Author: Faith Hunter
Release date: May 22, 2009
Source: Bought for Kindle
Series: Jane Yellowrock #1
Summary: (from Goodreads) As a freelance skinwalker, Jane Yellowrock spends most of her time hunting down snarling vampires. In her latest gig, however, this Cherokee stalker receives a call from an unexpected client: New Orleans vampire madam Katherine Fontaneau wants Jane's help in "neutralizing" a rogue of her species who has been slaughtering other vampires.
First impressions: I was really looking forward to reading this book. My mom recommended it to me after I said how much I liked the Mercy Thompson books, and in this series Jane Yellowrock shapeshifts into a cougar. A cougar! For realsies. I was super psyched, and the opening sucked me in right away.
Lasting impressions: Disappointing. Maybe I hyped it up too much. Maybe it just wasn't my kind of story. Either way, I ended up not enjoying this one as much as I had hoped.
Conflicting impressions: The major thing that didn't work for me was the transition into Beast's head. Jane shifts into a cougar she calls Beast, and when she does her mind becomes the actual cougar's, which means lots of stilted phrasing and a limited vocabulary. I found this too distracting and I really struggled to get through those sections.
Overall impressions: There were plenty of things I liked about this book, too. New Orleans becomes almost a character itself. The supporting characters are well developed and Jane is an interesting and independent person who is pretty badass. She's not sure how she and Beast came to be, well, melded (for lack of a better word), and she struggles to control her at times. She can feel Beast raging around and clawing her insides. It's a pretty unique characterization that I enjoyed.
It was the plot that gave me troubles, along with Beast's voice. I found the story overly complex and the mystery confusing. I still couldn't tell you what happened or who the bad guy was, other than that Jane and Beast ran around a lot, talked to a lot of people, and were hired by vampires to hunt down a rogue. Then stuff happens and her hunt is thwarted and eventually (I think) she figures out whodunit.
It's been a while since I finished reading it, so in the interest of full disclosure, it could just be my aging memory that's tripping me up. Overall, though, I didn't find the story clear or compelling enough to keep my interest for long, particularly when Beast was roaming. I encourage you to give it a try if you like urban fantasy, just beware the cougar.
Rating: 3/5 stars