Marc and Dana review Undertow (A Whyborne and Griffin Universe Story) by Jordan L. Hawk (Published by Widdershins Press, January 20, 2017, 90 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb: Note: This novella takes place at the same time as events in Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin 8).
Shy secretary Maggie Parkhurst knows there’s nothing special about her. She’s neither sorceress, nor fighter, nor scholar. What could she possibly have to offer Persephone, the chieftess of the inhuman ketoi—and the woman Maggie’s fallen in love with?
After Maggie’s friend Irene goes missing under mysterious circumstances, she has no choice but to turn to Persephone for help. When the trail leads to a shadowy acting troupe, they discover a plot that stretches much farther than a single vanished woman.
But when a dark truth is revealed, Maggie must choose between a man from her past…and the impossible yearnings of her heart.
Marc- I love to read M/M Romance stories, but I am also quite happy to read books with different pairings now and again. Being gay myself, stories with two or more male MCs in a romantic relationship have always given me an extra spark of happiness, but in the end a wonderful story with great characters is worth reading, regardless of the MCs’ gender. And honestly, there was no way I would miss a novella in my favorite universe. I highly recommend ‘Undertow’ to any fan of the Whyborne & Griffin series, even if it might be their first F/F story. It’s so worth it.
We do not know a lot about Ms. Parkurst other than she had a crush on Percival and adores him and has not realized that he and Griffin are an item. However, when I was reading ‘Fallow’, it looked like a romance might be developing between Ms. Parkhurst and Percival’s sister and I wondered how that might have played out. I was delighted, when I heard that the author was writing a novella to answer that very question. The novella takes place parallel to ‘Fallow’.
However, I must admit that I thought it might just have ‘bonus content’, a sweet, short romance between the main stories. I would have totally read that as well, but I was happily surprised that this novella feels like a must-read entry in the series. There is a mystery, there are monsters and murders, there are high stakes, we learn important information, there is a big and exciting fight and did I mention that the librarians play a part in the story? It is shorter than the novels of course, but it was a very satifying story and I devoured it in one sitting.
I already loved and was very intrigued by Percival’s twin sister. One for the land, one for the sea. She is so different and exotic. However, she also shares traits with her brother, has a big heart and is courageous. She is a true fighter and the leader of her people. I’m so glad that she has found love – she deserves it.
And while Ms. Parkhurst has always been very much a secondary character to me, it was fantastic to learn more about her as well. She seems so shy and naive and kind of blind where it comes to Percival. While she has shown a different side as well in the face of danger, she was kept out of the loop. I did wonder if she would not make a loyal friend, had Percival entrusted her with the truth. Maybe he just wanted to protect her. However, putting her in the spotlight was the right call in my opinion. There is so much more than meets the eyes to the woman.
We get to see Maggie Parkhurst’s perspective in this story. Readers will see how a single woman of that time would live and what would be expected of her. She seems to fit in well, probably because she takes things as they come. However, she is much more open-minded than I ever expected. She just accepts the weirdness of Widdershins and sees it as her home and she just accepts her own feelings, even if she might not see herself as worthy of loving attention.
She is a ‘normal’ person, without the ability to use magic, without training to fight or great strength. However, while I still thought she was naive in some ways, she also seems quite smart and intuitive. There is a curiosity and courage to her that she seems to not recognize in herself. I think in this story, Maggie has started a self-discovery and I was glad I got to ride along for the journey. Ms. Parkhurst really comes into her own in this adventure and I would be quite happy to read more stories with her and Percival’s sister as main characters. Maybe even from Persephone’s perspective this time, so we can see Maggie from her perspective and discover the city under the sea.
When I got this book, I dropped everything else and read, until the entire story was devoured. I was spell-bound by the story. The wonderful humor made me smile, the characters charmed me, the mystery had me at the edge of my seat and it just felt good to dive back in this amazing world.
I highly recommend to fans of the series to check out this story as well.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Dana- I am a big fan of Jordan L. Hawk and her Whyborne and Griffin series. Not only are the two main characters amazing, but there are some supporting characters that really bring depth to the storylines. Maggie Parkhurst has been the secretary that we’ve seen pine for Dr. Whyborne. She’s shown more bravery than I would have originally thought she would, but she is still mostly overlooked. Until now.
Persephone is Whyborne’s twin sister. She lives her life as a ketoi, a human-like being with fins and gills that lives in the ocean. Like her brother she is so much more than just one thing. I hadn’t really thought of her as wanting a relationship with anyone. I hadn’t quite thought of the ketoi as a species of wanting that. Regardless of my misconceptions, Persephone does have her eye on someone.
This book takes place while Whyborne and Griffin are out of town solving a mystery in Fallow. This is the first time that we are given a picture of what happens in Widdershins while they are gone. What is happening is clearly a two front attack on the twins Percival and Persephone. There is a group in town trying to destroy the ketoi. Maggie only knows Persephone, but she isn’t about to let anything happen to her new friend especially when she is coming to terms with the more than friendly feelings she has for her. Her actions especially after learning a secret about her past make Maggie into someone different from the mousy secretary that she seemed to be. She was able to rule with logic and reach out with her heart, and I have gained new respect for her.
This is a f/f story, and though I haven’t read many of those compared to m/m, I quite enjoyed it. I liked Maggie’s journey to self-discovery. Persephone’s attempts at courting caused me to smile. Like Whyborne and Griffin’s story one of the characters identifies more as bisexual and I like that the author includes that. She hasn’t written off Maggie’s crush on Percival as not real, but that she can and does like both men and women. And that’s great. As long as she likes Persephone most. 😉 It was a really cute romance with some dastardly villains. I can’t wait for the next book and have all the characters back together, jointly fighting those that wish harm to Widdershins. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, I highly recommend it and don’t forget to include this novella. It was a great read.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold (85% Recommended) – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars