It's been too long since I caught up with Jane Yellowrock, the protagonist of this fantastic urban fantasy series by Faith Hunter. I'm a few books behind on this series but that's going to change by the end of the summer!
I first discovered Hunter's writing through her Rogue Mage series (a dare for another day) but I was recently overcome by the urge to get reacquainted with Jane, one of the most interesting and unique heroines out there. Why do I find her so fascinating? If you are familiar with the series, I'm sure you can guess but here's the lowdown for folks who might not be in the know. =)
Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker and freelance vampire hunter. The world knows about the latter since she has a website and everything, vampires having been outed in 1962 (it involves Marilyn Monroe!). The skinwalker part? That's a secret. As a skinwalker, Jane has the ability to shift into different animals but she usually turns into Beast, the big cat that lives inside Jane. Skinwalkers are rare -- so rare Jane might be the only one alive -- and if you want to find out how Beast and Jane ended up together, you'll get the answer in SKINWALKER. Jane's looking for answers too, since she can't remember her life before she was found wandering the woods at age 12. Despite this, Jane has a strong personality: she's smart, tough, and independent, she rides a motorcycle she calls Bitsa because it's made of bits of this and bits of that, she's got slick martial skills and smooth dance moves, and she's found a family in her best friend, Molly, who just happens to be a witch. How can you not root for a chick like this?
If Jane alone isn't enough incentive to get you to try SKINWALKER, you should know that there are vampires galore. Vampires have a strong presence in New Orleans, where SKINWALKER is set, and they've actually hired Jane to come in and find a rogue vampire. She learns a lot about the social structure of vampires over the course of the investigation, which means we do, too. There are clans, there are blood-servants, there are blood-junkies, and more, all led by Leo Pellister, the vampire in charge of the city. Every vampire Jane meets is intrigued by her because they can tell she's different but no one knows quite what she is, making her a mystery and a prize all at once.
Another great element in SKINWALKER is the prominence of Jane's Cherokee heritage. Hunter embraces Cherokee language and culture and it's cool to see Jane explore this side of herself. And cooler still to see Jane portrayed as a strong Native American woman on the cover!
If you're looking for a book with great writing, strong characters, and smart plots, get your hands on SKINWALKER!
Want more? I bet you do! Here's the scoop on SKINWALKER from Faith Walker's website:
A year ago Jane nearly lost her life taking down an entire blood family of deadly rogue vampires that preyed on the helpless local populace of an Appalachian town. Now, after months of recuperation, she’s back and ready to fight again. Except this time, she’s hired by those she’s trained to kill—vampires…
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. Back from hiatus, she’s hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katies’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.
Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission—or else the next skin she’ll need to save just may be her own…
And here's the rest of the series:
And here are some short stories and e-releases, including EASY PICKINGS, a crossover with C. E. Murphy's Joanne Walker:
Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!
What do you think? Have you read this series? Are you willing to accept my dare?