Series: Soulwood #1
Published by Penguin on 2016-08-02
Genres: UF, Urban
In this series set in the same world as the Jane Yellowrock novels, New York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter introduces 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...
FTC : I bought it due to recommendations on twitter. I adore the Jane Yellowrock series which links into it. I don’t recommend you read this series without the other as the assumed knowledge is HUGE.
Tag : #UF #Strong-heroine #Magic #Plant-power #Shifters #Series #First-POV #dark #Cult
One-Lined Sum up – A cult survivor with nature based powers starts life anew only to have her world turned upside down by the arrival of the supernatural police in the quest for some missing girls.
I got talked into this series by twitter and I’m happy that I did because I loved it. It feels very different to the Yellowrock series but that is because, as all the books are written in first POV, the characters couldn’t be more different (although both are amazeballs!). My big fear walking into this book is the addition of Rick and Paka (I fricking hate Rick) but they are secondary characters at best and I didn’t mind what they brought to the story.
Nell has escaped the hold of her cult-church lifestyle and is attempting to live the life she always wanted on her own. With her affinity to all things nature, she knows that she would never be truly be accepted by the people that she called family (she’s too “weird”) and so she wants to experience what the world has to offer without the restrictions of the “rules”. Although the church keep trying to snatch her back, it’s all going quite well until the arrival of the PsyLED team (plus douchy Rick). The case they are working on seems connected to the church (cult) where Nell grew up and so she is best placed to help out. Of course, it helps when her special affinity to the Earth brings some useful powers to the mix ….
I loved this book. Nell is not the character I expected and I adored her. She is such a strong woman (she escaped a cult for gods sake!) and I enjoyed the journey into her world. She goes through some serious shit in these books (those church assholes are HORRIBLE) but I loved seeing her try to negotiate her fixed world view with the realities of modern day life. The whole PsyLED team contribute to her shift in views but I loved that Faith Hunter didn’t attempt to show Nell as someone who needed saving; she saved herself and the others just showed her what she could grasp onto if she wanted to. Nell was never patronised or pitied in the book and it kept me believing in her as a heroine which is important to me as a reader of an Urban Fantasy series.
One thing I will say about Faith Hunter’s world is that it’s never boring. The whole concept of Nell’s plant based power was fascinating and I was hooked with the uniqueness of this series. The series is dark, fun and completely compelling; I LOVED IT. There isn’t quite the family dynamic which I loved in the Yellowrock series but I can see the potential with Nell and the rest of the team which I really hopes continually developing.
As a starter to the series, this had everything I wanted. It had fabulous world building, an amazing protagonist and a fabulous set of secondary characters. Nell is strong, independent and powerful; I want to know more!