Title: Curse on the Land
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #2
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Set in the same world as Faith Hunter’s New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the second Soulwood novel tells the story of a woman whose power comes from deep within the earth...
Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly-formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals presents dangers of its own...
After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more...
“feed the earth…that part that felt so good, yet was sinful by every human standard I knew.”
Whoa, this book was a lot more complicated than the first one. I felt like I had to keep my eyes and ears open to avoid missing an important detail. As with Mrs. Hunter's other series, Jane Yellowrock, there is no downtime once the action starts.
Curse of the Land begins with Nell coming back home after a month away for PsyLED training better known as Spook School. Immediately after, her Unit 18 boss, Rick LaFleur, is calling her and requesting her help with their new case where her gift is needed.
Just before he calls, Nell realizes she has a problem with Soulwood. The death of Brother Ephraim is causing his dark entity to expand around her land. She's not sure how he's doing it but she knows she has to stop him. One thing she is sure of is that she doesn't want to involve her team - yet. Her land, her responsibility.
Going back to the case, someone is responsible for unleashing a magical working. At the beginning, it seemed to only affect animals but soon after human lives are at risk too. The team has to find out who's responsible for it and they need a way to stop it permanently before something even more dangerous is let loose.
I have to say that this story went into a lot more biology and magic that what I was expecting. It shows that the author took a lot of time with the details. Nothing felt loose from the storyline. It was knitted in a perfect unit.
So let me tell you my favorite things:
#1- Nell. She is a tough heroine. I can see why Jane can be friends with her. Even though Nell has some leftover fears from her time in the Church of Gods, she is evolving. She's adapting to her new life, to her team, and to her powers. One thing she needs to work on is her ability to throw herself into danger without worrying about her safety first.
#2 -Occam. I'm liking him more and more. I'm glad he's in the romantic lead so far. He has shown his protective side for her without undermining her decisions.
#3 - Nell's family. Just from a few interactions between Nell and Sam, I can tell he's a good guy. Mud, who has the same power as Jane, is a sweetheart. It's going to be very interesting when Nell decides to have the conversation with her family about her gift.
There were also things I learned. Nell was able to discover what creature Soul is. And of course, there is a big reveal about Rick. One thing I'm hoping is for Rick to keep his paws far away from Jane Yellowrock (Team Bruiser here).
Altogether, Soulwood is shaping to become a great series in the UF genre.
A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.