Series: Soulwood #4
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.
His attitude got all over me like deer ticks on a dog. “Not kidding at all, Officer Holt.” I looked him up and down just like he looked at me, my eyes alighting on his thinning hairline and his paunch, which he sucked in to make himself look in better shape. “You were hoping for a nice big former Green Beret with scars and wartime experience? You call PsyLED about a nonviolent, very questionable vamp robbery after midnight, and you get me. Special Agent Ingram. You got a problem with that, you can call your headquarters and see if they’ll let you run and hide from the big bad para.”
I tapped my chest.
“Did you get all that, Special Agent Dyson?”
“Every word,” Tandy said into my ear. “Making friends, there, Ingram.”
“I got your report,” I said to Holt. “How about you stand outside and ask people to wait out there for five minutes while I read the premises.” I turned my back on him and set the psy-meter on the counter near the Slim Jims and Ho Hos. I heard the door open and close and I caught sight of Holt walking it off outside. I hadn’t done a very good job improving interagency relations. LaFleur would probably have a few things to say about that. To the clerk I said, “Okay if I tape our interview?”
“Sure.” The cashier nodded. He was in his midthirties, with patchy facial hair and an old odor of alcohol and weed about him. Idly I wondered where he’d hid his stash when he’d had to call the police. His name tag read HANK.
“Okay, Hank. Speak into the tablet. Tell me your full legal name, the date, and the current time. Then tell me what happened.” I set the tablet to record and as he talked I calibrated and did QC on the psy-meter 2.0. His story was pretty much what I had seen in the security cameras. “Can you describe the alleged thief?”
“Kid. I’m saying male. I mean, chicks don’t rob stores, ya dig?” I nodded, encouraging him to talk. “Probably between seventeen and twenty. White skin, black greasy hair to his shoulders, skin was dirty, medium height. Skinny.” He added, “He was shaking like a junkie, but the thing that made me think vampire was the white skin and the blood on his clothes. And he talked funny, so I was thinking fangs.”
I was betting that this kid loved horror movies and read vamp porn. “But you never saw fangs?”
“No, ma’am. Just the blood on his clothes and the white skin. But I thought bloodsucker and the cop agreed.”
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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
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Thanks for the review. I’m looking forward to this book and I can’t believe I may actually agree with you about Ricky Bo as before I would have been happy if he died but after things came to light in previous books I am softening towards him.
this book sounds like it has a lot going on with magic and shifters. It sounds good.