(Analysis written by Shadow
Additional comments by Katherine Clay on Jez's search for self
Jezebel Redfern is 17 and the leader of a gang of vampires. Her main rival for leadership is Morgead Blackthorn who she has known since she was a child. When Jez discovers that she is not a pure vampire but is half human she leaves her Uncle Bracken and the gang and goes to live with the human side of her family.
Jez’s attitude to life undergoes a great change at the very beginning of the book. She was a fearless huntress, preying on humans, but discovering that she is half human, she begins to protect them. Jez stops drinking blood, surviving instead on human food.
Jez becomes a Circle Daybreak agent. Keeping it a secret causes trouble with her family which includes her Uncle Jim, Aunt Nan and her two cousins, Claire and Ricky. Claire is jealous because Jez gets away with loads of stuff.
When Hugh, also a Circle Daybreak agent, tells Jez about some new prophecies, she must return to her old gang in search of a Wild Power. She sets off to San Francisco on her Harley, the love of her life.
When fighting Morgead for gang leadership she discovers that they are soulmates. This causes Jez great pain because no matter how much she loves Morgead she can’t let him get close to her. Jez believes Morgead would hate her, maybe even kill her since he hates humans so much.
Claire follows Jez one day and over hears stuff about the Night World. Both girls begin to understand each other and see things from the other persons point of view.
Claire, Hugh, Jez and Morgead are all captured by Night Worlders who believe that one of the four is the Wild Power. Morgead becomes suspicious of Jez’s motives for returning to the gang and accuses her of using him. When Jez realises he knows this, she tells him everything. Jez believes she has already lost Morgead. Therefore she may as well kill their relationship properly.
Morgead has no time to respond before all four are taken into a house. Jez believed that Claire was the Wild Power, but she now thinks it could possibly be Hugh. Jez is prepared to die as long as the Wild Power’s identity is kept secret. She does not think that she has much left to live for because Morgead doesn’t want her and she does not want the Night World to capture the Wild Power just to save her life. Ever since the beginning of the assignment she never thought that she would survive and it was just a bonus that she had got this far.
Jez is staked and hears Morgead shouting that he loves her as she is dying. When Jez realises that they are going to kill the other three because the Wild Power has not revealed itself, she begins to care. Knowing her friends are going to die causes Jez to release the Blue Fire which was building up inside her.
Jez is a strong person and is willing to die for what she believes is right. She often stands her ground throughout Huntress. She is asked ”Which human is the Wild Power?” Her response? "I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Huntress by L.J. Smith
Jezebel Redfern deals with some of the most terrible realizations imaginable. In a very real sense the opening of Huntress forces Jez into an identity crisis. Most teenagers are struggling with a sense of self. Jez is that struggle taken to the extreme as the startling truth of her birth causes her to question the person she always believed that she was and the attitudes that she's always abided by.
It's understandably hard for Jez to fit into her new family. For so long she's seen them as a source of food and entertainment. Having another teenager in the house does not aid the transition. Jez is independant by nature but longing for a sense of belonging, for the sense of community she had with the gang. It does not exist within her uncles family. Jez's accepting of the mission to infiltrate what is now Morgeads gang is about more than finding the wild power.
As soon as she's reunited with the other gang members, the desire to stay, to ignore the facts in exchange for having her former sense of belonging, returns. But, time's change and Jez has as well. Although she feels an increased afinity with Morgead, her vision of the other members is altered considerably.
Jez's relationship with Morgead and her hesitance to be truthful to him is symbolic of the hesitance of most teenagers to reveal to those around them who they really are. The difference? Instead of simple ridicule, Jez faces the possibility of violence and death. In the end Jez accepts her need of others, especially Morgead. She learns to do so while still being true to herself, and that is the real challenge, for most teenagers and for Jezebel Redfern especially.
Reflections on LJ Smith