Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler

Eye of the Tempest (Jane True)

One of the neat things about the current crop of romantic urban fantasy is that it has given itself permission to be raunchy and steamy and not take itself too seriously while it does so.  Leading the pack is Nicole Peeler’s Jane True novels, which have made me giggle out loud far too often.  In the latest offering, Eye of the Tempest, something big and nasty is about to enter the lives of Jane and all her friends.

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Nothing says ‘home’ like being attacked by humans with very large guns, as Jane and Anyan discover when they arrive in Rockabill. These are professionals, brought into kill, and they bring Anyan down before either Jane or the barghest can react. Seeing Anyan fall awakens a terrible power within Jane, and she nearly destroys herself taking out their attackers.

Jane wakes, weeks later, to discover that she’s not the only thing that’s been stirring. Something underneath Rockabill is coming to life: something ancient, something powerful, and something that just might destroy the world.

Jane and her friends must act, striking out on a quest that only Jane can finish. For whatever lurks beneath the Old Sow must be stopped…and Jane’s just the halfling for the job.”

Peeler has used each novel in the Jane True series to flesh out the world that she’s created, and this book is no exception.  The complex backstory of the supernatural beings’ existence is finally explained, through the medium of an ancient woman nicknamed Blondie.  The author doesn’t seem to have held anything back, and I came away with what I feel is a complete picture of the history behind this world.

The downside to being given this broad swath of info is that’s exactly what it is: a huge chunk of information and backstory that readers need to absorb while the plot plays out.  This leads to several extended scenes that are little more than people sitting around and comparing what they know and what they’ve found out.  I started to notice this about halfway through the novel, and although it’s interesting stuff, this book didn’t feel as perky as its predecessors.

The novel ends on something of a cliffhanger, which normally I wouldn’t like, but it did assuage my doubts that the story might falter now that so much information has been given out.  It definitely left me wanting to find out what happens next.

There’s a huge change-up in the way certain characters relate to Jane.  Her vampire lover, Ryu, is barely mentioned, although he was prominently featured in the first three books.  This does allow Jane to focus on Anyan, who is her current romantic interest, but it felt a bit odd to have Ryu so blatantly absent.  The other change—which I approve of much more—is that Jane’s father now knows about her nature as a selkie.  This gives Jane someone in her life who has known her for a long time and can appreciate who and what she is.

While I didn’t think this novel had the same pacing as the others in the series, it still offers an immersive reading experience for fans of the series.  Eye of the Tempest is smart, sexy and funny while providing lots of character development and plot to sink your teeth into.

Also by this author: Tempest Rising, Tempest’s Fury, Tempest’s Legacy, Tracking the Tempest

This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on August 18, 2011.

Series: Jane True
ISBN: 9780316128087
Publisher: Orbit
Page Count: 319
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Acquired: Personal purchase
Author Website