Book Review: Deceiver of Minds (SPECTR #3.5) by Jordan L. Hawk

Read my reviews of the previous books in the SPECTR series:


If Hawk continues the pattern from previous SPECTR collections, this novella is the penultimate installment of this particular adventure. A mystery about John’s past has been building for some time, forcing him and his partners Caleb and Gray to balance that personal quest with other issues that flare up in their current New Orleans home. Everything comes to a head here, as we immediately jump into action fully focused on this central plot line. Now that John knows the truth about what happened to him as a teenager, he’s determined to search out those who experienced the trauma along with him.

Right at the beginning of this story, I started to wonder whether John’s “cousin” Ryan might play an active role instead of continuing along for the ride. No spoilers here, but the answer is a solid yes. Hawk pulls off an epic plot twist amid a story packed with tension and surprises. I also admired a neat bit of storytelling that has the basis of a previous argument between the three heroes (the constant, but necessary, separation of Caleb and Gray from John during previous stories) first turn into a handicap and then become the very thing that might save everyone’s lives. For now, the trio is solidly on the same page as they race to save John and the other Operation Mephisto survivors.

Each SPECTR collection has shared certain elements, but in this one especially, Hawk uses the differences in them to create unique and engaging stories. For this story, in particular, the second drakul who has been tagging along with Gray undergoes a transformation that is both amusing and marks a significant character change. I’m almost as curious about what will happen with Night in the long run as I am about how our heroes defeat the current villain.

Except villain is almost a misnomer here. Multiple sides are in play for this conflict, but none of them are traditional “bad” guys, even if you remove how everyone thinks they are acting for the best. I have faith that Hawk will wrap up this epic story in the final novella, and I feel like I can already safely decree that this series of SPECTR is my favorite.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by J.L. Gribble

Author, Editor, Worldbuilder

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