Tuesday, May 2, 2017

ARC Review: Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

Series:     Jane Yellowrock #11
Pub. Date:May 2, 2017
Publisher:Ace
Length:378 pages
Source:NetGalley

After delivering two fantastic books in her new series, Soulwood, Faith Hunter is back with a dynamic offering in the long-standing Jane Yellowrock series. I was a late-comer to this series, discovering it after I read the Soulwood books, but Jane and Beast quickly became one of my favorite heroine/duos in urban fantasy. This is a series that you must read in order as its a continuing storyline, but I also recommend that you read it in publication order in conjunction w/ the Soulwood series, as there is some character crossover.

Cold Reign picks up not long after the end of Shadow Rites, and we are getting our first look at those pesky European Vamps who believe La Nouvelle Orleans is their rightful territory as that no-good Napoleon had no right to sell it to the American government! But we knew the Euro-Vamps weren't going to come easy. No, they are bringing big problems to New Orleans in the form of revenants* and wonky weather. As usual, it will be left up to Jane and the Yellowrock clan to solve the city's problems, and this time they got a lot more bloody and battered while trying to do so. I like that Jane has surrounded herself with a family of her own making, and they are becoming a more cohesive unit, even with the new additions.

Beast didn't get to come out to play very often, and I'm missing her. I love Beast's personality and cattiness. But Jane seems to becoming more magical with every story, and we are seeing her and Beast become more symbiotic as the series progresses.

This series has an abundance of secondary characters, and I love them all. Even the seemingly ineffectual master of the city, Leo Pelissier. I can't tell if Leo is really that bad at underestimating a situation, or if its all part of his game plan to use Jane to solve his problems. Rick Lafleur shows back up in this installment, which is why I suggested you read the Soulwood books before this one - so you will know what happened with old Ricky-Bo while he has been missing from Jane's life. I can't say I felt bad for him, I'm on Team Bruiser all the way.

The action was good, and the history of the Euro-Vamps was interesting to me. They definitely offer some villains that everyone will love to hate, particularly Gregoire's sire, Le Bâtard, an illegitimate son of François d'Angoulême. I think we can expect to see this story arc over another book or two, and I am looking forward to it.

So this is actually the first book of the series that I have "read" - as I did the earlier books in an audio binge earlier in the month. I have to say that I missed the audio! The narrator, Khristine Hvam, does a fabulous job if you are inclined to listen to audiobooks. I missed her affectation of Beast's character and found myself trying to copy the voice/mannerisms in my head. This one may be worth a re-read in audio format on my next road trip!

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Ace.

*Okay so one thing bothered me about the revenants.



Excerpt

I woke lying in the dark beneath the dripping leaves of a banana plant, my too-long-black hair wrapped all around me, but at least that was better than some places Beast had left me. I tied my hair in a knotted tail, opened the waterproof gobag, and dressed in thin layers and flops. My stomach was cramping like I had swallowed a nest of water moccasins. Shivering, I pulled my unofficial cell—one Leo couldn’t trace—and called Rinaldo.

“Who dis is?” he answered, instead of hello. I could hear kids screaming in the background, the TV on a sitcom. The cabbie was off duty with the nearly defunct Blue Bird Cab Company but he sounded mostly sober, and he offered to pick me up when I gave him an address two blocks away from the house where Ed had fought and bled. “Twenty minute,” he said, and disconnected.

I jogged through the rain, holding a dripping hand over the flip phone, while calling in a DB to vamp HQ, with the words, “Dead body. Looks like vamp attack.” I gave the address and disconnected. A good citizen would have called 911. I wasn’t a good citizen. Leo’s team would make sure the body was found and the death looked like an accident. One of his private labs would do a full forensic workup, an arrangement I had suggested to keep track of paranormal crimes that we didn’t want reported to the police, for some reason. Leo would also do what he could for the victim’s family, children, parents.

And then Leo would send me to find and kill the vamps who’d killed the girl in the small house. They were also the vamps who attacked Edmund. A life for a life. Yeah. He’d demand the vamps die.

***

About the Author


New York Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter writes three series: the Jane Yellowrock series, dark urban fantasy novels featuring Jane, a Cherokee Skinwalker; the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban fantasy / post apocalyptic series and role playing game featuring Thorn St. Croix; and the Soulwood Series featuring Nell Nicholson Ingram.

Visit Faith online at www.faithhunter.net, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Jane Yellowrock