MtSnow reviews Stormhaven: Whyborne & Griffin book 3 by Jordan L. Hawk. Narrated by Julian G. Simmons. Audiobook Edition released March 5, 2014 by Jordan L. Hawk.
Why I listened to this book: We were offered the opportunity to review the newly released audiobook ‘Necropolis‘ in exchange for an honest review, and I already owned all the previous in the series, so I took the opportunity to listen to them all back to back.
For a second opinion, check out Marc’s audiobook reviews of Widdershins (Book One), Threshold (Book Two), Stormhaven (Book Three) and his eBook review of Necropolis (Book Four). If you already read Necropolis, you might be interested in the in-depth Interview/ Discussion Marc had with Jordan about her forth book and what her answers reveal about Bloodline (Book Five) (Publication Date October 7th, 2014).
Synopsis: Mysterious happenings are nothing new to reclusive scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne, but finding one of his colleagues screaming for help in the street is rather unusual. Allan Tambling claims he can’t remember any of the last hour—but someone murdered his uncle, and Allan is covered in blood.
Whyborne’s lover, dashing ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty, agrees to prove Allan’s innocence. But when Allan is deemed insane and locked away in the Stormhaven Lunatic Asylum, Griffin finds himself reliving the horrifying memories of his own ordeal inside a madhouse.
Along with their friend Christine, the two men become drawn deeper and deeper into a dark web of conspiracy, magic, and murder. Their only clue: a missing artifact depicting an unknown god. Who stole the artifact, and why can’t Allan remember what happened? And what is the truth behind the terrible experiments conducted on Stormhaven’s forbidden fourth floor?
It will take all of Whyborne’s sorcery and Griffin’s derring-do to stop the murderers and save Allan. But first, they must survive an even greater challenge: a visit from Griffin’s family.
The story: This story opens to a quite graphic scene with a colleague of Whyborne’s standing out in the street with blood-covered hands outside the young man’s uncle’s home, completely clueless how he gets there and that he will become the prime suspect for his relative’s murder. Whyborne, personally knowing this young man, cannot imagine that this colleague is capable of murder of any sort! With a mystery of a missing artifact from the man’s home, and Whyborne’s deeply felt opinion that Allen is innocent, he and his lover Griffin take on a bit of detective work to find supporting defense.
The first of their adventure takes them to the dark, foreboding stone walls of insane asylum Stormhaven. Griffin takes on a completely different persona while within these cold damp and dark halls, and something feels amiss. We learn more and more about Griffin’s past during this case, and we start to wonder if Whyborne actually believes Griffin is in fact a bit insane, still.
It’s a very interesting journey to figure out what these two are made of when they are put in a position of testing their faith and loyalty to each other, as well as visiting their own internal fears. Griffin does some things that don’t make me real happy about his character, and Whyborne is put in many awkward situations as he meets some of Griffin’s family for the first time. As the innocence of Allen cones to question all the way through, Griffin is reminded of the many horrific events during his time in a asylum, and continues to be empathetic to Allen. A very well-researched journey into insanity wards of the time! Oh. and the smex is very well-done, and adds to the intimacy between our two MCs, while still being hot, but not over-the top *smiles*
Narration: Whyborne’s voice is very familiar by now since the author chose to stay with the same narrator *yay!* He is still analytical and monotone yet as he is slowly becoming more confident in his relationship with his lover, Griffin, I feel we start to hear more passion in his voice. Julian does an excellent job of representing this personal growth with his voice patterns and nuances seeming to grow with the character. I can no longer imagine any other voice but his for the series. Bravo!
Of course, my favorite character is still Whyborne’s best friend and coworker, independent woman extraordinaire Christine. She is feisty, strong-minded, and just what I’d like to imagine if an intellectual woman in the setting. She is refreshingly portrayed by the narrator.
As for the narration as a whole, I feel that the narrator has gotten more and more comfortable with the cast of characters and improved in timing and pacing. He is showing more inflection and sounding more like he is enjoying the story than I was feeling from the previous work. Now I can’t imagine anyone else narrating this series. The narration gets steadily better and better, and I am glad the same narrator was kept for the complete series.
Quite adventurous and hardily recommended for anyone that enjoys well-researched historical mysteries with a gory paranormal twist. As with the previous books in the series, we get a touch of blood, guts, and even what some might consider horror-elements. This would be a cool series to see on the big screen!! Fun!
Enjoy audiobooks? Buy Stormhaven in audio here:
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.