**I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Series: Jane Yellowrock #7
Published by Penguin Group USA, ROC BOOKS on January 7, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, General, Urban Fantasy
AMAZON • B&N • BOOK DEPOSITORY • Goodreads
Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who always takes care of her own?no matter the cost.... When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he's convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace. Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy?one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.
I love this series. I really do. When I finished reading the last book in the Jane Yellowrock world, BLOOD TRADE, I felt even more reinvigorated for the series with its strong mystery, beautifully dark imagery, and the continued evolution of its heroine, Jane Yellowrock. I feel Faith Hunter, with her latest book, BLACK ARTS, continues on this winning streak with another strong installment.
I think what stands out the most to me about BLACK ARTS is the sense that it marks a new beginning for Jane. Some big revelations happen here in terms of her relationship with Beast, the bond with Leo, her love life, and her past. Jane finally comes to terms with who she is and what she was meant to be and it’s rewarding to see it after having followed her evolution over the course of seven books. And the romance? For those of us who were getting a bit tired of the back forth between Bruiser and Ricky, well, something happens here that forces Jane to make a decision that I hope she sticks to and it has me anxiously awaiting the next book.
Coupled with these major series developments, Hunter creates a solid mystery that brings past storylines to the present. This is another reason this series is so strong – nothing that happens is superfluous. Characters from earlier books play important roles as do some of the dark artifacts Jane has collected over the course of her jobs. Several storylines converge to make the mystery tense and the puzzle pieces difficult to put together until an explosive, emotional end.
One surprise for me is Leo. He’s always been this complicated, shady vampire leader but in BLACK ARTS, he shows a more compassionate side that highlights just how complex his relationship with Jane really is. Leo is an ass. He really is. But I’m curious to see where this relationship goes.
I can’t think of one thing I didn’t like about BLACK ARTS. It was a strong addition to a stellar series. And Hunter leaves several doors open at its conclusion for Jane and her relationships with…everyone. I can’t wait for the next book. 5 Howls!