Series: Jane Yellowrock
Format Read: eGalley
Source: from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble | Audible
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Blurb from goodreads:
Three stories from New York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter, starring shapeshifting skinwalker Jane Yellowrock.
In Snafu, a young Jane shows up for her internship with a securities firm. But before she even gets her foot in the door, she’s accosted by two street toughs and is forced to draw on her new-found Beast-magic to defend herself…
In Black Water, Jane encounters a dire situation involving an escaped prisoner and endangered hostages. With a helpful—and oddly sane—werewolf, Jane goes after the criminals, but can she stop them in time to bring the kidnapped women home alive?
In Off the Grid, Jane goes on what looks like a simple mission for the Knoxville blood-master—finding a missing Mithran. Her search leads Jane to a young woman named Nell, a woman with a scarred past and a strange power, a woman who may hold the key to saving the missing vampire, if Jane can convince her to assist.
Includes an exclusive preview of the Jane Yellowrock novel, Broken Soul, coming October 2014 from Roc!
Snafu and Off the Grid are never before published.
The story Black Water was previously published as an Audible Audio Edition.
Short stories are such a wonderful way to get sneak peeks into our favorite series and characters. And a collection like this also lets us see just how much a character has grown over the course of time. In four short steps, we see Jane from the beginning of her career to a preview of where she is now. I love that her sense of humor is present throughout, but you can see that her world view has deepened and changed.
"Snafu" is a quick but fun snapshot of a more lighthearted Jane, full of an exuberance not yet tamed by the darker aspects of the trade she's entering into. I hope that we get more chances to see her at this age. On the one hand, I wish it had been longer, but on the other, I don't think anything could have added to make it better.
I love Jane's relationship with the Younger brothers. Something about them rounds her out as a person. To me, one of the strengths of this collection is seeing Jane connect to others. She has Beast, but in so many of her introspective moments, she clearly feels isolated, especially without Molly and her family. In the other two tales, you see her affection for the brothers as well as her reach out and find a way to forge a bond with people who have good reason to be just as isolated.
I was interested to meet Nell who will star in her own series soon. I'm not sure just where Hunter will take her, but am looking forward to learning more about the mystery of her powers. I hope that we get to see cameos from Jane from time to time. I think they would have an intriguing friendship.
My favorite of the stories was "Snafu", a very short story where Jane is eighteen years old and starting her PI internship. While not a lot actually happens, though Jane does kick butt in one scene, we get to see her still young, somewhat naive yet still smart, and eager to start her life away from the children's home. There are glimpses of the Jane we know from the novels but it's also a good look at what Jane was like before she became a vampire hunter.
In "Black Water", Jane has to deal with the fallout from a recent case. All actions have consequences and Jane and the Younger brothers have some serious consequences to contend with. With help from a werewolf and his family, they try to set right what has happened. I liked Sarge and his family and hope we see more of them.
"Off the Grid" lays the groundwork for a new series that will be out next year, a spin-off from Jane's series. While I enjoyed the actual events and a new vampire that Jane nicknames Yummy, I was less impressed with Nell. I have doubts about whether she can sustain a series though she will be working with Rick and PsyLed. Honestly, I'd prefer to see Sarge and his family in a spin-off but I'll give the new series a chance.
All three stories showcase Jane's morals, her decisions, and her actions. She always tries to do what she thinks is right, to be ethical, but sometimes there are conflicts. The three stories in this collection clearly show us her priorities and her willingness to accept the consequences. All three stories showcase Jane, her talents, and who she is as a person. They're also a good introduction to the series if you're just starting.