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Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories from…
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This is a book of short stories from the Jane Yellowrock world - and it is huge. It may be a collection of all the short stories that there’s ever been in this series.

And it is excellent. It’s excellent because Faith Hunter is very very good at her short stories - the majority of them add something compelling to the main series. They add a little something to Jane’s past, to her relationships, flash out some elements of various characters’ back stories

I’m not saying they’re all perfect by any means - but the general tone of this whole book is to add a lot of richness and value to the whole series, filling in blanks, adding colour, expanding, adding realness - filling in all those things that would bog down a main book or get in the way or be unnecessary but still have value. That is a perfect use for short stories and compiling them all in one book removes the whole treasure hunt feel you can get trying to find a series’ supporting work.

We Sa and the Lumberking previously appeared in Have Stakes Will Travel developing Jane’s history before the series begins and continuing to keep her Native American ethnicity and experiences centreal

Similarly The Early Years also touches on another of Jane’s early moments, we’ve heard repeatedly that Jane was brought up in a children’s home but we’ve never really seen - Jane’s history in the children’s home and the people she met there and her first awareness of Beast and what Beast was beyond the ignorant attempts to explain that she got from the foster home. At the same time we get some excellent expositions of the flaws of the foster system and, really, how little it actually did to set up Jane for a successful life; not just because she didn’t fit - and Bobby due to his disabilities.

This is continued in Snafu her apprenticeship in security and private investigation, how she gained the skillset she had now, how she grew as a person, as a skinwalker, as a professional and as an adult. These three stories make an excellent arc for Jane’s early years and putting a great foundation of them.

This idea of using short stories to tell us how Jane got to where she is now continues with Kits which lays the foundation for one of the most important relationships in this book: Jane and her best friend and witch Molly. Their friendship, loyalty rough times and high times define so much of this series which means this, their first introduction so important. Especially as it really does explain how two people who are, by necessity, so private, managed to open up and really trust one another. Really, it sets the foundation for how Molly and Jane became not just friends, but family, which adds a realness to their relationship throughout the main series. Haints continues this with more looking at the supernatural world, more looking at how Molly fits into it (and, yes, using her witch skills to try and earn some money, even if dangerously. I like this because while Jane charges huge sums for her work, Molly doesn’t and as a mother of two, the extra cash isn’t just a throwaway resource to her). This also appeared in Have Stakes will Travel along with Signature of Death further cementing this awesome relationship and making them almost required reading for the series. But, I have to say like I did in Have Stakes Will Travel that the sheer amount Jane has reached out to Molly makes me even more disappointed when Molly turns on Jane for a couple of books in the same series. Yes there’s good reason - but these short stories show immense life-saving help Jane has given Molly in the past; I feel Jane deserved better than this. Which, of course, makes me even more happy to see them reconciled in later books

Again, this is why this arc is so important - it adds a wonderful texture to these character interactions

In theory, I suppose that it would be good to use short stories to do with Bruiser and Jane what was done with Molly and Jane. Sadly, I think this is a weaker element of this book, First Sight feels like a shallow bit of nothing, cheapening their relationship with insta-love and far far far too much sexual drooling. Which moves on to Dance Master which could be an analysis of Bruiser and Jane’s relationship or a nice snapshot of Jane’s daily life but is from Bruiser’s point of view and comes with more drool drool drool sexy drool, jealousy, sparring with Leo blah blah.

Which, I suppose, is kind of what Cat Tats does for Rick LeFleur which I’m sure would be all good and expansive for the character except I’ve always kind of hated him and that’s never really changed. It’s not so much him but as to what a complete mess Jane became around him. Still this story is essential - because so much of Rick’s story you can follow but not truly understand without this entry: explaining his mystical tattoos which would later cause him so much trouble in shapeshifting. Again we don’t just have one short story but a whole arc of Rick, from those tattoos, to then his initial problems and desperation in Blood, Fangs and Going Furry in trying to survive being turned into a wereleopard but unable to shift. Again, things we were vaguely aware of in the main series gain so much more texture following Rick’s arc and seeing the multiple places where Jane made a difference in his life

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Jul 19, 2017 |
I always enjoy Jane Yellowrock stories. She's smart, she's tough, and she has a sense of humour. It's also great to read about a female main character who doesn't spend the whole book/series panting after a man, or men.

Jane's business partners - Eli and Alex - are equally well-written; they are as real as Jane is. They have their own goals and plans apart from Jane, and it will be interesting to see how Yellowrock Securities develops in the light of this. Faith Hunter is allowing her characters to grow and develop, which is quite brave - but also necessary. People don't stay the same for years on end, but making book characters do so is very much the easy way out.

Then, of course, there is Beast. I have to say, apart from Jane, Beast is my favourite character. We get quite a bit of Beast in this book, and I love the way she teases Jane and completely doesn't sweat the complicated stuff.

Rick, I could definitely have done without. He needs to get eaten by something.

We also get a short story - more of a long vignette - from Bruiser's perspective. I have to say, I'm not keen on him either, and the story from his perspective didn't change my mind. Part of the reason I'm not keen on him is because he doesn't seem to have much character other than to be tough and sexy. Yawn. Urban fantasy is full of tough, sexy men; it's standing-room only, and they're all off the same production-line. Give me a man who actually has some character. If we're going to be stuck with Bruiser, can he please develop a personality of his own? Hopefully, Hunter will arrange this - I have faith ( :-) ) that she will.

There are also some interesting developments on the Everhart-Trueblood front. I tend to eye-roll when Molly appears on the page, generally because she arrives, gets Jane into trouble, requires that Jane rescue her (or requires that Jane rescue/sort out one or more of her family members), and then blames Jane for the whole mess. There are hints that this pattern may be about to change. Hooray.

And... Edmund. Edmund Hartley has been buzzing around the edges for a while. Interesting developments there - good, because I like Edmund. He always seems as though he's just going with the flow until he feels like doing something different. Edmund is playing a long game, and I really want to know what it is.

So, all in all, a good Jane-hit for those waiting for the next book. I wouldn't recommend this as a place to start, though - too many of the stories refer to events in the main novels. Although a new reader would probably enjoy the stories as they are, there is the potential to get really, really confused and/or hacked off due to not knowing who everyone is and why they're doing what they're doing (plus, there are spoilers - but if you start with a book of short stories, what do you expect?).

Now to wait for the next novel... ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
I have many of the stories in this book already, but the last three were new. Great read! Well written with great plot development and storylines! Must read! ( )
  BookJunkie777 | Oct 16, 2016 |
An excellent introduction into Jane Yellowrock's fantastic world. Skinwalkers, witches, vampires and humans mix, mingle and occasionally get along in an appropriately New Orleans styled alternative world. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jul 6, 2016 |
I think I may have only read one or two out of the 19 in other anthology books. So refreshing not to have read the majority elsewhere. Loved the two novellas at the end. Angie Baby is going to be a force! Read this! ( )
  pnwbookgirl | Mar 8, 2016 |
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Sometimes someone enters your life and, because they believe in you, in your ability and talent, your life changes. Their passion for your work gives you faith in yourself, your stories, your career, and your future. Jessica Wade, my editor at Penguin Random House, is that person. She makes me a better writer. She makes me strive for more action, deeper characters, better stories, darker outcomes, and she accepts nothing but my best. For that reason alone I should dedicate every single thing I write to her.
This is for you, Jess. Thank you for the long hours, the mental gymnastics you do for my stories, and mostly for your belief in me. I couldn’t do it without you.
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I/we climbed stunted tree, sat in twisted limb.
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"New York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter presents a comprehensive collection of stories starring everyone's favorite "smart, sexy, and ruthless"* shapeshifting skinwalker... In this must-have collection of stories, experience nineteen thrilling adventures from the world of vampire-hunter Jane Yellowrock, including many fan favorites and two all-new novellas. Read about the first time Jane put the pedal to the metal in "The Early Years," and the last thing a werewolf will ever see as Jane delivers justice in "Beneath a Bloody Moon." Get a searing look into the pasts of some of the series' best-loved characters: Beast in "WeSa and the Lumber King," Rick LaFleur in "Cat Tats," and Molly Everhart Trueblood in "Haints." In the brand-new "Cat Fight," the witches and vampires of Bayou, Oiseau, are at war over a magical talisman--and Jane must figure out how to keep the mysterious artifact out of the covetous hands of the Master of New Orleans. And in the never-before-published "Bound No More," Jane welcomes a visit from Molly and her daughter, Angie, who is about to prove she's the most powerful witch in Everhart history.... From the Big Easy to the bad bayou, from the open road to a vampire's lair--with Jane Yellowrock, it's always a given: have stakes, will travel. *New York Times Bestselling Author Kim Harrison"--… (more)

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