Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: Run. Hide. Jane is stupid.
Jane Yellowrock and her security team is busy preparing for a Witches Conclave being held in New Orleans when she is attacked in her home by a pair of unknown witches. The investigation into the attack results in the solving of a decades-old mystery. A long thought dead master vampire is found chained to the bottom of a pit; insane and starving. Jane is tasked by her boss, Leo Pellissier, with discovering who did this and why. Accusations are flying all around and if Jane doesn’t discover the culprits soon, it could be the beginning of a supernatural war the world has never seen the likes of.
Shadow Rites is the tenth book in Faith Hunter’s epic Urban Fantasy Jane Yellowrock series. Based on Jane Yellowrock, a female dual natured skinwalker, we follow her journey as she continues to discover more about her heritage, her magic, and her destiny as she plays enforcer for Leo Pellister-the Blood Master of New Orleans. Impressively action packed with a steady influx of magic and mayhem-Jane finds herself once again forced to cleaning up a supernatural mess. The steady pace and extremely plotted storylines harmonizes well with the dry humor and dynamic characters. Hunter continuously adds to her character base, introducing new faces while expanding the background on the older more established ones.
While still preparing for the European Mithran Vampire delegate that is coming to New Orleans, Jane Yellowrock and her security team are also handling the security for the Witch Conclave that is coming to broker peace with the vampires. Jane has come along way since the beginning. No longer a solitary figure who walked alone with her guilt and insecurity; she now has friends, family, a home, job security, a better relationship with Beast, and a promising romance. Though she will never probably never exercise all her guilt nor her ingrained need to protect those she loves, she has begun to accept that some of her actions in the past and that her family and friends are more than able to protect themselves. Her biggest accomplishment to date is the total acceptance of Beast. She and Beast are no longer two separate entities who co-exist. They have become one and in doing so has opened up a whole new world of power and magic for Jane.
Beast is a wise ambush hunter.
Yes, you are.
We are. We are Beast.
The main long reaching arc is still at a standstill as we await the arrival of the European Vampire Council (three books now). Unlike the last two books, the main conflict in here is not a result of the European’s visit but blowback from past choices made by Leo and the Witch Conclave. Hunter has spent a considerable amount of time and skill creating an elaborate and complicated web of lies, betrayal, deception, and death that is slowly coming to light as Jane and her security team find themselves on the receiving end of a nasty revenge plot. Using this plot line, Hunter gives us updates on previous storylines-closing some threads off for good and commenting on others to assure us they haven’t been forgotten. The reasons for the attacks become clear as the multiple plot lines intertwine, giving us a clear view of the complicated politics of the supernatural world and the repercussions of those who try to change it. Jane is forced to defend at great risk to her own life though she is sure to give a strong piece of her mind to all those involved. The investigative angle still remains strong and keeps the world modernized while reminding us of Jane’s ability to look at the world through dual natured eyes and find the truth that has been buried.
“You really need to keep it in your pants.”
“Keep it in my pants…”
“Yeah. Your need to tap everything that moves causes nothing but problems.”
“I have taken you recommendations under advisement.”
Romance wise, this series has been frustratingly slow though we finally see some major advancement. After the events in Black Arts, most fans knew the moment of truth had arrived. Jane could no longer make any excuses for her lover’s behavior. He made his choice, now he must live with it. I love who is in her life now. I’ve always been #TeamBruiser. George Dumas (Bruiser) has taken his time to get to know Jane and is finally in the position to make his intentions known. I love that he has never made her feel inferior or lacking. She matters to him and he accepts her for who and what she is. There is definitely some swoony worthy and majorly hot scenes that gave this reader hope that Jane and George’s relationship will continue to grow.
“He will smell me on you.”
“Good…Old guys sometimes need reminders about who belong to who. Whom. Whatever.
“And do we belong to each other?”
“We’re still finding out.”
Fans will love seeing how strong a role family plays in this installment and the continued message Hunter sends that family is often made by choice, not blood. Eli and Alex continue to hold a large part of Jane’s heart as do the Everhart-Truebloods. Molly is her best friend and the events that fractured their friendship have been addressed. So much humor surrounds this storyline as Jane’s home further expands with blessings in the form of some new roommates. A very interesting subplot is built around Angie-baby that has me excited about the future implications.
“To many people in our den, Beast thought, panting hard. Shift into big-cat and run. We find new den. Alone.”
The ending is a climactic and spectacular explosion; wrapping up the main storyline with cheers, jeers, and outright shock. Once again Hunter brings her A game to the table and more than delivers the goods. Shadow Rites is the turning of the tide in the series and left me more than ready for book eleven-Cold Reign-release date to be announced.