Thursday, July 29, 2010
Five Fangs for Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler
Nicole Peeler rocks the urban fantasy/ paranormal romance book. She really does.
Jane True is a whole new type of heroine- she's not a cookie cutter half vampire, half witch, needy witch who doesn't know her power, werewolf who doesn't fit it like other UF heroines....
Nope she's half selkie which is something completely new and unheard of (for me anyway) in UF and PNR fiction. Sure Jane has a messed up past which has left her slightly broken but she's still witty, sometimes down right goofy but she does what she has to do- she takes care of her dad, works at the local bookstore and lives a cozy life in the small town of Rockabill.
She's always known she was different but didn't have a clue how different until she finds a dead body in her swimming hole in the first book- that situation tossed her into the supernatural life full force as she got a crash course of supernatural hierarchy, bullshit and power struggles. Which of course almost got her killed. But she did meet her sexy fanged boyfriend Ryu.
Now in the second book, Tracking the Tempest, it's Valentine's Day and Jane's boyfriend Ryu has sent her a plane ticket so she can fly to Boston to stay with him for Valentine's. Which leads to her almost getting killed in the crossfire when a crazy halfling who is after Ryu shoots fireballs at them.
This is just the first of many times poor Jane gets hurt in this book.
Good thing she has healers at her beck and call. Several of the supes in her life can heal (like ANyan and Ryu a little bit). One member of Ryu's team (he's a supernatural investigator, kinda like the paranormal's version of the FBI) is a super healer (he's also a goat man, also called a satyr, which encourages some laugh out loud humor in this book- at one point I was laughing and snorting so bad I thought I was going to lose it, flat out hilarious).
Anyway after the attack on Ryu Jane is sent back to Rockabill and the crazy halfling follows her there. Good thing Anyan Barghest is there along with Nell the gnome to keep Jane safe.
I love these characters. I am so glad Anyan gets a lot more page time in this book because I knew from the beginning he's got to be "the one" even if Jane doesn't have a clue yet. Ryu is a nice and sexy distraction but he is Ryu, so self centered. Anyan is....so much more. Anyway I get ahead of myself and the books because even at the end of Tracking Jane isn't quite there yet with Anyan so I am projecting my hopeful little thoughts and prophecies into the mix.
All of the characters in the Jane True series are well developed even the ones who are just bit players. They are all described so well that they leap off the page. Caleb the goat man is fantastic- just his presence alone adds laughs when Jane's thoughts kick in or when she slips on ice and accidentally grabs something other than his arm (hint goat men wear no pants).
Then there's Julian the computer genius and half vampire, he is a fun sidekick. I love his enthusiasm.
Then there's Daoud- seriously what is up with djinn's having a never ending supply of stuff in their pants? Do they have like a magic pouch in their pants that they can pull out whatever they need? Too hilarious.
Even the bad guys get well described- sometimes too well especially when it comes to Graeme the beautiful though psychotic rapist incubus- so not a good combination. Just the description will make women shiver with fear- especially after some of his handiwork is described- not in detail though much of it is left to our imaginations.
And then there's Fugwat the evil spriggan.
Seriously Fugwat? That name cracks me up because it sounds like a bad word or insult- exactly what the moronic bad guy deserves to be called.
Such a fabulous cast came together to make this book awesome.
Tracking the Tempest is a wild adventure that leads us through the complications of the supernatural world while introducing us to new players in the series and letting us all (including Jane) learn a lot more about Anyan, much to Ryu's disdain. Obviously Ryu and Anyan have some history but by the end of the book that still has not been explained.
The body count is pretty high in this book but the gruesomeness is nothing compared to LKH and it's not too graphic. It's enough to make you feel it without getting overdone by it. Jane gets it all thrown at her and has to deal with the horrificness of it all while almost getting killed herself...a couple times and Ryu never takes that into consideration (which is so why I am not team Ryu) he just keeps wanting and taking from her. And while I wholeheartedly agree that sex can be a great healer and make things better in times of stress- there's more to a relationship than sex and that seems to be all Jane and Ryu have. Which is great for a fun romp but not good for the long haul.
Nicole Peeler has created a fun, likable, and witty heroine in Jane True. She's different, a little snarky and she's not all bad ass though her powers are growing and I think she will become a force to be reckoned with. She just has to learn the ropes and focus on her skills- in this book she gets plenty of hands on experience.
And I absolutely love the humor- I get it, I sooo get it.
Peeler's slightly chick lit tone is coupled with a touch of sensuality and a little bit of raunchiness (Jane's potty mouth shines through a few times) which creates an element you don't often see in UF books. The plots and subplots are seamlessly woven together creating an intricate and well written story that has to be read. I seriously couldn't put it down until I finished it.
Sex, suspense, humor, snark, supernatural beings...what more could you ask for?
Oh I know...fantastically creative covers. No UF carbon copy images in these beautiful works of art. No leather clad heroines with tramp stamp tattoos in sight, just colorful, beautiful fantasy art. Sharon Tancredi is the artist responsible for the beautiful images and I have got to give her and the publisher credit for creating book covers that really stand out from the crowd.
Both the inside and outside of the book are different than any of the normal UF or PNR fare on the bookshelves- which is such a good thing.