Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blood Cross by Faith Hunter

Skinwalker Jane Yellowrock is still hanging out in New Orleans, with a contract from the vampire council to track down and deliver the final death to rogue vampires and the old rogue who is creating them. Her witch friend, Molly, is staying at the house with her while her sorcerous husband is away in South America, along with Molly's two children, Evan Jr. and Angie, who has some serious witchy talents of her own, even though she's nowhere near puberty, the traditional age for the manifestation of such things.

Vampire politics are always tense, but they seem even more intense than usual when Jane attends a party in the Warehouse District with Master Vamp Leonard Pellissier's human servant, George "Bruiser" Dumas. Long-held clan alliances are fraying, and some clan leaders are hoping to change the balance of power, to rule in Leo's stead soon.

Jane's Beast hasn't mated in quite some time, and neither has Jane, so the sexual tension ratchets up in an odd potential love triangle between Bruiser, Jane and Rick LaFleur, NOPD detective. Killing two bats with one stone, perhaps, Jane convinces Rick to allow her to use the police files to investigate the city's vampire history, and discovers that a number of witch children have disappeared in New Orleans over a long period of time, with no serious investigation by the authorities. There's a certain segment of the population that believes that witches aren't fully human, and so, often their cases aren't really followed up thoroughly. But Rick, and a few others on the force, are not prejudiced, and hope Jane can help them bring closure to these cases.

There's a fairly significant side plot where Jane seeks counsel from a Cherokee shaman woman, grandmotherly type, and goes through a sweat lodge ritual to purge herself of weakness. This leaves her well-prepared for the coming battle with those who are kidnapping and sacrificing the witch children, who, coincidentally, turn out to be the same group of vampires who are plotting the overthrow of clan Pellissier.

Jane seems to grow less secretive with her friends in this book, and perhaps begins to trust some of her allies, discovering that she can't always go it alone.

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