BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, December 19, 2011

Review of Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover

Publisher: Pocket Books Urban Fantasy
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Series: #4 in The Black Sun's Daughter series
Buying Links: Amazon     The Book Depository

Book Blurb (from goodreads): 

*Contains spoilers for the previous books*

Jayné Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers; something else is living inside her body. She's possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse Jayné before the parasite in her becomes too powerful. 

 Ex's history and a new enemy combine to leave Jayné alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they're putting her in. Jayné must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin. 


"So you want to finish the latte and we can get this over with?"
 "Get what over with?"
 "I know why you're here. We don't have to dance around it. You came to kill me, and I'm not up for dying just yet. So-"
"I didn't come to kill you. I came for dinner. I didn't even know you were here," I said. "Besides, I wouldn't do that. You're my friend."......
"Damn. You have it got bad. I figured we were doing that moment of camaraderie for old times' sake thing before we went all Bushido on each other," he said.

My Thoughts:

*Contains spoilers for previous books*

This series just gets better and better. My friend Sophie introduced me to the series a couple years ago; I read the first book and enjoyed it, but didn't get around to reading the other books until recently. I read books two, three and four back to back, which gave me quite an appreciation for the series. You definitely need to read this series in order, without skipping. Each book has major plot developments and action. Jayne (pronounced Zha.nay) at times seems TSTL and inclined on the one hand to just coast along, living day to day, and on the other hand to jump into a situation without thinking, but gradually she grows, matures, and learns to think ahead and to take responsibility. In this book, we see and feel her disillusionment, her weariness, and her growing realization, which started in book two, that sometimes it's okay to leave a rider inside a human being, that they can work together peacefully.

This story focuses primarily on Jayne and Ex; Chogyi Jake is still recovering from wounds sustained in book three and Aubrey and Kim are in Chicago, trying to rebuild their lives. We learn more about Ex in this book, and get to know him better, including why he quit being a Catholic priest. Jayne also learns a lot about herself, and not all of it is pleasant. There are answers to some loose ends from prior books, including the origin of the series' name, and the end sets up an intriguing new direction for the series.

Hanover does an excellent job with "Killing Rites" - it held my attention from the beginning and I read it in two sittings. It has action, a well thought out plot, deft characterization, strong world building and characters that are easy to like even when you disagree with their actions. If you haven't read this series, you really need to. Hanover has taken the stock creatures of horror and urban fantasy - demons, vampires, etc. - and given them an all new spin, mixed with a bit of religion and philosophy.

I received a paperback from the publisher for review.


  1. I've only just had the first one which I enjoyed. It's going to be interesting to see how it develops.

    Here's hoping that he does it justice.


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