Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

The adventures of Jane Yellowrock continue with a thrilling new installment in the New York Times bestselling series that captures “the essence of urban fantasy” (SF Site).

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most.

Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official Enforcer to Leo Pellissier, Master of the City. But Leo's reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

And there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

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Book 11
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Forever ago, I primarily read Urban Fantasy and little else. Now I read mostly everything, but I was pleased to have found this series about a year ago, with so many books in the backlist to binge-read.

Jane Yellowrock is one of the most consistent Urban Fantasy series I’ve read to-date. I immerse myself in the novel, finding it a comfort while reading, and it never fails to re-spark my love of the genre.

As a fan, why am I giving four instead of five stars? Cold Reign had a bit of a slow start for me. There was a comfort in seeing the same characters with little changing, like visiting an old friend, but it felt as if it took forever to get to the meat of the storyline. After which, while it was thrilling and exciting, it had a bit of a wash-repeat feel to the storyline. Jane would encounter baddies, get filthy in the pouring rain, run home to change (or not), fight more baddies, go to HQ, run home to save Alex, wash repeat, all in the same limo, in what felt like a never-ending day.

While I enjoyed the story, some deviation would have been appreciated. Then there are always the baddies from past books popping up because they weren’t eradicated when they should have been.

Other than the redundancy, I struggled with all the European vamps and their histories. While I don’t doubt that it all tied together, was well researched, and the author did a good job, it all sort of just went directly over my head, and it was recently that I’ve read the latter books in the series. A case of too much, too soon, in a complicated info-dump I just skimmed because it was making my head hurt. I still got heads and tails, but I didn’t feel like I needed a history lesson to keep up.

Jane and Beast, her business partners (Eli and Alex), Bruiser (her boyfriend), Edmund (her primo), Brute (the werewolf stuck in wolf-form), the vampire gang and their entourage, and last but never least, Leo (MotC) all make an impressive showing on the pages. Even Ricky-Bo makes a rare appearance.

The wash-repeat of the storyline didn’t erase my overall enjoyment. I adore Jane’s interactions with her posse, especially Beast’s commentary never failing to tear laughter out of me. I read Cold Reign with a happy grin on my face, even while frustrated.

As Leo’s enforcer, Jane and company are trying to rid New Orleans of a little reverent problem. Long-dead vampires are rising in cemeteries across the city, a never-ending storm is plaguing the landscape, Jane is struggling with her magic as lightning keeps opening up the gray between, and the European vampires are sneaking into New Orleans long before they were due to arrive. Everything is falling apart, and only Jane Yellowrock can save the day.

Even with it being slightly redundant, I loved reading Jane’s adventures. Rick popping back up into her life, and every page featuring Bruiser, was angsty deliciousness. The werewolf messing up Alex’s bed had me hooting in laughter. Then there were the heartwarming moments as Jane tried to draw her clan together into a real family.

Overall, I loved Cold Reign, and I can’t wait to see what adventures Jane and Beast are up to next. Faith Hunter is a writer who has mastered the Urban Fantasy genre, with intriguing, intricate world-building, relatable characters, and raw emotion.

Recommended to Urban Fantasy fans. However, this absolutely cannot be read as a standalone. It’s best to read the series from the beginning, to truly experience the evolution of the characters, the politics, and their magical abilities.

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.

Connect with Faith

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Cold Reign (Jane Yellowrock #11) by Faith Hunter to read and review.

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