Books Monsters Supernatural Urban Fantasy

Skinwalker – Enjoyable first book in the Jane Yellowrock series

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1) by Faith Hunter
My rating: 8 out of 10 stars

SkinwalkerJane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps…

I felt it was about time that I started a new true Urban Fantasy series now when I had caught up with both The Dresden Files and Elemental Assassin in the sense that I now have to wait for the next instalments in those series to be published. I cannot say that my choice was preceded by any deeper investigation though. This one popped up in my Goodreads feed and it looked like it would be interesting so I went for it.

As it turned out it was not at all a bad choice. There are a lot of things to like in this book. It is quite well written with a good story that do not feel like it was hastily cobbled together. Jane appears to be fairly new to this business of being a vampire hunter for hire and it is the first book in a series so there are some of the usual hesitant feelings that you always have when an author settles in with a new series.

I pretty much instantly took a liking to Jane. She is not as sharp tonged and confident as Harry Dresden or Gin (The Spider). In general Jane has a bit less of a character and is more subdued, at least in this first book in the series. She is still an enjoyable main character and, as usual for these type of characters, she has quite some past and a few mysteries in her baggage, not to mention “The Beast”.

The vampires are of course also carrying with them quite a lot of past baggage and the origin of the vampires appears to be shrouded in mystery. A mystery the vampires seems to know the answer to and which Jane would like to know the answer to. A few hints are thrown around which makes the mystery even more intriguing.

The vampires are as well characterized as Jane. I quite liked a lot of them and the dialogues between Jane and vampires are far from the dumb and unintelligent exchange of insults that you sometimes read.

Those inclined more towards action and general blood splatter are not left without their chapters to read and I felt that it was fairly well done. Those of the readers that expects our hero to jump into bed every so often or have those traditional boyfriend or girlfriend issues that plague so many books will be left out however. There are little to none of the “romantic” stuff in this book. Personally I do not miss it.

One thing that I liked with this book is that the vampires are more traditional than in many books today. The good old crosses, stakes, holy water, silver and such like stuff are the weapons of choice for Jane.

As is mentioned in the blurb Jane is a skinwalker who can turn into any kind of animal. When she does we get to follow Jane, or rather “The Beast”, through the eyes and senses of the animal she has become. The internal monologue becomes quite different then and even though I at first felt it was a quite cool effect it did become a bit tiresome to read after a while. On the positive side this is probably the first book that I have read which actually deals with how a 50 Kg person can become a 150 Kg animal when shifting. Nicely done!

Being the first book in the series there is of course the usual world building and setting things up. I would say that the author succeeded quite well. It is a good book and the stage is set for further adventures. Perhaps this first instalment is not wow-great in my mind but definitely very good and I will pick up the next one in the series for sure.

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