Faith Hunter and Jane Yellowrock

Faith Hunter – Jane Yellowrock

My sister first introduced me to Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series on a wine tasting trip. I finished it in a weekend. Finally! A heroine who kicked butt, was no nonsense, still feminine when she wanted to be and could deal with any bad ass out there. Oh, how I had longed for a book like this growing up.

This series holds me tightly. Every time a book comes out, I’m gripped by a need to buy it right away and if I don’t, it’s one of the few things I will actually remember, a mantra that repeats in my head, “I must buy that book next pay day.”  My favourite books are Skinwalker, Black Arts and Dark Heir. However, more are on the way and who knows, my favourites may change.

Faith Hunter Books

Having someone to cheer for will always bring me back and Jane Yellowrock is someone I can  cheer for. She tries to do the right thing by taking out the bad guys and protect the most vulnerable, whether they be humans or other “supernaturals.”

In Skinwalker, Jane is hired by a vampire to find and kill a rogue vampire, one who’s killing other vampires. In the process, she meets several women who work as prostitutes for vampires and when one of them is attacked and killed by the rogue vampire, her desire and drive to find the killer increases. She must protect the vulnerable and innocent. It is who she is.

In Black Arts, it’s much later in the series and Jane is now working full time for Leo Pellissier, Master of the City of New Orleans, setting up his security for a gathering of supernatural creatures. By now, she’s acknowledged and accepted that who she is is the protector. She’s on the trail of someone killing Katie’s women, some of them friends of Jane’s, and she’s also looking for her missing best friend, Molly.

In the end, she has to place herself on the line to protect Leo’s business interests, find the killer and protect her best friend from herself.

In Dark Heir, she tasks herself with protecting a variety of supernaturals and humans. Humans she protects from a homicidal, old vampire intent on just killing, European vampires from sexual abuse and arcenciels from being trapped and used for their magic. In our world where good and evil keeps getting re-defined for monetary and power interests, escaping into this world with a character who can and does protect those who need protecting makes me believe it’s possible we will come back to this.

These protective instincts flare up throughout the series and as the oldest sibling, I can understand them. It’s a wish for everyone to be able to live safe and happy without being preyed upon by others, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally. For me, it’s a desire to see balance in the world, that those who deserve it stay protected and those that deserve, pay for causing harm to others.

How many of you have a protective instinct and why do you think you have it?

Contemporary or Urban?

Contemporary or urban fantasy – I never realized there are two different types until I tried to explain why I like urban fantasy and I realized that my book, Burnt, didn’t contain all the traditional elements of an urban fantasy.

Contemporary fantasy (check out Wikipedia, Shadows in Mind and Hacker Space) is the umbrella term for fantasy fiction that takes place anywhere in our modern world. Urban fantasy is a sub-category of contemporary fantasy, from what I have read. Fantastical creatures such as gods, vampires and werewolves exist alongside humans but are hidden from or unknown to humans. The story is structured around a variety of scenarios.

Urban fantasy fiction always takes place strictly in an urban environment. It’s usually structured as a police type procedural – think detective or police – and there’s often a romantic sub-plot. It is not paranormal romance. If you take out the romantic sub-plot, the story will still stand as a complete novel (Jeannie Holmes). It is often written in the first person.

Burnt:

  • has a romantic element that is not integral to the story,
  • takes place in an urban environment, Sydney Australia and in Rapa Nui, Chile, south Pacific Ocean,
  • is structured around a thousand year old warrior in an ancient war, and;
  • is written in the third person.

All of which left me wondering what kind of story I have.

Genre titles don’t matter until marketing is involved. An urban fantasy tends to have a hero or heroine standing in a fighting stance on the front cover, holding a deadly looking weapon, ready to take on all comers.

Contemporary fantasy books, such as Neil Gaiman’s Amercian Gods, tend to have variable covers, usually with symbolism mixed with a less prominent picture of the main character, if the main character is there at all.

Since genres aren’t important for writing and my book hasn’t even sold, let alone actually have a marketing team behind, I’m going to call it contemporary fantasy.

But my blog will talk about the books I enjoy in contemporary and urban fantasy, because you don’t become a writer without picking up a love of reading and that’s what I want to share with you.

 

Caveat: all of the above descriptions are generalizations and there are always exceptions