Faith Hunter is so cool, and I can't get enough of this series! Each time a new Jane Yellowrock book comes out, I have to fight the urge to drop what I'm reading and dig in. So far, I each book has been better than the last, and currently, Ms. Hunter is three for three. Gushing aside, fans of early Anita Blake and The Hollows series should eat these up. Faith Hunter manages to weave magic, skinwalker lore, romance, weres, and a heaping helping of vamp politics up against the storied history of a supernaturally infused New Orleans. Her lush descriptions of New Orleans sights, sounds, and smells only enhance Jane's story and pulls you right it. I swear, the air is getting humid just thinking about it! For those not familiar with the series, Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker, able to shift into various animal forms, although her main form is of the big cat variety. She shares consciousness with the animal that she calls Beast. Jane is also a PI and licensed rogue vamp hunter, mainly in the employ of the New Orleans MOC (Master of the City), Leo Pellisier. She has been tasked with handling security for Leo and his vamps while welcoming a group of weres to the city that have recently "come out" to the world. Vamps have been "out" for awhile, and Leo and Co. hope to create a peaceful accord with the big cats. Things seem to be going somewhat smoothly until a group of werewolves crash the party and all hell breaks loose, and a new guy is in town, claiming to be Leo's Mercy Blade.
Poor Jane can't seem to get a break. In addition to this massive security breach, her new lover and undercover cop, Rick LeFleur has gone missing while undercover, and Jane is asked by a colleague of his to track him down. All of this while fighting an ongoing attraction to Leo's blood servant, the super hot "Bruiser", who's most definitely out to claim Jane as his own. Jane has a propensity for nicknaming certain individuals, and it's just one of the things I love about this strong and fascinating heroine. The novels are told from Jane's point of view and I always enjoy Beast's POV when she's in animal form. The author deftly juggles multiple story lines, without ever becoming confusing, and her action scenes are top notch. If you haven't yet discovered this wonderful series, you're in for a treat!...more
It’s really difficult to review a book in a series, unless it’s the first, without giving some things away. That said, I’m going to keep this review as spoiler free as possible.
In The Iron Queen, we rejoin Meghan and Ash after they’ve been exiled from Faery as a result of Ash declaring his love for Meghan. They return to Meghan’s home only to be attacked by thugs sent from the Iron Court and she realizes she cannot stay, or her family would be in grave danger. The characters we love from Iron King and Iron Daughter are all here, and there’s still a bit of a love triangle with Meghan, Ash, and Puck, although Ash will make a promise that will change things between him and Meghan forever. When they get word that the Winter and Summer Courts have banded together to fight the invasion of the Iron Court and the end of the Nevernever, Meghan is made an offer that she can’t refuse, but to accept it could cost her not only her life, but the lives of the ones she cherishes the most. In a race against time, Meghan and her friends must enter the Iron realm and defeat the Iron King, or she will lose the people, and the world, she’s come to love so much.
The novel moves right along with Meghan’s first person narrative, and as usual Ms. Kagawa’s prose flows beautiful and lush across the page, taking us into Meghan’s adventure as if we were by her side. Family secrets are revealed and battles are fought on Faery battlegrounds while the fate of an entire world hangs in the balance. Meghan has to gather every bit of strength she has to journey into the Iron realm and kill the false king. Along the way she’ll meet new friends, fight her way through a steampunk wasteland filled with magma lakes and mountains of lost things, iron fey attacks, and traitorous Winter fey, all while keeping her friends safe, and not losing herself in the process… Oh, and did I mention she gets to fly?
This is probably my favorite of the three novels and I’ll be anxiously looking forward to The Iron Knight!...more
There’s a letter from Tricia Pasternack, a Del Rey editor, in the beginning of the Advance Reader’s Edition of Hounded, by Kevin Hearne. In it she describes something called the Kevin Hearne Effect, the rather magical feeling you get when one first starts Hounded, and that continues until the last page. When I started Hounded, I immediately knew exactly what she was talking about! Atticus O’Sullivan is a 1,200 year old Druid (biologically 21) who’s put down roots in Arizona and is living peacefully until a series of attacks shatter his quiet existence. You see, an ancient foe wants something Atticus has, and won’t stop until he gets it back.
Hounded is told from Atticus’ point of view, and what a delightful voice! Wry, witty, and charming, Atticus is my new hero, and in Hounded, we’re lucky enough to accompany him as he and his friends plan a showdown with this powerful foe. And what friends! Kevin Hearne has created an amazing cast of supporting characters, but my favorite by far is Oberon, Atticus’ Irish Wolfhound that he can communicate with using his mind. Oberon is a sweet, scene-stealing pleasure, and (at the risk of dating myself), reminds me quite a lot of Einstein, the canine with human intelligence in Dean Koontz’s Watchers. The banter between Atticus and Oberon made me laugh out loud, and Oberon is almost as big of a presence as Atticus! Add to that a death Goddess named Morrigan, the huntress Flidais, a vampire and a werewolf (both Atticus’ lawyers), a elderly, feisty neighbor that helps Atticus more than once, a coven of witches who may or may not have Atticus’ best interests at heart, a sword that is the source of Atticus’ problems, and you you’ve got the recipe for one of the best books of the year! In Atticus’ world, the Gods are alive and well, and aren’t afraid to make themselves known. Norse, Christian, Indian, you name it, they all exist, and if you have a love of Celtic myth, this is the book for you. The magic system is fascinating and unique and it’s obvious the author put quite a bit of time and research into exploring the history of Druids and Druid magic. Inevitable comparisons will be made to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, and to me, that’s a good thing! I got to geek out a little with this one too, because there’s lots of references to Star Wars and other awesomeness! In a sea of female urban fantasy heroines, Atticus and his crew are a breath of fresh air! Fans of fantasy and urban fantasy will eat this one up, and the good news is that you won’t have to wait for books 2 and 3 to come out. Hexed and Hammered drop in June, and readers will be lining up to get their hands on them! Hounded is a series debut that is absolutely not to be missed! Keep an eye out for my reviews of Hexed and Hammered, coming soon!...more
*I've done my best to avoid spoilers, but this being #13 in a series, there are some inevitable details that I felt I had to include** Mortals connected to all things supernatural are being hunted and spirited away by creatures that haven’t been seen in thousands of years. Karrin Murphy, with the help of her friends and allies, are trying to keep more disappearances from happening, but it’s getting harder and harder to contain the growing threat. Dresden has been sent back to the mortal realm from “between” to take care of some unfinished business, even though no one will tell him what that business is. All he knows is that if he doesn’t go back, three people close to him will suffer or die, and he can’t let that happen. Harry enlists the reluctant help of Morty the necroomancer, and learns that Murphy’s allies want her to use the Swords of the Cross, some of the most powerful weapons against evil in existence to defeat the Fomor (the nasties threatening Chicago.)
See, when Harry unleashed the magic to save someone dear to him, it destroyed every member of the Red Court, creating a veritable power vacuum. Their holdings were so vast that every evil supernatural group is going after what they can, and killing whoever gets in their way. After being grievously injured in the fight, Molly (Harry’s apprentice) is now an enemy to the White Council, and she’s possibly gone a bit crazy as well. With Harry dead, Molly has declared Chicago protected and is calling herself the Ragged Lady. Lea, Harry’s fairy godmother, has been training Molly, and now Molly is killer-kickass. Seriously. Molly has got some serious mojo, but Harry fears for her life and her sanity.
Ghost Story has been the most introspective of the series, which makes sense, with Harry’s death, and it’s also one of the most heartbreaking. Changes twisted me into all kinds of knots, and things don’t get any lighter in Ghost Story. Harry has to do some serious soul searching here, and dig deep inside to find the strength to save those he loves, and the city he loves. Harry takes a young thug (who has a penchant for Dickens) under his wing, that can hear Harry without magical aid, and I really enjoyed watching this friendship unfold. Harry’s “conversation” with Father Forthill when he sends the kid to him for help was a bit of a highlight for me. We also go back in time with Harry, learning about his upbringing and the experiences that made him what he is, which, to me, was fascinating. The previous books have gone into Harry’s past, but nothing like this. The fighting is epic (to say the least), and Harry’s up against enemies both new and old, not to mention very, very powerful. He’ll fight for his friends, and for his very soul, and the ending is nothing short of jaw dropping. After 13 books, I'm still wild about Harry, and reading a Dresden novel, for me, is like coming home. Each one is better than the last, just when I think they can’t possibly get better. All I can say is, get ready Dresden fans, ‘cause Ghost Story is gonna take you on a ride you won’t soon forget....more