Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Soulwood #2
on November 1, 2016
Pages: 352 pages
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...
When I closed the last page on Curse on the Land I didn’t know what I truly felt about its story, I think I might’ve still be in shock.
Nell’s character is completely unique from any other heroine I’ve read about before, she’s on a whole other level. I’m so grateful that she’s nothing like Jane Yellowrock (heroine from interconnected series), if there would’ve been any similarities between the two I think that I wouldn’t have been able to like Nell’s character and this series as much as I do. To be honest, there’s nothing I dislike more than reading a branched off series that holds the same characteristics as the original.
My main wish for Curse on the Land was that we would learn more about what Nell actually is, a name given that would explain her abilities. Instead we were shown more areas of her powers, and while I wished for something different you won’t hear a complaint from me.
There’s so much I want to say about Nell’s character, but words seem to escape me. Maybe it’s that her character needs to be experienced as you read these books, or maybe there’s so much mystery that still surrounds her that it would be premature to pin certain words to her. The reality is, she holds so many layers and yet she ventures a little more out of the shell that being a member of God’s Cloud of Glory Church erected around her.
Despite my issues with Blood of the Earth, it really laid the foundational work for this series. Curse on the Land, instead of falling in that second book slump, strongly carried on the spirit of Blood of the Earth and delivered a powerful and magnetic sequel.
I will admit that off the heels of Blood of the Earth I was somewhat expecting Curse on the Land to start off immediately with action, and while it did I have to let the brat in me out and say, “it wasn’t fast enough for my taste lol.” It’s like my excitement ramps up every time Nell communes with Soulwood. I don’t know if it’s because of the connection they have or if it’s my wonderment of how far Brother Ephraim has damaged his part of Soulwood. I just know that every time Nell places her hands on Soulwood, or any land for that matter, something is about to pop off.
There were so many unexpected twists and turns in Curse on the Land that you have to just sit back and take the story as it came to you, you couldn’t tell what was going to happen next. I had mentioned previously in a feature of Curse on the Land’s cover that I thought its story would be about the blackness or taint that Brother Ephraim had placed upon Soulwood. I had thought that would be the conflict that Nell and the PsyLED team would battle. That assumption was just the tip of the iceberg of all that Faith Hunter wove throughout Curse on the Land, just the tip.
The conflict of Curse on the Land was something I would’ve never imagined, nor would I have imagined Nell being such a dominant presence all throughout this story to the point where the hierarchical structure of the PsyLED team would be somewhat left in shambles.
I briefly mentioned Occam in my Blood of the Earth review, so it would be a crime not mention him in this review. I knew there was something special about his character that would make him an easy favorite of mine, and it mostly had nothing to do with his ability to shift into a leopard.
The connection he had with Nell, which was more balanced than Nell’s other attachments within the group, would be something that I knew I would have to keep my eye on. And from all that went on in Curse on the Land I was absolutely right. Not only did Occam become an anchor for Nell when she was butted up against entities who were out of this world tough, but he became the only person who Nell felt comfortable enough to practice new things with. Growing up as a member of God’s Cloud Glory Church (polygamous church), and then being the junior wife to a man that was her father’s age places restraints on a person that I don’t even want to imagine. Additionally, before Nell went to Spook School, as she calls it, she wasn’t adept at all the social interactions and sayings that we take for granted, but with Occam (he has a restrictive background too) they were both able to help each other break out of their shells.
Occam helped Nell feel comfortable enough to be sarcastic and to flirt, and Nell helped Occam take chances and learn how to court a lady (namely her but she hasn’t picked up those cues yet). Their relationship is so special that I can’t wait to read how Hunter will develop this relationship, but I do sincerely hope that Rick doesn’t come along and muck things up.
The magical world that Hunter has created is so unique and complex that it’ll take a few books, and maybe the continuation of the Jane Yellowrock series, before I grasp a foothold into understanding the ins and outs of this world.
Dang, I didn’t know I had this much to say on Curse on the Land, but I’ll stop right here and hope that all I’ve said is enough for you to want to read this book. I’ll put it like this, my obsession with this series is almost along the same lines as my obsession of The Others series by Anne Bishop (mic drop).