Blood Trade by Faith Hunter
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
I have been reading Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series from the beginning, and for the most part, it has been a fun ride. There are things I don’t like a lot, but generally, they don’t take away from the adventures Jane gets up to, and the interesting characters she meets along the way. The last book, Death’s Rival, left me very frustrated, because I thought Jane did something so boneheaded, I could not work up a shred of sympathy for her afterward. Thankfully, she got her mind right in Blood Trade, and I didn’t have to be angry at her any longer. In that respect, the book was much better. Everything is a trade off, though, and I have to say that the new enemy is far more gross than frightening to me. Jane calls them Spidey Vamps, but the descriptions sound more like Roachy Vamps to me. Ick. Although, as I ponder the matter, with their pincers ready for snip-snipping, they are sort of crab-like, too, but I suppose Crabby Vamps just doesn’t get it.
At any rate, even though I prefer my vamps more traditional, the plot of Blood Trade is very interesting and the action is good. I like Jane’s growing sense of family with the two new “men” in her life, Eli and his younger brother, The Kid. (Thank goodness there’s no romance going on there. Things are complicated enough as it is.) But the friendship/partnership is developing very nicely, and adds a lot to the story. Having said that, the history of the mithrans (what the vamps call themselves) is so convoluted and complex, it loses me every time Jane delves into it. I usually skim that part fairly quickly.
I do have some issues with things that just seem silly to me, one of which is that Rick’s current condition, which I won’t explain because it contains spoilers, requires that he constantly be playing soothing, “spelled” music to control himself. I’m sorry, but every time he heads into a life or death battle situation wearing his earbuds, I just lose it. All of the drama goes out the window as I imagine how ludicrous that would look. And how hard can he be fighting if his earbuds actually stay in place through the battle? (To be fair, they did fall out in one scene, finally, and his resulting behavior was not a pretty sight.)
Overall, silly earbuds, Crabby Vamps, & complicated mithran history aside, the series has been one that I have enjoyed a lot, and I wouldn’t miss the next book for anything. If you’ve been following Jane and Crew, you’ll probably enjoy Blood Trade. If you’ve never read any of the books but like Urban Fantasy, start with the first one, Skinwalker, and see what you think.
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