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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Crescendo! by GR Jordan is the first Austerly and Kirkgordon adventure. Kirkgordon has lost everything: his wife, kids, and friends. Teamed with Austerly, an eccentric professor obsessed with the supernatural, and a government agent that's more suspicious than trustworthy, Kirkgordon searches for a missing music manuscript. Along their journey, they run across a variety of characters, including a seductive Russian vampire who is cold to the touch. As they get onto the path of the manuscript, Austerly and Kirkgordon have to put aside their differences to prevent a cosmic disaster.
GR Jordan brings characters that are reminiscent of a buddy cop pairing of polar opposites, but fighting the supernatural and not criminals. The scene at the bar is one of my favorites. It depicts clearly how the two are different. Austerly is smiling and “for him, the world was at peace,” while Kirkgordon is glancing around at everyone, and has a “distinct edge to his demeanor.” This is also the scene where Cally is introduced as a poetic and over the top personality. But as the novel progresses, she becomes more of a sympathetic character who uses her seductive persona like armor. She acts as a buffer between Kirkgordon and Austerly's love-hate relationship. It reads like the beginning stages of a strong friendship. The character I really felt for is Austerly. I felt sorry for him because Kirkgordon is harsh with him, and often refers to him as a freak or lunatic. Austerly is complicated, eccentric, scattered, and brilliant. He seemingly knows everything about the supernatural yet still maintains a natural curiosity, and has an optimistic outlook on life, “never seeing the disaster just round the corner.” Crescendo! is character-oriented, eccentric, a little bit campy, and perfectly blends heart and humor.