Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Audiobook Review: Skinwalker by Faith Hunter

Series:     Jane Yellowrock #1
Pub. Date:April 13, 2010
Publisher:Self-pub
Narrator:Khristine Hvam
Length:14 hrs 34 min

I'm late to the game on this series and author. I was first introduced to Faith Hunter through her new Soulwood series, a spinoff of this one. I fell in love with the unique characters so hard that I knew I had to go back to the beginning and find out about Jane Yellowrock, and Faith Hunter's brand of supernatural.

I should mention that I didn't realize there were seven prequels to the series before I started listening to this audiobook. There were numerous references to past events so I thought I missed a book... which led me to investigate. Looks like I missed seven short stories. But it didn't kill enjoyment of this first full book, just made me feel like I was out of the loop sometimes.

Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee skinwalker... she thinks. She has no memory of her first twelve years of life, and was subsequently raised by the state. Now she is trying to build a name for herself as a rogue vampire hunter. When Katherine Fontaneu, one of the oldest vamps in New Orleans and the proprietor of a brothel, Kadie's Ladies, is seeking someone to take out a rogue terrorizing the city... well Jane jumps on her Harley and drives on down to interview for the job.

I liked Jane Yellowrock - I feel like she is a unique heroine, despite this series being a bit older when I am starting to read it. I like that she is of Cherokee heritage, and I think her skinwalking abilities are unique in the world of shapeshifters. I also love that we get a dual POV from both Jane and her beast, which translated very well in the audiobook. Kudos to the narrator for giving Beast her own voice and highlighting the beastly mannerisms and personality.

While there was not any romance in this installment, there was a bit of flirtation and Jane doesn't shy away from lusty thoughts. She definitely recognizes male beauty and intrigue, particularly with local boy Rick Lafleur. Speaking of local, my favorite aspect of this book was the New Orleans setting. Hunter definitely got things right with her city descriptions and setting. I loved that part of the story went into the Westbank (across the Mississippi and where I lay my hat) as I don't recall the "best bank" appearing in other New Orleans books that I have read.

The action moved forward at a nice steady pace and the identity of the rogue was not immediately apparent. The vampire community was definitely intrigued by and interested in Jane Yellowrock, and it made for some entertaining interactions. I am glad that she will be sticking around New Orleans for a bit as the series progresses. I do hope that we get some romance in the near future, but I like that it will not be the main focus.

This is the first time I have heard this narrator, and I thought she did a fantastic job. She differentiated between Jane and her Beast very well, in addition to given each character their own sound and personality.  I'm very happy I snagged a bunch of this series from Audible during the last sale.