Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Pages/Word Count: 114 Pages
At a Glance: If you’re already a fan of this series, I can’t foresee any possible way that Book One in Series Two won’t be a big win for you.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Caleb has spent the last six months adjusting to life possessed by the vampire spirit Gray. Unfortunately, after the events of Fort Sumter, the other agents of SPECTR view him more as a ticking time bomb than a co-worker.
The one bright spot is Caleb and Gray’s boyfriend, federal exorcist John Starkweather. But John has problems of his own. A supernatural killer is on the loose in Charleston, stealing the hearts of its victims to extend its own unnatural life.
With the help of a rookie agent, John, Caleb, and Gray must find the killer before it strikes again…or before they become the demon’s next victims.
Review: There comes a point where you can read so much of an author’s work that several things happen: one, you come to have certain expectations about that work as well as the characters the author creates. Two, you become so familiar with those characters that you run out of ways to express how much you love them. Three, the metaphysical and macabre that mingles with the mundane of everyday life in the stories becomes the norm—to the point that you expect the impossible at the turn of every page. It just…is, and it’s entirely weirdtastic and wondersome.
After the events in Summoner of Storms, the book where all kinds of OMG! went down with Gray and Caleb and John and SPECTR, and we thought that was going to be the end of the series, Jordan L. Hawk decided she could bring a new dimension to this world and her characters. I, for one, was not upset by this because: see above. The question is, did the author succeed? The answer is, she did, without question. On top of the mystery, which always has that wild Urban Fantasy vibe that sets the tone of the series and the sense of wonderment in the impossible set in our own familiar world, I feel Mocker of Ravens does something exceptionally well, in that it brings out the very human elements in this series and in its characters, perhaps most especially in Gray, who continues to evolve in his individuality. I love that contrast, the dichotomy of Gray as an individual who is wholly dependent upon Caleb in order to exist as he does. I also love the contrast as it exists in the reality that sometimes the human element is not at all flattering to us humans, which only serves to add more realism to the story.
With John’s new power, Gray and Caleb’s combined badassery, and a new District Chief at the helm, we witness not only blatant displays of homophobia in Mocker of Ravens but the flat-out fear from fellow SPECTR agents of what Caleb and Gray have become together, and we all know there is nothing that will put the fear and prejudice in humans quite like the unknown and unfamiliar. One of the things that hasn’t changed, though, is John’s steadfast loyalty to SPECTR, even in the face of anger and hate coming from those who should have his back, and for that I both love him but at the same time wanted to shank a few people on his behalf. But, in the end, it’s his courage and strength and constancy that makes him who he is, and makes him the Yang to Caleb and Gray’s Yin.
One of the new characters introduced in the book, someone I hope is going to be around for the duration, is John’s new partner Zahira Noorzai. As a woman who has known her share of prejudice, I love that she’s not only accepting of Gray and Caleb but love how she is worked so well into the dynamic of the misfit team of John and Caleb/Gray, the guys no one wants to be partnered with. Zahira is intelligent, but unlike Dr. Christine Putnam, for example, she is subtler and even somewhat timid at times, but never once do we see her as a weak character. She’s strong in her own way, and I loved watching her evolve from her introduction to the end of this book. I want so much more of her and am hoping to get that in future installments.
The supernatural mystery in this book is not at all natural, but it is pretty super, and it kept me guessing at who in the otherworld the Raven Mocker was, and then kept me on the edge straight through to the climactic scene, wondering how Caleb and Gray were going to stop this being that didn’t want to be stopped. Again, within the paranormal element of this mythical creature we also see a very human side to the story—we see exactly what a man will do in the face of death, which, as it turns out, is a pretty solid foundation upon which to build a story.
If you’re already a fan of this series, I can’t foresee any possible way that Book One in Series Two won’t be a big win for you. Hawk’s imagination coupled with humor, romance, a crisp prose, and characters you know and love give this book all the advantages in a world that’s already been given a solid and outstanding construct.
You can buy Mocker of Ravens here: