I LOVE Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series, and when she has a BRAND-SPANKING-NEW series, how could I not inhale it as soon as I saw it? (I couldn’t…)
Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #1
Published by Ace on August 2nd 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring Nell Ingram, who wields powers as old as the earth.
When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her. Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville. Nell has a team-—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Plot: Shunned churchwoman joins PsyLED team investigating kidnappings and miscellaneous shenanigans occurring in her backyard (ok, so it’s not quite her backyard), finds friends, truths, and a future. A dead body or two, bloodthirsty woods, and magical smiting provide a supernatural backdrop to this tale featuring a witch-of-sorts, who works with my most-not-favorite character from Hunter’s popular Jane Yellowrock series.
The Characters: Nell Ingram has lived a long life in her short years. She’s alone, hanging on to her property in hopes of providing a haven for her sisters, shunned by her family and harassed by the “church” she left all those years ago. She’s introduced to PsyLED’s world by Jane Yellowrock, after she helps Jane on a prior rescue mission.
Learning to be among non-Church others, navigating nuances and terminology and slang, watching the interactions, all provide a fascinating look at a person’s psyche when they’ve been isolated from humanity – even if the team’s not all human.
I loved Nell’s gumption and her stubborn honor. I liked that she doesn’t really know what she is, that she has to figure it out as she goes. She’s kind of like Jane in that way, actually. I also admire her guts and how she does what she knows is right regardless of the consequences, and I loved that she stands up for herself, against the teachings of her childhood.
There are other members of the PsyLED team in Blood of the Earth worth mentioning – Tandy’s empathy, Occam’s careful regard. And Rick’s crankiness… Even with my not-favorite character featuring prominently in Blood of the Earth, I enjoyed the team interactions and Nell’s feeling her way into hanging out with people.
The Story: There’s murder and not-murder, magic, dastardly deeds, and heroes to the rescue, so what’s not to love about Blood of the Earth? It’s a well-paced, well-told story, introducing us to Nell and her world, then the PsyLED team, before going all out on the mystery and guns-blazing action. And boy is there guns-blazing action.
If you’ve enjoyed Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series, you’ll love Blood of the Earth. If you’ve never read Jane Yellowrock, go pick that up – after you read Blood of the Earth, because you’ll be hooked on Hunter’s storytelling.
drey’s rating: Outstanding!
Have you read Blood of the Earth? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
I have ONE copy of Blood of the Earth for you, if you live in the US or Canada. To enter, comment and share: In your opinion, what’s the best Urban Fantasy read so far in 2016? Enter by August 14th.
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