I have been looking forward to reading the next installment of the Jane Yellowrock series since I finished the last one and it did not disappoint – once again the plot moved along at a high clip and there were still time for great and very real relationships with all the people surrounding Jane.
I have played a lot of Vampire the Masquerade (oWoD) in high school and the vampire society in Jane Yellowrock reminds me of the vampire society in Vampire the Masquerade, but to me Faith Hunter’s version just works a lot better and is generally more interesting. Her vampires have local clanes based on the local bloodlines but they still owe loyalty to the master of the city. It is a very feudal system where the masters of the clans and of the city provides for his/her people and his vampires owes him loyalty and is under his command. Unlike in Vampire the Masquerade the vampires in Jane Yellowrock has a belief system with priestess – we as readers don’t quite know what the beliefs are because the story isn’t told from the vampire’s point of view. The vampires are very organised, they have laws, a governing body (a council of some sort) and they are very much a society.
I also really enjoy that the vampires are really alien and dangerous. They are monsters and predators, but they are monsters who were human. Some of them are very sympathetic, a lot of them are really sexy and they are all quite scary. It is the kind of vampires I really like.
The were-animals however are very tribal, which I find very appropriate for were-animals. They live in much smaller groups with a single leader, warriors, a shaman etc. And the witches have their own society as well.
Jane Yellowrock navigates all of those as well as the human society that they all live as part of. She works for the vampires, deals with the human polices, are friends with were-animals and witches alike. And that all really works. Some of the groups we as readers don’t know much about yet and others like the vampires are a huge part of the book series. The impressive part is how well that works in this book series. I find all of the societies that are presented believable. People with that kind of powers could choose to organize like that. It is also impressive that I never find it confusing to follow Jane from group to group.
I adore the relationships in this series. Some of these relationships are professional, some romantic, some are friendships, some antagonistic while other are way more complicated than that. Jane gets to act as “aunt” for Molly’s children in this book and her relationship and interactions with those children are just heartwarming. It is not a kind of relationship we see a lot in urban fantasy so it is really lovely that it got some space in this book. I also really enjoy Jane’s romantic interactions with some of the males (and yeah for that not being every male she runs into). The romance plot never get to take over the story but it still gets enough page-space to develop and for me to care about it. I would however like to see her in a longer-term relationship soon.
Another aspect of the relationship that I enjoy is the professional relationships she gets to have with the other security personnel. The snarky, but respectful banter is really enjoyable. I love that her colleges does respect her and do not treat her as anything less that an equal for her being a woman. She is a very capable security expect and get treated as such, for all that they do tease her.
Jane got to grow a lot as a character in this story as in the other stories a lot of that growth was helped by soul journeys brought on by a native american woman who is kind of her priestess. I really love their relationship as well, how the woman shift back and forth between being her priestess/shaman and just a middle aged woman when she isn’t performing her function as a shaman for Jane.
I did find myself pulled out of the plot every now and then by trying to figure out how all the puzzle pieces fit together. There was a lot of plot-threads going on at the same time and as a reader you know that they have to come together somehow so I find myself trying to piece that together. I think I would like to see a few unrelated events going on at the same time next time just to throw me off a little bit.
I didn’t have as emotional a response to this book as I had to some of the other in the series, probably because I have been much more tired while reading it than I have been while listening to the other in the series. I just didn’t have the energy to be emotionally invested in it.
As I started by saying I did really enjoy the story. It really entertained me and I think that Jane is one of the best urban fantasy heroines from the “angry trousers” school.
The authors: female, white, USA
The protagonist: Jane Yellowrock, strait, poc: Cherokee, shapeshifter, vampire hunter/security expect, able-bodied.
Setting: New Orleans, present day