Book Review: Faith Hunter’s Death’s Rival

Posted December 7, 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 Death’s Rival

Death's Rival


Faith Hunter

urban fantasy that was published by ROC on October 2; 2012 and has 336 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

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

Fifth in the Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series based in New Orleans and revolving around a skinwalker who works security for a kiss of vampires.

My Take

Arghhhh!!! I do NOT want to have to wait until April 2 for Blood Trade. No…don’t make me!! Faith Hunter, you are so unfair leaving us as you did in Death’s Rival!

This was so excellent! Resolves that Rick/Jane question that’s been floating around GR! Even as it opens some new ones. We learn about a very formative episode in Jane’s childhood and the truth about her skinwalker nature is leaking badly. Bruiser’s recovery has Jane asking questions about his new nature. And what does that mental chain mean for Beast?

Beast certainly has the hots for some of the men in Jane’s life! And I do not understand why everyone thinks that Rick and Jane broke up. It just doesn’t read that way to me. Then there’s Leo’s screw up with Jane after that attack on her. And, LOL, there’s Jane-the-Parent. I did enjoy the maneuvering Jane set up to get Kid Stinky to take a shower!

There is no end to the action or betrayals in this one. Yet, even with the betrayals, there are some bright spots.

Faith Hunter is an amazing writer. I haven’t read anything of hers that I haven’t loved and Death’s Rival is no exception! Hunter has taken the vampire genre and given it a twist. I particularly like the trauma she’s putting Bruiser through! Jerk.

Aggie is certainly forcing Jane to face up to the consequences of her choices and that’s a hard bit of real life we don’t always find in a novel. It gives us all something to think about.

The Story

It’s a dangerous trip Jane is making to collect blood samples from the affected Masters of the City. Only, it’s not the dangers Jane thought. There has to be a leak back in New Orleans and Jane is determined to prevent more people from dying.

But the Big Bad Vamp is determined. He’s also nuts and willing to lie, cheat, and steal to get what he wants.

The Characters

Jane Yellowrock is both Cherokee and a skinwalker with Beast as her primary alter ego. Originally a bounty hunter taking down vampires, she had contracted with Leo Pellissier to do his security. When the retainer ran out, so did Jane. Until this new problem cropped up because Jane claimed she was Leo’s Enforcer. Bitsa is her chopped Harley. Reach is an amazingly fast and thorough researcher Jane uses. Aggie One Feather is a Cherokee elder who has been aiding Jane in her search for her past. Eli Younger and his brother Alex are sent by Derek to work for Jane. Eli is a former U.S. Ranger who is pretty handy with a hammer and saw; Alex is a computer expert determined to be better than Reach. They move in with Jane and merge in this story to become a unit, set up a business. Daniel is Jane’s sensei.

Rick LaFleur is a former undercover cop with NOPD until he was bitten. Now he’s a member of Psychometry Law Enforcement (PsyLED), a division of Homeland Security. Jane keeps claiming she’s lost him, but he’s simply moved into a arm of law enforcement that will accept his shifter nature. With Jane working for Leo, a thug essentially, it makes their relationship difficult. The rest of his unit with PsyLED includes a stuck werewolf, Brute, who hates him; Pea, a juvenile grindylow who will destroy anyone who gets too close to Rick; and, Soul, his supervisor.

Bruiser, a.k.a., George Dumas, has a blood bond with Leo and is his real Enforcer, blood servant, plaything, right-hand man; he’s also well-nuanced in politics. Leonard Pellissier is the Master of the City (MOC) in New Orleans as well as the head of the Southeastern U.S. Tory is the lucky steward aboard Leo’s Bombardier Learjet 85; Flyboy Dan is the unlucky pilot. Girrard DiMercy is Leo’s Mercy Blade (see Mercy Blade). Koun and Wrassler are blood-servants. Amitee Marchand is Leo’s former daughter-in-law. Innara and her anamchara Jena are the mind-joined leaders of Clan Bouvier and bound to Leo. Grégoire is Leo’s second heir. Bethany Salazar y Medina is a vamp priestess. Sabina Delgado y Aguilar is an older outclan priestess who lives in the vamp graveyard. A graveyard?? For vampires?? She’s also an emissary of the Outclan Council of Mithrans.

Katie, Leo’s heir, is a madam with one of the oldest still-operating brothels in New Orleans, Katie’s Ladies. Tom, a.k.a., Troll, is a blood servant. Deon is her three-star chef. Christie is one of the ladies who specializes in kinky BDSM. Scary, huh? I thought regular BDSM was fairly kinky…

Derek Lee, a.k.a., V. Lee’s Surrender, is second-in-command of Leo’s security; Jane thinks he’s hers, but he’s actually Leo’s. Derek’s old Vodka crew are all from the same unit and includes: Martini, Lime Rickey, Chi-Chi, Hi-Fi, Sunrise, and Angel Tit (Corporal Joran Stevens). The new Tequila crew includes: Sunrise, Cheek Sneak, Grenada, Blue Voodoo, El Diablo, and Firecracker. Guys picked from different military units.

Of the vampires infected and forced to surrender
Dacey Mooney is Lincoln Shaddock‘s heir (he’s the head of the Asheville vamps, but bound to Leo); Adelaide is Dacey’s daughter. Rosanne Romanello is the former MOC in Sedona. She’s one of Leo’s. Nicolas Nivikov is her heir and lover. Hieronymus is the vamp in Mississippi who should have reported to Leo.

Jodi Richoux is Jane’s contact with the NOPD supernatural crimes unit. She’s about to become acquainted with Sophie Gallaud.

Ramondo Pitri is the the Enforcer Jane killed when he was in her hotel room rummaging through her stuff. With a silenced gun out and ready and to use (Raven Cursed). Greyson Labs was paying his freight. Lucas Vazquez de Allyon owns the companies and practices Naturaleza. He owns most of Georgia and that part of the Southeastern states that Leo doesn’t claim. He’s also specialized in draining any skinwalker he could find. Hellene de Romanova is his heir; Adam Jonas is his secundo; and, Jude Talley is his Enforcer. Corpse, a.k.a., Callan, is one of the BBV’s vamps captured in the firefight at Leo’s house who rolls over.

Hayyel is the angel who rescued Jane/Beast in Raven Cursed. Blood-Call is a vampire escort service. The Vampira Carta is a contract of laws by which vampires abide. Unless you’re de Allyon.

The Cover and Title

The cover is gold and browns with a deep brownish gold of stylized bats forming a left border against a black background that bleeds out to create a top and bottom band that gradates inward to the textured golds and brighter yellows that create the park and stream in which we find a posed Jane, sword in hand and ready to slash the next comer. Her long hair is tangled and wet as are her black and shiny leather pants while the interestingly cut top she’s wearing is showing cleavage she’d never notice.

The title is all about the very bad boy who is Death’s Rival.