I've only read two of Hawk's books and I'm already pretty sure she's going to be one of my favorite authors. I loved this book. This is a new modern fantasy world, and while it has some familiar elements (sheesh, I'm so tired of eyes turning completely black when a demon takes over the body--but even there you'll find a twist) there were enough new elements to make it fun and exciting. Here is yet a new take on werewolves and demons, and a more complex hero. He isn't Joe Blow who just happens to stumble into everything. He's Mr. Joe mediocre paranormal who kind of gets dragged in screaming and fighting. Gray was a very interesting and intriguing character who definitely affected everything in a less than usual way.
Caleb's snarky and feisty, not an unusual trait, but I felt he read a little stronger and less lust-addled and scared than average novels in this genre. He was mostly just pissed off. Neither MC was the alpha male and neither was weak. Caleb describes himself as a twink (as well as being 6'2". I didn't think twinks could be that tall) but he is very strong-willed and scrappy. John is big and muscly, and very sweet and accepting but not too laid back nor is he mellow; he's just perfect.
The book was really funny and both MCs were snarky. Caleb would dish it out and John would shoot right back and vice versa. One typical exchange occurs after Caleb growls about being interrogated:
John: "Ready to start the inquisition?"
Caleb: "Your rack-side manner could use some work."
I appreciate that because I think sarcastic people need to be with other people with a similar sense of humor or it doesn't work. The partner/other person needs to not take the crap seriously or personally. (For example, today I asked my current kid to check out my books for me. He said, "I'm not even sure what to look at; I don't usually look at them that way." My own mom would have paused confused and then been irritated or disgusted. My daughter would have taken a moment then said, "OMG, that's stupid, shut up." I replied, "I'm a spine woman myself but a lot of people really look for a hot masthead." I am one of the very few people he can tolerate being around, and I am one of the very few people who can tolerate him.)
There was plenty of action, suspense and danger in this novel. There was enough fear and life-threatening peril--even for me--without being melodramatic or any character coming across as a victim. The characters were individuals and believable. I loved them all, even the boss, who was also refreshingly different.
-By the time of the events in the book, apparently all "the rare medieval texts house in the Vatican had been scanned and uploaded to an international database." Yeah, right, like the Vatican would allow free access to anything of theirs, especially knowledge that is currently tightly controlled and locked away.
-Some timing was a bit off such as when someone accomplished a bunch of stuff in the time it took another to drive home from work.
-This happens frequently in books: one person is nauseated and another rubs his/her back to comfort. When I am nauseated or throwing up, the last thing I want is for someone to touch me. Movement is not preferred.
-(major big spoiler) After ripping someone's throat out with his teeth, a person's face would be covered in blood and totally gross, not in the slightest bit kissable.
I'm interested to see where the series goes from here and how (major big ass spoiler) the affect Gray is going to have on Caleb and John's relationship.
4.5 stars rounded up because I am so eager to read the next one.