Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter

Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter
Publisher: ROC
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (360 pgs)
Other: Violence
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker you don’t want to cross—especially if you’re one of the undead…

For a vampire killer like Jane, having Leo Pellisier as a boss took some getting used to. But now, someone is out to take his place as Master Vampire of the city of New Orleans, and is not afraid to go through Jane to do it. After an attack that’s tantamount to a war declaration, Leo knows his rival is both powerful and vicious, but Leo’s not about to run scared. After all, he has Jane. But then, a plague strikes, one that takes down vampires and makes their masters easy prey.

Now, to uncover the identity of the vamp who wants Leo’s territory, and to find the cause of the vamp-plague, Jane will have to go to extremes…and maybe even to war

Life gets really weird when vampires start bleeding out. Jane Yellowrock is the enforcer for the Master Vampire of the City of New Orleans. When other master vampires start dying of a disease that causes them to bleed profusely, Jane is dispatched to try to find the source. She discovers that an old enemy of Leo’s is trying to take his place and doesn’t mind killing anyone that gets in the way. Caught up once again in a world of politics, secrets, and lies, Jane is always a step behind and may finally be betrayed by those she trusts.

Death’s Rival is the fifth book in the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. Each book could be read as a stand alone and DR is no different as there is more than enough background to catch readers up but as with any series, reading from the beginning will deepen the understanding of the characters and plot. Ultimately it’s best to read all the books in order to get the most enjoyment out of the series. Here in the fifth book the action stays high and Jane seems to be losing friends and lovers at a fast rate. The plot is engaging and the mystery is pretty good. There aren’t enough clues to guess the twists before they happen – and there are numerous turns in the plot, which keeps things exciting. The unknown disease angle is unique and inventive, though it does kind of disappear towards the end of the book with so much going on.

The greatest aspect of the story, however, is Jane’s connection to the people around her. I really quite liked this book in the series and found myself oddly sympathetic towards Jane and her struggles. She has way too many men around her and her inner beast apparently claims them all, which had me rolling my eyes once too often. Additionally Jane acquires two new men for her business of enforcing vamps and I really liked their personalities. I hope they stick around and the older one is not interested in Jane. I had some qualms with how Jane acted around Bruiser in this one. Not to give spoilers but I felt as though she was constantly in heat around him, often ignoring very perilous circumstances. She also never really got mad at him even though it’s well beyond justified. I loved how the book ended, kind of a cliffhanger but kind of not, because it sets up a lot of tension for the next book.

As part of the series, Death’s Rival fits in really great. There is further characterization in some really interesting ways and the men around Jane continue to grow and become more than just another man in love with her. The plot is solid and acts as an engaging backdrop to the personal and political drama that makes up the world building around Jane and the vampires. The series continues to build tension and create road blocks the characters will have to tackle in the future so it makes me eager and curious to continue reading. This is one of the more interesting series I’ve read in a while and I’m just as invested as I am in the Mercy Thompson series. So fans of MT should definitely give this one a try. Those who already read the series should eagerly dive into Death’s Rival, it’s that good.


  1. Pam Blome says:

    I am a Mercy Thompson fan, too, and the Jane Yellowrock books by Faith Hunter are as good, and another favorite series of mine!!

  2. As a long time Mercy Thompson fan, I keep getting this recommended to me. After reading this review, I think I finally need to take that seriously and pick up Faith Hunter’s books!!

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