Let me get one thing straight I don t read romance novels If romance is included within the scope of main character experience, I ll still read it But if the main story is magickal, wonderful, soulmate kind of l o v eand there is pining, angst, and ridiculous pretend fights when really they l o v e each other but can t admit it, that s a big fat pass for me Skinwalker won t appeal to those who like a little romance with their paranormal Move along now.Jane is an interesting, unusual entry into the UF field, featuring an part Cherokee woman with a one of a kind ability to shapechange Jane rides into town on her motorcycle Bitsa bits of this, bits of that , interviewing for a job with the New Orleans vampire clan, hunting a rogue vampire that is tarnishing their reputation and hurting their position with the police After meeting Katie, one of the vampire council representatives and madam of a house of ill repute, Jane gets the job Efforts to discover the rogue are hampered as Jane is shadowed by a couple of men that might be working with a different agenda.Lead supporting role in this book goes to Beast, a mountain lion who shares Jane s body Unfortunately, Jane s memory gaps leave her without explanation for her and Beast s relationship, but that will change after she meets a Cherokee shaman and requires vamp healing during her search for the rogue.Set in New Orleans, the city proves to be a lush background Hunter gives a good feel for the details, from cobblestone streets to decorative balconies, to the overbearing heat and humidity In the UF field, there are many different degrees in an author s ability to use language, and Hunter does well with few missteps While Jane herself is a very direct person, she does describe things in enough detail to keep the story interesting and unique, from teapots to the smell of a motorcycle For a first novel, it does a decent job of avoiding the dreaded info dump, and feeds bits and pieces to the reader in large enough chunks to give context but not bog down the story It also allows some of Jane s internal humor to show through when she is being professional enough to not say her remarks out loud We did get one girly scene of her shopping and then dancing, which makes me wonder a little if Hunter is trying to be all things to all readers You know Jane rides a bike, carries a bad ass gun but can wear frothy little skirts and dance Her long hair bothered me as well, especially given Jane as a no nonsense fighter I think it makes sense in context of Native heritage, but that s not given as a reason.Had I been Hunter s editor, I would have asked that they stressed that this is the first time Jane interacts with normal vamps I think she took some uncharacteristic and stupid actions according to what she says to the reader in the narrative when she first meets Leo, the head of the council, but that could probably be explained by the newness of the experience There are a few things along these lines that trouble me about Jane s decision making I m not sure it s internally consistent.Still, it s a decent book The mystery of the rogue vamp that doesn t act like a vamp moves along nicely While sexual tension plays a role in many of her interactions, both male and female, it doesn t overtake the story or focus on the mystery A supporting character of Jane s close friend Molly and her godchildren Angie and Evan help humanize Jane s rough edges and show her caring side While it doesn t avoid all of the UF tropes, Hunter does a nice job of making a strong, distinct female character Her unusual ethnicity and mystical connections make a nice touch in the UF world of vampires, fae and weres Overall, it s probably a 3.5 read on my personal scale, but I m rounding up because it s one of the standouts in the field.Cross posted at First In A Brand New Series From The Author Of The Rogue Mage NovelsJane Yellowrock Is A Supernatural Skinwalker One Sharing Her Body With The Soul Of A Mountain Lion When The Rogue Vampire Hunter Is Hired To Hunt Down A Particularly Nasty Vamp, Jane Is Drawn Into The Steamy New Orleans Vampire Society Where She Learns The Ins And Outs Of The Sane Vampire Culture, About Her Own Cherokee Heritage, And We Are Drawn Into A Rousing, Fast Paced Thriller 3.5 starsI wasn t sure what to expect from Skinwalker when I picked it up, but I knew Jane had a pretty big following among my friends and I was hoping that this might become my new go to urban fantasy series.And I m thinking it might Alright The gist is that Jane is a skinwalker Whichyeah, you probably already managed to get that from the title.Anyway She can shift into basically anything, but her favorite form is a mountain lion Why Well, due to some spoilery reasons, she shares her body and soul with a mountain lion she refers to as Beast.Now, part of the spoilery stuff she s dealing with is amnesia about the first 12 or so years of her life Turns out, there s quite a bit of history she s forgottenFast forward to the present, and she s basically a bounty hunter who goes after rogue vampires And this is how the story opens, with Jane arriving in New Orleans to hunt down a strange rogue that s killing humans and vampires alike.Honestly, I thought this was pretty good for the first book in a series Jane has an interesting power set and origin story, and there s a good action y style to the writing to keep people who bore easily like myself flipping the pages.My only complaint and I realize that it s early on in the story so things may change is Beast s voice sort of annoyed me Sorry It wasn t defined enough for me if that makes sense Like, sometimes Beast was all Me like to eat yappy dogand sometimes she had a bit of a human ish voice even without Jane sounding off in the background.Overall, though Awesome story.Looking forward to seeing how the next book goes I took a break from my American Ninja Warrior training to read Faith Hunter s 2009 novel Skinwalker and glad I did Cause it s better than a bag of Lays potato chips.First of all Hunter serves up a family sized helping of HAVEATYOU in the form of a leather wearing, shotgun toting and motorcycle riding Cherokee Skinwalker name of Jane Yellowrock Jane is a tall drink of water whose special Urban Fantasy mojo is being a skinwalker, a kind of Native American were person, especially in regard to her ability to shift into a cougar no pun intended a mountain lion, puma, panther you get the drift Urban Fantasy fans have seen skin walkers though with different magic rules attached in Kevin Hearne s 2012 Iron Druid novel Tricked, as well as Bill Schweigart s 2015 novel The Beast of Barcroft.What makes Faith Hunter s protagonist stand out, first of all, is that this is told from the perspective of the skinwalker as empathetic protagonist and not unsympathetic antagonist but most noteworthy that Jane kind of shares the body with the Beast In very original, and compelling, UF fashion, Hunter has the narrative perspective shift like what I did there between Jane and Beast The Beast narrative sections are really very interesting as Hunter describes Beast s perceptions in terms that a predator with a keen sense of smell would make.Jane has ridden her put together Bitsa motorcycle bits of this and that to New Orleans to get a job with a vampire madam to eliminate a rogue vampire The setting is an alternate reality where vampires and witches and elves and werewolves Oh My have come out of the closet and are living amongst us and lobbying for civil rights Jane is a web site optimizing vampire hunter with her skinwalker abilities thinly veiled.Like Kevin Hearne s Iron Druid series, part of the charisma of Hunter s creation is the history she weaves in to the story Though Yellowrock s origins are clouded, there are hints that she is ancient, or at least tied to old legends The Cherokee heritage and connections, like Hearne s use of the Celtic past, adds depth and value to the narrative.While tooling around in The Big Easy Jane meets a fun populace of UF players that author Hunter has put together and who makes good use of the construct Hunter is skilled and this is a well crafted, well written action adventure that also has personality and is fun to read Hunter s characterizations are almost all good a couple of painful straw men and some made for TV dialogue notwithstanding and her world building is every bit as good as Jim Butcher or Hearne s.This is one of the best urban fantasy series I ve come across.In leather wearing, shotgun toting and motorcycle riding Arnold sincerity I ll be back. Actual rating 2.5 stars Because I m in a good mood today. Disclaimer I read this book only 10 days ago and can hardly remember the story This should be a fascinating review Then again, I was recently told my reviews were offensive, so all is not lost You might get bored but at least there s a good chance you ll feel outraged about all this Muahahahaha. Presenting Adventures in Lowered Ratings, courtesy of Faith Hunter my failing memory 1 to 50% OMG I can t put this down, this is 4 star material You create an awesome, badass chick of a lead YES You decide she s Cherokee YES You make her a skinwalker, meaning she can take the form of any creature she wants YES You make her live with an inner Beast who tends to have a life of its own YES You give her a super cool bike called Bitsa bits of this, bits of that YES You turn her into a total tea snob YES You give her the annoying habit of nicknaming everyone YES You set the whole thing in New Orleans YES Uh Oh material You use short sentence structure Which makes this poor little reader s head hurt really, really bad One of your very manly characters is named LaFleur, aka the flower in French Yes, this literally radiates masculinity 50 to 70% Houston, we have a problem, I think I m downgrading this to 3 stars Your awesome, badass chick of a lead is a walking contradiction She is supposed to be this super tough heroine but she starts acting like a bloody teenager and blushes furiously every five minutes Sense this not makes I get it not The members of your Testosterone Bunch all seem to have escaped from a PNR Novel They re all HOT They re all SEXY They all EXUDE manliness They all OOZE sensuality Please kill me somebody Your plot is getting thinner and boring by the minute What started out as wow this is freaking exciting is slowly but surely becoming what the freaking meh is this Short sentence structure choppity chop, choppity chop, the headache is turning into a migraine 70% to 100% WTH happened I am now considering giving this a 2.5 rating It s official, your exciting, original plot is actually nothing than a standard, average UF story You re full of blah blah blah and boring boring boring You re full of lame sexual tension but desperately lack actual sex Click click click, tap tap tap, watch me turn the pages of my Kindle at record speed.Tada THE END Reread and still love I had so many problems with this novel that once I start, I ll probably go on for a while.So instead, let s start with a positive note Hunter s take on supes Her always on edge vamps, witches and the skinwalker myth were well done all of them are pretty balanced power wise and a good addition to UF lit.Then there were some other good things, too Her version of New Orleans and the Cherokee culture for example.But there were two huge issues that kind of ruined the experience for me the writing style and the characters.Hunter is overly descriptive with everything She feels the need to explain in excruciating detail even the most mundane procedure, object or setting It s patronizing and disrupts the flow of actions in scenes that otherwise would be pretty good.Let me give a random example Jane, the MC, is having a very interesting conversation with a guy nicknamed Bruiser Just before they sat down she started the water to make some tea Some chapters earlier we had already been treated to several paragraphs regarding the proper preparation of it, which varieties Jane prefers, their prices, countries of origin, availability, et cetera no, I m not joking Now, as the tension is ratcheting up, Hunter interrupts their chat so Jane can prepare the tea Usually, I d find this realistic and even enjoy it since I don t like errors in continuity if you started to prepare tea, it s only logical that after a few minutes it s ready But take a look at the way in which she does it Jane doesn t just prepare the tea and pour a couple of cups before the conversation continues Instead The whistle started low and rose in volume While I thought, I stood and lifted the kettle off the flame, splashed boiling water over the teapot and into the strainer in its top, equalizing the temperature inside and out before filling the pot I set it on the table, wrapping it in a tea cozy to keep it warm while it steeped Bruiser s eyebrows went up at the domestic motions Do you cook too he asked, the tone teasing Cause any woman who does a weapon striptease, handles a Benelli like she knows how to use it, and can cook, pushes all my buttons I don t cook, I said, smiling when Beast showed me a stack of raw steaks Bruiser smiled back, thinking I was flirting Only then the original conversation continues the tension was long gone If this happens once or twice, I can easily overlook it, but it s like that every single time If I ever care about my tea enough to be interested in how to prepare it properly, shoot me I ll wikipedia it That s not the reason I m reading this book and equalizing the temperature yada yada has no relevance whatsoever to the scene, so skip it Jane never just puts some clothes on or takes them off either, she will give you the exact sequence in which she does it, down to which sock she puts on first.Then there are the rarer stuff things that you know she had to research I repeat, realism is OK, than OK even But give us a filtered version of what you found I m not interested in reading a weapon s manual of specifications Use that information to make your scenes realistic no one wants to read an old western with revolvers that shoot infinite bullets and can pierce the heart of a man standing a mile away but I don t need to know this, either I carried the Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun to the bed and checked it for tampering This model M4 had been designated by the military as a Joint Service Combat Shotgun Its steel components had a matte black, phosphated, corrosion resistant finish the aluminum parts were matte and hard anodized the finish reduced the weapon s visibility during night operations The shotgun is considered by many experts to be nearly idiotproof It requires little or no maintenance, operates in all climates and weather conditions, can be dumped in a lake or pond and left there for a long time and not corrode It can fire twenty five thousand rounds of standard ammunition without needing to have any major parts replaced I had studied long and hard before investing in the weapon.The Benelli, a smoothbore, magazine fed, semiauto shotgun, is designed around the autoregulating gas operated ARGO firing system, with dual gas cylinders, gas pistons, and action rods for increased reliability Locking the barrel is achieved by a rotating bolt with two lugs It can fire 2.75 and 3 inch shells of differing power levels without any operator adjustments and in any combination, and can be adjusted or fieldstripped without tools It s perfect for close in fighting in low light operations It s a totally cool weapon Mostly, though, I just liked the fact that it was idiotproof After reading all this, I still pictured it as a regular shotgun, so what s the point I could go on and on with this, but I m already making her mistake Overkill.Moving on to the characters I Didn t Like Any Of Them That s right, not a single one I m blaming this mostly on their introductions First impressions do count and Hunter has a way of making sure that everyone is introduced under the worst possible light They re either lying or attacking good people or just acting plain crazy for no other reason than that they can Then, half a novel later, there s some flimsy explanation in some cases, anyway about that character s actions and how they weren t all that bad and what Are we supposed to like them all of a sudden Sorry, it doesn t work that way Once you made a character unlikable, you can t just flip a switch and say ta daaa It wasn t that bad See He s a good guy Nope You have to work harder than that.The worst character of the bunch, though, is Jane herself I like kickass heroines, but I prefer actions to words Jane brags a lot, describes her weapons, her fighting techniques, her special leather clothes, her speed, her smarts, etc to no end yawns Then, when it really matters, she s always without them with the exception of the big fight at the end of the novel where she s fully garbed She s always talking about how badass she is, but then, whenever there s a fight all she can do is say shit, shit, shit and be rescued by someone else or just dumb luck while dressed in a skirt and dancing shoes.She s supposed to be a smartmouth, but to me, she just came across as plain rude For example, she s exiting some place and someone approaches her with a very short, relevant, yes or no question She doesn t stop, doesn t answer She keeps going leaving the person staring after her, starts the bike and leaves thinking I don t have time for chatting, a plan is forming in my mind I would be OK with that, except that the very next paragraph starts with I parked the bike and went inside the house, I had no idea what to do next and I was tired I started the water for the tea and went to take a long shower After I was clean and had enjoyed a cup, I dropped into bed and slept That kind of thing makes no sense What reason is there to be rude only to go home and sleep What is this plan she mentions when afterwards she says she has no idea what to do next This kind of thing happens too often to ignore.Her P.I work deserves a paragraph all of its own I ll give her this she s a good tracker, maybe even better than a police dog If you ever misplace something, she s the girl you want to call All the benefits of a dog coupled with speech Let s be honest, who wouldn t want a talking dog But that s all she is Her IQ is on par with Forrest Gump s No matter how many clues you give her, she ll never put two and two together In this novel she literally stumbles upon the bad guy near the end after being pointed in the right direction for the nth time I had trouble understanding her logic refer to the previous paragraph for another example or her difficulty to absorb basic information If someone approached her and said nudge, nudge, wink, wink you ll find the one you re looking for if you go north she would go all wow, I m getting dizzy with all the complexities of vamp politics Why can t they be straightforward and say it like it is Then, she would start the bike and turn west saying I need to find information about this There was a lot of head scratching during this novel.Beast s voice was sort of interesting for like three paragraphs, then it became tiresome Jump to top of fence Dropped from fence Smelled the air Many smells Some good smells dog, cat, chicken, bird Some bad, human smells oil, exhaust, asphalt Yada yada Imagine reading a whole scene like that Now a whole chapter Yeah, I m getting tired just thinking about it.So, all in all, this series just wasn t for me view spoiler Captain Obvious, challenge accepted hide spoiler 3.5 stars for this urban fantasy, an alternative version of our world with a Cherokee shapeshifter heroine, and vampires who are out to the public New Orleans, the setting of this novel, is a tourist attraction largely because of all of the vampires there, who own much of the city This 2009 novel owes quite a bit a bit too much for my money to Moon Called, which was published three years earlier, and the Mercy Thompson series, which also has a Native American shapeshifter heroine who s pretty much the last of her kind, mixing with other supernatural beings werewolves in that case mostly vampires here , but if you like that type of urban fantasy you ll probably enjoy Skinwalker.Jane Yellowrock, our main character, can shapeshift into various types of animals there s actually some interesting scientific discussion about how the shapeshifting process involves DNA and sometimes adding and subtracting mass using nearby rocks and boulders Primarily, though, she shifts into a mountain lion shape, the Beast who shares her body but has a separate mind and soul.Jane has built up a reputation as a vampire hunter, killing vamps who are out of control as opposed to the sane vamps who obey certain rules and are or less accepted in society Jane has come to New Orleans to hunt down an unknown rogue vampire, a serial killer of both vamps and humans The job turns out to be a lot difficult than either she or her employers, the vampire council, expected.A reasonably good urban fantasy I d recommend it mostly to fans of that genre. 4.25 A buddy read with the Wednesday UF group BBB This was cool I know, it sounds silly and Minimalistic, but I had fun reading it It is not a secret that I am a fan of all things Fantasy, but I do have a soft spot for Golden Age Urban Fantasy , mostly written between 1995 2005 This one falls in this category and I was not disappointed It had everything a UF should have with its own unique flavor Jane is a Skinwalker, a native American Cherokee heritage, who at one point in her life had discovered that she can take the shape of other creatures, and somehow, after a specific incident, has bonded with a mountain lion s soul and the two of them coexist in the same body Fascinating The dynamics of this relationship is so interesting and the battle for dominance so unconventional, that just for that the book should be guaranteed a 3 star rating Add to it the world building, the search to find, engage and eliminate a rogue Vampire who is eating people and other vampires and smells really funky while doing it, and the setting of New Orleans and a cool background story, and we get to solid 4 stars at least Now, there was some plot meandering, but it was usually brought back under control pretty fast, so I say, the book is a winner The story was suspenseful, interesting, and ended up with a bang I would recommend it to all who love the genre or are looking for something to entertain them for a while I wish you all Happy Reading and many wonderful books to come Just so you know, I hate myself when I do this but I just cannot read this book any longer I feel as though I m punishing myself for something I haven t even done yet and I m certain what ever it is I am yet to do is not that bad The premise of a badass skin walking detective solving mysteries for vamps and other supernatural beings in the south of America was alluring but ultimately deceptive The descriptive prose was tiresome, her progress on the mission dragged, there were constant interruptions for food and shopping obviously both very important but not the biggest priority when there is a crazy liver eater on the loose I also found the fact she had done a class in every cool salsa dancing and mission critical thing emergency surgery you could imagine a poor explanation for her extra useful skills The one thing I am keen to know on is the recipe for Anton s beer baked Cajun crayfish Any ideas, let me know If there was an inkling Jane would get with the Bruiser any time this century then I d hang around but as my will power for this story and subsequent sequels has been totally eroded I can t slate this book because it s not bad as such but it is bland.I m sorry author and GR friends I can promise you I tried but after I caught myself daydreaming about how long my Costco supersize roll of bin liners would last me I thought it best to call it a day.BTW my best guess is 5 months Amazing Updated January 24th 2013 I have just used the last bag A much better investment than the book.
for pics She works with stones, pearls, crystal, and glass, wire wrapping larger, undrilled, focal stones Labradorite, ite, apatite, aquamarine, and prehnite are her favorite stones Faith loves orchids Her favorite time of year is when several are blooming Pictures can be seen at her FaceBook page And yes, she collects bones and skulls Many of her orchid pics are juxtaposed with bones and skulls a fox, cat, dog, cow skull, goat, and deer skull, that is, unfortunately, falling apart and the jawbone of an ass She just received a boar skull, and the skull of a mountain lion legally purchased from a US tannery killed in the wild.She and her husband RV, traveling to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast And that leads Faith to kayaking her very favorite sport Faith discovered whitewater paddling when she was researching her Gwen Hunter mystery book, Rapid Descent She took a lesson and after a bout of panic attacks from fear of drowning discovered she loved the sport.Faith is one of the founders and a participant at the now defunct and archived
- Mass Market Paperback
- 320 pages
- Faith Hunter
- 10 December 2018 Faith Hunter