Title: Drinker of Blood (SPECTR Series Two: Book Three)
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Length: 84 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
At a Glance: Fans of SPECTR and its cast of key role players should be thoroughly geeked by Drinker of Blood; the way Jordan L. Hawk is teasing out this story a bit at a time continues to keep me salivating for more.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: An outbreak of demon attacks across Charleston has worn SPECTR agent John Starkweather to the bone. Now a new threat faces his team: a demon with bullet—and bite—proof skin, which can’t be stopped by ordinary means.
John’s only solace comes in the form of his lovers: Caleb Jansen and the vampire spirit Gray. Caleb and Gray have their own problems, however. Unbeknownst to John, they’ve been tracking a mysterious entity across the city. And after they finally come face to face with their quarry, nothing will ever be the same.
Review: Maybe it’s just me, but I find there’s always a little bit of nervous behind the excitement of a new release in a favorite series. How does an author keep a series that’s in its second iteration fresh yet still maintain the obsession with what’s made it great to begin with? If you’re Jordan L. Hawk, one way is to keep introducing new characters. The second way is to introduce these new characters and then make readers want them to stick around for the long-run so we get to know them much better. That’s exactly what’s happened in Drinker of Blood; there’s a new paranormal entity in town, and I can’t wait for the next installment(s) to see what, if any, impact they will have on John and Caleb and Gray, and, of course, SPECTR itself.
Whether it’s presented in a historical or contemporary setting, we’ve come to expect a lot from this author and her brand of speculative fiction, and she always manages to deliver. There’s a new enemy in town for John and #TeamGrayleb and Agent Zahira Noorzai to track down and identify in Drinker of Blood, a seemingly unconquerable monster pulled straight from the pages of mythology—as well as finding the person who summoned it—and, as always, the danger and consequences to humans is not negligible. In addition, there’s a mysterious entity who impacts Caleb and Gray in thoroughly compelling ways, and I have to say that not only did this character layer the plot with an undercurrent of apprehension, there was also an added level of excitement because of the implications and possible complications this character introduces to the overall storyline.
What also is not negligible in this installment of the series is some of the real-world elements, namely a thoroughly bigoted and horrid District Chief Barillo (the comment “so much the f*cker” in my highlights pretty well sums up my feelings about him and the actions he takes at the end of the book), and the straight-from-the-headlines reminder that privilege exists and that some humans, for no moral, ethical, or logical reason, are elevated as more valuable than others (see above comment on that particular subject). The disgust I felt a couple of times during this reading played well against the romance and the danger when all hell broke loose—as it always does for the guys—and then, there’s Caleb and Gray. Their circumstances and the sheer complications and, let’s be real, the loneliness of their very existence grabbed me by the feels. The deftness on Hawk’s part to lay this emotional undercurrent alongside the clear and present threat to the safety of humanity—and watching some of those humans turn on Caleb and Gray—was so well done. It deepened my love for them and John and this series all the more.
Fans of SPECTR and its cast of key and wonderfully diverse role players should be thoroughly geeked by Drinker of Blood; the way Jordan L. Hawk is teasing out this story a bit at a time continues to keep me salivating for more. And, let me just say as a random aside that if there was ever a book series I’d love to see animated, it’s SPECTR. Can you imagine Gray in full living color??? I can, and I want.
You can buy Drinker of Blood here: