Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Curse on the Land
by Faith Hunter Series: Soulwood #2 Published by Roc
on November 1, 2016 Genres: Urban Fantasy Pages:
352 Format: eARC Source:
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Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in 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...
The Soulwood series is a spin-off series from the Jane Yellowrock series by (the awesome) Faith Hunter. It may not be necessary to read Jane to read Nell but why wouldn’t you? They are both excellent stories. The introduction to Nell is in a short story Off the Grid and then the first in the series is Blood of the Earth which I reviewed here.
Curse on the Land had three things I wanted and needed. First, it had Soul, who I missed in the first book. Second, it had more depth and development of what is going on with Rick LaFleur. I really enjoyed both these tremendously. It gave more insight into PsyLED. Ricky Bo has some major events. Character development makes for amazing books and this happened. We learn more about the whole team.
Third, I was eager to see how Nell grew and developed into a regular member of the PsyLED team. Nell went to spook school and gets her first case. The case is suited to her individual talents. Nell builds her relationship and works with different members of the unit. She surprises me with how she takes off on her own agenda, and scares me. With her upbringing, I expected her to work more easily with a group and follow orders better. I understand she is independent now which is fine for her personal life choices. BUT this is her work team and her decisions affect them all.
This is a unique world all its own and there is much more for us to learn about the people and the world. It’s wonderful to see Nell able to interact and even work with her family now. I’m excited to go on with Nell and her team.
Faith answers questions from the Beast Claws, her Street Team.
Q – How is Nell feeling about her whole worldview being rearranged now that she knows her mother and her mother’s sister-wives and her Maw Maw helped her escape to John and Leah?
Faith – Nell is still processing that. Still coming to terms with who she was, who she is, and who might she might become. Her inner walls of solitude are a lot less thick, and are beginning to crumble. But mostly the relationships with Unit 18 have begun to tear away at them. I am enjoying watching her unfold and grow and change!
Q – What pulled you toward the subject of fringe religious groups for this series? Was there some “trigger point” that sent you in that direction?
Faith – Not really a trigger point, but a lot of smaller things. A lifelong awareness of the damage that familial secrets do to children. Research and study about the way emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in early life shapes people in so many different ways. In my work writing thrillers as Gwen Hunter, in the DeLande Saga trilogy, I explored the way families trained, used, and often broke their children. And how those children sometimes grew up to embrace that same abuse. Plus, I flipped through channels one night and watched a few minutes of one episode of the TV show about sister wives. Gah.
Q – Does Nell get to talk to her Maw Maw and family, the women who yinehi, like her and mud? Is Nell still like them or is she changing again into something even more different?
Faith – I haven’t written or even planned this conversation. This is one of the things that goes at the *To be determined* section of every book proposal, something that usually happens organically. So to the first question, I don’t know. And to the second question, well, I haven’t plotted that far forward yet! The conflicts will determine what Nell becomes. And I am not being coy here. I really haven’t worked this out.
Q – Does Mud look after Soulwood while Nell is away?
Faith – Short answer, yes.
Q – What gave you the idea for Pea’s character?
Faith – (laughing) Watching my Hubs watching cat videos online. Cats don’t like me except as scratching posts and something to hiss at. But the Hubs loves their antics, combined with their hunting instinct. The result was the grindylow and eventually Pea.
Q – I was also wondering about the vampire tree. I read it that Nell would go to that tree for comfort as a child. Did it react to her so strongly because it remembered her earlier pain?
Faith – you got it in one! Yes.
About Faith Hunter
Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)
Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.
Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.
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I can't really remember any time when I wasn't reading. I LOVE books and what they give me. It's an opportunity to learn new things, see new places,live different emotions in a "safe" way. It lets me live in a new world.
I read all types of books but my favorites are urban fantasy and romantic suspense.I like some romance and some action / adventure / mystery in everything.I like sex in my books but please, only between TWO people.Intimate conversation is equally important to the sex in a book.It lets me see the characters.The other thing I enjoy is humor.Friend or follow me at Goodreads.
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Fantastic blog post! This was so much fun to read… really excited about this book!
I love the Q and A!
Thank you for the fab Q&A!
Thanks for creating a world full of people who come alive.