Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Length: 197 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Paranormal, Historical Romance
At a Glance: Yet again, this author proves that she knows how to write one hell of a climactic action sequence, easily some of the best I’ve ever read whether in this series or any of her others.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: When Griffin’s past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves?
Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help—but how can he, when Whyborne won’t tell him what’s wrong?
When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain.
To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.
Review: Pop Quiz: What could possibly be better than reading a scene that has you wondering what sort of danger and intrigue lurks in the coming paragraphs of a Whyborne & Griffin novel…and then having our dear Percival say something completely charming and laugh-out-loud hilarious?
If your answer is A, not much, you would be correct. Unless it’s an entire scene with Christine that’s nothing less than comedy gold. Then you would also be correct. And, you would also be correct if you assume that scene is just a simple and sane little plot detour before Jordan L. Hawk leads us on a headlong descent into Creepytown, USA. Yes, all the above.
Fallow is a unique book in the Whyborne & Griffin series in that I feel it’s the first that reads like a direct sequel to the book before it. The events in Maelstrom have carried the overall series arc onward towards its peak, and Fallow reads like the book that is going to bridge those events to Draakenwood. Which, by the way, I cannot wait for. On a much grimmer note, this installment of the series also feels—at least to me—as though Jordan L. Hawk is in the process of preparing us for the grand finale of this gorgeous multi-act play. I know ::sobs:: me too. And NO, Draakenwood isn’t the final book; it’s just that things feel as though they’re coming to a head, so never fear, there’s more to come. Widdershins knows its own, and we’ve all quite happily become residents of this freaktastic and outlandish world, haven’t we?
If you’ve been following along from book one, this installment of the series is an important one, in that it gives Griffin not only some much needed closure but also lays to rest any and all questions of what exactly Whyborne is. Guh. He’s so many fabulous things. All of them. Everything. And Griffin loves him in spite of and because of them all. In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say that in terms of its romanticism, Griffin and Ival’s connection may be one of the truest and purest I’ve ever read, not built within a single book but solidified over the course of the eight books written so far. In terms of our rapacious need for the happily-ever-after in our fiction, Hawk isn’t merely hinting at that possibility. She’s affirming it book after book after book in the soul-deep bond that exists between these two men, despite the time in which they live and the puritanical norms that existed in the Victorian era. But, it’s that against-the-odds element that makes this love affair so enduring.
Fallow, Kansas, Griffin’s hometown, is the setting of this episode. And never has a place or its people exemplified the adage “you can’t go home again” for Griffin quite as aggressively as in this story. He needed this confrontation with his past, though, if for no other reason than to affirm where his home is and where his heart belongs now. I love the way the title of this novel plays against the sort of evil being harvested from the fallow earth of the place Griffin once belonged. It’s a great bit of necromantic wordsmithing on Jordan L. Hawk’s part that allows for a fertile evil to spring from a barren womb. And, yet again, this author proves that she knows how to write one hell of a climactic action sequence, easily some of the best I’ve ever read whether in this series or any of her others.
As always, Christine and Iskander’s heroic presence rounds out the family that, with the help of Widdershins, has built itself around our intrepid husbands. They champion our heroes at every turn, and I absolutely adore the parts they both play in this plotline—Christine and her no-nonsense approach to…pretty much everything, and Iskander, who plays a big ol’ heart-tugging role in the drama in Fallow. Having the newlyweds there, and there without questions or reservations because that’s who they are and what they do for Percival and Griffin, seeing them through whatever brand of monsters and malevolence threatens them, goes above and beyond the bonds of friendship. It’s something so much deeper and truer, and I love their very existence in this book in a huge way.
Widdershins knows its own—it’s a phrase that continues to take on more meaning as the story arc draws nearer to its end, and the characters keep proving it again and again. And, on a side note to Jordan L. Hawk, ::ahem:: it’s “find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck,” okay? I just thought I’d throw that out there as a reminder.
Trust me, just read the book and you’ll get it. And, you’ll be glad you did too.
You can buy Fallow here: