A Review and a Few Thoughts

First of all, apologies for not getting back to the blog yesterday — and for whatever the heck happened to the theme selection. Somehow, even though I pressed the “activate” button, it didn’t happen and instead of the blog reverting to the current theme, it stayed with a theme I was considering, one that does NOT accept the header size it tells you it needs. So, for close to a day, I had a really, really odd looking site and didn’t know it because I’d gone off-line.

Now, as to why I didn’t get back to the blog. Between the hot water fiasco Monday and several other things that happened, I had to step back from the internet and social media. Of course, the fact I also had the newly released copy of Cold Reign by Faith Hunter might have had a little something to do with it and that’s where the review comes in.

If you enjoy Urban Fantasy and you haven’t yet read the Jane Yellowrock series, do so. Cold Reign is the 11th book in the series and while it could be read without reading the others, there’s a great deal you would miss. I can’t say that about a lot of series, just as I can’t say I stay with many this long. That makes the series, and this book, something special.

For those who aren’t familiar with the series, Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee skinwalker. For the most part, the series takes place in New Orleans. There are vampires — who most definitely do NOT sparkle. There are weres. There are witches. There are other supernats as well, Onorios, of which we are only just beginning to learn some of what they can do.

Unlike so many books/series that claim to be UF but are really, at best, paranormal romance, this is true UF. That’s not to say Jane doesn’t have a “honeybunch”, as she calls her lover. But that doesn’t define her and the book most definitely is not a series of sex scenes tied together with a flimsy plot. In actuality, the fact Jane can trust enough to allow someone into her life is something she’s had to work on from the beginning of the series.

And that is why I like the series so much. Yes, the plots of the various books have been good. Some have been better than others, but that’s something you always get in a series, any series. But the strength of the series, to me, is in the character development, not just with Jane but with other characters as well. That is especially true in Cold Reign where we see Alex, aka “the kid”, growing up and coming into his own.

Okay, to the book. A number of plot threads that have been woven throughout the series begin to be tied up in Cold Reign. Leo, the Master of the City (and a pretty good chunk of the rest of the United States) is a master manipulator and, as with any old vampire, his plans have plans and they, too, have plans. The European vamps, who would really like to reclaim Leo’s territory because of all the “cattle” (humans), also have plans within plans and those plans include deceit and betrayal. In the middle are Jane and her expanding “family”.

Writing a review about the book without giving spoilers is next to impossible. Let’s just say that I had already guessed the identity of one of Leo’s betrayers. The identity of another caught me by surprise. I’ll be honest, I think that could have been handled better. There was a feeling of lacking with that particular sub-plot because we never really saw it happening on-screen, nor did we see the reveal when Leo finally discovered the betrayal. All we saw was the after-effects and that was third-hand.

As with most of the series, this book starts off with a bang. If you read some of the reviews on Amazon, you’ll see some folks don’t like the lull that follows. Don’t let that mislead you. That lull is necessary. Not only for the resolution of the story but because it gives us more insight into Eli, Alex’s brother and another of Jane’s “family”.

I’ll admit, I sometimes tired of reading how Jane stepped into the ankle deep, or higher water. But that, too, was part of the story. New Orleans was getting pounded by rain that is later revealed to be part of a magical attack on the city (and I’ll say no more about that).

It is clear the series may be ramping up toward the big finale and, while I will be sad to see it end, I’d rather that happen than for it to become one of those where it should have ended books earlier. So, this is very much a book I’d recommend. Great action, a plot that will keep you guessing, the return of a couple of characters we haven’t seen for awhile and some closure for Jane with one of them. Even better, it left me wanting more and wishing it wouldn’t be at least a year before the next book comes out. (assuming normal traditional publishing schedules).

So, if you enjoy UF, get this book and set aside several hours to read it. I promise it is well worth the time and the money. (and, fyi, it is reasonably priced not only for traditionally published e-book but for a new release at $7.99)

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7 Comments

  1. Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Oooo. Cold Reign is out? (Checks audible) So’s the audible version. I was expecting to have to wait for the audible version. (Amanda Ronconi, the narrator, is phenomenal.)

    Bought.

    • Posted May 3, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      I hope you liked it as much as I did. There are some twists and turns, especially concerning Gee, I didn’t see coming. You can feel, as you near the end of the book, that Hunter is really ramping up for the big pay-off and probably sooner, rather than later.

  2. Posted May 3, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I’ve been following the series since Skinwalker and have been awaiting the latest with great anticipation. I expect I will enjoy it.

    • Posted May 3, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I hope so. I started reading the series a couple of years ago and it is one of the very few (as in I can count them on the fingers of one hand) series where I have made sure to get the short story collections as well.

  3. Posted May 3, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I just bought it last night… I had to skim your post because I want to be surprised. This is one writer I love to read 🙂

    • Posted May 3, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Cyn, I did my best not to give away any spoilers — and it was hard. There is so much that happens in the book and so much that points to what might happen in the next one. Frankly, even though I have already read it, I will be going back soon to reread because I know I missed some stuff.

  4. Posted May 3, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock was the first series I got to listen to on Audible (I keep my Audible listening and my ebook and dead tree reading separate), right after I got Audible in the first place to listen to Larry’s “Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent”. Once I got caught up, I went looking for something else (Molly Harper’s “Half Moon Hollow” series). And since I just finished that I’ve started another new series (Patricia Briggs’ “Mercy Thompson” series).

    I listen to these during my daily commute or when I’m otherwise on the road. Timing is such I usually go through three books or so a month.

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