I'm a big fan of Khristine Hvam's work. I'll buy just about anything that's got her name attached to it but this book didn't allow for her talent to shine through. I was both disappointed and bored! Story wise it didn't grab my attention much, I would drift off like a short attention span toddler and all to often had to rewind to listen to whole passages again to try and make sense of what I was hearing. I was absolutely annoyed at the parts with the "beast's" speach. A series of too many broken statemements (tiresome, boring, wanting to fast forward through the whole thing..). Usually I listen to whole books in a matter of a day or two but I have been dragging this one out for almost 3 weeks.. I just couldn't get into it.
34-yr old African IT professional who relies on great audiobooks to get him through boring and repetitive work days. Also while driving!
What I enjoyed about this book:
- The in-depth back-stories about Jane's beast and her tribe, the level of detail and description invested in helping us understand her shape-shifting abilities and the effort made in maintaining the laws of physics by explaining where all the mass comes from and goes to when she shape-shifts into larger or smaller bodies.
- Having a main character with a rich Native American background and how this is gradually introduced into the story.
- The narration, it was excellent and I found Khristine Hvam's pronounciation of the Cherokee language authentic-sounding and a pleasure to listen to.
- The shape-shifting, 'nuff said, it was awesome and well-implemented.
- The vampire culture (the cemetery burial scene was great).
- The solving of the mystery of the killer, who it ended up being and what the repercussions will be.
What I didn't like and why I won't be reading any more books in the series:
- How much time and level of detail is spent describing her tea fetish, the scene in the restaurant where she goes to eat, her amazing dancing skills on the dancefloor on more than one occasion. This might just be because I find all this to be too 'girly' and therefore boring coming from a male perspective but I just couldn't get around the feeling that too much time was spent on such mundane things.
- How competent Jane is at seemingly everything she does which just strains credulity and is further compounded by how easily she dispatches her foes (the best characters are the ones that while powerful, are also fallible). I never got the sense that she was ever in any real danger.
AKA The Geeky Blogger
Listened for Fun (Audible)
Tracking Books Read Review
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.75
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 5.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: Skinwalker was not what I expected at all and I liked it! The split personality (for lack of a better description)of the lead character Jane made me not only like her but sort of understand her potential "love triangle" (though I am not a fan of them so I am hoping for quick resolution). I loved the mystery and side characters so very much (hoping we get more of the BF and daughter). This is a series I will stick with!
Audio Thoughts: Narrated By Khristine Hvam and she knocked it out the freaking park! I really felt she was Jane/Beast. She pretty much nailed the guys voices too. IMPRESSED! I already know this will be an audio series for me!
Love this story, the charaters in this story are very interesting which add to the storyline, K.Hvam is a wonderful narrator and makes the story. Jane Yellowrock a skinwalker doesn't know all her powers, as the series travels, you see JY grow, makes friends, finds love, loses love and finds herself.
Someone who doesn't mind subpar writing. Maybe Twilight fans.
It needed a heavy hand with the editing. There were glaring inconsistencies in character, such as the main character who shuns alcohol repeatedly, then says she metabolizes it preternaturally quickly, then declines a single glass of Champagne because she doesn't want to turn up to a party inebriated. The plot kept me listening to the book, because the story line itself was pretty solid. There were enough plot twists to keep me listening. I didn't mind the Agatha Cristie-style "the butler did it" ending, although it would have been a stronger book had she at least woven the culprit in better.
She had trouble switching from accent to accent, making clear delineations in which character was speaking. When characters with different accents had dialogue, or a conversation, it sounded like the narrator got tripped up remembered who had what accent. Her Southern accent was reasonably good, if not great. It was stronger during extended sections of Jane's monologue. Voices for Leo and Bruiser were inconsistent, like the narrator could not decide on an accent, and ended up with something entirely bogus. I'm not sure if she was trying to describe accents for people who had lived all over the world, but she didn't get them. Their voices were not credible on any level -- just irritating.
Irritation at the character inconsistencies; eagerness to find out where the story was going; irritation at the narrator falling short of expectations.
The author has a knack for storytelling, but needs to work on her writing to make it an enjoyable read/listen.
The reading was well done I have to say and the story itself is a well thought out idea but poorly executed. The parts where the author writes in the mind of the "beast" almost border on the absurd.
The writing as the beast really was very lacking and even the character of beast was poorly developed and never explored well.
She performed all the characters quite well and I particularly love the character of Tom.
I was a little reluctant to purchase this book, the review did not appeal to me, however I took the plunge, and loved it. The main character is strong, and I love her sense of humour. Beasts character adds another dimesion which I really enjoyed. I loved this so much, that my next 2 purchases were the next 2 books in the series.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
I read the reviews of this before starting it and agree with those who said the switch in point of view between Jane and Beast is jarring, and Beast's pattern of speech is annoying. It's not unbearable, but... it feels like a writer's cop-out to use choppy, partially complete sentences and key words as a method of Beast speech... I think it could have been written using "proper" English syntax/pacing with a bit of effort. But anyway, Beast doesn't show up all that often, so it doesn't become so annoying that you're tempted to stop reading. (Oh, and it's not consistent - as the book progresses, Beast's "language" improves, becomes less choppy and starts using personal pronouns.)
That being said, I quite liked the story - it's complex and the mystery isn't one you're likely to figure out on your own, but isn't a from-left-field one either. Jane is an interesting character and her past is filled in at a nice pace and with just enough details that you want to read more to find out more about her. I found the relationship between Beast and Jane the most interesting in the story... a bit of personality conflict here that makes them both feel like distinct characters.
There was no sex in the book (a change in a vampire book for sure) and I don't recall any foul language (doesn't mean there wasn't any, it just didn't strike me as out-of-place if there was). The narration was good.
In fact, I've just bought the rest of this series because I like how nice a change Jane is from the usual whiny-girl protagonist.
I found Skinwalker to be pretty average. I enjoyed the story, but compared to other similar urban fantasy series, this is not my favorite. I don't feel as drawn in to the plot or characters as I have in other books.
I have listened to books 1 and 2 in the Jane Yellowrock series. I liked the second one a bit better, but mostly because going into that book we already have met most of the major players and don't need as much world building or exposition. Skinwalker is a decent entrance into the Jane Yellowrock world and sets the stage well for the stories to come after.
I like the interactions between Jane and Leo in this book. There is an interesting culture clash, where Jane is self sufficient and pretty modern, where as Leo, as the vampire leader of New Orleans, is used to a more archaic form of respect and standards. In general, watching how Jane navigates in the vampire world of New Orleans when their society is often at odds with her leads to snappy conversations and tension filled moments.
No - I've got too many books to get through. I will definately start the rest of the series, though. I really enjoyed Khristine Hvam narration, she was outstanding.
There are quite a few modern day beast/magic personas out there. Maybe the Kitty Norville series, some things I like better in each, personally prefer Kitty, but that's just me and it's early in the series.
Took me 4-5 days, I just don't have the time to get it all in one sitting and I think I enjoy books more if it's not done in one sitting. This was a good book, but not that intense or spellbinding.
This is one of the better books by a new (for me) author. I know this is sexist, but I have a hard time with some of the female authors in that there are only two types of male characters - the super hottie (always the mysterious vampire), which is most of the ones the lead character deals with or the middle aged overweight asshole. I know there has to be chemistry and/or romance which can really enhance a good story, but the author kept that really light, not forcing the issue in book one and I appreciate that. Way too many romance novels in the fantasy genre for me.