My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review: Death’s Rival
The latest installment of Jane Yellowrock’s story, Death’s Rival could also be called Jane’s Revenge.
Jane walked out of the forest as a young child, without memory of who she was and not speaking. As an adult she becomes a vampire hunter, killing rogue vampires for a living. I guess it’s as good a profession as any.
In Skinwalker we discover Jane’s dark world, a universe filled with vampires and Jane, the last (?) Cherokee Skinwalker. Skinwalkers are able to shift into various animals when she has a sample of their DNA. Jane also shares her body with the soul of Beast, a cougar. Molly, an Earth Witch, is her best and pretty much her only friend. Molly and her immediate family are the only ones to know Jane’s secret.
Her life takes an about turn when the Vampire Master of the City of New Orleans, Leo Pellissier, hires her. Now she’s working closely for vampires, rather than just being hired to kill them.
In addition to Leo, we are introduced to some interesting men, including Rick, a cop, and Bruiser, Leo’s blood servant and right hand man.
In Death’s Rival, she feels very alone due to events in Raven Cursed. She is estranged from her best friend, and lost her boyfriend. Things are not going well and now she is drawn back into the world of vampires.
Death’s Rival is a foremost a mystery. Vampires are not supposed to be able to get sick, yet they are. There is a plague taking down the MOC throughout the US and Jane has to find out the cause and who is behind it. We are there every step of the way, as Jane’s support team, Derrick and his men, and Reacher, an computer expert, teases out the answers.
While she works through the threads, untangling the answers, she also discovers what happened to her people so long ago.
In addition Jane hires her own team, not associated with Leo. I adore these new characters—they are wonderfully developed. An ex-ranger and his younger brilliant brother are hired on as a team. The former ranger is the brawn of the family, and the younger brother is the brains, able to hack into anything. Which landed him on probation and under his brother’s care. Jane is sucked into the family dynamics, the squabbles and compromises of a typical family.
It all seems to puzzle Jane a bit, but she rolls with it and we see a more mature Jane.
Unfortunately, she still has trust issues and it’s interfering with her love life. Her lack of trust may mean the irreconcilable end to one of the men in her life. There appears to be a strengthening with another. This makes Beast very happy.
Beast is becoming a very strong character in her own right. We see more of the story through her point of view and the change in voice from Jane to Beast is marvelous. The big cat remains an animal, with animal senses and thoughts. She has accepted something that Jane hasn’t yet—they are more than just Jane and Beast. Together they are stronger and more.
I can’t wait until the next book in this series, and while the mystery is solved, there are so many places it can still go. Excellent story!