Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter
Soulwood, Book 1
If you're a huge Jane Yellowrock fan like I am, then you may have heard of Nell. In the short story compilation, Blood in Her Veins, Jane meets Nell, who has a property next to a cult that she used to be a part of. That was our first introduction to this adorable woman.
As I mentioned before, Nell used to be part of a cult called God's Cloud of Glory Church. She's been constantly harassed by church men who want to take her back to the cult that she left during marriage. These churchmen are some vile people that think they can take her back by force because women are nothing to them. You would need to read it to get all the small details about the cult. Like ... the men have multiple wives and lots of kids, there is a place called a Punishment House, these people live off the grid and are self sufficient. Anyhow, Rick Lafleur and Paka show up to ask Nell for her help in rooting out a group called the Human Speakers of Truth. During the book we find out about Nell and her powers, despite her reading as Human on the Psyled meter. We also meet Unit 18, which is the unit that Rick is head of.
Unit 18 includes Occam, a wereleopard, Tandy, an empath that has been struck by lightning 3 times, Jojo a black/korean human, and T Laine, a witch. I've gotta read it again but I don't think Paka is actually a part of Psyled but she's somehow attached to Rick. If you remember in one of the JY books, Rick basically walks away from Jane and up to Paka as she was brought to a party as a gift to Rick since he is stuck in human form. Apparently, the unmated wereleopard in heat was supposed to help with his transition ... But we find that he hasn't changed yet and maybe ... I'll leave that up to the reader to decipher, but it brings up something interesting that could happen in later Jane Yellowrock books. Anyway!
There are tons of people you want dead; Brother Ephraim, Jackie, Joshua Purdy. And then there are some you're just not sure about, like Nell's dad. I love Mud, Nell's sister, and hope to see more of her in the future. But the main conflict comes because of the 3 men that I said I wanted dead. Women are going missing and those 3 have been harassing Nell for quite a while but may have more to them than you initially think. While reading, pay attention to how they move.
During the course of the book you get to watch Nell transform from this loner ex-church woman to a strong independent woman. Not that she wasn't strong or independent before, but it was just in other ways. You get attached to Nell quickly and end up agreeing with most everything she does or says. One thing that I love Faith Hunter for is reigning my hate for Rick. He spent the first half of the book, or more, being a douchebag, and I wanted him to get kicked in the nuts. :-)
Overall ... I gotta say ... This is the first start of a series that I actually loved. I knew it wouldn't be hard because I'd read the short that Nell was in, but I was still surprised. I really didn't even like the first JY book this much. It was never slow and never lost you. A few of the characters could use more development but I love the potential and know this series is going to be amazing.
4 1/2 Stars
Paka (African) Jojo (Black/Korean)