Review: Circle of the Moon by Faith Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

Faith Hunter is such a master craftsman of urban fantasy. All of her books in her Jane Yellowrock/Soulwood world are just so dense and layered… in plot, in backstory, and in the characters. The Soulwood books are the spinoffs and if you have not read Dark Queen, the latest Yellowrock book, be prepared for some spoilers because there is some overlap.

Nell, our heroine, has grown so much over the course of this series. She started off as this— I don’t want to say backward, but off-grid woman who has never known I truly modern life. She grew up as part of a polygamist cult and lives in the middle of the woods in a house off the power and water lines. But while she may never truly be free of her upbringing and the impact of its effects, she has now embraced a lot of the modern world in her job as a probationary Psy-Led agent. Not only that, she is bringing her sister, Mud, along with her. Nell is working towards adopting the 12-year-old, but has to make a few more changes to her lifestyle in order for that to happen.

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Jen’s Favorites of 2018

I read some amazing books from old favorites and made at least one new favorite this year!

The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran. Tortured heroes are my jam and Lockwood fits the bill in spades. The man was kidnapped right after his wedding and sent to a penal colony under a false name. The wife he left behind is heartbroken, but instead of seeking the answers she wants, she asks only for an heir. Lots of feels in this one.

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs. As much as I love the Mercy Thompson books, I adore the Alpha and Omega spinoff books even more. Here, Charles has been put in charge of the pack in Bran’s absence. We get to spend some time with the Wildlings in this one and get a peek behind the curtain of Leah’s character. Anna and Charles are so great together. I can’t get enough of them.

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Review: Dark Queen by Faith Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

I was completely and utterly blown away by this book. Each installment in the Jane Yellowrock series has been good, but this one took it to an entirely new level. So much is happening here. I was completely on the edge of my seat. And it was a gamechanger, guys. I had so many feels.

This is the book where we finally get the big face-off between Leo’s people and the European vamps in their long awaited Blood Duel. A huge event like that—I totally expected to take up an entire book on its own, but it doesn’t. In fact, there were so many other things happening in the first half of the story that I was sure Faith Hunter was saving it for the next book. [Read more…]

Sara’s Favorites of 2017

2017 felt like a good year to hide under the covers with a good book. Here’s what did it for me this past year.

UF/Romantic Fantasy

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
The last (contracted) book in Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series hit it out of the park. Everything from the smoldering romance between Nevada and Rogan to the revelations of series secrets were flawless.
If you like detailed worldbuilding and original plots you should totally read this series. [Read more…]

Review: Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

There’s a lot happening in this third installment of Faith Hunter’s Soulwood series, so as with all of Hunter’s books, you’d better get comfortable and pay attention or you might miss something! Here, Nell is transitioning even deeper into her power at the same time she is making some decisions about her future that have been a long time coming. Specifically, she’s coming to grips with the place of her family and of the church in her life while considering whether she’s willing to open the door to love. (<– By the way, I vote yes.)

Nell is still a probationary officer with PsyLed, but she has come a long way. She knows her weapons and procedures, but more importantly, she understands people. One of her greatest gifts is in making connections; she understands what motivates people and why they behave the way they do–and beyond her ability to commune with the earth, it’s one of the biggest ways she helps her team. [Read more…]

Review: Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

In this 11th installments, the Jane Yellowrock series shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, the story just seems to keep getting deeper and more complex with each book. Don’t get me wrong, these books have never been light reading. But now it is more complicated than ever.

The story comes out swinging with plenty of action. Something or someone is raising twice dead vampires back from the grave. These revenant’s are mindless, powerful killers. Jane’s initial mission is to take them down. After that though, she needs to figure out how they are being reanimated in the first place. [Read more…]

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…]