Series: Jane Yellowrock #6
Published by ROC BOOKS on April 2, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, General, Urban Fantasy
AMAZON • B&N • BOOK DEPOSITORY • Goodreads
Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who's always up for a fight—even if it means putting her life on the line... The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires—those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted—are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets. But what he doesn't tell Jane is that there's something different about these vamps. Something that makes them harder to kill—even for a pro like Jane. Now, her simple job has turned into a fight to stay alive…and to protect the desperately ill child left in her care.
As some of you may already know, I’m a big fan of Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. It’s one of my auto-buy UF series and while I may not review each release on the blog, rest assured I read them. I recently devoured book six, BLOOD TRADE, and loved it.
BLOOD TRADE has everything I’ve come to love about a Jane Yellowrock book –- action, mystery, and just the right balance of dark and light to make it heavy without being too over the top. While I liked the movement in the series arc in the last book, DEATH’S RIVAL, I wasn’t terribly engrossed by the mystery of its storyline. Don’t get me wrong, something major happens in book five, something that’s upsetting and traumatic and changes the course of relationships. But the vampire plague that’s the central focus of DEATH’S RIVAL wasn’t terribly engrossing to me. Enter BLOOD TRADE which builds off the events of its predecessor and, for me, completely sucked me in. Hunter has expanded Jane’s world — she’s lost one family, the Everharts, and gained another. With the introduction of Eli and The Kid as Jane’s partners, a new dynamic has been created which is a lot of fun. I love that Jane has gone from being a complete loner in book one to opening herself up to the possibility of deeper connections and trust by book six. Her romantic relationships with Bruiser and Rick, while still unresolved, are finally beginning to move towards something. I want her to make a decision between the two men but I understand the complications with both. And Jane herself is such a complex character, filled with the torment of a dark history that is slowly coming to light but motivated by a pure heart full of good intentions and honor, that she fascinates me. She’s become a more emotional creature and watching her awkwardly deal with feelings and trust is humanizing and endearing.
The events in BLOOD TRADE revolve around Jane and crew assisting the head vampire of Natchez, Mississippi in eliminating a problem with Naturalezza vampires. The action is intense without being too much; the imagery is disturbing and almost cinematic. There are, quite simply, a lot of cool scenes — the dreamwalker in the church, the transport circles, the witches — all these elements add up to powerful images that at times could be intensely creepy. The mystery of BLOOD TRADE connects with the events of the last book and delves into the history of the Mithrans and the Naturalezza and the connection with witches and Jane herself, thereby paving the way for book seven. Hunter’s strength is in plotting the series as a whole and I love the way each book builds on the other. Finally, though the key to the mystery, or the villain, felt somewhat obvious, I enjoyed the path Jane takes towards finding the answers.
Jane’s character development is spectacular and I highly recommend this series based on that alone. But honestly, this is just great urban fantasy. With its great action and mystery, and a superb heroine who continues to grow with each installment, BLOOD TRADE is a solid entry in the powerful world that is Jane Yellowrock. 4.5 Howls!