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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Solid, if uninspired, urban fantasy

Skinwalker - Faith Hunter

Review originally posted on amazon on March 5, 2012:


I am on an urban fantasy kick, and this book and series kept popping up in my recommendations, so I decided to check it out.

Brief (No spoilers) Plot Summary:

Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker who specializes in taking care of, permanently and with extreme prejudice, rogue vampires. This is a UF in which vampires have gone public, but other magical creatures remain under the radar. So far as Jane knows, she is the only skinwalker in existence. She is capable of shifting into various creatures, including creatures where she needs to drop mass or gain mass, but her natural shape when shifting is some form of big cat. Jane has been hired by the vampires of New Orleans to take down a rogue vampire who is on a rampage and has placed at risk their position in New Orleans. Her job is to take care of their problem.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

This is a pretty good, if somewhat uninspired, entry in the rather crowded UF genre. Faith Hunter is a competent writer. There are similarities to the Sookie Stackhouse series (less humor, but the requisite sexy vamps) as well as even more significant similarities to the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. I prefer Mercy Thompson to Jane Yellowrock.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed Skinwalker. I am a sucker for stories set in New Orleans -- there is something very atmospheric about New Orleans, with its voodoo history, and this prediliction of mine extends all the way back to Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. If vampires exist anywhere outside of Transylvania, New Orleans is the place.

I really liked Jane Yellowrock as a character. She is a tough girl, and is a fully capable heroine. There is almost no romance in this installment, although there are a couple of male characters introduced who will likely fill that role in later books. Jane also has secrets, some of which she herself doesn't even understand. The unfolding mystery of who, and what, she is was compelling and interesting.

This one isn't as unique as some of the other UF series I have read.. Faith Hunter is treading ground that has been well-trod by other authors before her. Nonetheless, for fans of UF, this is a solid effort, and is well worth a read, and I'm certain that I will be continuing on with this particular series.