Whyborne & Griffin: Undertow – Jordan L. Hawk
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.
I usually found W&G books set in Widdershins to be slightly better than out of town adventures and this is no exception. Jordan L. Hawk skillfully interweave various threads and seamlessly connect this installment to the overarching plot. Granted you would notice the template and I am impatient for these masters to appear already but there’s always something exciting about each book.This is one of the things I liked best about the W&G books.
While only a side story, Persephone and Maggie’s adventure is just as dark and dangerous as any our main quartet, Whyborne, Griffin, Christine and Iskander, has come across with.
Let it be known to all WIddershins residents that any long lost relatives or childhood friends suddenly turning up is always, always bad news. This curse happened to Maggie too. Without revealing too much, there were murder, bloodshed and, of course, the Fideles, stirring up trouble and provoking slumbering gods like they always do. Persephone, Maggie, Mr. Quinn (always a delight!) and his pack of dictionary-welding librarians were there to save the day.
Also, Maggie and Persephone took their relationship to the next level (finally!). Persephone did some awe-inspiring magic and powered up (hell yeah!). I always get a thrill when the Whyborne twins do these mindblowing feats.
Maggie could be adorably clueless:
I wasn’t at all clear why Dr. Whyborne seemed to require a private detective to accompany him on all of his expeditions, but the two seemed to travel everywhere together. Ordinarily I would have expected a landlord and boarder to want some time apart, but they were utterly inseparable. Mr. Flaherty even attended the museum galas. And I couldn’t count how many times he’d turned up to share lunch, or else walk with Dr. Whyborne to dinner.
It must be nice to have such a close friend.
But she’s brave where it counts. The story is told in her POV and we glimpse the somewhat ordinary side of Widdershins. It’s also endearing that Maggie admires Christine and considers her a kind of mentor. Christine’s well-remembered self-defense lessons and Griffin’s lock-picking tricks have came in useful.
I do wish we had Persephone’s POV. It would be interesting to see Widdershins from a ketoi perspective. I feel like her sense of humor is as wicked as her grin and I want to see what she thinks of her introverted brother (”Percival is stupid”, most likely). Persephone calls Maggie “cuttlefish”. She courts her with a squid. She never hesitates to save everyone. She is an heiress to one of the biggest fortunes of the country. She is a chieftain and a sorceress. She is BADASS.
Creepy Mr. Quinn has an important role and as bizarre as his pronouncements were, he is a staunch fanboy of Whyborne and what the twins stand for. Mr. Quinn and his librarians are always quick to rally and defend. I think it would be fun to live in WIddershins, be a Ladysmith librarian and fight insidious cults with a dictionary at night then spent the day wandering through the labyrinthine shelves of ancient tomes. Life goals.
4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away