True Dead by Faith Hunter
Updated: Sep 5, 2021
The next exciting installment in the always fun Jane Yellowrock series!
Being the ruler is always so ... overrated especially when the ones you were hunting are now the ones that you are ruling. Welcome back to New Orleans and the magical world of Jane Yellowrock.
I am starting this out with a BIG, GIANT spoiler warning!! If you have not read the recent Jane Yellowrock books or the series, then turn back now because there will be spoilers in this post.
I want to start out by reiterating my love for this series even if I didn't love this particular book. While it's not a series that I would re-read, I always enjoy jumping back into the world Hunter created. Jane easily lands on my top 10 list of favorite kick ass protagonists. She's funny, she takes care of herself, and shows character development in 14 books that we have had with her. Unfortunately, Jane's not super likable in this book and the world that I know and love is really muddled in this book.
For those of you who may not know, this series was originally intended to end with Dark Queen, book 12 in the series. Late in the publishing game of that book, the series was granted a reprieve and Hunter announced that we wod be getting at least 2 more books. Unfortunately, Queen was basically already written at that point so there were a few changes to make it so another book could happen but it really felt like the ending of the series. Now, some series like the Rachel Morgan books, have successfully navigated the scenario where the series ended but then the author returns to the world. In the case of Jane, where the series ender was changed to leave the series open, we are left with a series that feels like it should have gotten a clear ending but is now continuing on. It's clear that the following books Shattered Bonds and True Dead are meant to be a new chapter in the Jane saga which is wonderful but the execution of the transition from old to new is really muddled. We lose a lot of the characters and connections that have kept me engaged in the series.
For example, one of the best things about this series, for me, is the relationship between Jane and Leo. It's so much fun. Leo is rich and privileged in a way that reminds me both of Schitt's Creek and Succession. Basically, Jane is Leo's cousin Greg (shout out to anyone who got that reference. If you didn't, please go watch Succession immediately on HBO) and it's a gift that keeps on giving. Yet, with the presumed death of Leo in Dark Queen, we lose a magnificent relationship. The loss of Leo and Jane stepping up as the ruler really highlights how mundane it is to be the ruler.
Now, all that being said, I think that True Dead is attempting to bring the elements that we missed back while still embracing Jane as a ruler. There are some moves made in the plot that make me think that any future books will bring back some of the banter and humor that I love so much. Overall, I think that this book is setting the scene to re-align the series, but we gotta get some things figured out if I am going to keep coming back to this world because I really want to love these books again. Dark Queen was so much fun, but the last two books have been on the lackluster side.
True Dead is available at a bookshop near you on September 7, 2021. Thank you so much to NetGalley & Ace for the early access in exchange for my honest review.
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