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.
Wow, I loved reading this book! And having read it just after Dark Queen, was so great, because those events do have an impact on what's happening in this book! We also got continuations of plots like her sister Mud coming to live with her (ah, the expenses of living on the grid!), and her relationship with Occam!
So going into this book, it turns out that there's one important short story from Rick's past that's very important to what's going on now. I wasn't going to mention it, but since Faith Hunter has, I figure that gives me permission to do so, as well! Given how private Rick is, and how little the group knows about his past, this was not an easy time for him!
One thing that I was really looking forward to in this book, was whether or not Jane's new-found brother, FireWind, would be in this book. Since he's Rick's boss and all. I loved his and Nell's interactions, because they're very different people!
The mystery in this book is pretty complicated, which is awesome to read! I love how this series is different from Jane's, not only with Jane and Nell being different people and thus, different narrators, but that Jane is adjacent to the law, and Nell has become the law (in the sense that she's a LEO.) That was really noticeable in this book because of the mystery, at least, for me. I don't know how to explain it, my head works strangely!
Loved this book so much, and I can't wait for more from this series!
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #4
Read: February 11th, 2019
Source: Let's Talk! Promotions Review Copy through NetGalley
Reason Why: Love her writing and this series, and it's a Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2019 Book and a WoW Book!
Publisher: Ace Books
Expected Publication: February 26th 2019
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I drove around the Walmart, past big rigs parked in the shadows, a few RVs and travel trailers. Spotting the security guard, who was riding around in an orange vehicle with a flashing orange light on top, I followed and flashed my blue lights to get his attention. Unlike Holt, former KPD sergeant Wellborn was genial and chatty. We sat, driver-side door to driver-side door, and gossiped over the window edges for a while about the robbery and the homeless and drug problem in Knoxville.
He pointed to the back of the Walmart and said, “We try to keep them from bothering the shoppers and joggers. When there’s two of us working and when the numbers get too bad, we help the local boys flush them out of the greenery along the greenway back there.”
I assumed that local boys meant KPD and not armed yahoos looking for excitement.
“But they don’t need much more than a bush to sleep under in summer, and with Third Creek back there and nearby places to beg, they have everything they need to survive for six to nine months a year. Come winter, things’ll change up a bit, but for now, it’s homeless heaven.”
I pulled up the video of the suspect. “You ever see this guy?”
Together we watched both sets of footage and Wellborn shook his head. “No. Dark jacket, jeans, sneakers, maybe an old pair of Jordans. Moves like a female. I have to say, robbery by the homeless isn’t as common as most folk think. They make more and better money begging, without the fear of ending up in jail.”
Making a note to check the statistics, I considered the darkness behind Walmart. The security lights didn’t reach beyond the parking area, and though the moon was still up, it wasn’t providing much illumination. I really didn’t want to go back there, but . . . “I need to inspect it, to see if I can spot the perpetrator.”
“If you want to take a look, drive around and come in the back way, on the far side of the creek. Shine your lights at the creek and the back of the store. You’ll see some. See a campfire or two. Maybe a tent. If you want to wait till I’m off shift I’d go with you, but I’m the only one on tonight and can’t go now.”
“Thanks. I’m good. I’ll call for backup if I see anything that means I need to get out of the truck.” I shook his hand across the space between our vehicles and followed directions to the far side of the creek. I motored in behind a storage building or warehouse—there wasn’t a sign on the back road to tell me what it was—braked, and measured with the psy-meter out the window. The readings read background normal, and I moved on down the road. On my GPS it was called Unnamed Road, which seemed an appropriate and sad place for the human homeless. I made three stops, working from inside the truck cab, and found only tents, tarps, trash dumps, an abandoned campfire, and glimpses of people escaping into the brush, until I got past the Walmart. The psy-meter 2.0 went off, spiking and holding at level one and level four, the readings matching the circle that had called Rick. My heart rate rocketed. There was something witchy on the bank of Third Creek.
New York Times and USAToday bestselling fantasy author Faith Hunter was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. Altogether she has 40+ books in print under the names Gary Hunter, Gwen Hunter, and Faith Hunter. As Faith, she writes two contemporary Urban Fantasy series: the Jane Yellowrock series, featuring a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires, and the Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. Her Rogue Mage novels are a dark, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. The role playing game based on the series, is ROGUE MAGE, RPG.
Visit Faith online at www.faithhunter.net, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.