Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 368pp
(Received for an honest review from Roc)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Faith Hunter on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Books in the Series: Skinwalker (2009), Blood Cross (2010), Mercy Blade (2011) Raven Cursed (2012)
CoverArt: Click on the picture for a larger, clearer image of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Raven Cursed
Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker and a vampire killer for hire. But lately instead of just staying vampires, she's been working for them...
The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to Leo Pellissier, vampire Master of the City of New Orleans - and Jane's boss - they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, Leo sends and envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: Jane.
But when a group of local campers is attacked by something supernatural, Jane goes from escort to investigator. It's up to her to keep peace in the region, and unless she wants to face a very angry vampire Master, Jane will have to work overtime to find the killer. It's a good thing she's worth every penny...
Raven Cursed is the fourth book in the Jane Yellowrock series written by Faith Hunter. This series just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. Hunter is a master at divulging just enough information to keep readers coming back for more with this series. A lot of questions get answered in this book, but a bunch of new ones pop up, that's what makes it so addicting. Hunter has an imagination to die for and her books are full of vivid imagery and super close attention to detail. This author does her homework and it shows!
One of the things that I really enjoy about this series is the fact that the author dots her i's and crosses her t's. She knows New Orleans and she knows the mountains of North Carolina, right down to street names, hotels and local cuisine. She obviously does her research when it comes to her writing and she isn't pushy with her knowledge. She intersperses little details here and there but doesn't overwhelm the reader with too much unnecessary information. It's a delicate balance that works well for Faith Hunter.
Jane is her typical hard-headed self in Raven Cursed. She has a tendency to blame herself for just about everything that happens and there are times I just shake my head and want to throttle her... LOL! But I think that's what makes her such a good character, she's only human... but she's not. She takes on the characteristics of a normal gal, beats herself up over stuff, gets emotional, you know the type. But when push comes to shove, she's gonna kick some serious butt. She is one of my favorite UF heroines.
If you are just starting the series, it is one that I recommend you start at the beginning. It may be a little hard to follow the vamp politics and the dynamics of the witches and weres that goes on in this book. Jane is on a mission to keep the peace as a new vampire is establishing his clan within Leo's territory. So the setting for this one is North Carolina as opposed to the normal setting of New Orleans. I'll admit that New Orleans is more interesting than Asheville, but a lot of cool stuff goes on in this book, including Evie's mixing it up with some dark magic and Jane's friend Molly and her family may be targets of rampaging weres. There's a lot going on in this book and the action is thumping.
I loved the interactions between Jane and Beast. Beast almost takes on a more human like quality in this book. Beast is Jane's alter-ego of sorts. As a skinwalker she is a shapeshifter but she's also able to communicate with her other self and I love that relationship between her two halves. It's one of the things that really makes this series different and interesting.
This series has some romantic elements but it's definitely still urban fantasy. It's a one of my favorites in the genre and I think readers who are new to the genre would really like it. Jane is a great heroine and the characters she has at her back like Rick, Bruiser, Leo and Molly make quite a team. Faith Hunter writes a very satisfying book, with lots of visual imagery. She's very descriptive and has an amazing imagination. This isn't one you're going to want to miss if you like UF or if you think you might want to try it!
Raven Cursed is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Faith Hunter was born in Louisiana and raised all over the South. She writes full-time in a hospital lab (for the benefits), tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelery making, orchids, skulls, Class III white-water kayaking, and writing.
Many of the orchid pics on her facebook fan page show skulls juxtaposed with orchid blooms; the bones are from roadkill prepared by taxidermists or a pall named Mud. In her collection is a fox skull, a cat skull, a dog skull, a goat skull (that is unfortunately, falling apart), a cow skull, and the jawbone of an ass. She would love to have the thigh bone and skull of an African lion (one that died of old-age of course) and a mountain lion skull (ditto on the old-age death) and is looking for a wild boar skull, complete with tusks.
She and her husband own thirteen kayaks at last count, and love to RV, traveling with their dogs to white-water rives all over the Southeast.