Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Death's Rival by Faith Hunter
This story picks up at the end of the last book, Raven Cursed ended. Some of Leo's vampires have been infected with a disease which is something that rarely happens to vampires. Everyone goes back to New Orleans and starts to investigate what just happened. Jane gets sent to Sedona and Seattle to figure out what happened there. A new Master has taken over these cities. The old Masters of the City are infected. Jane tries to get information but she is ambushed twice in Sedona and once in Seattle.
Once she gets back to N.O., she gets a new tea, because somewhere there is a leak in Leo's organization. With her new team, they figure out what is happening and why.
From Hunter's site:
ane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker you don’t want to cross—especially if you’re one of the undead…
I’m Gonna Need Some Stitches
“Vamps don’t get sick,” I said. “They may go nuts at the least provocation, but they don’t get sick.” Air currents buffeted the small jet; I held on to the phone and the seat arm with white-knuckled grips. Inside me, Beast was purring, enjoying the ride entirely too much for a creature who used to be afraid of flying.
Static fuzzed the connection, but I made out the words “—two of these did. And maybe the third one, don’t know.” If Reach didn’t know something, it was better hidden than the identity of Kennedy’s killer—assuming that there really was a coven of blood-witches on the grassy knoll. Conspiracy theorists have a consensus on that, but there never was any evidence to back it up. “I’m still searching,” Reach said, “but it looks like the masters of the city of Sedona and Seattle are still showing signs of malaise. Boston’s MOC has vanished, and rumor has it the suckhead’s dead.”
Malaise, I thought, unamused, reading the description of their symptoms. It was a heck of a lot more than malaise. In spite of what I’d said, the vampires were sick—maybe dying. “Give me details.”
“According to my latest timeline, this vamp came out of nowhere two months ago and vamps started getting sick, which should be impossible, I know,” he agreed. “Once they were sick, they each got an ultimatum from an unknown vampire to swear him loyalty in a blood-ceremony, or face that master in a Blood Challenge, not something they could survive while sick. As soon as they swore allegiance to the new guy, the vamps got somewhat better. He didn’t kill them once he deposed them, but left them to run the cities as his loyal deputies. Each went from masters of independent strongholds to completely loyal subjects overnight. He’s successfully created a new power base and no one knows how he did it or who he is. Yet.”
“No vamp is loyal,” I said. “They’re all egocentric blood-sucking fiends.”
“True. But rich egocentric blood sucking fiends, which is why we work for them.”
I grunted. I hated to think of myself that way, but he had a point. I’m Jane Yellowrock, and I used to kill vamps for a living. Until I started working for them. It wasn’t easy money, and I’d dumped the contract with Leo Pellissier, the chief fanghead of the Southeastern U.S., when the retainer ran out. But when Leo had requested my help yesterday, I’d re-upped to resolve this problem, because it was the right thing to do. Leo and his people had been attacked under my watch. Humans had been injured. Blood-servants had died. I’d killed some of them. No one knew who this new enemy was, and now vamps were sick, maybe dying, and a new, powerful vamp had entered the vampire political scene.
Which was why I was in a Learjet flying at way-too-dang-high. I didn’t like flying. Well, I didn’t like flying in planes. Wings are different.
Reach continued to update me on two months of data and to answer a lot of questions. I’d need it. We’d touch down in Sedona in minutes, and assuming I got out alive, I’d be off to Seattle almost immediately. Listening to Reach’s matter-of-fact tone helped to keep my mind occupied and my heart out of my throat. Sorta.
“Okay,” I said. “And you’re—” Leo’s Learjet dropped several feet before leveling out. My mind went blank and I swallowed my dinner—again. “And you’re sure the attack on Leo in Asheville was this same guy who took over Sedona, and Seattle?”
My question wasn’t argumentative. The attack on Leo had happened before any of the others, and had been purely weapon-based, a frontal attack, no disease, no ultimatum, no nothing. I didn’t know what to make of the discrepancy. “If it’s the same vamp,” I said, “his attack on Leo falls completely outside his subsequent m.o. Of course, he did try to kick sand in Leo’s face, and Leo’s people busted his chops. Maybe when that happened he tried this new tack.” I hated guesswork.
The sound of leather squeaking reminded me to relax my grip on the seat arm. I took a breath, blew it out, and drank half a bottle of water to settle my stomach. Computer keys clacked in the cell’s background, sounding like a quartet of castanets as Reach—the best research and intel guy in the business—worked.
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