Title: Mercy Blade Series: Jane Yellowrock #3
Release Date: January 4th 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Also by this author: Blood In Her Veins, Skinwalker, First Sight (short story), Shadow Rites, Blood of the Earth, Curse on the Land
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Mercy Blade is the third book in the Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series by Faith Hunter.
I am skipping books in this series to try to work my way to the newest one faster. While it’s a strategy I have to use for time’s sake, it makes reading more difficult, especially when the author doesn’t provide much backstory about the main characters. I understood that Jane is a skinwalker–possibly the only one of her kind–but I was totally confused about the beast who shares her body. This big cat’s soul lives within her. Jane can change into the big cat at will, as well as other animals when she uses her skinwalker abilities. I didn’t understand how Beast got there in the first place. It was implied that Beast hadn’t always been there, but it isn’t explained. I also felt that a little backstory about Leo was necessary in the beginning of the book because it took me a while to understand his role in the story.
I wasn’t impressed by the use of so many urban fantasy tropes such as the snarky heroine and the motorcycle with a human name. I’m so tired of these things. I also wasn’t impressed by the way the story was over-complicated with too many things going on. It wasn’t until the very end that I was able to see how they connected. It seemed like the book started out as being about one thing, shifted to being about something else, then shifted again. As I said, they all connected, but I would have preferred one main goal from start to finish.
I had a hard time getting attached to Jane. I’m sure part of that is because I skipped the first two books. However, some of this has to do with her personality. I couldn’t find any characteristics that I could relate to other than her desire to stay true to Rick.
While there was a lot I didn’t like about this book, there were some things I did like. One was the level of detail in setting, her sensory perceptions, and other descriptions. I have read some reviews that say the details bog down the story. I didn’t feel that way. I enjoyed the descriptions. I also really enjoyed the action scenes. This isn’t a dull book. There’s a lot going on and a lot of awesome fighting scenes.
Overall, though, I can’t say that I would recommend Mercy Blade. I hope the next Jane Yellowrock book I read will suck me into the series more. I give Mercy Blade 3.5 stars for intense action scenes, interesting supernatural elements, and detailed worldbuilding.