Faith Hunter is such a talent. I really enjoy the characters she crafts and the fascinating supernatural situations they encounter. The Soulwood series is such a great compliment to the Jane Yellowrock books in that they share a world while still maintaining distinct identities. One of the things I like so much is Nell’s very unique character and perspective. She is so very different from Jane. Yet both series feature complex storylines, plenty of action, character development and just a subtle hint of romance.
Nell’s gift is in reading the land, so I imagine that all of the books will be tied to that somehow. Her communion with her woods features prominently here, but she’s also stretching her gift to investigate a problem tied to land nearby. It’s not as sexy as, say, being a vampire or a shifter. But it’s part of what makes Nell who she is. She is earthy and I don’t think that will ever change. But what’s cool here is that she is also adapting. In many ways, she thinks in the context of her church background, but she is learning so much about the “real world.” I am really enjoying her evolution.
The secondary cast of characters is also strong here. Particularly, I enjoyed the dynamic with Occam. It’s a slow burn, but I’m loving every minute of it. We’re also treated to some quality story threads with Soul and Tandy. But the biggest developments are on the Rick and Paka front. Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling. But I will say that Rick has always been a divisive character in the Jane Yellowrock series. (I may have called him Rick the Dick once or twice), but he is so much more sympathetic when he is not viewed through the lens of his actions toward Jane. That’s true, especially, here. Hunter gives us so much context and answers questions I didn’t even know I had. Really good stuff.
My only complaint is that sometimes we got too far in the details of technology and magic. We spent a lot of time learning how the equipment worked and even more time learning about how the magic was playing out in the story. Perhaps the worst (for me) was in the backstory that built up our villains and the magical workings that inspired them. I know this was all important as it gave us the “why” of their evil deeds, but I struggled to understand it all and I found myself skimming.
That aside, this is a good read. There are ties to the first book as far as consequences to Nell’s actions and her family in the church. There are characters I care about… and they’re growing, which is awesome. I’m looking forward to see where Hunter will take them next.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Curse on the Land
by Faith Hunter
Release Date: November 1, 2016