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I Belong


Review: Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

Title: Cold Reign

Author: Faith Hunter

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Jane Yellowrock (Book #11)

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Format: Paperback, 350 Pages

ISBN-10: 1101991402 (Ace/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-1101991404 (Ace/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Stephanie

Synopsis:

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 Pellisier, 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.

But 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…

Quick & Dirty: An entertaining, yet oddly paced, installment of the Jane Yellowrock series, in which we finally get to see some of the European Vamps.

Opening Sentence: I slid across the slick gym floor in the lightweight boots, a fourteen-inch, silver-plated vamp-killer in one hand, the other hand back in a fist.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Jane and the New Orleans Mithrans are still in the midst of making plans for the European Vamps upcoming visit. All of a sudden, there are numerous attacks by revenants throughout the city, revenants who, upon inspection, should not have risen at all. While dealing with the attacks, a major storm strikes the city, a storm that’s not natural. It in fact seems to be causing riots throughout the city, as it affects people’s emotions. It also has a strong effect on Jane’s magics, and she needs to put a stop to it before things get out of control. It begins to look as if a few European Vamps may be behind everything. Now, it’s up to Jane, Eli, Alex, and Bruiser to find them and take care of the problem before Leo loses control of the city.

I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that this is one of my favorite series, so it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed this installment; however, this one didn’t move quite as quickly as previous books. This is quite surprising, given how much action occurs. It honestly just felt like the pacing was off. There would be a couple chapters where the action was happening quickly, and I was completely sucked in, turning pages as fast as possible. Then, all of a sudden, the momentum would just stop, and I would almost feel bored. I’m not sure what the exact problem was, but it definitely affected my enjoyment of the book.

One other negative aspect of the novel deals, as usual, with Rick. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t like Rick as a character, and that hasn’t changed. But the problem here lies in the fact that I haven’t read all of the Soulwood spinoff series. It seems as if something happens to Rick in that series, and anyone who hasn’t read it will feel slightly lost in his scenes here, as I did. It’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was off-putting.

Now, on to the good stuff. There is plenty of Bruiser to love here, so my fellow Bruiser fans should be happy. It is so great to see how his and Jane’s relationship has evolved throughout the series, and it is just a pleasure to read their scenes together now. Eli and Alex play a strong role in the book as well, and it’s great to see Jane’s adopted family interact with each other.

All in all, this was an entertaining installment of the Jane Yellowrock series, and it certainly advances the plot forward. It was nice to finally see some of the European Vamps after all of the buildup to their visit. There were plenty of action packed moments, but with the strange pacing, there were also times when the book felt like it was dragging. Still, this was a fun installment, and I am looking forward to the next one!

Notable Scene:

“You smell better. You gave up smoking.”

Ruefully Rinaldo said, “Ha ha. You funny, you is. My little one, she crawl up in my lap and she say, ‘Daddy, when you get sick like Mrs. Marillett, I gone get a oxygen tank for you. Cause I love you!'” Rinaldo shot me a look. “I ain’t had me cigarette in two months. Hardest two months a’ my life. But can taste food now again. Dat a good part. You answer my question now.”

“I was chasing vamps. I ended up without my coat, no shoes, and wet to the skin.”

“Dat ain’t no answer. You want burgers or chicken?”

I pointed to a small Cajun eatery and bar on a corner. The painted sign said EBO’S NO. 2 FANCY. “See if they got boudin balls? Get me a few pounds?” Rinaldo slowed and parked as I fished out two twenties from my gobag.

“You ever gone tell me you secrets? I thought we become friends of a sort.”

I studied Rinaldo’s earnest face. He needed a shave. Renewed rain beat against the windows. A sudden gust of wind rocked the sturdy car. I was glad to be out of the rain. And I was out because of Rinaldo. He had been there for me when I needed him. I had never done anything for him except tip well. Yet he knew only what the general public did, nothing confirmed by my own words and my own trust. “You’re right. We are friends. I’m not human. These are the clothes I wear when I’m tracking a vamp.”

“Goo’ enough. Dat a start.” Rinaldo opened an umbrella and jogged through the storm to Ebo’s, leaving the sedan and the heater on so I’d stay warm. It felt odd having a . . . a new friend. I hadn’t had many–none if I was honest–in my life until earth witch Molly Everhart and I became pals, and I was grown by then. This felt . . . itchy.

Jane Yellowrock Series:

1. Skinwalker

2. Blood Cross

3. Mercy Blade

4. Raven Cursed

4.5 Have Stakes Will Travel

5. Death’s Rival

6. Blood Trade

6.3-6.5 Black Water

7. Black Arts

8. Broken Soul

9. Dark Heir

10. Shadow Rites

Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock

11. Cold Reign 

12. Dark Queen (TBA)

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FTC Advisory: Ace/Penguin provided me with a copy of Cold Reign. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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