My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have always been honest about my love for Jordan L. Hawk’s writing. She’s delivered fantastical and well crafted stories time and time again. In Necropolis, the fourth in the Whyborne & Griffin series, Hawk once again shows why she is a master of her craft.
Simply put, she uses the RIGHT words, threads them together so the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Or rather to go with the “true” phrasing; The whole is other than the sum of the parts.
I think Hawk’s books are in fact a damned good representation of the concept of “gestalt”. The primary construct of words into phrases bring to rise secondary tangible concepts and reactions for a reader to shift through and experience. The layering of her main characters’ motivations, fears and — even if I dare say it—loves, bring the reader to a world only Hawk could have imagined up. Even seated in the real world with a bare toe-dip into our own history, Hawk reveals a reality hidden in the shadowy folds of what-ifs.
That being said, while her world might be a few steps out of physical sync with our own universe, it is her fully-realized characters that drive home to the reader that we are all human—regardless of what surrounds us at that time.
In Necropolis, Whyborne and Griffin are transported to a time in Egypt when wholescale looting of tombs for the entertainment of the world’s rich was par for the course. It is a time when no one thought anything of burning a mummy in a fireplace because that’s what one did to amuse one’s guests or perhaps even grind up a forgotten Princess’ remains to be mixed into a tincture to cure a cough. The starkness of this time is laid down carefully, a lace of realism sewn over the satiny pleasure of Hawk’s main characters’ existence. To see Whyborne and Griffin embellished in this location only serves to strengthen who they are in the book and cements their bond in ways that would satisfy even the most particular of readers.
I cannot wait to re-read this book. I finished it a few days ago and am even now, craving for the taste of Hawk’s words again. Her stories are an opiate and I for one, am always glad to walk into her Den.