Monday, January 20, 2014

Black Arts by Faith Hunter

Once again, I have to mention that the theme of the year, or perhaps the decade, in urban fantasy is to have the "lone wolf" female protagonist come to the realization that she has friends and family whom she can count on to help out when the going gets rough. So, is this just a "thing" that women authors can't help writing? Do all women UF authors go to a clinic where they teach this stuff? Was there a meeting of the club where everyone agreed that this was the acceptable leitmotif? Don't we have any new ideas, people?

Reminds me of the early days when every fantasy seemed to be a Tolkien ripoff. Someone even wrote a satirical treatment of it - can't recall the title now, but there were things about how the proper number of a group of adventurers must be exactly nine, and the quest had to involve either finding a powerful magic artifact or trying to destroy one, etc.

Jane's best friend (though somewhat estranged since Jane killed her older sister for practicing blood magic rituals), Molly, has disappeared, supposedly on her way to see Jane, and her husband, Evan, has shown up in New Orleans searching for her, with both kids, Angie and Evan, Jr., in tow. The household of the Master of the City, Leo Pelletier, is experiencing a little bit of a shakeup after his Primo, Bruiser, has undergone his transformation to Honorio, and the various clans Leo has claimed are all finding their places in the hierarchy. Two of the girls from Mme Katie's establishment have also disappeared, though it's not immediately evident that their abduction has anything to do with Molly vanishing.

On top of all this, Jane is expected to make sure Leo's household security is up to the task of receiving a delegation from the European vampire council, a mission from the African weres, and the immigration of a powerful old vampire from Mexico, who was originally turned in New Orleans, and who hung around with famed pirate, Jean Lafitte, and who apparently wishes to swear fealty to the New Orleans MOC. She has a full house on her hands, with the two brothers, Eli and Alex, whom she has adopted as part of her security team, Evan and the kids, and eventually Bruiser moves in for a bit after Leo kicks him out.

As mentioned before, the real point of this plot is to make Jane realize who she can really trust, count on, and bring into the protection of her extended family. That, and to raise the stakes in sexual tension of the love triangle between Rick, Bruiser and herself.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

My theory is that it's what publishers think people (women?) want, but boy am I sick of it too! Of course the paired cliche is that often having realized that she will decide she doesn't have to be keep being strong forever and find a man to be weak around. Fine if that happens sometimes, but I wish it didn't have to happen in every other urban fantasy!