Ever since I saw that Faith Hunter was planning a spin-off of her Jane Yellowrock series, I have been looking forward to it. As backwards as it sounds, it was actually word of this series that got me to finally pick up the first few Jane Yellowrock books and give them a try. But as I have said on a few occasions, my enjoyment of the Jane books is thrown off by the lack of defined love interest, but I am hoping that reading the Soulwood series will kick-start a Jane marathon. I was really happy to see that Doug Meeks had sent over his review of the first book, Blood of the Earth, and it sounds as awesome as I had hoped.
What Doug said…
Well let me start off by saying that this is a spin-off from the Jane Yellowrock series and while it might help a small bit to read that series it is really not required to enjoy this one, especially since a lot of things we thought we knew prove to be false.
OK, this story revolves around Nell Ingram who is a bit magical, a bit homespun botanist, and a lot hermit who really does not care for people when this book starts. Nell is an incredibly complex character and so there is a lot of pages required to try to reveal to us (and to Nell) who Nell really is and some questions are not answered easily and some will be revealed as we go down the road in this series. We get enough information fed to us along to keep the reader interest high and it gets more intense as the book progresses.
Nell after being approached by the PsyLED team starts to reveal a natural ability for investigative thinking in addition to whatever magical powers she might possess (which are kind of murky and get a bit clearer as we go along but still very mysterious). She hopes it will also give her some measure of safety on her own land from the cult that watches her.
For the first book of a series this has a very complex multifaceted plot in addition to the plotline of just trying to figure out who/what Nell is and what she can actually do, something she does not have the answer for when this story starts.
The main story revolves around the religious cult that Nell escaped from many years ago and to solve this crime she will have to revisit her previous life and a lot of things will be revealed along the way. The story is amazing.
Bottom line: First books in a series are usually much lighter than this one because the author usually wants to hook you in quickly. This one starts slow and continues to build throughout the story and you are indeed hooked long term by the end of this book. The characters are good, the ones on the team that are not fleshed out here will be in subsequent books I am sure since Nell seems to be the central character, this is a team story and we only get depth from 2-3 of them for this story. So 5 Stars for a excellent first book in the series and an exceptional story that just grabs you a bit tighter the farther in you go. I am glad I don’t have to wait too long for the next one Curse on the Land in Nov 2016 .
Ok, everyone, how excited are you to pick up this new book set in the Jane Yellowrock world? Where does Jane fall in your list of top heroines?