Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Pages/Word Count: 53 Pages
At a Glance: Hex World: yet another brilliant Jordan L. Hawk world being built from the ground up, and one I can’t wait to know more about.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Romance. Magic.
Dominic Kopecky dreamed of becoming a member of New York’s Metropolitan Witch Police—a dream dashed when he failed the test for magical aptitude. Now he spends his days drawing the hexes the MWP relies on for their investigations.
But when a murder by patent hex brings crow familiar Rook to his desk, Dominic can’t resist the chance to experience magic. And as the heat grows between Dominic and Rook, so does the danger. Because the case has been declared closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.
Note: This novella first appeared in the Charmed & Dangerous anthology.
Review: If you haven’t had the chance to read the Charmed & Dangerous anthology yet, then you haven’t had the chance to meet Rook and Dominic. Having read Jordan L. Hawk’s The 13th Hex as part of that collection, I can say without hesitation that it was a standout amongst all the other stories in the anthology—a story that, after I’d finished it, my first thought was, I need more of these characters and this world in my life. Having just read it a second time in preparation for the release of Hexbreaker, I have to say that now I’m even more excited to get Cicero’s story. As side characters go, he’s a standout with his slinky grace and haughty mannerisms befitting the familiar he is.
But first, let’s talk about Rook and Dominic and the world they inhabit.
The Hex World the author has created is one of magic—of witches and their familiars—a place where this brand of magic is used for a variety of pursuits, even to solve crimes. Dominic may have failed the witch exam years before, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing a career in criminal investigation. He doesn’t get to carry a badge or apprehend suspects, but he is brilliant at drawing the hexes that the Metropolitan Witch Police use every day in their quest for justice. And this is where and why he meets Rook. The friction/attraction between these two men is immediate, and it works because I was hooked from the moment of their first encounter, wanting to see where Hawk would lead them as a failed witch and unbonded familiar on a dark and dangerous search for the answers to a string of murders.
Rook is a crow, if you hadn’t already gathered that from his clever name, who also works for the MWP and is looking for the best hex man on the force, which happens to be Dominic. Rook is suspicious about a case that’s been called closed by the team doing the investigating, but Rook doesn’t buy that it’s that simple. The lucky thirteenth victim of a string of bad patented hexes survived what the other twelve didn’t, and there’s too much suspicion on Rook’s part to believe that the man who’s been charged with the crime is the true perpetrator. Curiosity didn’t kill the crow or the cat, as the case was, but the danger Rook and Dominic faced, along with Cicero, offered an exciting punch to the storyline and to their pursuit of justice
Being a short novella, both the romance and the mystery are resolved quickly, but Hawk does what she does so well and with consistency, drawing readers a clear mental image of time and place: “The scent of dung, perfume, and garlic mingled in the air.” I have such a tendency to romanticize the Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian eras (my favorite historical time periods in fiction), when, in reality, they would more than offend my modern senses and tendency toward appreciating luxuries that don’t include horse poop and human slop in the streets. It’s always a great touch of reality within the unreality of the worlds she creates. We also get the added bonus of the supernatural elements, yet another thing I love about this author’s storytelling, which add just that little bit extra to what would otherwise be a simple historical romance. And, of course, then there’s the romance itself. Rook and Dominic are sweet and sexy together, and while there isn’t a lot of space allotted to build their relationship, it is, again, the paranormal elements in the storyline that solidifies their bond with each other and makes it entirely believable.
As a lead in to the first full-length novel in the Hex World series, as I said, we get the added bonus of meeting a certain unbonded feline familiar, Cicero, and how much do I love him? A lot, and I can’t wait to get to know him so much better in Hexbreaker. I loved his hauteur and the way he moved with such languid and fluid ease, the way he could be seduced into compliance with the mere promise of a little fresh cream. So awesome. That part made me smile. So yes, Cicero promises to be terrific amounts of fun to get to know better.
Read The 13th Hex, if you haven’t already, for a little taste of this world and to prepare yourselves for what Jordan L. Hawk has in store for us in Hex World.
You can buy The 13th Hex here: