must reach Widdershins to face the ultimate test—and decide the fate of the world, once and for all.
In this, the last of the series, widdershins is turned the other way, from counter-clockwise with all its associated negativity to clockwise and the resolution of all that has gone before. As with all the other books, the author offers a good yarn, well-written from the first-person perspective alternating between the two lead characters. This allows for any emotional perspective to be managed without getting bogged down; it also keeps the story moving even when there is less happening.
The author uses this book to not only tie together all the loose ends but also tries to incorporate as many of the characters from other books, even if they are only mentioned in passing. Sadly this makes the story cluttered and unnecessarily convoluted. One of the things that make the series so interesting is that they are focussed rollicking good yarns, this one struggles because it feels too full.
There is still a strong story here and there is tension introduced throughout. One thing that is noticeable is that although time is taken to build up the anticipation, stressful situations seem to be resolved very quickly. There are pain and death to offset the several love interests, but their occurrence is not dwelt upon and feels less organic than other parts of the story as though the author does not want to dwell on the action but on its consequences, particularly those of emotional reaction.
Characterisation is also one of the author’s strengths. Here, with so many characters, there is little opportunity to remind the reader of their relevance to their story, only how they impinge on this one. That requires the reader to remember who is being talked about and given that these are largely baddies, their strengths and what happened to them. Defeated baddies reappear throughout, when you had thought you had seen the last of them. The lead characters do not dwell on how they were defeated in the past, only how they are going to be handled now. To add to this there are a number of new baddies such that it is easy to lose track of good and bad, human or creature.
As noted, there are a number of love interests of varying genders and orientations. All of these the reader has seen before and there is an opportunity to see how things have developed. There is a strong theme of family regardless of whether it is through blood. Strength through trust and unity is foremost in the plot.
Sex occurs briefly and as usual, is handled well. There is a sense in which sex is a form of bond reinforcement rather than necessarily erotic. The story does not suffer for the lack of sex but maybe would have been enriched by its inclusion.
There is a lot to fit in what is a very busy story, the author places emphasis on things that are new to the reader and builds tension effectively. This drives the story forwards a fair clip. Although the plot is not highly convoluted, the reader needs to keep a handle on characters as well as their actions or it is too easy to forget whether a character is a goodie or a baddie.
Although the emphasis is on the two lead males throughout, as it would since they tell the story, the ending is much larger than that and the focus shifts to secondary characters who gain the spotlight. It does not bear a critical eye as there are many things that are just a little to easily resolved, but it has its happy ending, which is worth the wait. This has been a very strong and highly enjoyable series with characters that the reader can empathise with and action that can be visualised even at its most bizarre.