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Skinwalker

Jane Yellowrock, Book 1
Written by: Faith Hunter
Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind - a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she's been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie's Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who's killing other vamps.

©2009 Faith Hunter (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

  • Audie Award Nominee - Judges' Award for Best Paranormal Audiobook, 2011

"A new, strongly unique voice in the dark fantasy genre." (Kim Harrison)

"Hunter's very professionally executed, tasty blend of dark fantasy, mystery, and romance should please fans of all three genres." ( Booklist)
"Khristine Hvam portrays Jane with an adventurous-sounding voice edged with a twang.... Hvam’s voices for the Louisiana locals whom Jane learns to love and respect.... augment an intriguing story with hints of Native American mysticism." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • S. Horn
  • Cary, NC, United States
  • 2013-12-01

Narrator is apparently not as smart as Jane

The narrator's voice is pleasant, but she has no idea what a real Southerner sounds like. As for Cajun, well, it's just embarrassing. Furthermore, she repeatedly pronounces "fleur-de-lis" as "fler de leese" and "jewelry" as "jewlery." Oh, and "objet d'arte is "Ob jet duh artay." The coup de grace, though, is when one of the male characters treats Jane with condensation (sic), which I am rather certain Faith Hunter wrote as "condescension."

This is the first audio book during which I found myself trying to glimpse the printed word beneath the hash the narrator made of it. I think Jane is a lot smarter than the narrator portrays her to be and that Hunter wrote a better book than comes off in this audio version. While it's nothing special in the world of urban fantasy, the book would have been enjoyable were it not for the clunkers thrown in by K. Hvam. Since it appears that she narrates future books in the series, I won't be pursuing it.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mobilis
  • Dundurn, SK, Canada
  • 2010-06-01

How refreshing

This book makes an exceptionally nice change from others in this genre, mainly because the protagonist is a strong, independent woman who actually likes herself, and is comfortable with her lot in life. It's very nice to read a story in which the heroine isn't complaining endlessly about her life, or gnashing her teeth over how to make some preternatural being fall in love with her.

There are a few weak points concerning the writing; another reviewer mentioned that the writer points out her own jokes fairly often, and this really IS kind of annoying. The dialogue is kind of stilted in places, and a significant portion of the book is written from the POV of her cat-spirit, which takes a bit of getting used to.

For those who are tired of the violent and/or explicit sex that's so prevalent in urban fantasy, you'll find this book a nice change.

All in all, I consider this a good, solid debut novel in the Jane Yellowrock series, and I look forward to reading more.

188 of 203 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • PlantCrone
  • OREGON
  • 2012-10-05

Paranormal/mystery/vampire novel

I'm not a fan of most vampire books however the 2 "Jane Yellowrock" books I've listened to (and they are on sale the first week of October 2012) are more mystery than gory vamp books...and I like them.

There is a bit of romance but not lots..and I really like that I wasn't able to figure out the "Who Done It" myself, since I consider these books paranormal mysteries more than anything else.

If you enjoy this kind of mystery I'd really recommend buying these books right now-the sale price is a winner...Thanks Audible for introducing me to another author.

The narrator, Khristine Hvam does a really good job with the southern accents-but I like the way she 'does' The Beast best of all....and The Beast is too cool for words.

37 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie
  • Hillsborough, NC, United States
  • 2010-04-16

Vampires & Shapeshifters & Witches, OH MY!

This is the first book that I have read by Faith Hunter. I found that I really enjoyed it. I liked that her main character is a strong, smart, and most importantly..... wait for it.....from North Carolina.

There has been alot of buzz about this book. So, I was pleasantly surprised, when I found it here.

Thanks Audible, for providing another great story within the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy genre.

FYI: This is a hint of romance in this book, but only a hint.

46 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beth
  • North Branch, MN, USA
  • 2012-05-25

Try it - you might like it!

I put off listening to this series for almost two years. It continuously showed in my recommended list but I was convinced I wouldn't like it - maybe it was the cover art???

I gave in and bought it last week because it was on sale. I listened to it immediately and was pleasantly surprised. The character of Jane is pickly and tough, not very likable at first. She has been hired by a local vampire council to hunt a rogue. Jane is uniquely qualified for the job bacuse she shares her body with Beast, a panther spirit whose body she hijacked by accident when she was a child. Jane/Beast can transform into animal form and has a well developed sense of smell.

If you can suspend your disbelief long enough to get into the story, it is fast paced and well written. The references to Cherokee culture are well researched and seamlessly integrated. The dialog is okay - not spectacluarly witty, but okay. The voice of Beast is the one dialog exception. The way Faith Hunter writes for Beast and Khristine Hvam reads it is masterful!

After resisting this series for two years, I bought the other three books after finishing this one! Don't be deceived by the cover art it hides a great story!

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • AudioAddict
  • 2013-06-13

Pretty Good Book for this Genre

STORY - Skinwalker is a vampire action/mystery. The main character, Jane Yellowrock, is of Indian origin and has the power to change into different creatures. IMHO, the best part of the book is when she is in the process of shifting or has already changed forms. Her thinking process becomes that of the beast she has become, which is definitely a cool perspective. The rest of the book is your typical vampire-killing story with a smaller mystery component. There is no romance or sex, but lots of action and blood. I personally thought the book was okay, but nothing special. It is an easy listen and comes to a satisfying conclusion, so it stands alone.

NARRATION - The narrator does a pretty good job except she mispronounces some words of French origin. Maybe it's just me, but it bugged me when she pronounced jewelry as "joolerie."

OVERALL - People who like this genre will probably like this book very much (thus the great reviews). I'm finding that I don't enjoy the vampire-hunting genre, but I'm plodding through the ones I bought in a recent sale.

38 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Aziz
  • VA
  • 2014-10-09

Not bad but not interesting enough to keep me goin

What I enjoyed about this book:
- The in-depth back-stories about Jane's beast and her tribe, the level of detail and description invested in helping us understand her shape-shifting abilities and the effort made in maintaining the laws of physics by explaining where all the mass comes from and goes to when she shape-shifts into larger or smaller bodies.
- Having a main character with a rich Native American background and how this is gradually introduced into the story.
- The narration, it was excellent and I found Khristine Hvam's pronounciation of the Cherokee language authentic-sounding and a pleasure to listen to.
- The shape-shifting, 'nuff said, it was awesome and well-implemented.
- The vampire culture (the cemetery burial scene was great).
- The solving of the mystery of the killer, who it ended up being and what the repercussions will be.

What I didn't like and why I won't be reading any more books in the series:
- How much time and level of detail is spent describing her tea fetish, the scene in the restaurant where she goes to eat, her amazing dancing skills on the dancefloor on more than one occasion. This might just be because I find all this to be too 'girly' and therefore boring coming from a male perspective but I just couldn't get around the feeling that too much time was spent on such mundane things.
- How competent Jane is at seemingly everything she does which just strains credulity and is further compounded by how easily she dispatches her foes (the best characters are the ones that while powerful, are also fallible). I never got the sense that she was ever in any real danger.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas More
  • 2015-04-20

Ok story with terrible narration

I do enjoy a good urban fantasy, so I was looking forward to this audiobook series. Unfortunately, Khristine Hvam kills it for me. There are a variety of reasons. First, she has much too much of a nasal "head voice" for the protagonist, detracting from the toughness of the character. Secondly, her southern accent went in and out and varied in regional dialect from southeastern to western drawl. The thing that got me most irked was her lack of understanding in terms of speaking her lines. So many times she misreads the emphasis needed in a sentence, destroying the meaning or intention of the line.
I own the next two books on kindle as well as audible, so I'll probably end up just reading them if this same narrator is used.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • DarthVal
  • Hickory, NC, United States
  • 2014-11-18

A decent start to a UF world

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This was a worthwhile listen and a decent start to an urban fantasy series. The concept of her inner beast was interesting. Jane's tough chick persona was laid on a bit thick, but one would hope that the author will tone it down as the series unfolds.

Would you be willing to try another book from Faith Hunter? Why or why not?

While this book did not have quite the immediate appeal of some of my favorite UF series (Kate Daniels, Dresden Files, October Daye, etc), I am interested enough to keep going with the series.

What about Khristine Hvam’s performance did you like?

The southern accents were a bit overdone, but it wasn't a bad performance.

Could you see Skinwalker being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

The jury is still out on this. There wasn't really enough in this first book to make me want to watch a series (especially given that there are other series that I think would make a better TV show).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • CE
  • 2013-07-02

Great Plot, Disappointing Writing and Narration

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who doesn't mind subpar writing. Maybe Twilight fans.

What was most disappointing about Faith Hunter’s story?

It needed a heavy hand with the editing. There were glaring inconsistencies in character, such as the main character who shuns alcohol repeatedly, then says she metabolizes it preternaturally quickly, then declines a single glass of Champagne because she doesn't want to turn up to a party inebriated. The plot kept me listening to the book, because the story line itself was pretty solid. There were enough plot twists to keep me listening. I didn't mind the Agatha Cristie-style "the butler did it" ending, although it would have been a stronger book had she at least woven the culprit in better.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She had trouble switching from accent to accent, making clear delineations in which character was speaking. When characters with different accents had dialogue, or a conversation, it sounded like the narrator got tripped up remembered who had what accent. Her Southern accent was reasonably good, if not great. It was stronger during extended sections of Jane's monologue. Voices for Leo and Bruiser were inconsistent, like the narrator could not decide on an accent, and ended up with something entirely bogus. I'm not sure if she was trying to describe accents for people who had lived all over the world, but she didn't get them. Their voices were not credible on any level -- just irritating.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Irritation at the character inconsistencies; eagerness to find out where the story was going; irritation at the narrator falling short of expectations.

Any additional comments?

The author has a knack for storytelling, but needs to work on her writing to make it an enjoyable read/listen.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful