Review: Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1) by Faith Hunter

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Roc (July 7th 2009)
How I got this book: free from a giveaway at Literary Escapism and mailed to me by the author
Links: Amazon Goodreads

Blurb from Goodreads:

As a freelance skinwalker, Jane Yellowrock spends most of her time hunting down snarling vampires. In her latest gig, however, this Cherokee stalker receives a call from an unexpected client: New Orleans vampire madam Katherine Fontaneau wants Jane’s help in "neutralizing" a rogue of her species who has been slaughtering other vampires. A steamy, action-packed mass market original.
My rating: 3.5/5 Stars – Could’ve been better, but I liked it overall.


At first I didn’t think I would like this book (the cover turned me off), but once it sucked me in, I could barely put it down!  Yes, it does have an unbelievably kick-butt heroine, sexy vampires, and numerous other urban fantasy cliches, but there are also elements that make this story unique.

For example, the protagonist, Jane, shares a body with the soul of another creature called Beast.  When Jane lets her out to play, Beast narrates the story in a clipped, staccato, stream-of-consciousness style.  It took me a little while to warm up to Beast, but I eventually found myself liking her as much as Jane.  Speaking of Jane, it’s fun to watch her kicking butt and pissing people off in her tough-as-nails, motorcycle chick persona, but I’m glad the author gave her a softer side as well.
The New Orleans setting is another element that sets this book apart.  The vivid descriptions make you feel as if you’re really walking through the French Quarter, giving the story atmosphere and bringing the scenes to life.

The plot was decent – the pacing could use a little work, and Jane is a bit slow on the uptake regarding the mystery villain, but overall it wasn’t bad.  The fight scenes were violent, bloody, and well done.  There’s a hint of romance, but the two men Jane is attracted to seem like the same character –  both hot, mysterious, bad boys.  This is where I liked Beast more than Jane.  Beast isn’t interested in sex without commitment; she wants to “mate” and have “kits,” while Jane is in no hurry to settle down.  This conflict leads to some pretty humorous situations since the two share a body.

Overall, Jane Yellowrock isn’t quite in the same league as my favorite UF heroines (Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, etc.), but I still really enjoyed reading this story.  It kept me constantly turning pages, eager to find out what happens next.  Skinwalker is exciting, different, and entertaining in an over-the-top kind of way.  I’ll probably pick up the next book when I feel in the mood for a fun, action-packed, adventure.


Reading Order:
Blood Cross
Mercy Blade

Also reviewed at:
Literary Escapism
Dirty Sexy Books – 4/5


About Lesley

I love big dogs, ravioli, and all things nerdy. Books are my crack.
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