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Blood of the Earth
Soulwood #1
by Faith Hunter
Roc, $7.99, 384pp
Published: August 2016

Nell Ingram is our focus in this spinoff series by Faith Hunter. Set in the same universe as the Jane Yellowrock series where magic is real as are were-beings, vampires, witches  and other paranormals,  we are first introduced to Nell in the Jane Yellowrock novella Off the Grid in the book Black Water.

Nell is alone by choice and by 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. In this, the first book of her own series, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals hoping she can help them with an investigation that might involve the members of the cult she escaped.  The Psyled team is led by Rick LaFleur, a were-panther who cannot change, Para, a were-panther from Africa, Occam, a were-leopard from Texas, Tandy, an empath, T. Laine, a witch and JoJo who calls herself the “token human.” Oh, and let’s not forget Pea a strange sort of catlike creature whose purpose is to prevent the weres from injuring or turning humans - by killing them if necessary.

Someone is kidnaping girls and the leading suspect is HST, the Human Speakers of Truth, who have previously used the method for fund-raising. It is thought they have ties to some people in God’s Cloud, the cult Nell was raised in and where her family still lives.  With Nell’s inside connections it is hoped she can get information on any strangers who might be on the God’s Cloud compound without raising too many suspicions. Then a third girl is kidnaped and she is the daughter of a high-ranking vampire and things go from bad to worse. In the course of the investigation Nell learns a great deal about her family. herself and her magic.

I started this book on a Monday morning, by Wednesday evening I had read the first three in the series and cannot wait for the fourth. I even went and looked up the short story that introduced Nell. This is another paranormal series from Ms. Hunter that draws the reader into a world of magic and mudanity all mixed together. Highly recommended. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For more books in the Soulwood series click here
For more titles by Faith Hunter click here

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