I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Blood of the Earth (Soulwood, #1) by Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #1
Published by Roc on August 2nd 2016
Number of Pages: 384
Genres: Paranormal, Urban
Purchase: At Amazon
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…
Having not read any books by this author before, I wasn’t sure if I’d be confused reading a spin off series. But it wasn’t confusing at all. In fact, I didn’t want to put it down until I had finished it!
The magic and creatures aren’t quite like I’ve met before. There are wereleopards and vampires, but they have their own unique spin. I really like how Tandy’s empathy was done. It was believable, and as much a weakness as it was a strength.
I loved how Soulwood was almost sentient but not quite. The way it and Nell worked together, and how both it’s powers and Nell’s grew over the course of the book. I liked all the little hits and glimpses of what Nell could be, and how she learned new ways to use her power.
My favorite characters besides Nell, were Occam and Tandy. They really grew on me, and on Nell. I hope we get to see a lot more of them in the next book.
One thing that slightly irked me, but not enough to throw me out of the book, was that Nell seemed to almost always figure out important things in the investigation. Not saying she couldn’t have figured out some of them. But growing up in a cult that sounded pretty abusive viewed through Nell’s eyes, and then living on her own and not going to a normal school, it seemed a little far-fetched that she always seemed to find something the university trained team members missed. Part of it was that she knew her area and the people better. Part of it was explained as “common sense” and “deductive reasoning”. But as much as I loved her as a character, it almost seemed a little mary sue-ish at times.
There isn’t really any romance in the book. There’s a tiny hint a few times of romance that may happen at some later date (and I’m really hoping that pairing happens!) but Nell is too sheltered and oblivious to understand what she’s feeling. Not to mention that there’s too much going on for her to think about it, and that she’s never really been in love.
All the characters had very distinct personalities, and the world seemed to be fairly detailed. We didn’t see a lot of the world since the book was focused on saving kidnapped girls, and Nell coming out of her shell enough to work with the team. But I’m hopeful we’ll get to see a lot more of it in the next books.
If you like urban fantasy, you need to read this book. I can hardly wait for the next one to be out!