How much more awesome was an unexpected salvation?” ― China Miéville
Title: Summoner of Storms (SPECTR #6)
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Federal exorcist John Starkweather’s life is in tatters. His best friend Sean betrayed him. SPECTR, the agency he viewed more as a surrogate family than an employer, wants him dead. His only allies are members of the mysterious organization called the Vigilant, whose motives remain in question.
The only thing keeping John together is the presence of his lovers: Caleb Jansen, a powerful telekinetic, and Gray, the vampire spirit possessing Caleb.
Together, they must not only evade capture, but somehow stop SPECTR from building an army of demon possessed soldiers. If they are to succeed, John must question everything he’s ever believed about SPECTR and spirits. And Caleb and Gray must decide how far they’re willing to go—not just for John’s love, but for his very life.
Review: The SPECTR series is a six act play introduced in Hunter of Demons, where a world of unreality is written into contemporary Charleston, South Carolina. SPECTR agent and exorcist John Starkweather; artist Caleb Jensen, a then unregistered paranormal; and Gray, the non-human entity who takes up residence in Caleb’s body, deliver a motherload of action and imagination to the M/M paranormal genre.
One of the things I’ve loved from the beginning of this series, and most especially in Summoner of Storms, is the world building Jordan L. Hawk delivers. The attention to detail in her mythology finds the perfect balance, never once getting bogged down in minutiae, yet feeling so whole that it’s easy to forget this plane of existence can’t be found outside of her imagination. When the narrative is seen from Gray’s point of view, it’s written in such a way that offers an entirely different perspective and experience to the reading, a shift that adds not only another layer of dimension to him as a character but to the writing as well, making it feel as though Gray is leading the reader along, inside his mind, into danger. The author directs and maneuvers the action from scene to scene, and book to book, with such precision that it left me stunned one moment and in awe the next. The climactic scene at Fort Sumter in Summoner of Storms was top notch suspense and imagery with a heart-tugging chaser that delivers the final punch to John, Caleb, and Gray’s story.
It shouldn’t have been possible, but Gray himself is such a richly layered and endearingly honest character that it doesn’t strike me as unusual to think of him as an individual and to have embraced the relationship that grows between these three characters. Watching John and Caleb fall in love, Caleb and Gray fall into a bond of friendship and deep affection, and John and Gray begin to develop a loving connection with each other doesn’t sound like it should’ve worked, but it does because each of these men are human—even Gray, at times—flaws and all, and they’re portrayed so in an imperfect world where they must fight prejudice and betrayal and psychopathy, not to mention all manner of demon.
Summoner of Storms has left me in a funk that can only happen when I’m this sorry to see a series come to an end. The lack of the pretty bow on the tidy ending has left me hoping that even though this is named as the final book in the series, this won’t be the final time we get to see John, Caleb, and Gray together.
The SPECTR series is paranormal romance with bite, for readers who’re looking for something a little extraordinary. As a huge fan of this, the Widdershins series, and of the author, I won’t hesitate to recommend this series, if you haven’t read it yet; and Summoner of Storms, if you have because it’s got everything you’ve come to expect from John and Grayleb: action, danger, suspense, romance—it’s the perfect topper to a fantastic series.
You can buy Summoner of Storms (SPECTR #6) here: