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

Curse on the Land is the second book in the Sourwood series by Faith Hunter. The fist book was Blood of the Earth, and I would highly recommend reading the series in order. Thankfully this is no hardship since the first book was very good. 

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.

Curse on the Land goes deeper into Nell's character, and the powers she holds. Nell is still dealing with the effects of growing up in a religious cult- but is self aware which makes her a much more practical character than some might be in her situation. The team has changed, and relationships and friendships become more complicated- although while there is flirting and thoughts there is no way this could be classified as a romance. The case, and the mystery surrounding the dangerous presence and deaths, are the focus of the book. The mystery is very well done, and the exploration of science and magic was interesting. I liked that the story never fell into the expected patterns, and even the solution was nothing I have read before. Nell's personal growth and understanding was just as important as the deadly mystery, and I found that combination kept me reading well past my bedtime. 

Curse on the Land is another great book by Hunter. If you like urban fantasy with complex, unique characters that does not get buried under romantic story-lines then Hunter is an author you should explore. 
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