I'm an RN who loves listening to books on my commute in the D.C. area, not too mention at other times if they are really good! There is nothing like a really good book!
I had just finished the last of Kim Harrison's witch books and really wanted to read another strong female character. Then, I saw she reviewed this book and thought I'd try it. For me at the beginning it seemed a little slow, I wasn't sure I liked the character and almost put it down. But, I needed something to listen to on my commute and powered through. I am so glad I did! What I like about Faith Hunter's writing is she knows how to write suspense, action, and characters. The more you read, the more you peel back another layer of Jane/Beast, and see what she's capable of. I feel like I'm watching a movie instead of listening to a book because of all the detail she puts into the writing as well.
Just be aware that if you are squeamish about descriptions of blood and gore, this book might not be for you. However, if you are a fan of a well written, story about a female Vampire Hunter who occasionally has to fight other kinds of supernaturals in pretty graphic fashion you'll probably like this book a lot. I'm not so much into the gore, but the story around it is very well written. I love the voice she gives Beast too. I plan on reading the series, and am finishing the 3rd book today.
The simple jutting words are Beasts voice. After you understand that its an awesome series. Action packed amd a lot like Laurel k. Hamilton series Amita Blake without all the sex.
This was actually a good story and if I were reading it on the page of a book, I would have an easier time overlooking the spelling errors but when peoples names are butchered so badly by the reader, it's like hearing someone scratch a blackboard. Was it too much for the author and the reader to go to Louisiana and actually do research there? Her cajun accent was sad and denigrating. How about calling a library in Louisiana and asking to speak to the Librarian about spelling of the french names and maybe even the pronunciation. You can get a lot of it on Google, for heavens sake. Next time, hire Davina Porter. SHE can do any accent.
Here's a clue: It isn't Fonteneau, it's Fontenot and it's pronounced Font-know,
It isn't Arceneau, it's Arceneaux and it's pronounced Ar-sin-oh, not Arc-ken-new.
Zydeco is not pronounced zy-DECK-oh. The accent is on the first syllable. ZY-deck-oh. It doesn't rhyme with gecko.
This is nothing short of disrespect for the people of Louisiana on the part of the author and the reader. Do your homework, people! I'm not even from Louisiana and I was offended. Geeez.
Yes, I'm going to read them all but I don't appreciate the lack of attention to this particular detail.
Wild, Spunky, and Romantic
This is the third time I have listen to this book.... I love the interaction between Jane and all the men that come into her life..
She becomes the characters.
I always get caught up in all the emotions of Jane...
THIRD TIME AND STILL AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME...... LOVE THIS SERIES....
I did a "blind purchase" of this book during an audible sale back in Jan. 2013 and realized that I couldn't tolerate KH's (IMO) "resoundingly overdone southern accent" past a few minutes! LOL By Oct. 2014, I forced myself to stick with listening to it, and was glad that I did! This book actually became a strong topic of conversation with my friends because we liked it, and hated it at the same time! I do recommend the whole series, because both the writing and the narration are developed into an interesting story. By the time I got to book 6 I was counting the Faith Hunter/Khristine Hvam team amongst my favorite paranormal team ups! If you like Kresley Cole/ Robert Petkoff, Diana Galbadon/Davina Porter, Jeanine Frost/Tavia Gilbert, and Molly Harper/Amanda Ronconi you will like this team too!
I read a lot of fiction and quite a bit of it would be considered "classic." When I need a break and just want to read something for pure entertainment, I have a few series I read. The Jane Yellowrock series is one of them. It reminds me of a television series from the "WB," filled with twenty-somethings and a dash of the paranormal. Sexy, supernatural heroine? Check. Supernatural enemies and allies? Check. Action? Check. Sex? Check. Is it high prose? No, but who cares. It's entertaining as all get-out. Last, but not least, Khristine Hvam has the cutest little southern drawl. She's the perfect narrator for the series.
I really liked the main character Jane, and her interesting heritage.
I thought the narrator did a great job.
Yes, and it already has 6 or 7 follow-ups
This kept popping up in my recommended column. After suffering through the god-awful Sookie Stackhouse series (first few books were good, the rest awful but i guess I'm a masochist and a sucker for something on sale), I figured this was another romance book disguised as fantasy. It was anything but. While it certainly has it's moments of sexual tension, it was super solid story, well researched, and interesting. The narrator is wonderful.
I've burned through the first three already and well into the fourth. Don't resist Jane and Beast. You'll love her. And maybe Bruiser too. ;)
Reviewing Romance & Urban Fantasy
“I figured even the most jaded and cynical inhabitant might report a bloody girl in a party dress carrying a severed head by its hair.” ~ Jane
I’ve read few shifter/were books where the person has an inner monologue with their beast and I love it when it happens. Faith Hunter does a fantastic job at showing the two different being that share the same skin. Skinwalker doesn’t have one heroine but two, Jane the woman and her big cat.
Jane is a shifter which means she can shift into any animal but her true beast is a large cat and when Jane picks a different animal, to add her in hunt for a rogue vampire, her big cat is not happy. Jane’s not sure how she and her beast became one because she doesn’t remember her childhood before age 12 where she was found wandering out of the woods. There are jokes through the book that she was raised by wolves.
Skinwalker takes place in New Orleans where Jane has taken a job to hunt down and terminate a rouge vampire. The only vamps that Jane has really interacted with are the ones she kills as part of her job. So when she is hired by and has to work with the local vampire council she has to change some of her thinking about vamps. Like not calling them vamps, it’s a racial slur. She also starts seeing that they are not all monsters. Some of them can even be kind of sexy….
Jane also find her self working a with a local “Joe”, a human by the name of Rick and like the vampires he is more than meets the eye.
In true UF fashion there’s no hot sweaty monkey sex but there is a potential for a love triangle set up. Jane is attracted to both the human and the vampire. Her cat is also interest in both men for different reasons. I’ll keep reading to see which guy wins the attention of both woman and cat.
If you’re looking for a well written story about an Über kick ass heroine that can land on her feet as her out look on the “enemy” is changing you will love Skinwalker.
Narration Note: Khristine Hvam does an amazing good with the narration of Skinwalker. Only after a couple of chapters I could not picture anyone else bring Jane to life. She also does a great job with the male voices.
This was a tough book for me -- I had to restart it a few times and I ended up playing much of it at 1.25x or 1.5x speed. That said, I found myself enjoying it quite a bit in places, and I I not only finished the book but went on to listen to the next two in the series.
So. I'm not a fan and I have several criticisms but I do think the series has merit.
Briefly, the story is something of a female power fantasy, in a world with various strong non-human intelligent species. The main character, Jane Yellowrock, is supernaturally gifted, several steps above human norm in terms of strength, speed etc. due to her "skinwalker" origins but she is not apex by any means. She puts her talents to use as a specialized vampire hunter in a society where vampires enjoy ambiguous legal status and pose various levels of threat. She's described as athletic, tall, handsome or striking, but not pretty. She rides a Harley, she totes a shotgun, carries knives and stakes in every place imaginable, eats anything she wants (and she mostly wants bloody meat), enjoys a sassy attitude to those around her regardless of power or status and loves flirting with the boys.
The series slowly reveals the supernatural origins of the character in ways that drive plot, so I'll say little to avoid spoiling the surprises. Very briefly though, Jane is a skin walker (which you can get from the book's title), which is a type of native american shape shifter. She has a favored shape and (minor spoiler) an animal spirit cohabiting her body, and she plays these to her advantage as she works to unravel various mysteries and hunt her quarry. The dialog and perspective shift back and forth throughout the book between Jane and her animal spirit, mostly effectively. The pacing is often deliberate (or perhaps even slow), the action is limited, and the focus often shifts between the brutal supernatural and the just plain girly (e.g. clothing shopping and dancing). The mysteries themselves are fairly unpredictable, partly because the author withholds key details until late in each story, but I found myself enjoying that aspect. (Checkov's gun may be the usual mode, but I think reality tends more to the unpredictable.) The sexual content is limited but Jane does spend her time admiring the men.
Perhaps my biggest disappointment was the main character. I could never quite buy Jane Yellowrock, bounty hunter extraordinary. Not because of gender, physical or supernatural abilities (which are powerful in somewhat subtle ways), but because the successes she enjoys seem to be about two parts luck, one part association with others equally (or more) competent than herself, and only one part her own skill. And despite that she is almost insufferably cocky. I found myself gritting my teeth at times wondering why she wasn't getting shot at, cut or fanged more often. By her friends even. True enough, by book three you see some examples of serious skill to back up the attitude. I just couldn't figure how Jane Yellowrock ever lived through the first two books.
That said I found myself enjoying the book and even the main character, at least whenever she wasn't striking a pose. The secondary characters and background details are interesting and occasionally fascinating. The world is alive with differences both subtly and unsubtly different than other books in the same genre. The origin aspects are also interesting. (Except the whole shapeshifting DNA/RNA thing. Tip to authors: please don't invoke biologically illogical and unnecessary pseudo-science. You already had me at "magic".)
Anyway, despite my criticisms above, I have a fair amount of grudging respect for the book and the author, Faith Hunter. A lot of time and attention went into these books and I think you'll find a world worth getting to know and mostly enjoyable.
As for the reading, Khristine Hvam does a professional job narrating the book. Unfortunately, though, her spot-on reading renders the main character just as cocky and callow as the author wrote her, which led to some tooth enamel loss on my part, per my earlier comments. Apart from that though, I found her reading enjoyable.
Bottom line: if you are into darker urban fantasy, there is a fair amount new and interesting here, and the audio book has enjoyable parts. So, please consider a read.