... mesmerizing ... The narrative's uneasy edginess is supplemented by flashbacks to Todd and Jack's adolescence, including a transformative field trip to Hawk Mountain in their senior year of high school. Additional perspectives from other characters build backstory and ramp up the precariousness of Todd's relationships and sense of reality. Tension spirals as Habib leads the reader to wonder what the truth really is, who is telling it and who is believing it ... Habib's unique examination of his flawed and fascinating characters as the victims and sources of violence is both disturbing and insightful. His exploration of the tangled web of human desire, emotions and abuse, and how it becomes a legacy passed down through generations, is gritty and chilling. With haunting prose and deeply atmospheric descriptions, Hawk Mountain is a disturbing descent into the convulsions of the human mind and heart.
The action of the story moves swiftly. All the chapters are all short and evocative, designed to keep the pages turning. The episodes of Jack’s cruel bullying of Todd in high school are vivid and emotion filled as Jack succeeded in not only tormenting Todd but in turning all of Todd’s friends against him.
The tension is palpable on every page, and Habib skillfully illustrates the complexity of relationships and the pain of unmet desires, both queer and otherwise. His prose is as brutal as it is profound and beautiful ... A brutal and gorgeous tale of manipulation, control, and desire.