This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #1
Also in this series:Curse on the Land, Flame in the Dark
Also by this author: Curse on the Land, Cold Reign, Flame in the Dark
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon
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…
Wow! This story was fantastic! This book is a spinoff from the Jane Yellowrock series and it is an urban fantasy like no other. I love how this book is written. There are human elements, paranormal elements and also this sentient earth element. The villains are truly despicable and vile. The heroine is down to earth, honest, and so very traumatized and emotionally caged. It is so beautiful to see how she blooms throughout this story and starts to realize that she is truly worth something.
“Real religion is about love and redemption and healing, not putting people down, segregating them into smaller and smaller groups so they can be controlled. Controlling people is evil, real evil.”
Nell Ingram is a young adult that grew up in the God’s Cloud of Glory Church, a polygamous cult fictitiously located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Through a dispute with the head of the church, Nell had left the church compound when she married John (by cult standards) at 12 years old. Although John was part of this cult and did have multiple wives he had legally married Nell (his last wife) when she was 18.
When Nell was 19 he died and she legally inherited Soulwood, the plot of land that she lives on. Ever since then Nell has been under attack from God’s Cloud male members because John had been a member of the cult for a long time and they expected that his land would go to them as well as all his possessions. Because they have a caveman mentality, they expected Nell as part of those possessions.
Nell had other plans..you go girl! She stayed on her land for a few reasons, the main one being that she was connected to her land. She had an awareness that came through the land itself and she could commune with it. This is something that she did not discuss with others BUT the God’s Cloud males wanted her burned at the stake for being a suspected witch. Another was that she had family at that compound and wanted to always be available if they decided to leave the cult. Last but not least, she had no place to go, no education, no future. She was not going to let the menfolk scare her away from her own land but she did not think that it would be long before she was dragged off and sent to the punishment house on the compound.
After her experience with skinwalker Jane Yellowrock Nell was not sure if she wanted the help that Jane had promised, but it showed up anyway in the form of Rick LaFleur. Rick and his team are agents of the Psychometry Law Enforcement Division of Homeland Security (PsyLED), an agency that investigates and solves paranormal crimes. He and a Werecat named Paka showed up on Nell’s doorstep one day asking for her help. They needed inside information about the activities going on at the God’s Cloud compound. PsyLed had reason to believe that there was a terrorist organization that was linked to the church abducting girls. Reluctantly Nell agrees and that decision is a catalyst that puts her life on a totally new trajectory.
Now Nell needs to deal with figuring out what and whom she is, how to work on a team with other paranormals that includes men and women, and how she can protect her family all while dealing with a group of individuals determined to punish her for just being a woman who won’t cower. If it were not for the heavy paranormal element I would consider this a crime and mystery story with action and suspense. This is not your everyday urban fantasy and if you can set aside some hillbilly vernacular that makes you listen for a banjo playing in the background then you will love this new series from Faith Hunter.
*Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group & NetGalley for this ARC of Blood of the Earth*