Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
It’s 4:00am here in central Florida. I just finished reading Death’s Rival and am totally unable to sleep. A combination of too many kick-butt pneumonia- fighting drugs, or an overdose of kick-butt vampire-killing Jane Yellowrock in action? I can’t really decide which. But I figure if I’m wide awake, I may as well use the time for something productive, like reviewing this outstanding addition to Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. Dang, this book was good! Hands down, the best in a pretty good series, in my opinion.
Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee skinwalker, who shares her body with Beast, a large mountain lion. Her methods of shifting forms are not like any other I’ve ever read about, and her past history is quite unusual. The books have grown in complexity over the series (this is #5) and Jane has become more and more fascinating, bimbo-factor cover art notwithstanding.
VERY SLIGHT SPOILER COMMENTS: I was left less than satisfied with the ending of Book #4, Raven Cursed, since I’ve been a big Rick LeFleur fan from the start of the books, and that relationship was taking a real nose-dive. I had thought what happened to Rick in the previous book, Mercy Blade, would bring the two of them closer, but instead it drove a wedge between them. Of course, there was always Bruiser, the Uber-sexy, but oh-so-bound-to-big-bad-vampire, and thus a blood servant (eewww) that Jane has always been attracted to. Bruiser showed up in this book as even Uber-er Sexy, with new added talents, and all the potential for taking Jane’s mind off of Rick. But then along came Eli! Ricky-Bo, and Bruiser, and Eli, oh my! One thing Jane does not lack for in her life is attention from sexy men. Why settle for one love interest, when three could be thrice as nice, eh?
For those more interested in vampire politics, rapid-paced action, and intriguing mysteries, than in the romantic entanglements, there’s plenty of that and some to spare, spread out over New Orleans and even into a bayou or two. It was a riveting plot, and I was loving every minute of it…right up to the end. Suddenly, disaster struck. Things happened. People were hurt, including Jane. And then…once again…Jane managed to blow it. GAH. Just when I thought she had it all worked out, and was finally going to get it right, too. Again? *Sigh* Now I HAVE to read Book #6. (I guess there is a method to Faith Hunter’s madness, after all.)
Bottom line, if you like well written Urban Fantasy with a focus on interesting Cherokee customs and lore, plenty of action, lots of sexy men lusting for your heroine, and the usual assortment of things that go bump in the night PLUS a few not so usual ones, I recommend this series. If you’ve been reading it all along, this latest book should really get your attention. Of course, the ending might be a bit disappointing to you, if you prefer your romances to run a bit more smoothly. But then, when you have three men (so far) to choose from, maybe losing one isn’t quite such a big deal. Made ME sad, though. Check it out for yourself, and see what YOU think.
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