Skinwalker: A Jane Yellowrock Novel
by Faith Hunter
Review by Beth Slater
Roc Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451462800
Date: 07 July 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Alone, Jane Yellowrock knows of no others like her. As a young child she walked out of the woods speaking not a word of English and wearing no clothing – thought by all to be of Cherokee descent. To live, she kills vampires. Having grown up in foster homes, separate from everyone and always looking out for herself and keeping secrets, she is very successful at what she does, but she keeps her methods to herself. Especially after taking out a family of vampires who almost killed her and her best friend. Jane has learned that secrets are a necessary evil. After months of building her Hog while recuperating, she agrees to a new job. This one is in New Orleans, and it’s not for just anyone.
Katherine (aka Katie) Fonteneau is the madam of Katie's Ladies, one the oldest continually operating bordellos in New Orleans, and she is also one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans. Katie and the New Orleans Council has requested Jane's services, with her high recommendation, to hunt down the rogue vampire that has come amidst them and is taking down old, strong, important council members secretly. The Council wishes for Jane to remove the threat without the notice of the public or press, but in New Orleans it is difficult to say just what is and what isn’t out of place.
Learning more from the ladies of the night next door than the cold-skinned blood drinkers, Jane tracks the changing scent of the madman that is attacking and killing people all over the city where laissez les bon temps rouler is usually the norm. Luckily she can change her shape to what she needs to follow the scents she needs, because this form of evil seems to have no boundaries. Neither, it seems, does desire, when a certain Cajun Joe enters the scene. Can Jane save her own skin while preserving that of those she's sworn to destroy?
This is the first book in a new urban fantasy series by Faith Hunter featuring a Cherokee Skinwalker – with a twist. Jane Yellowfeather doesn't know much about her own history, so we readers get to discover it along with her. Her quirks are interesting, and her loyalties her own. The point of view takes some getting used to, but I enjoyed the characters and the plot and am looking forward to seeing where Jane goes from here – obviously not far for her next adventure, but where will she go in her memories? I was transfixed with the thoughts of her anonymity – even in her own mind – and how she simply went forward from the day she left the woods.