Author: M.L.N. Hanover
Series: The Black Sun's Daughter
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (November 29, 2011)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy: Provided by the 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 had not read The Black Sun's Daughter series though it was on my to be read list. I really like Urban Fantasy with strong main characters, an interesting world, and well developed stories. In order to get to Killing Rites, which is out today, I read the prior 3 books in the series. Jayné Heller is the main character in what turns out to be an ensemble cast of very different and enjoyable characters. I liked the first 3 books though at times I found Jayné's behavior a bit annoying. However, given her back story, her age, and the world she was thrust into, this behaviour was neither out of place nor entirely unexpected. It worked with the stories. In addition, the author's off and on focus on her love life throughout the first 3 books also put me off a bit. It's not that I don't think there should be relationships in Urban Fantasy, I just became disenchanted with her romantic issues. Nonetheless the first 3 novels were well written and the stories engaging.
Killing Rites is the 4th novel in the series and focuses more on who Jayné really is. I think it is by far the best book in the series because we finally get to find out a bit about the Black Sun's Daughter. Killing Rites also explores the background of Ex, one of the people that has helped and continues to help Jayné in her supernatural tasks. Jayné tends to get beat up on a regular basis but always comes out on top. Killing Rites deals with why this is and her and Ex's reaction to it. Ex has some interesting if over zealous former colleagues. This is a really fun read despite the fact that once again Jayné has some issues of the heart. One of my favorite characters from the first book makes an appearance here. He's still a good guy despite being one of the apparent bad guys
In Killing Rites, Jayné finally begins to understand what is going on with her, 'begins' being the operative word. We don't get a resolution to this particular issue, and I assume it will be visited in further books in the series. We did get to learn a lot about Ex also, which I really liked.
M.L.N. Hanover has created an intricate and well constructed Urban Fantasy world and has woven a riveting, action packed story in Killing Rites. Jayné's strength, innate and enhanced, make her a fascinating heroine and one I want to read more about.
I give Killing Rites 4 Qwills.
I do suggest that you read at least the 1st book in the series, Unclean Spirits, before reading Killing Rites.
Other books in the series: