Killing Rites is the fourth book in the Black Sun's Daughter series by M.L.N. Hanover. I really enjoyed this book. I read it in one day, in one sitting, because I just couldn't put it down. This series started out a little slow, but had quickly picked up speed with books two and three, to be set on fire with book four!
This story picks up two months after Vicious Grace (book 3), in which Jayné Heller has to try and move forward after the horrible events that happened in Chicago's Grace Memorial. Emotionally strung out from those events, her psyche torn, and deep in shame from thinking she has a rider inside her, she sets off with Ex, unwisely leaving the one person who centers her, Chogyi Jake, behind to heal from his wounds in which she feels responsible. Aubrey and Kim are no longer in the picture as they are trying to pick up the pieces of their broken life. Decidedly, Ex and Jayné head out on their two person mission to expel the rider she believes is living inside her, calling on Ex's past "family" of demon fighting priests to help. We get a lot of great back story into Ex's history and why he left the priesthood. We eventually get Chogyi Jake back into the story and we even get a few pages with our favorite vampire, Midian as he returns just in time to give Jayné some sage advise.
Hanover really takes us deep into Jayné mind and we get a closer look at who she really is as well as getting a deeper understanding of whats inside her. We meet the Black Sun's Daughter and we find a little about her moral character. Ex is very prominent in this book and becomes somewhat of a love interest. I loved that! In the first two books, his character wasn't really developed and he seemed a bit annoying at times as well as sullen as he sulked over his unrequited crush on Jayné. So seeing his character "man up" and diverge from that was great! Up until book three, Aubrey was Jayné's love interest but he always seemed way to fragile for the life they were trying to lead. Ex quickly became my hero in this story as he took care of Jayné and tried to protect her. My only real complaint is Hanover kept bringing Ex into a romantic light, or tried to, and then failed to actual progress that part of the story. I was disappointed there wasn't more to this aspect since it kept being brought up in the pages. It just seemed lacking and I kept expecting something, anything, to happen.. it just fell flat. Maybe in the next book....
My only other complaint is the ending and the "final showdown" was just.... anticlimactic. I was expecting something bigger. Without giving to much away, the odds were huge, but the events were small.
Overall, this book was great and a terrific next step in the series. I would definitely recommend reading it. Its got loads of action, a lot of character development, drama, some very cute moments with a dog named Ozzie and there were some scary parts as well. Possessed kids always freak me out! I do recommend reading these books in order though or you might get a little lost in the events and back story.