Oh Lord, I thought when I got this book, not another vampires in Louisiana book. Sigh. Okay, I have to read it. I'm interviewing the author and it wouldn't be fair not to.
Then I opened it and was hooked fairly quickly. Faith Hunter can WRITE.
This book is about the perfect read in many ways. My only complaint was the beast POV passages sometiems went on too long. They're hard to follow and intentionally so. You're in the mind of a beast, after all. But as such, I could have used a little less of them in several places and still followed the story.
Jane Yellowrock is immensely complicated, likable and well drawn. She is far from a typical hero in many ways but to say more might spoil it. Suffice it to say, she will surprise you and in a good way, over and over.
The other characters are well developed, too, although not as well as Jane herself, but it's a series and supporting players have arcs stretched out over time rather than just a book. Hunter is very good at teasing little bits and pieces as she goes. And also at using the bitses (Gollum word) and pieces later on to make the novel more meaningful and layered.
I also really liked that, despite immense violence and some sexual content, she did not get explicit and kept Jane true to her morals. Jane is a Christian, like the author, and, as such, atypical for urban fantasy but it's a welcome change and done just as an aspect of character, not in a preachy way at all.
Hunter's intimate knowledge of Louisiana from growing up there is evident on every page. The story drips the atmosphere of the places in which her scenes are set. The mystery elements are also handled well. I look forward to reading the rest of this series and author's work. Highly recommended!