My editor has just introduced me to Faith Hunter’s work. It’s urban fantasy some of which I really like. I began with Skinwalker, the first in the Jane Yellowrock series, and I’m glad I did. I enjoyed it, kept reading it and didn’t do any skips – a sure sign I am enjoying, I always skip when whatever I’m reading is really not doing it for me!
Hunter writes this series in the first person. This style of writing is difficult for lots of reasons, here’s a couple for starters …
• In the first person you can be sure the heroine/hero will still be alive at the end of the book!
• It restricts the writer to one POV (point of view) … well most of the time but there are some good exceptions.
It isn’t necessarily the end of the world I you know the protagonist is going to be alive come the end of the book. Some people feel reassured that they can make it to the end of the story without losing the lead character. I find I like the tension of not knowing if I will still have the heroine when I finish the book and sometimes their death is absolutely right and the book should not end any other way.
Of course, if the book is part of a series it’s going to be really difficult to bump off the lead … think what happened with Sherlock Holmes! Conan Doyle was eventually badgered into resurrecting Holmes. It’s actually quite a good story which doesn’t always happen when the author brings a character back to life, it’s only too easy to write it in a really contrived manner which is the kiss of death to a story.
The POV is a much bigger problem. It seriously narrows the story down when you can only see through the eyes of the lead character. Some authors can manage it … others can’t. Faith Hunter is one of those who can, at least in the Jane Yellowrock series.
The first novel, Skinwalker, is about a shapeshifter … the title-word is one of the names for a shapeshifter amongst the Native American peoples. So automatically the heroine is two characters, the human and the beast, and Hunter does this very well. The view from the beast’s perspective is amazingly good and augments the whole storyline very well. The heroine herself is quite odd and strange – I don’t want to go into this too deeply or I’ll spoil it for you! Her strangeness, and her own amnesia about her past, also allow for extra and expanding POVs because Hunter is good and careful how she writes those part.
I enjoyed the first book so much I went and got the second *smile*. I’m now into it and still reading, not skipping, and looking forward to tonight when I can pick it up again when I go to bed.