Blood in Her Veins: 19 Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock
Published: Feb. 2, 2016 (Roc)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Margaret
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Only three of the stories in Blood in Her Veins are new to me. I own four, smaller Jane Yellowrock anthologies, which include almost all of those stories, but they were all e-book only releases. So for those readers who prefer paper books, this might be the first opportunity to read some of these. Personally, I just love the fact that they are all collected in the same place, and in chronological order, now. I do wish that Faith Hunter had written new introductions to each story though.
If you’re curious about Jane’s backstory, “The Early Years” starts the day Jane left the children’s home and introduces her friend Bobby who shows up later in the series. It also tells the story of the first time she shifted as an adult. “Snafu” is the story of Jane’s first job. She’s young and cocky but not that different from Jane today. “Signatures of the Dead” tells the story of the case that made Jane famous and led to the job she accepts in Skinwalker. It’s told from Molly’s point of view and features all the Everheart sisters. This was the first time I encountered Jane, in an anthology years ago, and the reason I picked up Skinwalker.
I’ve always liked the stories about Rick LaFleur even though, as all of you who are up to date in the series will understand, he’s not my favorite character right now. I loved “Golden Delicious,” which is about a case he solves while attending the PsyLED Academy. “Cat Tats” tells the story of how Rick got his tattoos. It very dark, but helps explain some things that I don’t think were ever addressed in the books. “Blood, Fangs and Going Furry” takes place right after Mercy Blade and gives some insight into the actions that made him “not my favorite character.” “Off the Grid” features both Jane and Rick and introduces Nell Ingram, the star of Hunter’s Soulwood series that debuts later this year.
There are also two stories from Bruiser’s point of view, which first appeared in The Jane Yellowrock World Companion. “First Sight” retells his first meeting with Jane in Skinwalker. “Dance Master” is also set early in the series. It’s quite short, but makes me happy every time I read it. If you missed them the first time, these are both a real treat.
“Not All is As it Seems” is the only one of the previously published stories that I hadn’t read. It’s another Molly story that also features the Appalachian vampires and a teleporting teapot. That teapot is mentioned again twice in the following novellas. It seems to be a magical metaphor that will keep coming up in the series.
The two new novellas both take place between Dark Heir and Shadow Rites, which releases in April. In Cat Fight, Jane and the Younger brothers return to Bayou Oisseau, which she visited in the story “Cajun with Fangs,” to settle a dispute between the town’s vampires and witches. She discovers a mysterious artifact at the center of the conflict that was not at all what I expected it to be. Between that and another twist in the plot, I felt a bit disconnected at the end. But I loved the new details revealed about Edmond. And I always love seeing Eli in action.
Bound No More brings Molly and Baby Angie to visit Jane in New Orleans. They and the Youngers end up trapped in the house and under attack from an archenciel intent on stealing an artifact from Jane. Jane learns more about her abilities and altering timelines, but for me the story is really about protecting children. Magical children make the job much more difficult. Jane and Angie had me in tears at the end.
If you’re a fan of the Jane Yellowrock series, you need Blood in Her Veins in your collection. I really enjoyed being back in Jane’s world. It feels like it’s been a while since I visited. In fact, I liked it so much I’m starting Shadow Rites as soon as I finish writing this review.
Sexual content: kissing
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