Skinwalker by Faith Hunter | My TBR List Review

September 27, 2014 Reviews 26

My TBR List

My TBR List is a meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading where we get some help picking out what to read next. We sit for hours looking through our TBR lists wondering when we will ever get to that one book we were dying to read when we added it 3 months ago or maybe even a year. So each month we pick 3 books from our TBRs and let everyone else vote on which one to read. We announce the book the second week and by the end of the month, we review it!
Skinwalker by Faith Hunter | My TBR List ReviewSkinwalker by Faith Hunter
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Jane Yellowrock #1
Published by Audible Frontiers, Roc on April 13, 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Length: 14 hours 29 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
three-half-stars

First in a brand new series from the author of the Rogue Mage novels.

Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kindβ€”a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps...

My Initial Reaction…

I have mixed feelings and I think that maybe I should have read Skinwalker instead of listening to it, since Skinwalker probably required more focused attention than I gave it.

The Narration…

Even though I think I should have read, rather than listened to Skinwalker, that has nothing to do with the narration. Kristine Hvam was a fantastic narrator – she gave everyone really distinct voices and personalities. I loved the voice she gave to Jane and the way she did Beast was really great too. I just was more distracted than I should have been while listening and I think I missed details that would have improved my rating. I’m probably still going to try book 2 on audio because I liked her narration (and I already own it), but I’ll try to pick a time where I can focus better.

The Characters…

Skinwalker is told from the point of view of Jane, for the most part, and I loved Jane. She’s everything I love in my Urban Fantasy heroines – smart, tough, sarcastic as hell and says things that she really shouldn’t (often without realizing it). And she’s a Skinwalker! I know, duh, but… SHE’S A SKINWALKER. See this thing is, Mercy Thompson was one of my first Urban Fantasy reads and as a result, I have a perpetual weak spot for Native American storylines. Don’t let me confuse you – Jane and Mercy are 100% DIFFERENT kinds of shifters. But that Native American lore is front and center and that get me squealing.

So why am I not 5 stars in love with this? Well, for one, I have reservations about Beast. For lack of a better description and without spoiling things – Beast is Jane’s other form/persona…? I can’t go so far as to say I don’t like her because she’s brilliantly written and I think she adds a marvelous dimension to the story. She’s complex and full of mystery and some of the tricks she pulls towards the end have me VERY interested. But the sections from her point of view are… jarring? rough? IDK – I just know that if my mind wandered, it often was when the story was in Beast’s POV.

A character that I’m absolutely fascinated by and really hope we see loads more of is Angelina. She’s just 4 years old and Khrsitine Hvam’s voice for her is adorable. But I don’t like her because she’s adorable. She’s wicked powerful – at 4 – and sometimes she gave me the all-over tingles. She’s a awesome/creepy mix of adorable child and mega-powerful witch.

There are loads and loads of characters in Skinwalker and I think that I lost track of them – particularly the men. Jane has nicknames for them – Tank, Bruiser, Troll – but she also calls them by their real names and I got a bit confused about who was who. Now I’m not entirely complaining, because in the face of their yumminess, sometimes names don’t feel like that matter so much…

The Story…

The reason I will most definitely be continuing this series is the world. I try to be forgiving about world-building in first books, but in Skinwalker no forgiveness is necessary. The world Faith Hunter has created is marvelously complex and REAL. Well, ok, technically not real, but so believable. There are rules — shifting isn’t easy and it has consequences, vamps aren’t harmless – they are devious and manipulative and bloodthirsty creatures – and Jane doesn’t have all the answers.

The mystery in Skinwalker was also really complex – complete with layers and turns. Admittedly, I got lost on a few of those turns. Sometimes it was because I wasn’t clear on who a character was. Sometimes it was because my attention had probably wandered at a key moment. There’s lots of flashing back to memories or visions and sometimes those got confusing. One time I could have sworn we were getting a flashback from Beast’s POV and then I realized it was actually Jane’s. Point is, the details really matter and you have to pay close attention if you want to try to solve the mystery yourself. But, even missing a few turns, I was able to follow the mystery and really enjoy the story.

Concluding Sentiments…

I’m really excited about this world and I’m looking forward to trying out book 2!

pretty good

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three-half-stars

Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

26 Responses to “Skinwalker by Faith Hunter | My TBR List Review”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    Well, I’m glad you gave it a go and liked it, for the most part. πŸ™‚ I think I’ll read it. Ooh, maybe for COYER since I’ve had it on my nook almost since the time nooks released. Dang, that’s a long time. LOL I like the fact that the world building seems so well done. I’m a sucker for Native American lore as well. And I adore a great cast of characters. Fantastic review, Berls!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Young Adult Review ~ Spin ~ Darcie J. Gudger**My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Brandee – I really think this one would have been much better if I were more focused, so with the next book I’ll make sure to listen when there aren’t so many distractions. But its solid, that’s for sure!

  2. Tanja

    I haven’t heard of this one but I’m attracted to it. Especially as it has a skinwalker as I have only heard about that, but honestly haven’t read any book with them in it. I need to change that as this seems super exciting. Great review πŸ™‚
    Tanja recently posted…Unbreakable by Kami GarciaMy Profile

  3. Tanja

    I have never heard of this story but it seems really appealing to me, especially that world which I really want to enter. I’m really glad that you’ve enjoyed this one and I’m off to check it out πŸ™‚
    Tanja recently posted…The Sunday Post (#26)My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Well I own the second book on audio and the narration was well done – so I think I would still listen. But I would be more careful about when I chose to listen. I think I was a bit scatterbrained this time and while that would have been okay for some of the lighter audio books I do, it wasn’t enough focus for this one.

      I loved participating and had planned to participate this month before I had to take my blog break. I’ll be back next month for sure though πŸ™‚
      Berls recently posted…Skinwalker by Faith Hunter | My TBR List ReviewMy Profile

  4. Lola
    Twitter:

    One of the things I liked about this book was how the shifting didn’t went effortless. The skinwalker concept was so cool! It was a book that required much attention though and I forgot most of the plot now a few years later. It’s a complex story.
    The Beast pov parts where a bit weird indeed, although I did like how different their voices are. It was more beastly, so I think it was well done, but it was a bit jarring indeed.
    I thought the characetrs could be a bit confusing as well sometimes, there where just too many of them. I always have a bit trouble with remembering names and who’s who, so that didn’t help matters either.

    Your review really makes me want to re-read book 1 and jump back into the series, but it will probably have to wait for a bit as there are other books I have to/want tor ead first.
    Lola recently posted…Review: Elected by Rori ShayMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I totally agree – the shifting was an awesome element of this book. And the Beast felt appropriate, so I can’t really fault the writing, it was just jarring as you said. I’m looking forward to reading the next one, but being much more focused this time. Hopefully I love it, once I’m paying closer attention.
      Berls recently posted…Skinwalker by Faith Hunter | My TBR List ReviewMy Profile

  5. Rita

    I’ve heard many good things about this series, and I do like the Native American shape-shifting aspect…I don’t know. Your review makes it sound just okay and kind of confusing. I don’t do audio books for the reasons you named– my attention wanders and I don’t pick up all the pertinent info I need to understand the plot. Thus I just can’t do audibles. πŸ™

    Hope you enjoy the series more as you get into it. I am on the prowl for a really interesting UF series to start. Don’t know if I will do this one or not.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I do think it has great potential – I’m not sure how much of my reaction was my attention wandering and how much was that it was the first book and a lot to take in. Usually I don’t have this problem with audiobooks, but I was really scatterbrained while listening to this one, not to mention that it does have a LOT of details. I’m holding my verdict of the series to try the next one.
      Berls recently posted…Skinwalker by Faith Hunter | My TBR List ReviewMy Profile

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