4.5/5; 5 stars; AI thoroughly enjoyed Mercy Blade. The first part of the book was a bit hard to get into but I'm not sure if was my frame of mind or just that its been a long time since I read the previous book in the series and I was a bit mired in details at first. The book has many of the characters we've seen in the first two of the series plus some new and interesting characters and twists. I wouldn't recommend starting the series with this book. I say that not because the author doesn't do a good job of weaving the back story in, she does. But because Jane Yellowrock has such complicated feelings and relationships with Leo, Bruiser, Rick, Jodi, Evangeline, Katie, and most of all, herself. I know I enjoyed this story so much because I had a sense of her growth and change over the course of the series. Like so many strong, smart, action heroines, Jane is completely at sea when it comes to having caring relationships. In all the books I've enjoyed the presence of Beast in Jane's mind and her snarky, humorous observations. In this book, Jane seemed more at ease with Beast. At the same time, the reader is aware that she is moving inexorably towards 'coming out' as a skinwalker. I hope it happens in the next book and look forward to seeing how things develop between Jane/Beast and Rick, who is now an unwilling were.There is only one thing that I don't care for in the books and that is how periodically the author throws in, almost as an afterthought, pangs of guilt that Jane feels because she is having sex outside of marriage. I think Hunter is trying to show another facet of Jane's character, arising from her strict Christian childhood foster home, but its jarring because a) there is almost no sex (for Jane) in these books although there is periodically sexual tension and b) its just hard to countenance that kind of guilt when the person is busy shooting, stabbing, and generally kicking the crap out of bad guys all day and night. Its just a tiny part of the storyline and hardly worth mentioning but its been there in each book at least once. The reader spends so much time in Jane's head that you can't help but get that she is an ethical, strong willed person who doesn't sleep around or otherwise use sexual currency....I don't know why the author has to point it out like that.