Reading: Jane Yellowrock short stories

yellowrock

Title: WeSa and the Lumber KingThe Early YearsCat TatsKitsHaintsSignatures of the DeadFirst SightDance MasterCajun With FangsBeneath a Bloody MoonBlack Water
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock
Genre: Urban fantasy

This is the part of my 100 Short Stories in 2014 challenge.

Today I had to do some sewing on the skirt I will be wearing to Dragenfest this summer. It needed hemming which I wanted to do by hand. There is about 3 meter of fabric in the skirt so it has taken some time and I got the bright idea to listen to an audiobook while doing the hemming. I browsed around on Audible.

I was lucky enough to come across a bunch of really cheap (0,79$ no matter the length) short story audio books about Jane Yellowrock, how happens to be one of my favourite urban fantasy protagonists (read my review of the newest book here). So of course I grabbed the whole stack.

They are all narrated by Khristine Hvam who always does a wonderful job. She narrates the stories with a slight southern accent. She never overdoes it but to me it is very appropriate for the characters and the setting which tend to be the south and the south-western american states.

Part of what makes these interesting is the fact that they are all told from different points of view. Some are told in Jane’s voice, which others aren’t. The stories add a LOT of depth to the characterisation of the characters and relationships in the books. The stories take place before and in between the books in those open gaps that Hunter tend to leave in her stories.

WeSa and the Lumber King

POV: Beast
This first story is just 10 minutes long, so I am very happy that it was so cheap or I would have felt cheated. However the short length really works because it is told in Beast’s voice. Beast does not talk in fully formed sentences, which is extremely effective, but gets tiring after a while. This story is set very early before the books. In the period where beast is in control. We get to see how that period from Beast’s point of view. Hunter manages to make Beast’s voice totally nonhuman while still being relatable. I don’t think I have heard flash fiction before, but this must be short enough to be that. It is a good story, but not one I felt I had missed before listing to it.

The Early Years

POV: Jane Yellowrock
This story is the earliest story we have seen so far from Jane’s point of view. She is leaving the children’s home to go on her “spirit quest” to find the out if her one memory from the time “before” is real. She says goodbye to the only home she remembers to go into the world as an adult. I got the sense that Jane already had a great confidence in herself – even at this early stage but she is definitely more vulnerable then later on. Unlike the first story this was one that I felt filled a hole in the storyline. I would love to read a story of her first day as a trainee at the security firm.

Haints

POV: Molly
This is the story of one of the first times Molly and Jane worked together on a professional job. It is a story as much about their growing relationship as it is about the plot in the story (which was interesting to be sure). I really liked the interplay between Molly, Jane and Even. I was once again struck by just how well written these stories are. The descriptions are almost poetic without ever bugging the stories down or turning into purple prose. I found the story very enjoyable and it makes me want more, much more (ordering 5 more stories as I write these reviews).

Kits

POV: Jane
This is the story of Jane saving Angie-baby from her own powers and the start of Molly and Jane’s strong friendship. This is a story that has been alluded to throughout the series so it was great to finally see it in action. It is also a story from very early in Jane’s career which I appreciate. I love how all of these stories are all about the relationships rather than about plot or action – though they often have that as well.

First Sight

POV: Bruiser
This is another piece of flash fiction (10 min). It is the story of Bruiser’s first run in with Jane, told from his point of view. It doesn’t have the depth that I sometime see in flash fiction, however it does lay the groundwork for so much of Bruiser’s and Jane’s relationship from then on.

Cat Tats

POV: Rick LaFleur
This is the story of how Rick got his huge cat tattoos and how he got bound to the big cats. It is another story that has been alluded to over the series, so again nice to get to read it. Rick’s voice is different from Jane’s – less angry and with less humor – but just as driven, and it is an enjoyable read.

Signatures of the Dead

POV: Morry
Molly and Jane go vampire hunting for the first time together. It’s a mess. Again this story is all about relationship building. This is another story that has been hinted at so many times that it was great to finally get the whole story.

Dance Master

POV: Bruiser
Bruiser has a problem and calls in Jane. It is a very sensual story and it is a story of longing. It is clearly a critical point in the relationship between Bruiser and his master as well as Bruiser’s relationship with Jane.

Cajun With Fangs

POV: Jane
You take vampires, witches and star crossed lovers and mix them into a pot and this story is what you get. Quite entertaining, but not the most memorable of stories.

Beneath a Bloody Moon

POV: Jane
Length: Novelletta (3 hours)
Jane and the Young brothers have taken a job in a small town down in south Louisiana. The town has bad weres hanging around, terrorising the area.  The brothers, Rick and Jane together with Rick’s possy beat the shit out of the weres. I was well entertained while doing chores today, but the story wasn’t super memorable. But as always the relationship part of the story was at least as enjoyable as the action.

The stats

Published: 2013 by Audible Frontiers
Read: June 18th 2013 to ?
Format: Audiobook

The authors: female, white, USA
The protagonist: Jane Yellowrock, strait, poc: Cherokee, shapeshifter, vampire hunter/security expect, able-bodied.

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