Blood Trade (Jane Yellowrock Series #6)

Blood Trade - Faith Hunter Jane Yellowrock is still reeling from the bond that Leo forced on her, depressed, lost and apathetic and afraid even to shift for fear that Beast would go running to Leo, she needs a distraction. So a call to Natchez to kill Naturaleza vampires sounds like the best thing.There’s some politics to play what with Leo and the master of Natchez being officially annoyed with each other and lots of dancing from that, but Jane handles it with her normal blunt force approach.Except these vampires are worse than your usual Naturaleza. They’re faster, tougher – and nearly immune to silver. And they’re changing into something else, something insectile. This is an entirely new threat and one more lethal and disturbing than most she has faced – something that goes back to the very core of the vampires’ creation.That and the increasing body count – over 100 missing and dead humans – means having to call in the government agency, PsyLed, which means calling in Ricky which means, along with Bruiser, Leo’s second showing up, Jane also has to deal with her rocky emotions over her personal life.This is one of those hard reviews to right because so much is done well that it creates an excellent book. But the things that were more shaky are things I can write much more aboutWhich means I end up reducing the excellently well written plot, with all the descriptions giving me just enough information to see the scene vividly without it being bogged down, the well paced fight scenes full of drama and excitement, the emotional quandaries that carry all of the feeling with none of the excessive angst – to a single sentence of “it was well paced”. Followed by several paragraphs of what I think the book did wrong giving the end impression of my not liking the book, which couldn’t’ be further from the truth.The book is really well written. Everything is largely balanced well. Jane has personal, emotional conflicts, her depression over the actions in the last book are really well conveyed through her apathy and tiredness far more so than by her sitting in a corner and wailing. Her relationship with Eli and the Kid is shown really well, again without lots of excessive telling, just the way they bounce off each other shows this developing family.Jane herself is a complicated character, her balancing of her spirituality and morality with her complex belief system, history and profession is deep and interesting. Even as she hardens after the events of the last few books, she still holds onto her morality and the guilt that clings to her. I love the Her interactions with Beast are excellent and I love that Beast is more than just a raging hungry monster – Beast is maternal, Beast wants kits, Beast can be guaranteed to shred anyone and anything in defence of children.I loved her reconciliation with Evan because it was all it should have been – perhaps a little too perfect and pat because of that. But I loved it, I loved that Jane was sad about what happened but absolutely refused to take any more blame for shit that wasn’t her fault. In a genre that is full of heroines nailing themselves to crosses for everything that goes wrong, it’s refreshing to see Jane standing there saying “yeah, that’s sad – but it’s not my fault” and rejecting Evan’s blame – AND insisting he own his own faults. Jane has been beating herself up about Molly for a long time and it was a relief to finally have this resolved not with Jane being forgiven but with Jane refusing to be a scapegoat.The story itself is excellent, it draws upon all the vampire lore that has been developed over the series and makes it relevant rather than just backstory. It also helped really nail down the different kinds of vampires out there and their relative strengths and weaknesses finally in a defined form. It is a twisty mystery with more than a few surprises. There are, perhaps, more combat scenes than are necessary next to balancing exposition, but they’re really well written so it does work. We have some great side plots that fit well with the overarching main story including a nice lens into Jane’s own past and childhood. They aren’t a distraction, not even the old woman deciding to go vampire hunting – and all really fit together well.Read More