4 stars · Viki's review

Viki’s Review: ‘Cold Reign’ by Faith Hunter

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions. But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen. Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

Title: Cold Reign (Jane Yellowrock #11)
Author: Faith Hunter
Published: May 2nd 2017 by Ace
Genres: adult, paranormal romance, magic


My thoughts:

Unlike myself, I got a late start in this series. It was around the publication of the seventh or so book in the series when I finally started to read it. I had my reasons, however misguided, for pushing it but after I read the first book I practically binge read it. And I’m now at the point when I love the series so much that I’m counting down the day until the next book. I was waiting for this book with such and enthusiasm, too.

First, I have to mention the cover. The series has simple but really expressing covers and it is true for Cold reign, too. Even more than for the others because the tones and colors of it give of such a cold and sterile feel that it expresses and shows a lot about the actual story. It’s a brilliant touch in my opinion but I’m not sure that it was intentional.

I’m not going to talk about the world building because we are so late in the story that there is not really anything new to that aspect of the books, it is a really well established part of the series.  And I think the author also realized this because lately there is nowhere near as much reminiscing and repeating in it that the previous books in the series. However I have a lot to say about the storyline. This book ended up having a marginally more sedate, slower paced plot than I got used to from the series. There are longer descriptions of the spiritual elements of Jane life and also she dives more into the workings, mechanism of her and her enemy’s magic. It’s provided a more thinking oriented storyline than an investigate and fight driven one which also meant that I found it a bit slower and it could have ended on a duller note if not for other things in it. The other things are the way how the storyline came to a climax point when the characters realized that everything that happened to them from the first book was part of one big, well thought out and connecting master plan. First I thought it is a bit strange and forced conclusion but if you think about it, it makes sense.  Also puts a lot of twists and surprising revelations into the arc of the book. So I’m not exactly satisfied with the dynamism of the book but hidden layers in it make up for my disappointment it spades.

Jane has an uncharacteristically melancholic side in this story which is kind of explained in her soul-searching excursions. Other than that she is still the bad ass chick from the first book whole slowly but surely gained a family, friends, connections and more power during her 2 years in New Orleans. Yes it’s only been two years.  She is really smart and resourceful as she proved it numerous times. She improved her social skill by a lot and created new, deep and strong connections, got new family and friends. However she also acquired a decidedly girly side and I’m not so keen on this, or more accurately I don’t like the part about her romantic life. Not just because I’m not really fan of the one she ended up but their lovey-dovey moments are a bit too cheesy for my taste and they are also mentioned or happen in the most inappropriate times. It pushes the story or rather Jane character a bit off balance for me. However I love her connection and little inner conversations with Beast. They are fun and delighting.

As for the other characters, there are a lot of regular ones in this series and we get to see yet one more side to the main group of vampires from Jane life. But Leo gone too far in this one. I like him but his scheming and aggressive way which he wants to control Jane starting to create a wedge between them. Oh, Leo my friend how far could you go just with a little bit of trust?
The Younger brothers, Jane permanent companions are also a bit different from their previous selves. Eli is fighting the ghost of his past and also has present personal problems so he is a bit surlier, as for Alex he goes through a lot in this story and mutes with it. I didn’t like Edmund in the beginning but he is starting to grow on me and he has a couple of surprises in talon for us in Cold reign.
There are also a couple of new characters but they are not so deeply developed and a couple of old characters also show up for a brief reprieve.

The last chapter completely took me off my feet and I can’t wait for the next book but I’m starting to fear the end of the series. At least I feel if things go in the direction they are heading right now then the main plotline is nearing the end. I hope it’s not the case because I love Jane adventures and adrenaline fueled escapades.

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