*NOTE: No spoilers for this book, but there might be info about previous novels, so if you’re not caught up, be forewarned:)
Blood Trade by Faith Hunter (Roc, April 2013)-Jane is depressed, which is a feeling she’s unaccustomed to, but it’s a fact she can no longer deny. All the symptoms are there, and it’s been especially bad since Christmas. The Younger brothers, Eli and Alex, who live with her and provide backup on her jobs, have helped a bit, but not shifting into Beast for a while has taken its toll. There’s a good reason she hasn’t shifted though, and it has everything to do with the MOC of New Orleans, Leo Pellisier. However, when she is solicited for help by the MOC Of Natchez, Hieronymous, she must put her feelings aside and get into warrior mode, because there’s a new breed of vampire on the loose, and they’re kidnapping and killing people at an alarming rate.
So, Jane and the gang pack up and head to Natchez, where they make their temporary home in the mansion of a charming, if a bit dotty old woman named Esmee, who enjoys a good adventure herself and loves having Jane and the boys as house guests. Before they departed New Orleans, Jane was informed by her info source, Reach, that she had an appointment with a reporter who plans to write a book about the vamps of Natchez. Little does Jane knows is that this writer, Misha, is a girl she grew up with in the group home, and she has not only her very sick young daughter, Charly, with her, but someone else that was in the home with them: Bobby, who is a man with the mind of a child and a very gentle heart. After Misha presumably goes off to meet a vamp that will help her with her book, she disappears, leaving Jane to take care of Charly and Bobby, along with figuring out why these new vamps are mutating into something much more powerful, and putting a stop to their reign of terror.
Blood Trade is the 6th book in the superb Jane Yellowrock series, and Faith Hunter shows no signs of slowing down with her heroine. My problem with reviewing these books is that there is always quite a bit going on in these novels, and it’s hard to decide what to touch on, and what to leave to the reader. I will say this: I’ve been hoping for Jane to find love for a while, and although nothing is ever cut and dry in her world, there are two men that have been in her life for a while; Bruiser, who works for Leo, and Ricky, who is now with PsyLED and has a physical condition that makes it impossible to be with Jane at the moment. It’s complicated. Jane is still smarting from Bruiser’s betrayal (which was beyond his control, but still), however, her heart is still with Rick (regardless of her undeniable attraction to Bruiser.) I like Ricky, but Bruiser will make your toes curl, in a good way…but I digress… The love triangle brings even more delicious angst to a storyline that keeps Jane very, very busy and constantly on her toes. Also, the author has tied up a few loose ends from previous books, which was pretty awesome. Additionally, we get some insight into Jane’s time in the group home as a child, which goes far to explain some of her insecurities.
Jane’s world is a fully realized one, full of shapeshifters, Native American magic and folklore, baddies that will make your hair stand on end, and a heroine, that, despite her considerable skills, harbors plenty of vulnerability and self-doubt. If you love urban fantasy or just plain wonderful writing and world building, this is the series for you.