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Review: Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter (Soulwood #2)

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Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter (Soulwood #2) // VBCCurse on the Land (Soulwood #2)
Faith Hunter
Published: Nov. 1, 2016 (Roc)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1 Blood of the Earth.

Nell Ingram, former member of a polygamist cult, has just returned home from spook school an official member of Psy-LED unit eighteen. She’s learning to do things she’s never done before, like watch movies and wear pants. Her first official case will test both her new-found investigative skills and her growing magical abilities–an environmental disaster with possible magical origins.

As the newest member of the team Nell does lots of CSI work, cataloguing both mundane and magical evidence, in addition to using her magic to “read” the contaminated sites. The system Faith Hunter’s invented for measuring magical things, building on the psy-meter technology she introduced in the Jane Yellowrock series, is just fascinating. Either one of those tasks could have been tedious to read about—I often don’t like spending too much time in a character’s metaphorical headspace—but there’s plenty of action to balance it out. I love seeing shy little Nell shooting at bad guys! She’s come a long way in the course of the series so far.

But in some ways, Nell is still the girl who grew up in the cult. She has no clue how to handle a man who’s attracted to her and no idea why she’d even want to. I love her relationship with her teammate Occam and I’m excited to see where it goes. At the same time Nell’s estranged family, and her relationship with them, is changing and challenging some of her long-held beliefs.

Hunter also addresses Rick LaFleur’s inability to shift into his cat form, which led to his decision to leave Jane Yellowrock. I’m happy, and a little bit heartbroken, to finally get some answers. And I wonder how this new information will impact both this series and Jane’s in the future.

I didn’t love Curse on the Land quite as much as the first Soulwood book. That may just be because Blood of the Earth gave me really high expectations. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, except when I found out there’s only one more book planned in the series. I love Nell and her Psy-LED team and would happily read about their adventures for years.

Sexual content: references to sex

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