Book Review: Faith Hunter’s Raven Cursed

Posted April 9, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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.

Book Review: Faith Hunter’s Raven Cursed

Raven Cursed


Faith Hunter

urban fantasy that was published by ROC on January 3, 2012 and has 353 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include An Apple for the Creature, Death's Rival, Blood Trade, Kicking It, Blood in Her Veins, Mercy Blade, Shadow Rites, Bloodring, Seraphs

Fourth in the Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series revolving around Jane, a skinwalking, vamp killing, security expert who rides a Harley. This installment takes place in Asheville, North Carolina.

My Take

I do enjoy Jane’s exchanges with Beast. Beast has such a basic, simple approach to life.

Dang, this is one b-u-s-y story. There is so much going on that you almost want/need to speed it up just to find out what happens next and how it impinges on everything else! The only problem with that is ya’d finish too soon!!

I don’t understand Jane’s do-me/don’t-me with Rick. Hunter is not making this believable for me. It’s just words. I do think that Jane has made a huge mistake in forcing Kem to stay and teach Rick even if the International Association of Weres insisted Kem help. In Mercy Blade, Rick was so angry and now…it’s too easy, too accepting of the whole thing. Although it’s definitely not easy for or with Kem. A lot of challenging going on. And a lot of desire on Beast’s part!

Oh man, if you’re into architecture…you wanna read about Shadduck’s house. I want it! I want it bad!!

Guns-wise, Jane has a small arsenal from her matching Walther PK380s to her Benelli M4 tactical 12-gauge shotgun and a six-round Kahr P380 loaded with silver…besides the knife collection. And a S&W, X-frame Model 500 hand cannon.

Little Bits
Funny observation by Jane about vampires always comparing the taste of blood to wine. Jane wants to know why they never think of beer, bacon, or shrimp. I wish I knew who the stranger was who broke into Jane’s room. I dunno, it was a pretty big clue Angie gave up about the big green frog. I’d’a thought Jane would be more in tune…! And I don’t understand why Jane doesn’t call Angie back right away. She knows that Angie is prescient. That there are problems. WTF??! Nor does it make sense that Molly and Big Evan make Jane go back to Evie’s to get photographs. If the trust isn’t there, why aren’t they heading over there? It is a family responsibility. Not Jane’s.

Who the heck is the new wolf? I dunno, the whole Thomas Stevenson episode seems to be a filler although Mike and Dave sure like the payday. Hmmm, I take it back. It does give Grégoire a chance to lick up Jane’s blood. I’d like to know what it’ll cost Jane for Grégoire to have paid for Big Evan’s help with Rick.

Yeah, Jane is definitely off her feed in this one. There’s all this drama happening and the evil one is still loose and she actually comes down from her hotel room without effective weapons?

No. Sorry. Molly hasn’t a leg to stand on when it comes to her own family. Big Evan flipped his knife to Jane. And I sure haven’t seen Molly or her other sisters doing all that much to stop her. Especially with the crap that’s being pulled.

The Story

Jane is biking — on Fang, a loaner! — to this next job for Leo Pellissier. He’s been refusing to consider Lincoln Shaddock’s request to become a Master of the City for over 60 years and now he’s sending Grégoire, his second to treat with Shadduck.

It soon becomes a great deal more than a simple security job during what is essentially a contract negotiation when Jane’s personal life and past history intrudes: two werewolves are all that is left of a pack that attacked Rick — and looking for revenge; a witch going against her family and her own code of honor; a grindylow with issues; and, Rick trying to get through his first shift with an angry, kill-preferring leopard shifter.

And she’s getting grief from the various people on her side in her life from Leo to Brandon and Brian to Derek Lee and Big Evan. Then there’s the cops… And the legal ramifications, per the Vampira Carta, of Jane claiming to be Leo’s Enforcer…ooops…

The Characters

Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee skinwalker, a Tsalagi, “licensed and experienced in the security business”. Due to an unhappy mischance…and a bit of blood magic…Beast dwells within her as her other half. A mountain lion, puma. She can shapeshift into other animals provided she has the “snake” of that animal.

Derek Lee and his men have been hired to help with security. Ex-Marines with lots of skills. Aggie One Feather is a Cherokee elder who has been teaching Jane.

Rick LaFleur, a.k.a., Ricky Bo, was an undercover cop in New Orleans. Captured and tortured by rogue werewolves, now he’s in the Smoky Mountains waiting for his first shift. And being courted by various law enforcement agencies. He also inherits Pea, the grindylow from Mercy Blade, 3…awww. Kemnebi is a black were-leopard forced to babysit Rick. That it was a “rape” on an unwilling Rick doesn’t seem to count with Kem. Reach is a really expensive and really good computer hacker/researcher.

Molly is Jane’s earth witch friend with a family: Big Evan is her husband and a sorcerer with a major hate on for Jane; Angelica is Jane’s powerful young goddaughter and she loves Jane; and, young Evan who is terrified of what’s doin’.

There are seven sisters besides Molly and they run the Seven Sassy Sisters Herb Shop and Cafe. Evangelina Everhart is the oldest witch sister and the leader of their coven. She left New Orleans in the middle of vampire-witch negotiations and no one knows why. Carmen Miranda Everhart Newton is an air witch with a baby. The one Molly and Jane saved in Strange Brew: Signatures of the Dead. Regan and Amelia are wholly human. Boadacia and Elizabeth are twins and witches.

Hayyel is Angie’s angel guardian — Jane’s praying to him as well! Kalona Ayeliski is the Raven Mocker, one of the Sunnayi Edahi demons.

Leo Pellissier is the Blood Master of the City (MOC) of New Orleans. A Mithran — they don’t like being called vampires. And Jane is working for him on retainer. Katie is Leo’s heir and scheduled to handle this parley. Wrassler is one of Leo’s blood-servant security people and number two on security with Jane on this job. George Dumas, a.k.a., Bruiser, is Leo’s main blood-servant and he wants Jane. Grégoire of Clan Arceneau is Leo’s number two scion. And another enticement Leo is trying to use to get Jane into bed. Brandon (and a graduate of Tulane Law) and Brian Robere are twins and Grégoire’s blood-servants — bodyguards and food.

Lincoln Shaddock is the wanna-be master of Asheville. A frontiersman turned during the Civil War. Chin-Ho and Anling are both blood-servants. Dacy Mooney is his heir; Constantine Pickergill is the spare. It seems that Lincoln has discovered a way to shorten the devoveo for new vamps. Chen is his chief of security. Amy Lynn Brown is the miracle-vamp. Adelaide Mooney is a lawyer, Shaddock’s blood-servant, and Dacy Mooney’s daughter in life. She wants to be BFF’s with Jane. Thomas Steveson is a Naturaleza, a vampire who believes that he has a right to hunt and kill humans.

Mike Kohlenberger, a.k.a., Jedi Mike, a.k.a., Old Man of the River and Dave Crawford are both expert rafting guides with useful information on grindylow sightings. Sheriff Grizzard in Asheville hates Jane, partly because one of his detectives was killed on that rescue with Molly. Deputy Sam Orson is okay with her. Chief of Police Billy Chandler liked her less than Grizzard, if that’s possible. And then there’s Sheriff Loretta Scoggins of Madison County.

Jodi Richoux is Rick’s old boss on the NOPD. Gertruda is the Mercy Blade for the MOC of the Raleigh-Durham area; she is a magical being with powerful healing abilities.

Vampira Carta is a Magna Carta of vampire…sorry…Mithran rules of etiquette.

The Cover

The cover is somewhat cartoonish and with a very action-oriented and Cherokee-looking Jane in her black fighting leathers with the too-short length of hair in a braid and chains hanging down her back, knives bristling along the outside of her right thigh, wearing a studded leather collar and brown motorcycle boots. Her stance is at odds with the look on her face: darting forward, her right knee crooked high in the air and both arms bent at the elbow with guns pointing skywards, but she’s looking back at us with a calm, questioning face. The background is just plain spooky with a humongous full moon almost dead center and a murder of ravens clustered around the moon on bare branches. Maybe it’s supposed to be Evil Evie’s backyard…?