Published by Penguin on 2019-02-26
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban
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Set in the same world as Faith Hunter's New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the fourth Soulwood novel stars Nell Ingram, who channels her power from the earth.
Nell can draw magic from the land around her, and lately she's been using it to help the Psy-Law Enforcement Division, which solves paranormal crimes. Joining the team at PsyLED has allowed her to learn more about her powers and the world she always shunned--and to find true friends.
Head agent Rick LaFleur shifts into a panther when the moon calls him, but this time, something has gone wrong. Rick calls Nell from a riverbank--he's naked, with no memory of how he came to be there, and there's a dead black cat, sacrificed in a witch circle and killed by black magic, lying next to him.
Then more animals turn up dead, and team rushes to investigate. A blood-witch is out to kill. But when it seems as if their leader is involved in the crime, the bonds that hold the team together could shatter at any moment.
FTC – Got this for review from the tour host – I wanted this book so badly!!
Tags – part-of-a-series, First-person-POV, shifters, strong-heroine, has-to-be-read-in-order, shape-shifters, magic, plant-magic, vampire-tree, previous-trauma, slow-burn-romance, sci-fi
Content warnings – trigger warnings for mentions of rape, physical-abuse, emotional-abuse, violence
Heat-level – there is no sex in this book.
Before we start, if you are reading the Jane Yellowrock series, and haven’t read Dark Queen, this book contains spoilers for it.
Also, I need, at some point, Rick to get some happiness. My heart breaks for him in each book – this one is no different. Please, Ms Hunter??
The plot is, as usual, thrilling, with unexpected twists as Rick’s secrets start to reveal themselves in a series of terrible events. As his past starts to unravel, the depth and complexity of the conspiracy against him becomes more apparent, leaving me marvelling at the clues I had missed in other books and eager to figure out how it would all work out. This book answers so many questions… it is so very clever.
The thing that makes this series for me will always be the way Nell works with the team. I love every character and, in this one, they have to become even closer to help Rick out of this mess. Each member has a part to play in ensuring that he is safe and I adored reading all their interactions as they race against the clock. Faith Hunter writes fully fleshed, engaging characters that I love to read about in this world.
I can’t go too much into it without spoiling both the book or the series arc (for newbie readers) so I will stop there, but I am so glad I found both this series and Faith Hunter’s writing.
Heroine – 5/5
Nell is wonderful. A previous child bride in a mysogynistic church, this series has been about her evolution. It is clear throughout the series that her core characteristics of strength and determination have always been there but, now she has learned to trust others and life outside the church, she has started to use those characteristics to shape the life she wants, free from restrictions and self-doubt. I loved seeing her strength develop into belief in herself and her determination become a focus to have the life she wants. Watching her grow into a excellent psy-led officer has been another favorite part of the series.
This series is told from her point of view, in her voice. I should warn you all of that as I know that first-POV is not for everyone, however I truly love her voice.
The central romance is Nell and Occum, a romance that has been developing for 4 books. I loved them; they are sweetness and respect personified. It is slow-burn romance at its best and the way that Occum waits for the woman of his dreams, who has had a truly awful experience of relationships to this date, left me with a smile a mile wide. The way he explains what happens in Gabon…. Well, I won’t spoil it, but I laughed and awed at the same time.
It reflects the book well
Already done 🙂
Favourite part –
There is a scene between Occam and Nell that made my heart melt. You’ll see what I mean.
What didn’t work for me-
What I will say is that this series is very complicated and, in this one, because the crossover between the Jane Yellowrock and this series was so heavy, I found myself reading some sections again to see if I could figure out/remember all the events that were mentioned. It isn’t a bad thing, just a point to mention.
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Faith Hunter is the New York Times and USAToday bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series, the Soulwood series, and the Rogue Mage series, as well as the author of 16 thrillers under pen the names Gary Hunter and Gwen Hunter. She has 40+ books in print.
Faith collects orchids and animal skulls, loves thunder storms, and writes. She likes to cook soup, bake homemade bread, garden, and run Class III whitewater rivers. She edits the occasional anthology and drinks a lot of tea. Some days she’s a lady. Some days she ain’t.
Author Links : Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook