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Literature / Whyborne And Griffin

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An Lovecraft-inspired paranormal romance series by Jordan L. Hawk set during the Victorian era in the fictional town of Widdershins, Massachusetts.

Repressed scholar Dr. Percival Endicott Whyborne keeps to himself and his dead languages, ruthlessly supressing his attraction to men after the loss of his first love. Ex-Pinkerton turned private investigator Griffin Flaherty has moved to the small coastal city of Widdershins to escape his past and start a new life. When Griffin asks for Whyborne's help translating a mysterious book, they soon find themselves drawn into a world of magic, cults, and monsters. All the while Whyborne finds himself hopelessly falling for the charming detective.


Whyborne and Griffin provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adorkable: Whyborne becomes a sorcerer of no small reputation, feared and sought after. He also remains forever clumsy and goofy, with perpetually unfashionable, unruly hair.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Griffin starts to do this in Widdershins, but it quickly turns into an Aborted Declaration of Love.
  • Ascended Extra: Maggie starts out as a minor recurring character (usually in comedic appearances to highlight Whyborne's Clueless Chick Magnet status), but gradually gets integrated into the main crew and even gets her own novella.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "[The monster] was keeping me from my town, it was assaulting my friends, and thanks to it, my coat and vest were ruined along with my trousers."
  • Badass Bookworm: Whyborne, and the librarians.
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  • Battle Couple: Pretty much all of the main couples.
  • Bedlam House: Stormhaven Asylum.
    • The asylum Griffin was sent to as well. Not surprising, given the time period and the inspiration.
    • Stanford seems to be the only one with decent care, which only happens because his father is one of the richest men in America.
  • Big Brother Bully: Whyborne's older siblings were pretty horrible to him, especially his brother, Stanford.
  • Body Horror: In most of the books, but especially Threshhold.
    • Deosil might also be a contender, having a scene that made Griffin throw up and had even Christine looking sick.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Whyborne, much to Griffin's amusement.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Several appear, even of different species. Most common, however, seems to be ketoi-human hybrids.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: For many new readers, it would be hard to look into anything about the series without getting massive spoilers about Persephone, the ketoi, or Whyborne's heritage.
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  • Like Brother and Sister: Whyborne and Christine, to the point where Whyborne has to actively stop himself from calling Christine his sister in front of his parents.
  • Lovecraft Country: Hawk was directly inspired by Lovecraftian horror and even makes references to specific stories. Widdershins itself is very similar to Innsmouth.
  • Ludd Was Right: It's a running gag that Whyborne thinks most emerging technology is a passing fad. Some examples include complaining that electric lights are too artificial compared to gas powered lights, refusing to understand why one would prefer actually talking on telephones over sending a telegram and being terrified whenever he's stuck in an automobile.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Niles generally takes his business and its duties very seriously and makes a point of working hard even though he's old money and probably wouldn't have to. He takes this attitude outside of work, as well, having fought as a union soldier, and continuing to help fight and plan in his old age.
  • Parents as People: All of them (even Heliabel Whyborne.) Niles Whyborne especially has some growing to do.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: The scar on Griffin's leg serves as a reminder/representation of the trauma he endured after his first encounter with the supernatural, and his subsequent confinement in the asylum.
  • Power Incontinence: As Whyborne's magical talent grows in later books, his power will flare up without his conscious effort whenever he gets sufficiently angry enough. Commonly this manifests as the air whipping into rough winds around him, nearby liquids and surfaces freezing and ships rocking if he happens to be upon a boat when his temper rises.
    • Also in later books, when he cast sufficiently powerful spells, he tends to burn off the clothing on his right arm as his scars burn with arcane energy.
  • Pregnant Badass: Christine in Balefire and Deosil.
  • Running Gag: Widdershins is a horrible murder town.
  • Scars Are Forever: Whyborne develops Cool Scars on his right arm that never fully heal even after being discorporated and restored twice.
  • Sword Cane: Griffin's weapon of choice.
  • The Team Benefactor: Niles becomes this in later books.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Persephone looooves waffles.
  • Tranquil Fury: Griffin notes that when Whyborne is acting calm and reserved, that's when he knows Whyborne is dangerously angry.
  • The Unfavorite: Whyborne was this to his father growing up (though his siblings show apparent jealousy that he was their mother's favorite).
  • Walking Spoiler: Persephone.
  • Was Once a Man: Following the Innsmouth influences, many of the half-ketoi are born with human forms on land, and will turn into a ketoi form if they choose to return to the sea.

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