Friday, January 26, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: BLOOD OF THE EARTH by FAITH HUNTER - SOULWOOD # 1 - URBAN FANTASY - PENGUIN

By: Faith Hunter
Published By: Penguin
Released: Available Now
Details: Paperback from library, 358 Pages

RATING: 4.25 NELL STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads

Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring 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…




BOOK REVIEW:

I’ve been interested to read some Faith Hunter since I noticed the Jane Yellowrock series. I have not started the Jane Yellowrock series yet, but headed straight into the Soulwood series.

I don’t normally read like this, skipping the original series before the spinoff, but my local library simply does not stock Jane Yellowrock, so away I went meeting Nell when I saw it on the shelf.

I found I could quite easily read Blood of the Earth without any prior knowledge of Jane Yellowrock series. I met Rick in this spinoff series and from some of the reviews I have read of Jane Yellowrock he was possibly a bit of an ass in that series? I found him to be fair and authoritative in this book. Only once did Nell have to put him in his place and she did it with pure female grunt.

The only thing I am curious to know is about Rick and Paka’s situation/relationship, which would have been revealed in the Jane Yellowrock series. Rick was Jane’s boyfriend, yet there is some witchy-shiz going on between Rick and Paka. Not love, but they are together and Paka seems the only one pleased.

Nell is a great character and Faith lifted several layers for me to see under in this book. Watching Nell discover bit by bit what she could achieve with the powers she is still discovering was very intriguing. Faith does have a way with words. These moments I really enjoyed.



I gulped breaths, calming my heart, and shifted position until I could place both hands on the dirt, both soles on the roots, my spine and the back of my head against the tree, looking up into the limbs. It was miserable cold, but I could feel the ground beneath me, solid and sandy, rock and stone and feel dirt, clay and layers of long-rotten leaves, water rising through the ground, under pressure, surface water falling down the hills, under gravity. Water spreading out, feeding rootlets and moistening seeds and dancing through the air as it splashed over rocks. My breath came easier, and the panic began to slide away. With the sun gone, the earth was at rest and yet never resting. Always alive and breathing and moving and pumping nutrients. Animals slept in the nooks of trees and rocks, in nests, in dens, and curled in tall grasses. Others hunted. I reached out with my senses, into the ground, and felt the earth, the contentment that was life, and the health of the trees.



Don’t expect any romance in this book; although I would love at this early stage to see her and Occam shipping. They appear like they have a connection… or something. At first I thought it was Tandy, but he’s not right for Nell, if she is to ever have herself a relationship away from the church—something different to John—I hope it is with Occam, at this early stage.


Sunlight turned Occam’s lightly tanned skin a pale gold, and made his amber-hazel eyes glow. He was wearing loose cotton pants and a stretchy T-shirt, the clothing dark blue with the words PsyLED stenciled on the shirt in white. And he was barefooted again, toes pawing the ground, the way a cat might milk the earth.


Tandy and Occam are my fave sub characters so far.

I LOVE urban fantasy and I did find this first book to be very, very slow for me for about the first 40% of the book. Eh, it could just be me, but I did find it hard to want to keep reading due to the pace—initially—it did get more exciting the more I turned the pages. I normally like a little faster paced urban fantasy, where I get more action and quicker information.

The one thing about Faith’s writing is she is ├╝ber descriptive and sometimes that was great and sometimes I felt I didn’t need to know every single thing Nell was doing in the kitchen as an example, but that is just me. Descriptive is awesome, but I found this book could be over descriptive when maybe not necessary.

Eh, each to their own.

I’ll be getting my hands on the first paperback in Jane Yellowrock series soon, as I am intrigued to know her character and this Rick business. The Soulwood series was more a spontaneous reaction to grab from the library shelf when I realized Jane Y series simply wasn’t available.

I can’t finish up without mentioning the cover art, which is absolutely amazing… beautiful! Seeing Nell on the cover with the forest floor swirling around her has great meaning.


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