I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This urban fantasy is a paperback edition that was published by ROC on April 2, 2013 and has 337 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Raven Cursed, An Apple for the Creature, Death's Rival, Kicking It, Blood in Her Veins, Mercy Blade, Shadow Rites, Bloodring, Seraphs
Sixth in the Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series revolving around a skinwalker who hunts vampires. This particular story is set back in Natchez.
I do recommend doing a re-read of Death’s Rival, 5, as a refresher on a number of points.
What a combo! Vampires, hunting, guns, weapons, magical mojo, and computers. It’s fun, fun action with an intense emotional hit. For Jane is almost beyond annoying in her obsession with how she done Rick wrong in Death’s Rival.
I wish Hunter had spent half as much time reminding us of how that leash got hooked on Beast in Death’s Rival with a reminder of Bruiser’s actions as she does on Jane’s whining about her own bad behavior. I spent more time trying to figure out what had happened and probably missed chunks of this story. I did crack up over the switch in Beast’s viewpoint. Major change in how she focused on Leo and Bruiser. For the most part, I did enjoy the tension between Jane and Rick; they did seem to resolve their issues too quickly, though.
Jane does seem somewhat out of character: moaning about Rick, terrified of Bruiser, wallowing in Eli and Alex, getting all homey-comfy. I’m confused…
I did not understand why Jane and Eli’s initial reception was so intense at Big H’s. Nor did I see the point of Bruiser joining the gang; seemed to be superfluous tension for the sake of the drama. Which is really sayin’ something since I just adore Bruiser and would be very put out if he weren’t in the story…hypocritical much?
Mmm, nice weapons!
Oh, LOL, I did love Eli’s little bombshell, and I enjoyed Jane’s confusion over the whole idea: the emotional side as well as the more practical, business aspects. They have such a comfortable give-and-take, that it’ll be fun to watch develop in future stories. I’m not sure how it’ll work out for him and Turpin, though.
The challenge presented by the Naturaleza — they are just nasty! Trying to figure out what they are, and how to kill them…wow. That part was really good, but I was frustrated with what seemed the mish-mash of events. There was too much.
Then there’s that loose thread about miscommunication between Big H and Leo…hmmm… As angry as Jane is with Leo, when she learns of his machinations, there’s nothing. She isn’t angry, sad, happy, nothing. No reaction. WTF? Very un-Jane-like.
Oh, LOL, it’s a crack-up with the “revelations” Eli and Jane have about each other’s approach to weapons and after-battle care!
Bit of back history on how the Naturleza and the Mithrans came to be as well as the salacious history about Natchez-Under-the-Hill.
Beast is tied metaphysically to Leo, and Jane is furious. It’s one reason why she accepts Big H’s contract to clean up the nest of Naturaleza vampires. She’s not too happy though about that plague comment.
Seems everyone is hiding something, some item on the agenda…and it just keeps coming back to bite Jane. It’s all about the cold iron. The three cursed trees. The blood and lightning.
Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee skinwalker, who merged with the soul of Beast, a mountain lion, years ago when Jane was five. Today she has a contract with Leo Pellisier in New Orleans to help his chief enforcer administer the law. Bitsa is her Harley Davidson. Elisi was her grandmother. Eli Younger, a former Army Ranger, and his younger brother, the Kid, um, Alex, who’s a wizard on the computer, are living and working with Jane. Bodat is Alex’s very teen-aged World of Warcraft friend, living on pizza and…pizza.
Rick LaFleur, Jane’s pissed-off, former boyfriend, works for PsyLED, the Homeland Security’s Psychometry Law Enforcement Division. His new panther shifter form is useful in investigating supernatural crimes. The peaceful and powerful Soul is just one of his supernatural partners. Brute, a white werewolf, is his other partner; Pea, the grindylow, is the watchdog. Monica is a woman in Rick’s life.
It’s Esmee‘s plantation house that got shot up in Death’s Rival. She may be old, but she is feisty and much too eager. And she’s been target shooting so she can help Jane. Jameson is the butler-cum-bodyguard her sons, Beau and Gordon, hired; Jameson’s wife is a licensed practical nurse. Buddy and Bubba are Esmee’s huntin’ buddies.
Leo Pellissier is Master of the City of New Orleans and the Southeast USA (minus Florida). He’s also Jane’s boss. Bruiser, a.k.a., George Dumas, is Leo’s Chief Enforcer and right-hand blood meal. And he wants Jane.
Hieronymous, a.k.a., Big H, is Master of the City of Natchez in Mississippi and under Leo. Bryson Ryder is a human CPA and a primo blood servant. Lotus is the Big H’s lover and heir; Zoltar and Narkis are his sons; Clark is his primo; Silandre is another special friend who has operated the Saloon for some time; and, Nostrana is a student who works for Silandre.
Francis Arundel is a captive Naturaleza. An easy, so to speak, way to learn more. Esther MacTavish is on Big H’s kill list; Charles Scarletti is her favorite scion.
The Natchez law enforcement
Sheriff Sylvia Turpin is annoyed with PsyLED and the vampire hunter, although Eli isn’t having any problems, LOL.
Camilla (Misha) Hopkins and Bobby Bates were at Bethel Nondenominational Christian Children’s Home with Jane when they were children. Bobby was slow, and Jane had always protected him. Now she’ll learn he doesn’t need that kind of protection, not this dowsing rod. Camilla, a reporter for the Torch News, is writing a book and wants Jane’s take. An opportunity that allows Jane to view her past with a different perspective. Charly is Misha’s dying daughter.
The witches and more
Kathyayini is half-Cherokee, part Choctaw, some Natchez, a bit white, and a spirit walker of dreams. Her son is married to an Acheé witch, one of a group of witches in the Acheé family. Evan Trueblood is a sorcerer and Molly Everhart Trueblood‘s husband. Both are still so angry with Jane over events in Raven Cursed, 4. Herman Hosenfeld is the preacher who believes Jane is a Christian warrior.
Aggie One Feather is a Cherokee shaman who has been guiding Jane. Reach is a computer genius and researcher who charges the big bucks for knowing everything.
Fame Vexatum vampires, a.k.a., Mithrans, are the beautiful vampires; Naturaleza vampires drink human blood from the tap, so to speak. Lucas Vazquez de Allyon, a.k.a., Death’s Rival, was Master of the City of Atlanta and greater Georgia, and his influence is still being felt.
The Cover and Title
The cover is deep lilac and black with Jane in her black leathers and an interesting handcuff-like bandolier. She’s carrying two long wooden stakes as she whirls in the swirling mist, ready to take on all comers in this moonlit street setting.
It’s the Blood Trade that creates all the problems in this particular story.