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Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

In the third installment of the Soulwood series, Nell Ingram continues to build a life outside of God’s Cloud of Glory church, master her powers with the Earth, and expand her role as a PsyLED agent.

Title: Flame in the Dark
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood, Book 03
Publish Date: December 5, 2017, Audible Studios
Genre: Urban fantasy
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionSet in the same world as Faith Hunter’s New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the third, thrilling Soulwood novel stars Nell Ingram, who draws her powers from deep within the earth.

Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED—the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.

A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead—and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more—or less—than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested Ivana says…

Like all the Faith Hunter books I’ve read, I enjoyed Flame in the Dark very much. I like seeing the characters develop and learning more about the magic and creatures in their world. Khristine Hvam does a wonderful job of voicing the characters.

Flame introduces us to a new magical creature thought long extinct, sheds a little more light on the history of creatures like Soul, and furthers Nell’s relationships with the team and with her sister, Mud. I’m really looking forward to Mud becoming a bigger part of the story. She is a pistol!

Before listening to Flame, I listened to the whole series again, including “Off The Grid,” the Jane Yellowrock short story that introduces Nell. This is a series I’ll come back to often. 5 stars.

Nervous Nellie says…

I cannot praise Faith Hunter enough.  First, she got me hooked on Jane Yellowrock, and then, as Jane’s world expanded, Faith brought in Nell Ingram.  This is an action-packed adventure with plenty of story and character advancement.  There is no sex, no swear words, a little graphic violence, and best of all, no cliffhanger.  I thought there would be, but Faith Hunter saved me from wallowing in cliffhanger self-pity.

The story was great.  I don’t mean on the low side of 5 great. I mean as high on the high side of 5 as the meter will go.  There were monsters.  You think there maybe aren’t monsters at first, but you know better since PsyLED is involved.  These are monsters that give me that feeling like the movie Jaws did to the ocean.  If you listen closely, you can figure out where the monsters are coming from, but the “why” that is answered in the end is just plain dark!  It was GREAT!!!

The other part of the book was fun too.  Not just a little bit, but a lot!  I got to ride around with Nell and live her day.  I liked how she got home and had to put logs into the stove to make heat for the house.  I found her life interesting in an everyday kind of way.  I enjoyed how she used her “church speak” to her advantage.  I loved how Nell put her own father in his place when no one else could.  Not even the Mamas. Go Nell!!  I loved how Nell’s love life changed and she had to do a lot of soul searching to figure out what to do. The “will they/won’t they” between Occam and Nell was palpable.  I could nearly feel the tense vibes that Occam was sending.  Why tense? Well, there is a new man on the scene. If you are on team Occam, you’d better dive in and see what it’s about.

You think that’s all? Um, no.  There is still the whole Brother Ephram thing, the vampire tree thing, and the Mindy “Mud” thing.  There is a whole lot happening in this book.  I was riveted, and the conclusion was very satisfying.

Now, I read a blog that claims this is the end of the series.  Oh, boy.  I hope not.  I still want to be a part of Nell’s life.  I want to ride with her on her journey of life.  In some ways, she is wiser than a woman twice her age, and in other ways, she’s as wise as a girl half her age.  It’s a interesting and engrossing kind of story.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Faith Hunter’s other series—Rogue Mage and Jane Yellowrock. Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series. Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series.

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Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

Yellowrock Clan is back to battle revanants, European Vampires, traitors, spies and conspirators.  Another day in the life of Leo’s NoLA Enforcer and her people.

Title:  Cold Reign
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #11
Publish Date:  May 2, 2017
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Source:  Reviewer purchased book and audio

Publisher’s Description:

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds… 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

Dang ninja vamp.

This is an urban fantasy with hints of sex – nothing descriptive, lots of blood and gore.  Plenty of scheming and manipulation – vamps are good at that and magic.  The ending isn’t a cliffhanger but the game has changed dramatically so it will be impossible to stay away from the next installment. There is only one word for this book and it has to be “EXCELLENT” or how about two words..”Solid Gold”.

I have loved this series since it began.  Jane Yellowrock has grown and grown into a force that no one can deny.  Even the fangheads have to respect her because she CAN and much to her independent nature WILL take them out.

This story threw me into the action right away with Jane and Eli fighting a revenant.  There are NCIS investigations into dead sailors and since the dead sailors were drunk dry, Yellowrock Securities or rather Leo Pellissier’s Enforcer were called.  That had me hooked from the get-go.  Seriously? NCIS and Jane Yellowrock in the same paragraph? I am SO in.

The action doesn’t stop there.  Nope.  Not even close.  The revenants are the main story line and why they are all of a sudden digging themselves out of their graves 200 years after they were put there is the million dollar question.  And then comes the riots.  And then the storms.  And then the attacks on Leo and his HQ.  The suspense and treachery reach a friendzied pitch and then back down just as I was on the edge of my seat.  When I finally relax a bit, here goes the action and mayhem all over again.  Jane and her team get thrown in head first time and time again while Leo sits back with his drink and his toys just waiting for Jane to fix things.  He’s such a jerk.

Leo doesn’t come out of this adventure unscathed, however.  He suffers some loss although the loss isn’t as great to a vamp as to normal people. They have games not relationships.  Now, I may be a bit biased because I don’t like Leo much.  I will concede that he does seem to treat his people well and he pays Jane well.  I hate the vamp politics and the long game they play to one up each other.  He’s just too devious for his own good.  And pretty.  And a schmoozer.  And a liar.  And just plain fangy.

Relationships expand in Jane’s household in this book.  She gets herself a Primo, a Secundo and to top it all off – an Enforcer.  Jane has worked dang hard for her place in vamp hierarchy and she deserves happiness.  Enter Bruiser.  *Swoon*  Yes, he is pretty and romantic as ever.  I think they make a super pair.  It makes me all warm and melty.  Of course I couldn’t get comfortable with that because THEN things so a bit sideways because Ricky Bo makes an appearance.  He makes it known that he wants Jane back and (this is the part that is cool) Jane is the one that tells him to…um…go jump in a lake.  Bruiser is not the one flexing muscles here and going all alpha protective over Jane because Jane can take care of herself.  Go Jane!

I cannot rate this any higher than 5 stars though I’d want to give it 20.  Faith Hunter’s writing is out of this world and her story line is one that is original and engaging.  Go Faith!

 

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Soulwood series by Faith Hunter

 

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Book News and Author Announcements Faith Hunter

Don’t forget about Jane Yellowrock’s next adventure in Cold Reign released May  2, 2017!  Here’s some extra news you might not know.

book news

WhatCold Reign
Who:  Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #11
When: May 2, 2017

SUPER SECRET NEWS:  The first chapter is available on Faith’s website for your reading pleasure.  You can also pre-order a SIGNED copy directly from Faith’s desk to yours here.

Description:  Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless of cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

Pre Order links:    Amazon Barnes and Noble | Kobo

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Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter

Nell Ingram—new PsyLed agent, earth witch (kinda), and former member of an end-of-days Christian cult—helps uncover the cause of mysterious human and animal behavior and death connected in some way to the weird black mold covering the landscape. As usual, she’s in over her head, but manages to do her job, even if she has to break a few of the rules…

I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

curse-on-the-landTitleCurse on the Land
AuthorFaith Hunter
SeriesSoulwood, Book 02
Publish Date: Nov 1, 2016, ROC (Penguin)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Provided by the author/publisher

Publisher’s Description: 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 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…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

I’m starting to believe Faith Hunter can do no wrong.  Well, “write” no wrong, at least.  Curse on the Land is another fabulous urban fantasy novel featuring Nell Ingram, Rick LeFleur, and the PsyLed team.

In this installment, the team is investigating some mysterious deaths that seem to be connected to sentient powers deep within the earth. Several times in the story, Nell, as the narrator, is describing the experience of communing with the earth. Often times, she tells her team that the experience can’t be described in words—except that, since this is a book, this is exactly what she is doing for the reader. That made me grin.  Yet it couldn’t have been easy to find words to describe these experiences in a way that made sense to the reader, so kudos to Faith for that.

Some of the more interesting side stories in this book deal with Occam’s feeling about Nell and about Rick LaFleur’s magical handicap—his inability to turn into the werepanther he is at the full moon. Ooh, boy, will there be some fans excited about THAT plot line. I gotta wonder if Rick’s issues will be the focus of the next Soulwood book or if any of it will spill over into a future Jane Yellowrock book.

badge4v4The ending—well, really the cause of the mystery Nell and her group are solving—is pretty complicated and I’m not quite sure I grasped it all the first time around.  But, that’s what the audiobooks are for!  I pick up different details from the audio than I do from the text, which makes the reread (re-listen?) value awesome.

If you liked the first book, Blood of the Earth, I’d certainly recommend picking up Curse on the Land.  There are no vampires in this installment, but there are certainly characters and story lines that relate back to the Jane Yellowrock series, and Jane fans are NOT going to want to miss this one. 😉

Nervous Nell says….

This is a urban fantasy, no sex, lots of blood, lots of magic, plenty of death (but no one we know) and a cameo from Nervous_Nellie_100Jane Yellowrock.  There is no cliffhanger and maybe a tiny hint of romance.  I listened to this book via audiobook.

Faith Hunter is one of my favorite authors.  Khristine Hvam is one of my favorite narrators.  Nell Ingram is now one of my favorite heroines.  It took finishing this book before I was totally sold on Nell.  I kept thinking that no one can be as good as Jane Yellowrock and while that is true, no one can now be as good as Nell Ingram.  Both women are strong in their own way and talented in different areas.  Nell is an incredible investigator and even though she does go “rodeo” as Ricky Bo calls it, she does know how to take one for the team.  She uses her upbringing to her advantage and my favorite parts of the story is when she reverts to church-speak to gain confidences of witnesses.

Yes, Ricky Bo is still in this series.  I know, I know.  Ricky Bo is Nell’s boss so where else would he be?  Well, Rick badge5v4plays more of a role than boss in this book.  I got to see more about the agony that his were-taint is causing him.  I nearly felt sorry for the man.  Nearly.  He still broke Jane’s heart, but now I know how much he’s really suffering and how scary and uncertain his existence really is.

Seriously, this was a really good book.  Khristine Hvam is a top shelf narrator and even though she does narrate the Jane Yellowrock, she modulates her voice enough to distinguish between Jane and Nell.  That, to me, is incredible talent.  If you like Jane Yellowrock, please give this series a shot.  I was skeptical at first, just because it featured Ricky Bo, but Nell outshines all the characters in the book and she’s brilliant.

Our reviews in this series…

If you like this book…

…you might try the Jane Yellowrock series, of course; the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, or the Shifter series by Rachel Vincent.


About the Author…

faith-hunterFaith 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.

Find Faith online at her website FaithHunter.net, her blog, on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads.

I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter

What a great new series start for Faith Hunter and Nell Ingram! Though set in the same world, it is somewhat different than Jane Yellowrock and fascinating in its own right. I’m very excited about the Soulwood series!

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blood of the EarthTitle: Blood of the Earth
Author: Faith Hunter
SeriesSoulwood Book 1
Publish Date: August 2, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionSet in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring Nell Ingram, who wields powers as old as the earth.

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and 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.

Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville.

Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: I adore the Jane Yellowrock novels by Faith Hunter. So of course I’m going to read a new series set in Jane’s world. 🙂

What kept me reading: Faith Hunter’s writing and story-telling are top-shelf. The story and characters made for fantastic entertainment. In addition to that, there were some things in this novel that were intriguing to think about.

First, Nell is raised in what seems to be a paranoid, survivalist, polygamist, Sovereign Citizen movement, religious “cult.” My brain labels that as “bad.” However, Hunter goes to some length to show the reader what can be appealing about these groups–at least the family and community aspect of them. I can’t say as I’ve ever considered the sense of extended family and community that could exist in these groups in a positive light before. I was surprised that Hunter took this approach, and it made me think about these groups a little differently.

Second, Nell is forced to look at the beliefs and experiences of her childhood in a whole new way, reevaluating them in light of new information. We can be radically shaken to realize that the truth of our existence, those experiences that shaped who we are, may be based on false perception. It takes a lot of courage to be open to considering that our perceptions may be wrong and to realign our life in light of new information.

On a different note, I found it hard to remember that Nell is only 23 in the book.  She’s had a lot of life experience by the time we meet her, being married at 15 and widowed early.  She owns a house and weapons, and knows how to use them. She’s solitary and curmudgeonly. All these things make me forget that she’s actually very young and even more inexperienced because of her upbringing. I had to keep reminding myself of her age.

badge5v4Why I recommend it: Though I’ve only read her Jane Yellowrock series, I feel that it goes without saying that Hunter delivers quality writing and entertainment.  I’m not surprised to find that this new series is really good.  Fans of the Yellowrock world will certainly love it—we get to see Rick LaFleur squirm, after all—but you don’t have to be a Yellowrock fan to love this new series.  The world- and character-building, the mystery, and the magic are all beautifully done. I am certainly looking forward to more adventures with Nell. 😉

Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

This was a darn good book.  Yes, I had my reservations because it had Ricky Bo in it and I intensely dislike Ricky Bo LaFleur, Jane Yellowrock’s former mate.  He treated Jane poorly, but one little upside is that he isn’t as happy as he was with Jane.

ANYWAY, onto the book and I’m done talking about him.  (Jane is much better off with Bruiser 😉 )  This story is, hopefully, part of a series, no sex, no gory death scenes although there is plenty of blood.

The characters are really put together well.  Nell Ingram is one tough cookie. She has experienced more in her little bit of life than I have in all my years.  She was married at 12, assumed wifely duties at 15 and widowed by 19.  This experience is not uncommon in the support system she was raised, but she has had enough. She has shunned God’s Cloud of Glory church because several high ranking churchmen have turned more towards cult like activities.  Some of which include beating and raping of the wives and daughters of the community.

Nell, the main character, is smart and a great addition to the PsyLED team that is led by Rick LaFleur (Ricky Bo).  She knows she’s got powers, but she’s not a witch.  She doesn’t exactly know what she is, but she tries to do right.

badge4v4The team has a kidnapping to solve.  Actually, more than one kidnapping as well as locating a terrorist group operating in Nell’s area.  Nell, is a great asset because of her knowledge of the inner workings of the church community, but also proves herself to the rest of the team that she can pull her investigative weight.

This was a great book and I enjoyed it nearly as much as Jane Yellowrock’s series – nearly.

If you like this book…

…you might try the Jane Yellowrock books, obviously, if you haven’t already. 🙂

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.