Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Review: Killing Rites

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Killing Rites
   *Series: The Black Sun's Daughter #4
Author: M.L.N. Hanover
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: Mass Market Paperback; 384
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Lovers of this series, although I recommend the series to everyone!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / Amazon / B&N
Jayné Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers; something else is living inside her body. She's possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse Jayné before the parasite in her becomes too powerful.

Ex's history and a new enemy combine to leave Jayné alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they're putting her in. Jayné must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin.

If you are a fairly constant reader of my reviews you know that Vicious Grace, the previous book in this series, was fairly hit or miss for me. I ended my last review hoping for something new to come in and sweep me off my feet in the next installment. Well my friends, I got my wish. Hanover didn't just sweep me off my feet in Killing Rites, he full body carried me into the story and I went willingly.

What do I say about Jayné that I haven't said yet? She's a mix of a lost youthful woman and a kick ass, quick thinking heroine who will take you down in a heartbeat. How could you go wrong? Jayné's character comes back with a vengeance in this installment in the series, and everything I loved about her before is back full force. She isn't perfect, but she's come to terms with it. She doesn't always make the best decisions, but she's learned how to work with that. Her little family is falling apart, but she's understanding how to cope. Now she has a rider and that is one thing she can't make heads or tails of at all. Watching Jayné work her way through this new, much more personal, problem, really brought my love back in a strong way.

One thing that really struck me about Killing Rites in contrast to the other books, is how strong religion plays into the story. In all the other books Jayné talks about her religious past, and how she had made a personal decision not continue it into her adulthood. Hanover never takes one side or the other, but just makes sure that the reader knows that Jayné isn't the religious type. In this book though, it's there in vivid color. Jayné finds her way into the center of a group of priests, and the ideas of God, demons and salvation are all over the place. For me personally this wasn't a problem. I have an open mind and know my stance. For others, this might hit a nerve. Just fair warning.

The backdrop for this book is New Mexico, and the barren desert really fits perfectly into the story. It's even used as a metaphor multiple times for Jayné's feelings, which I thought was perfection. In terms of plot, this story takes off running and doesn't look back. So many tiny puzzle pieces, the things that kept me wondering before, are put into place in this book. The reader finally finds out why this series is called The Black Sun's Daughter. (No, I won't tell you, go read the series.) Also, for the first time in a long time, Jayné is able to confidently stand on her own two feet. Hanover has been slowly taking her allies away and I've wondered why. Now I see it. In Killing Rites Jayné has to rely on her own cunning and resolve, and I must say she does a pretty amazing job of it.

All in all? The Black Sun's daughter is a solid series. This is the last book, for now. The fifth book isn't slated until May 2013, and I can honestly say it's going to take a lot out of me to wait that long. I'm happy to have met Jayné and her companions and I wait eagerly for more of their story. Until then, a huge thank you to M.L.N. Hanover for bringing me into the world of Urban Fantasy, however unwilling I originally was. If you haven't dipped your feet into the UF genre yet, this is a great place to start. Go pick up Hanover's first book and dive right in!

Also reviewed in this series:
Unclean Spirits (The Black Sun's Daughter #1)
Darker Angels (The Black Sun's Daughter #2)
Vicious Grace (The Black Sun's Daughter #3)

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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