Skinwalker ~ Faith Hunter

  • Title:  Skinwalker
  • Author:  Faith Hunter
  • Series:  Jane Yellowrock, #1
  • Genre:  Urban Fantasy
  • Format:  eBook
  • Source:  Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Sonja
  • Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Description:  Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps..

Review:  As I read more books about shifters and vampires, the reviews become harder and harder to write. Yep, she’s a shifter. Yep, she is after the bad vampire. Of course, this book is a tad different – they are *all* a tad different, but repetitive as well. I do not, however, feel a book should be penalized as the ‘same ole, same ole’ for many reasons, not the least of which is the author has no control over the order in which I read.

So. Jane’s a shifter. But, Jane is *more* than a shifter. She actually co-habits with her alter ego – Beast. She is after a vampire – but not just *any* vampire, the *bad* vampire. The other vampires are good. Or, at least sorta good. She rides a motorcycle. With a name. Bitsa. She has a best friend – a witch named Molly. She says and thinks things like ‘ick’ and ‘icky’. It is the silly little things that make me happy!

The story, itself, is quite the mystery. Not only do we not know *who* the villain is, we are not sure *what* the villain is. And, as Jane has just arrived in New Orleans, we are meeting everyone with her and not sure anyone is whom he or she pretends to be. I will be honest – I figured out part of the mystery, but she gob smacked me with the other part. So, not predictable. At least by me. That raises it a notch in my opinion.

My one real struggle with the novel was the ‘Beast’ chapters. These are written in stream of consciousness and very hard to follow. I didn’t like it in literature class, and I don’t enjoy it here. The first time, it is a jolt out of the smooth narrative previously presented. It does become easier – not sure if the writing became more fluid or if my reading did, but it became easier.

I did really enjoy Jane. I loved her relationship with Molly and Molly’s daughter Angela. I loved the often inappropriate nicknames she applied to everyone around her. I loved the tough as nails exterior – while taking all the safety precautions she can come up with – and the sappy heart she has toward everyone in Molly’s family. Even the protectiveness she feels toward Katie and her ladies. Hallelujah, there is no love triangle. Zip. Zero. Nada.

So, TLDR, if you like vampires, shifters, mysteries and non-love relationships, this book is definitely worth a look. I have already picked up the next one to see the Jane grow. I give it 3.5, but round up to 4 and I have no idea why. 

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Blood Cross ~ Faith Hunter

  • Title:  Blood Cross
  • Author:  Faith Hunter
  • Series:  Jane Yellowrock, #2
  • Genre:  Urban Fantasy
  • Format:  eBook
  • Source:  Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Sonja
  • Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Description:  Jane Yellowrock is back on the prowl against the children of the night

The vampire council has hired skinwalker Jane Yellowrock to hunt and kill one of their own who has broken sacred ancient rules — but Jane quickly realizes that in a community that is thousands of years old, loyalties run deep…

With the help of her witch best friend and local vigilantes, Jane finds herself caught between bitter rivalries — and closer than ever to the secret origin of the entire vampire race. But in a city of old grudges and dark magic, Jane will have to fight to protect both sides, even if no one will protect her.

Review:  I enjoyed Skinwalker, needed another book to read, so I picked this one up. I didn’t like this one as well. I don’t know if it is because it was just more of the same or why – I just didn’t.

First, the good news: Molly is here! With her children. I love the friendship between Jane and Molly. And, the unconditional love and protection that Beast feels toward the children – or kits. The basis of the story is again a mystery. And, Ms. Hunter excels at the mystery. Through its resolution, we learn more of the mythos in her vision of this urban fantasy world. It is a very interesting background lesson. We also learn more of who and what Jane is.

Now – what I didn’t like. I really do not like the “anything in pants” thing Jane/Beast has going on. If there is going to be a love interest, let there be a love interest. But, that Jane (or her Beast alter ego) just kinda lusts after every male in the story is a huge detraction for me. It really overwhelmed the other aspects of the story and causes me to wonder if I really want to invest any more time in this world.

Again, I give this one 3.5 stars. I round it down to 3 simply because I liked it less than the last.

Skinwalker ~ Faith Hunter

  • Title: Skinwalker
  • Author: Faith Hunter
  • Series: Jane Yellowrock #1
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Own
  • Reviewed by: Olga
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind – a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.

Review: 
This is dark fantasy, bloody and harsh – not my favorite genre. But it’s written so well, I never wanted to abandon the book.  I wanted to read to the end. I wanted to know what happened next to its heroine Jane Yellowrock – a Cherokee, a vampire hunter, a skinwalker.

In the fantasy lingo, Jane is a shape-shifter, and she can take any shape she wants, although there is always a price. Her preferred shape is a panther. Together, they fight rogue vampires: by day as a human woman, using words and technology, by night as a beast, using the panther’s tracking skills, superior strength, and speed.

Jane is a complicated character, full of contradictions, unique in the genre, as far as I can tell. I’ve never read about another one like her. Two creatures cohabit in her body and soul in an uneasy alliance. Both are given words by the author, whenever Jane shifts, reflecting her dual personality: a predator with a vaguely human attitude and a definite human intelligence. She makes mistakes. She loves dancing. She carries a big gun and rides a motorcycle. And she would kill without compunction, if necessary. She is not human, and it shows.

In this story, Jane is hired by the vampire council of New Orleans to find and destroy a rogue vampire terrifying the city dwellers, both human and vamps.  The action moves so fast, it leaves you reeling: one escapade after another, with danger growing exponentially to the page number. Nobody is Jane’s friend, everyone has his/hers own agenda, but she, a true predator, comes out of every encounter invariably one step ahead of her adversaries. Always snarling and smiling, she wouldn’t accept any outcome but victory.

The city of New Orleans, permeated by moisture and music, is a character in her own right. The city throbs with life around Jane, its ambiance dark and sensual. It’s no surprise that one of the constant sets of the story is a brothel owned by a vampire.

In parallel with Jane’s investigation flows another plot line: her memories and recollections, as she tries to figure out who and what she is. This is as much an action adventure with mystery undertones as it is a self-discovery tale.

The secondary characters in the book are colorful but grim. Most of them are links along the same food chain: from the vampire masters down to their human blood servants and from them to the rest of humanity. Every layer dominates and terrifies the ones beneath. Fortunately, Jane is outside this chain: a classic loner, able to fight her way to the top, rude, irreverent, and fiercely independent, beautiful and untamed like her panther alter ego.

I enjoyed this book, but it started me on a rather odd strain of thought. In Faith Hunter’s world, the blood servants to the vampires serve their masters willingly. They accept abuse from the vamps, and then dish it out down the chain to the rest of the people. Why do they serve? What makes them consciously choose to give up their free will to their bloodsucking lords? In our modern times too. In general: what makes one choose a life of a loyal servant instead of a paid employee? Of course there are benefits and perks, but do they outweigh the constant bleedings and the risk of death by an occasionally enraged monster?

April 2013 New Releases

FANTASY:

URBAN FANTASY:

HORROR:

MYSTERY:

ROMANCE:

EROTICA:

PARANORMAL ROMANCE:

SCIENCE FICTION: