Title ~ The 13th Hex: A Hexworld Short Story
Author ~ Jordan L. Hawk
Publisher ~ Widdershins Press
Published ~ 5th April 2016
Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance, AU, Historical
Dominic Kopecky dreamed of becoming a member of New York’s Metropolitan Witch Police—a dream dashed when he failed the test for magical aptitude. Now he spends his days drawing the hexes the MWP relies on for their investigations.
But when a murder by patent hex brings crow familiar Rook to his desk, Dominic can’t resist the chance to experience magic. And as the heat grows between Dominic and Rook, so does the danger. Because the case has been declared closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.
The 13th Hex is the prequel short story to the all-new Hexworld series. If you like shifters, magic, and romance, you’ll love Jordan L. Hawk’s world of witch policemen and the familiars they bond with.
Download the first installment of this exciting new series today!
Short story: 13,109 words
Genre: m/m paranormal historical romance
Note: The 13th Hex was originally published as part of the Charmed & Dangerous anthology. Only minor details have been altered for this reissue.
I don’t normally review short stories. I generally detest them. To my mind (and this is just a personal prejudice), there’s not enough runway in a short story to do any serious character development. It’s like getting the appetizer without the meal.
But I make an exception for “The 13th Hex” by Jordan L. Hawk, only because Ms. Hawk is one of the great writers of gay fiction, particularly paranormal romance. Her other series, such as “Spectr” and “Whyborne and Griffin” have been great successes and garnered gushing reviews (including from me). So the introduction of a new series is always major news in the Jordan L. Hawk universe, and this one is no exception.
This short story is not so much a story as a brief introduction to her forthcoming “Hexworld” series, and it’s going to be a doozy, I promise you. Just to show you how clever a clever writer like Ms. Hawk can be, she subtitled it “Book 0.5 in The Hexworld Series”.
The author appears to intend to take this series over-the-top, and I’m all for that. The less realistic and believable, the better her fiction is. It causes the reader to suspend their disbelief and take the journey wherever Ms. Hawk’s creative insanity leads us.
Hexworld is a series about witchcraft. Ms. Hawk imagines a whole new, slightly steampunk world (at least there’s gas lamps) and its Metropolitan Witchcraft Police, which regulates witchcraft and protects citizens from unscrupulous witches and bad hexes. Our erstwhile hero, Dominic, is not a witch (at least he’s pretty sure he’s not) but he’s wanted to be one since he 14 years of age. Unfortunately, he’s been convinced, by his mother, that he has no magic, so he ends up becoming a “hexman”. He’s a mathematical genius who calculates and draws hexes to be used by witches who have the magic to empower them. He also works as a forensic scientist, analyzing hexes involved in crimes and figuring out what’s wrong with those that have deleterious effects beyond what they were designed to do.
It’s a desk job, but at least he’s close to witches. His office is full of them, and their familiars - animals who shift to human form, are bonded to a witch and amplify their magic. Dominic is approached by a gorgeous unattached familiar, Rook, who happens to be a crow, for help with a case.
Things get interesting when Dominic discovers that he has more resources than he ever imagined, and with the help of Rook, the familiar, saves them and a second familiar (a cat) from a nefarious plot to silence them permanently.
The plot is not important, at this point. ”The 13th Hex” just a preview, an introduction, a teaser for a series I just can’t wait to dive into, head first. As far as I can tell, “Hexworld” sounds like a fun romp, a total journey on the insane side of the twisted imagination of Jordan L. Hawk - a journey I can’t wait to take with this amazing author.