In this new instalment of the series we go back to New England and foggy Widdeshins for a mystery that’s centered on Whyborne and his family. That’s… more or less all I can say without spoiling the story, but suffice to say that it’s a very solid entry in a very good series. I like some books better than others but so far there isn’t a single “bad” entry in the series — which is the highest praise I can think of. Every book has its place in the series, and all those details about the Whybornes that we learned in the previous books come together in Bloodline.
I complained a couple of books ago that the interactions between characters were starting to feel repetitive. It happens sometimes, with longer series, when the author finds a formula that they like and they don’t want to change it for fear of alienating their readers. I thought that was happening here too. I stand corrected: Bloodline not only changes the status quo, it blows it to smithereens.
Whyborne is still himself but he’s slowly gained confidence about his magical powers and he’s not second-guessing himself at every step like he used to. The genre doesn’t feel like horror any more, though, it’s more of a suspenceful story with occasional monsters. Maybe I’ve become inured to cosmic horrors after a while but I miss the chill down my spine that the first two books gave me. The mysterious fish people from the sea weren’t very scary at all, though they were certainly entertaining to read about.
Some of the plot twists (especially the one about Whyborne’s sister) were easy to guess but others were complete surprises; I still can’t believe the author went there! It’s a gamble, and I’m sure it will alienate some readers, but personally I loved that Jordan L. Hawk had the guts to take the characters in this direction. For the last several chapters I was convinced that this was the last book, because so much was happening and it felt like a series finale. And then in the last page… the announcement for the next book.
It will be interesting to see how the series goes forward after this. Whyborne and Griffin (and Christine!) are still favourites of mine and if you like M/M romance you owe it to yourself to check out this series.