Skinwalker by Faith Hunter is a marvelous, thrilling romp in a fantastic new dark fantasy series. Paranormal and romance lovers alike will definitely love this!
Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps…
Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission…or else the next skin she’ll need to save may be her own.
I had never read anything by Hunter when I picked up Skinwalker and was extremely surprised and thrilled with how awesome it was. Faith Hunter joins Harrison, Andrews and Kenyon on my “instant buy” list! Hunter’s writing is fantastic and her world and character building is outstanding. She puts just the right amount of “descriptive text” that lets you feel like you are in her world.
The plot is pretty straight forward with Jane hunting a rogue vampire who the vamp council wants caught before more attention is brought upon them to the human race, which would end up making vampires look bad. She meets the hunky Cajun biker who puts a little spin on the story line and makes you wonder where the story will go as far as “romantic interest”. I loved the feel of sexual tension between the two, without any sort of falling into bed or relationship happening. Jane prioritizes very well and while there are many humorous settings throughout the story, she is focused on her task and kicks much ass.
One thing that I truly loved was Jane’s *Beast* speech, when she shifts into Beast and hunts, she starts talking in a sort of rudimentary type speech since she isn’t human anymore. Rather, she *thinks on the pages* instead talking out loud because Beast can’t really talk in her cat form. Jane is still inside, speaking to the beasts, giving her instruction when needed, as the reverse also happens in Jane’s mind with Beast. It reminds me of sort of a caveman like talk, and it was such a delight to read! I have read other reviews where people say they had trouble distinguishing between Jane and Beast on shifting but I don’t understand how! Her speech changes dramatically when Beast is in control and its quite humorous at times. I found it to be so refreshing and unique that it’s one of the main reasons this series has moved near the top of my favorites list.
Faith Hunter has developed what seems the impossible in a shifter story; uniqueness. The shifting process was very thought out and explained quite well throughout Skinwalker. Jane needs the bones of animals in order to shift to their form, and she can shift into any type of animal she wants. However, the bigger/smaller difference in body mass of the animal she wants to turn into, the harder it is to pull off. I absolutely love the concept! What’s also interesting is that she seems to think she is the last of her kind, and the author hasn’t hinted on if this is really true. Throughout the story Jane is trying to learn who she really is, as she has lost memories from the past from being in Beast form for too long.
In the hunt for the rogue vampire she meets Leo, a master of his bloodclan (and oh so very hot), as well as various other important vampires including the “ladies of the night”. Of course with vampires comes some complications, especially since with their sense of smell they can’t figure out what she is – and she isn’t spilling!
Witches are in abundance in Skinwalker and I really hope she has some spin off books involving them as a main focus because they are super interesting, especially little Angelina.
One thing that I forgot to mention above was the cute little thing Jane does when she meets people…she gives them nicknames. For example, Leo’s blood servant she nicknamed Bruiser even though he told her “I have a name…I’m George Dumas”. Her reply was “So what?”. I love the humor in this book *grin* It’s a great mix of action, humor, suspense and a romantic intrigue. I literally could not put this book down, as the second one in the series.
Simply put, Skinwalker was excellent all around. If you love urban fantasy books, or just paranormal reads in general you MUST pick up Skinwalker and give it a try. It will not disappoint!
Also reviewed by:
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
The Eclectic Booklover
this sounds super cool! i’m adding it to my list.
I’m glad you liked Skinwalker as much as I did. The next book, Blood Cross, is just as good. The third book, Mercy Blade, isn’t supposed to be out until January.
If you’ve got the Strange Brew anthology then you’ve probably read the backstory to Skinwalker. I had read it, but didn’t connect the two until I pulled Strange Brew out and re-read, then it all fell into place.
I love these books! I am eagerly awaiting the next book. Faith Hunter is a great writer.
I personally had problems reading from Beast’s point of view. I had no problem distinguishing between Beast and Jane. My problem was with how choppy I found Beast’s train of thought. I don’t know why it was so hard for me to read, but I really had trouble. I only made it a couple chapters before I had to put it down, but I’ve held onto it because of all the great reviews I’ve read. Maybe I’ll pick it up again in the future and find it easier to follow.
Yeah I can see how it might be difficult for some to read like that, but I found it to be so unique and more so realistic! I mean how is a cat supposed to know proper sentences? hehe
It was my absolute favorite thing about this book :) I love Beast!
Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Thanks for linking to my review, too!
I loved Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series!! Glad you found Skinwalker, can’t wait to see what you think of Blood Cross!
C.E. Murphy and Faith Hunter are discussing the possibility of a fanfic cross-over with the Joanne Walker/Jane Yellowrock characters. There’s a snippet here.
So glad to hear you loved this so much. I have it on my shelf to read. After reading an anthology Hunter wrote a story in, from this world, I had to run out and get this book. I am looking forward to getting to it. :)