Title: Tempest Rising (Jane True, #1)
Author: Nicole Peeler
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: October 27th 2009
Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.
Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.
It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever rub the genie's lamp.
The very first thought that crossed my mind when I saw this book was: what a gorgeous cover. You don´t find something like this one everyday. So, simply because of the cover I wanted to like this book. Guess what, I did. Very much so!
Tempest Rising is one of the books in my very own "Books without Vampires and Werewolves" challenge. Don´t get me wrong, I still like me some dark brooding blood-sucking/shapeshifting alpha male, but I really enjoy reading about diiferent creatuers as well.
If you want something different, Jane True is just it. Tempest Rising features selkies, kelpies, nahuals, nagas, djinns and barghests. See, something different all right.
Ok, there is a vampire in this book and he is Jane´s love interest, but the whole concept and worldbuilding is so unique, imaginative and refreshing, that I gladly dimissed that as not against the rules of my challange.
Jane is an outsider in the small town of Rockabill. Due to her mother´s sudden eccentric and very naked appearance in the middle of a storm and her dissappearance which left Jane´s father and six year old Jane alone and heartbroken, she is considered the local freak. At first, she was regarded with pity, but when her boyfriend died in a horrible accident connected to Jane, she gets to feel the whole animostity from Rockabill´s inhabitants.
Jane is used to live her life with constant mockery and disdain by the people around her, though she still hurts every time she is confronted with it. She is only happy when she gets to swim in her cove.
Soon, it becomes clear that Jane is not a normal swimmer but special. She doesn´t mind the cold, in fact she prefers to swim naked and prefers her sea rough and wild instead of calm. During one if her nightly swims, Jane finds a body in the current of the local whirlpool, The Sow. Reminded of her Boyfriend´s terrible accident, she struggels to save the body and bring it to the shore. Little does she know that this is the beginning of something life-changing for her.
Jane is a very untypical UF heroine. She still suffers a great deal from the Death of Jason, her boyfried and blames herself for it. The guilt brought her on the brink of a mental breakdown. She is even institutionalized for a short while. But even after all that, she still struggles with her past, unable to let go of the only person beside her father who really loved her for who she was. Throughout the book however, Jane grows and becomes more self-confident, thanks to both Ryu and the fact that she finds out that she is not like all the people who look down on her. Instead of feeling even more lost, she sees the newly found world of the supernatural creatures as a chance to find a new home. She enjoys the feeling that she is for once in her life not even remotely interesting but rather boring.
Ryu is also so good for Jane. He makes her feel loved, desired and special and he doesn´t give a damn about what Rockabill´s people think. Only with his help is she able to become the Jane she could have been, but never was. I actually wanted to hug him and cheer for him after the scene with Stuard in The Pig Sty and when he bought her the gorgoeus clothes and shoes, I became really jealous. Simply put, Jane and Ryu are perfect together in this book.
Speaking of the Pig Sty... The idea of The Sow and all the pig themed references in the book were hilarious. I myself come from a very small town with lots of tourism and I can totally imagine the folks back home using something like that as well. :)
Tempest Rising also features all sorts of refereces to pop culture like Buffy, My Little Pony (yes, indeed!), MC Hammer and other fun stuff.
Jane´s humor is another thing I liked so much about this book. On many occasions I had to chuckle about her comments and thoughttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhts which adds a refreshing lightness to the book. Despite this lightness however, Tempest Rising deals with serious problems: Jane´s life as outcast, her mental instability and even discrimination later in the book, when she is once again scorned for being only a halfling.
The secondary characters in this book are also fantastic.
Flamboyant, charismatic and dirty Grizzie, Trill, the kelpie who can turn into a "nightmare version of My Little Pony", a Stone elemental who actually talks to stones and a djinn who hides all sorts of swords an daggers in his pants (yes, his pants) and can reattach a severed limb without a problem. And of course Anyan the barghest. They are all characters with such amazing potential that I can hardly wait to read what might happen with them in the next books.
Overall, I really loved this book. It is not as fast paced as others, but in my opinion, the story doesn´t need more action. The characters and the underlying, more serious aspects of this book as well as Jane´s humor are enough to make Tempest Rising an intruiging, oustanding and gripping book. Oh, and did I mention that there are some really hot scenes between Jane and Ryu? I don´t look at my bathtub the same way after reading this book. :)
If you´re looking for a book that keeps you up all night because you can´t stop reading, hurry to your local bookstore/favorite online store and get it! You won´t notice time flying by because it is just that good.
4,5 of 5 points for Nicole Peeler´s Tempest Rising.
For more info about Nicole Peeler and the Jane True series, check out her awesome homepage, which is done in the same genial design of her cover. You can read the first chapter of Tempest Rising, discover the soudtrack to the series and even do a "Which supernatural creature am I"-quiz. If you hurry up, you can even enter a givaway (open international) and win a "Things Jane Likes" prize pack!
"Tracking the Tempest", the next in series was released just last week on July 1 (I can´t believe my copy isn´t here yet. Hell, I ever pre-ordered it and it´s not here yet. Stupid amazon.)