by Faith Hunter
This has been an interesting book, a gritty and realistic post-Katrina New Orleans and a complex lead character. Jane Yellowrock is Cherokee, a skinwalker meaning she can change her shape into any creature, and shares her soul with a Mountain Lion she calls Beast. She also hunts and kills rogue vampires, has an attitude problem, and doesn’t remember her life before she crawled out of the forest at 12 and was sent to live in a Christian children’s home.
Jane goes to New Orleans to hunt down a rogue vampire who is killing humans and vampires alike. He smells funny and Beast calls him a liver eater. We find all about what a liver eater is, and it hits Jane pretty hard.
So I had a hard time getting into this book. I enjoyed her sass, though it does get a little old, but towards the end of the book she begins to have more of a filter, “But, I didn’t say it. I was getting better at controlling my natural rude instincts.” She plays a dangerous game. Yes, she is a hunter, her employers (sane vampires) don’t know what she is and how quickly she can heal or how much damage she can both take and inflict, but she also is learning as she goes and gets by on the skin of her teeth at times.
Also, when she shapeshifts and becomes Beast, or even talks to Beast, the narrative is very basic and animalistic, which makes it easier to discern who is thinking what when there is internal dialog, but it is difficult to get used to and I was slightly annoyed with it at first. But this becomes more streamlined as the book and story move forward until you get used to it, and quite honestly I think it is softened somewhat by Hunter as she gets into the story.
This book is pretty bloody and violent. The rogue kills often and leaves a pretty grotesque, disgusting scene. When Jane shifts into the beast they hunt and kill animals and the vampires drink of lot of blood. Not for the squeamish.
No real romance to speak of, there is plenty of sparring and innuendo and blatant offers, and while Jane shows some interest, that isn’t the direction this character goes in this book at least. Who knows, we find out she is going to stay in New Orleans for the next book in the series, perhaps she will get a little closer to someone, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Even though it took me a while to get hooked on the book, it did finally catch and the end is one wild ride. Jane is a character to watch and I think I might just pick up the next book, Blood Cross tonight. 3.5 stars.