Reviewed by JenI have to say, I didn't love the last Jane Yellowrock book, but this one came back for me with a vengeance. I was absolutely enthralled in the story from the beginning to the unexpected ending --which left me gaping like a fish.
This latest installment follows Jane as she investigates a mysterious illness that is infecting some of the vampires. It seems an unnamed vamp is making a power-play, using the illness to force other vampires to swear fealty to him. Leo thinks it's the same person who attacked his people and he wants the threat identified and neutralized. Even though Jane was planning to stop working for him, the money was too good to pass up one last job.
There's a lot going on here. One of my big complaints in the last book was how Jane's personal life felt ignored for much of the book. Not here. Jane is mourning the loss of Rick (though to be honest, I hadn't realized they had broken up.) She is still crazy-hot for Bruiser. And there is even a new guy in the mix (I'll get to that in a minute.) The Rick issue didn't bother me -- I have never been a big fan of his and after the whole cheating thing, I was ready for him to get lost. Bruiser, on the other hand... Well, I've always had a soft spot for Bruiser. But every time I feel the slightest bit validated in these feelings, Faith Hunter pees in my Cheerios and reminds me that he will never put Jane first. And while the near-sexual encounters are hot, they're getting old. Do it, don't do it, or move on.
Then, all of a sudden there is Eli. At this point, I started having Anita Blake flashbacks. No, wait, hear me out. The writing here is much, much better here. There is no comparison on that front. And Jane is not having dirty monkey sex with 15 guys. But... every time I open one of these books, I am hoping that we'll narrow down her pool of potential love interests. And instead, it keeps growing. Add to that, the very premise that Jane is a former vampire hunter who now uses her bad-ass killing skill to work for her one-time enemy. Add to that, she is beginning to sympathize with the monsters. She becomes part of their clan. And she's got all kinds of really conflicted personal morality she is trying to work out. It is very reminiscent of pre-porn Anita in those ways. (Though again, with much better writing.)
I don't understand Jane's choices, especially in the second half. Something Very Disturbing happens to her and it utterly baffles me why she does not cut her losses and get the hell out of dodge Why she would want to do anything for Person-X after what happens makes no sense to me. She should hate that person! And then, in the end, she's really screwed. (*sigh*)
Though I didn't love everything that happened, I most assuredly did not want to put this book down. And I am
*ARC Provided by Roc
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Death's Rivalby Faith HunterRelease Date: October 2, 2012Publisher: Roc