Hey all, Dani here.
Today is the first day of Gen Con Online, but I only have two panels on my calendar for the day. On the other hand, one is focused on worldbuilding and the other is centered on stories from beginning to end. Basically every panel I enrolled in for the weekend is part of the Gen Con Writer’s Symposium. If you’re interested I can write up a Gen Con wrap-up post and share some of what I learned? Other than my two panels for the day, I’m just going to be reading, relaxing, watching some TV, and trying to get my blog schedule back under control. I have so many posts I need to draft up.
Anyway, today I am excited to be part of another blog tour–I know two in one week. To be fair, Lobizona was originally going to be back in May, but the book release was postponed because of everything. While I like participating in blog tours, I don’t like to have them scheduled so close together. But I’m learning to adapt to so much because of 2020.
The latest release in the Soulwood series, Spells for the Dead by Faith Hunter, is out now. I want to point out that though this series is a spin-off of Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series, it is absolutely not necessary to read all of that series, or any of that series, in order to pick this one up. I’ll be completely honest and tell you that I’ve only read the first book in the Jane Yellowrock series. I am tempted to go back and try the series again though, because of the Soulwood novels.
Anyway, a huge thank you to Ace Books and NetGalley for letting me read this book early and Let’s Talk! Promotions for allowing me to be a part of this tour. As always, being granted early access to a digital copy of a book in exchange for an honest review does not influence my rating or review in any way.
All right, I think it is finally time to jump into the review.
Publisher: Ace Books
Publication Date: July 28, 2020
ISBN: 0399587969 (ISBN13: 9780399587962)
Nell Ingram faces a dark craft known as death magic in the newest pulse-pounding paranormal procedural in the New York Times bestselling Soulwood series.
Nell Ingram is a rookie PsyLed agent, using the powers she can channel from deep within the earth to solve paranormal crimes. Together with her team, she’s taken on the darkest magic and the direst foes. But she’ll need to tap into every ounce of power she has for her newest case.
Nell is called to the Tennessee mansion of a country music star and finds a disturbing scene–dead bodies rapidly decaying before everyone’s eyes. The witch on her team, T. Laine, knows this can only be one thing: death magic, a rare type of craft used to steal life forces. PsyLed needs to find this lethal killer fast. But when a paranormal-hating FBI agent tries to derail the investigation, they find themselves under attack from all sides.
Rating: 4.5 stars
The absolute first thing I’m going to say is that yes, this is the fifth book in a series. But I’m going to try and avoid talking about spoilers in my review. The other thing I’m going to say is that these books are so easy and fast to read. Seriously, I’ve read the entire Soulwood series this month…actually books two through five I read in the past week. So even if you haven’t read these books at all yet, if the concept sounds interesting to you, then pick up the first book–Blood of the Earth–and give it a try.
There is just something about Nell that drew me in from the very beginning. I’ll mention again that I only read the first Jane Yellowrock book, and that is relevant because Nell is first introduced in that series. So I first met Nell as she became the leading lady in her own series. And while I liked Jane and Beast when I read Skinwalker, I just wasn’t drawn into their story as easily. Maybe that’s why I had to try to read that book three times. With Nell I was just absorbed into the tale.
Her interesting earth magic is a curiosity, and like her you do want to know more about her capabilities, as well as try and figure out exactly what she is. Then add to it that Nell was formerly part of a cult and so she is still learning about the freedoms and technologies and everything of the modern world. I don’t know. I like the meeting of Nell’s simple and hard-working idealogies and the chaotic jumble of modern sensabilities.
Nell’s mind works in an interesting way as well, which definitely makes her an asset first as a PsyLED consultant, then new agent, and now an agent with some experience under her belt.
This series is basically a paranormal buddy cop mystery adventure. The world has witches and werecreatures and vampires and all sorts of other beings and creatures, and so naturally a new government agency is formed to police these beings, since the standard police don’t have the proper resources and knowledge to handle these things.
Honestly, I really enjoyed my binge-read through this series, and since I only own these books (aside from the first one) in e-book, I’m going to have to pick up the paperback copies soon so they can join my Jane Yellowrock books and the first Nell Ingram solo book.
This series has magic and action and mystery and romance and a team of paranormal beings working together and forming a strong trust and friendship. I flew through these books, and now I am definitely excited to see what will come next.
Oh, I guess I didn’t really talk about Occam or Rick or T. Laine, or really any of the rest of the team…but I’ve always liked the whole team dynamic. I think they all work well together, and they learn more about each other with each installment in the series, which means that we learn more about all of them, and we can see the bonds between them all as they grow. I’ve always liked the Occam and Nell relationship, so it’s cool to see how that naturally progresses as the series develops.
There’s so much I could probably say and gush about with this series, but I’m just going to say that if you like urban fantasy/paranormal stories, give these books a try.