by Pocket Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: review copy from publisher
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.
I've read the first four books in the past couple of weeks, and I thought instead of reviewing each book separately, I'd review them all together. It really is just one long story, complete with cliffhangers at the end of each book. Normally I like my books to be a little more standalone, but since I had the first four in front of me, it was easy to read one right after another. But now I have to wait for the next book, and the waiting will be hard.
Jayné is a great lead character. She's smart and sarcastic, and best of all she's a strong woman that doesn't have to have a man do everything for her. And she's pretty funny. My favorite line of the series came from book 1:
"How do you lose a minivan?" Midian said as I walked into the living room.
"There we were running down the highway, and I said 'Holy sh**, Kim, I think I know why we're getting so tired.' Look, if it's important, I'll buy us another one."
This line also serves as an example of the writing, and yes, there is quite a bit of language, so if you're bothered by that, you don't want to read this series. It's a fairly gritty series, and not what I'd call "clean reading" at all.
The nice thing about this series is that, on the surface, it's just a fast-paced, easy to read urban fantasy story. You can get through these books pretty quickly, and they're really enjoyable. But if you dig a little deeper, there's a lot to think about and some different themes to be found. Like what makes a family and how do you know you can trust the people in your life, good and evil and if there are shades of grey. There is even some religion here, since we have an ex-priest, and Jayné, whose parents were deeply religious evangelicals, who has become almost anti-religion. It's an interesting dynamic.
You don't come across many urban fantasy/paranormals that are written by men, and although this one is, it's really not that different from a lot of others in it's genre. I liked that there wasn't a whole lot of romance, and Jayné was there more to kick butt than to find a man. There is a lot to like here, and I highly enjoyed the whole series. I'm very much looking forward to reading more.