Review: Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter

curse-on-the-landReviewed by Jen

Faith Hunter is such a talent. I really enjoy the characters she crafts and the fascinating supernatural situations they encounter. The Soulwood series is such a great compliment to the Jane Yellowrock books in that they share a world while still maintaining distinct identities. One of the things I like so much is Nell’s very unique character and perspective. She is so very different from Jane. Yet both series feature complex storylines, plenty of action, character development and just a subtle hint of romance. [Read more…]

Review: Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter

blood of the earthReviewed by Jen

I’m such a fan of the Jane Yellowrock series, I jumped in with both feet when I heard about this spinoff.  I have to say, it’s nothing at all like the series it came from, but it was absolutely engaging and entertaining in its own right. We met the heroine, Nell, in “Off the Grid” in Black Water, but if you missed that story, don’t worry; you’ll catch up.  Jane Yellowrock fans can also expect at least one really familiar face, as Ricky Bo plays a major role in the story. (More on that in a minute.) [Read more…]

Review: Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter

shadow ritesReviewed by Jen

Every time I pick up another book in this series, I remember all the things that make it awesome. From the amazing characters, to the fantastic world-building… to the dense storytelling and non-stop action… I didn’t want to put it down. It was a great ride from beginning to end.

The story centers around Jane’s efforts to prepare for the big meeting between the vampires and witches. That would be bad enough, but something –or someone– is targeting Jane with magic. What seems at first just a scan, turns into an external force that’s affecting her abilities and invading her soul home. And the insidious magic is spreading, manifesting differently in different allies, leaving Jane no clear idea what its endgame is, or how to get rid of it. [Read more…]

Review: Blood in Her Veins by Faith Hunter

blood in her veins
Reviewed by Jen

This 500+ page collection finally gives Jane Yellowrock fans all of the series’ short stories in one place. Almost all of them have been previously released, though many were only in digital form. There are two new offerings, though, if you’ve already read the other shorts, and together, make up about 20% of the book. [Read more…]

Review: Dark Heir by Faith Hunter

dark heirReviewed by Jen

Jane Yellowrock can not catch a break. Ever.  In each book of the series, it seems like things just get harder and harder in her life.  Each villain feels even more impossible to defeat than the one before. Each battle brings her closer and closer to the limits of what she can endure. It’s a wild ride –action packed– but there is plenty of heart, as well as backstory and connections that continue to add depth to an already fleshed out world.

Remember that thing that Leo had chained up in his basement? Well, it’s escaped and it’s leaving a horrific body count in its wake.  Jane’s already kicking herself for not killing it when it was immobilized. She knew it was evil, but now that the so-called Son of Darkness is free, he is growing crazy-strong, and frankly, he is way out of her league. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2014

2014

Another great year of reading is drawing to a close and looking back on some of the awesome titles, I am tempted to go back and read some of them again.  Now that I have put this list together, I realize that just about every one is part of a series. Some of them can stand alone. Others are better read after enjoying earlier installments.  But either way, for me, they are the cream of the crop from the year 2014. [Read more…]

Review: Broken Soul by Faith Hunter

broken soulReviewed by Jen

I am so, so satisfied by this book.  The Jane Yellowrock series never fails when it comes to action, worldbuilding and plot.  But in the romance department, it has been a hot mess.  I am beyond happy to report that in this installment breaks the mold, turning what was a series weakness into an asset. That’s right: not only does the romance progress, it happens in spectacular fashion.  So when you put that together with all the other great stuff, I can’t imagine that any fan will be unhappy with this book. [Read more…]

Inside Look & Giveaway: Broken Soul

BrokenSoulBannerReady for your next Jane Yellowrock fix? Broken Soul is just a few weeks away, and I think it’s my favorite installment in the series to date.  Today, a new collection of Jane stories is out (Black Water) –and we’ve got a sneak peek of Broken Soul to hold you over. If you’re a fan of the series, you don’t want to miss this one.

Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the Jane Yellowrock series for a chance to win your copy of Black Soul before you can buy it. (US Only.)

–Jen

Leo was barefooted, wearing black gi pants of a style I’d see him fight in before, his upper body bare and smeared with blood that hid most of his white scars, his black hair plaited flat to his head, except for loose strands flying as he moved. He was vamped out, his three-inch-long fangs clicked down and his pupils black in scarlet sclera. Despite the vampy-ness, he looked in control. Barely. Drawing on my skinwalker abilities, I took a sniff to determine the pheromone level of his anger and aggression.

 

One of the twins was out, facedown, lying off the fighting mat, his chest rising and falling, so, still alive. The other twin was in play, but his face looked like he’d been used as a punching bag. Which he had been. There was blood all over his white gi, the cloth hiding bruises and torn flesh between the fang rents. The sounds of thuds and slaps and grunts resounded on the air, echoing brightly through the open space. The standing twin spun away and hit the wall. I felt the impact through the floor and my Lucchese boot soles. He slid down the wall, leaving a bloody smear on the painted cement block.

 

“This isn’t good,” Wrassler murmured to me. “The two of them should have been able to hold their own against him.”

“Hmmm. Who else did you call?” I asked softly, as Leo screamed his triumph into the room, fists raised to the ceiling. My Beast peeked out and purred, and I shoved her down. This not the time, I thought at her.

 

“Grégoire. He’s on the way.” Wrassler checked his cell. “And Gee DiMercy should be here any minute.”

 

On his words, Gee DiMercy, Clan Pellissier’s Mercy Blade, walked through the door on the far side of the room. “Hallelujah, Holy Moses,” Wrassler murmured beneath his breath. It was a Southern Bible Belt phrase uttered by people in a certain age group, and though Wrassler looked too young to use it, he drank vamp blood, so he didn’t look his age, whatever it was.

 

“Your gramma say that?” I asked, as I watched Girrard DiMercy from a safe distance. The Mercy Blade was dressed in tight black pants and a billowing royal blue shirt, and he carried twin flat blades, both long swords with hand-and-a-half hilts for one- or two-hand fighting. His hair was back in a queue, tied with a narrow black band. The first time I’d seen him fight, he’d been saving my butt, and I hadn’t had time to admire his technique. Leo was focused on the approaching man, arms out, hands and talons ready, shoulders tensed, motionless as a crouching predator. Unbreathing, in that statute-still way of the vamps. FunnnBeast murmured.

 

“Used to,” Wrassler murmured. “My mama. My daddy.” He added, his tone mesmerized, “Me.”

 

When he was twelve feet away, the Mercy Blade tossed Leo a blade, the overhead lights glittering on the steel edge. The vamp leaped high and whipped it out of the air, but the small swordsman was already moving. His blade left a long cut on Leo’s side. The Master of the City landed on the balls of his feet and slid away before the blade could bite deep, but his blood flowed fast from the slice.

 

Beside me, Wrassler tapped the mouthpiece of his headset and called for blood-servants to join him in the gym, his voice soft but demanding. Yeah. No matter what was going on, Leo was gonna be hungry; it would be wise to have donors on hand.

 

On the mat, the men danced with the swords, their bodies moving with deadly grace. Scarlet droplets flew on the air, the clang of steel so bright and sharp it hurt my eardrums. It was probably stupid, but I walked closer to get a better view.

 

The stench of pheromones increased and I rubbed a wrist on my nose to keep from sneezing. It was potent and heady, with the reek of violence and an underlying hint of wet feathers from the Mercy Blade and of raw power from Leo. But I’d smelled Leo fighting both ways: out of control and using his anger to power his vamp gifts. The difference was negligible, but it was there. Out-of-control Leo stank, an acrid taint on the air, tart as a rotten lemon. This was the other fighting scent. A show, controlled and planned, no matter how out of control and bloody it looked, no matter how bloody it was.

 

The fighters pirouetted away and back, the swords so fast they were a blur of light on steel and the clash of menace. Inside, Beast chuffed with delight. Down, girlI thought at her. We’re not here to get sliced and diced. She huffed and turned her head away from me—a pointed insult.

 

The men on the mat locked blades and Gee grabbed Leo’s wrist, sticking out a leg and shoving his master across it. Leo landed with a thump. The point of Gee’s blade nicked Leo’s throat. The others in the room went silent, not even the sound of breathing echoing off the bare, white walls.

 

I lifted my hands and clapped, the sound slow enough to pass for bored. “Onorios heal fast. So do Mercy Blades. But it was a pretty show, boys.”

Hungry for more? Check out my review of Broken Soul or pre-order your copy here!

Review: Black Water by Faith Hunter

black waterReviewed by Jen

This anthology is a collection of two new and one previously published Jane Yellowrock stories. One of the new ones is really short. Here’s a breakdown:

Black Water – This is one of the two longer novellas. It’s set just after the events of “Beneath a Bloody Moon,” a short story in the Jane Yellowrock World Companion (before the beginning of Black Arts.)  And it was previously released in audio. [Read more…]

Review: Jane Yellowrock World Companion by Faith Hunter and Carol Malcolm

jane yellowrock worldReviewed by Jen

I’ll admit, I am generally not a fan of companion books, but the authors manage to suck me in with well placed novellas buried inside. In this case, I heard there were stories from Bruiser’s POV and I really wanted to hear his voice.  Sadly, I found the first 15% of this book to be an utter waste.  It starts with an assortment of Jane quotes. Then historical bloodlines. Then a completely inane Q&A with Beast, where I couldn’t even force myself to read all the way through.  I’m just going to spare you and jump ahead to the stories. [Read more…]