Shadow Rites - Faith Hunter

Here in the tenth Jane Yellowrock novel, Hunter ties the story in to events of the first (and a few others) in a way that makes you wonder just how long she's been planning it. But you'll have to dig into that part yourself.


The novel begins in the last days before a large Witch Conclave, at the end of which, they may sign a peace treaty (of sorts) with Leo Pellisier and the vampires he leads. Naturally, things aren't going to go well -- and this starts with a magical attack on Jane's house. Things get really bad, really quickly after this, and they don't get better for almost 350 pages.


We didn't get nearly enough Alex in this book. But we got plenty of Angie Baby, Evan, Molly, Eli and Bruiser. There's a few changes to Jane's house that will take some getting used to -- for her, as well as her readers. More importantly, things with Bruiser are progressing in a way that things with LeFleur didn't. So basically, personally, things are going as well for Jane as her professional life is in trouble.


But really, when hasn't her professional life been trouble?


She spends a lot of the novel focusing on the wrong things -- or at least the things that aren't as important -- which comes back to bite her in the end. It's pretty frustrating, too. Thankfully, Eli has her back. I'm really liking him more and more all the time. There's something going on with Angie as well that will be most interesting.


I'd be game for a Eli/Angie novella, now that I think of it.


I really enjoyed Jane transforming into a bloodhound (and Beast's opinion of the move) and her observations about smells, they really made me chuckle. There's a danger that Jane faces with this transformation, which adds a nice touch to things -- unless I'm mistaken, there's not been an inherent hazard to her taking on a form that's not the Puma concolor.


I hope that as the series focuses on the European Vamps' visit/invasion that we can move away from witches. Something about the way that Hunter describes magic just doesn't click with me -- I can't put my finger on it, and I admit it's probably my problem (but I'm going to blame her, because it's my blog) -- Hunter's were-whatevers, vampires, vampire attendants, skinwalkers, private security guys -- all those work just fine, but magic? Something just doesn't translate beyond whatever Molly and Angie Baby do (except in combat, then they're just as bad as the other witches). Which is a problem in books like this.


That aside, this is one of the more complex novels in the series -- probably the most emotionally fulfilling, while occasionally frustrating. More than usual, I'm eager to see what Hunter's got in store for this group.