Released: October 2, 2012
Paperback: 336 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Jane Yellowrock
Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker you don’t want to cross—especially if you’re one of the undead…
For a vampire killer like Jane, having Leo Pellisier as a boss took some getting used to. But now, someone is out to take his place as Master Vampire of the city of New Orleans, and is not afraid to go through Jane to do it. After an attack that’s tantamount to a war declaration, Leo knows his rival is both powerful and vicious, but Leo’s not about to run scared. After all, he has Jane. But then, a plague strikes, one that takes down vampires and makes their masters easy prey.
Now, to uncover the identity of the vamp who wants Leo’s territory, and to find the cause of the vamp-plague, Jane will have to go to extremes…and maybe even to war.
Holy sweet baby Jesus, this book was good.
It took me longer than expected to finish DEATH'S RIVAL (DR); I was planning on finishing the day after I started, and wanted to have my review posted before the October release date. Alas, GREs thwarted my plans--but I managed to survive them! ...unfortunately, I don't think I will survive the wait for the next book.
It's no secret that I am a fangirl of the JY series, and these books hold a special place in my heart. SKINWALKER was the first novel I ever wrote a review for on Book Faery. Jane, Beast, Leo, Rick, and Bruiser are a unique bunch, and they never fail to keep me amused. Much like Kresley Cole's IAD series, whenever I read about Jane and her world, I feel like I'm coming back home and reuniting with some good friends.
The start, much like RAVEN CURSED (RC), was somewhat slow for my tastes. It took me a brief period of time to become fully immersed in Faith's writing. Like I said in my review of RC, those who may not be as invested in the series (or those of you sillies who read this series out of order) have a higher chance of not feeling invested enough to continue reading the book. I hope not, but based off my own reading experiences from new-to-me authors/novels, if I'm not pulled in right away, I probably won't continue reading. What I've come to notice in the more recent books in the JY series is that the beginnings are a slow buildup. By the time you finally get to the last few scenes, it's like an avalanche effect; Faith hits you over the head with one thing after another and I absolutely love it.
Religion and Jane's faith came up again, but I did not find it to be as obnoxious as it was in MERCY BLADE (MB). Jane has, for the most part, come to terms with her beliefs, and she has come to understand and accept what is morally acceptable for her person. I never thought I would say this, but I felt like her religion humanizes her when compared to the vampires that she interacts with on a daily basis. This is especially true by the final showdown...which was amazing.
There are quite a few plot twists in DR; one in particular made my jaw drop and had me squealing in displeasure about halfway through. I was so pissed on Jane's behalf, and I really wished I could have punched Leo for her. I eventually forgave him, but then the ending of the book had me about to start squealing again. By this point, I didn't know who I wanted to punch, though Rick may be the most likely candidate, surprisingly enough.
Speaking of the ending of the book: wow. It wasn't a cliffhanger by any means, but it was open-ended regarding a fairly important issue affecting both Jane and Beast. For that reason, it kind of feels like a cliffhanger for me--hence my angsting as I await the next book release.
One thing I think readers with similar tastes to my own will take issue with is the romance in this series. There is no set love interest (well I guess there kind of was before, but I'm not so sure that he is now after the way he reacted to Jane's reaction *sad panda*), but there are quite a few men that Jane and Beast either want to mate with or flirt with. I have no problem with this, because I think Faith handles everything both tastefully and realistically, but some readers who are jaded when it comes to YAs and the notorious love triangles may reflexively cringe at the number of men in Jane's life. I view it as: there aren't a lot of women in this line of work. Jane is a strong, beautiful, and independent woman with a mysterious air about her--of course all these single men are going to start panting over her if they interact with her on an almost daily basis. Hell, one of her nicknames is Legs. She's getting a lot of positive attention. What girl wouldn't react in a similar fashion?
Like I've been saying, if you haven't given the Jane Yellowrock series a shot, you really need to. The character development throughout the entire series is astounding, the worldbuilding is well thought out and unique, and the characters themselves will squirm their way into your heart and never let you go. The best piece of advice I can give is to start with SKINWALKER, and work your way through the series in order. If you start with a later book, you will be missing valuable information and character development. Definitely a must read.
1. Skinwalker (Tori's Review)
2. Blood Cross (Tori's Review)
3. Mercy Blade (Tori's Review)
4. Raven Cursed (Tori's Review)
5. Death's Rival