I have found that for the last couple of weeks, I have been coming off as negative in most of my posts. Between mocking some recent cover art (ok, they were totally ugly and deserved the pointing and laughing), and the whining about series I am dropping and recent disappointments in what I have read, I have decided to do a post about something I really liked.
That something is the new one from Faith Hunter, Blood of the Earth. It is the first book in the Jane Yellowrock spin-off series called Soulwood, and for me it did about everything right. I like the characters and the world-building in the Jane Yellowrock books, but the multiple potential romantic interests took me out of the story. I don’t mind if there is no romantic lead for a few books, but when there are a few different ones all the time then I can’t really get invested in the story. Weird, but true. I didn’t have that problem at all in Blood of the Earth. There is one potential love interest, period, and even that is only at the hinting-at stage in this first book. But because I wasn’t trying to play a guessing game figuring out who it might be, I was able to sit back and enjoy the story.
The world-building is great, and Nell was a fascinating character. Her situation is so unique that I don’t remember any other characters in any other series with her particular type of backstory or voice before. Add into that her very interesting and complex set of abilities, and you have a stand-out character. But there are others, too, who stood out – like Paca and Occam, Tandy and even Mud. I know there is a lot of Rick hate from the Jane Yellowrock books, but I didn’t get far enough into the series to see what for. At this point, I actually feel bad for him and the situation he seems to be stuck in, but that might change when I find out what he did that turned off so many readers.
And I will be finding out, because my enjoyment of Blood of the Earth did exactly what I was hoping it would do – it jump started my interest in Jane Yellowrock. See, now I have to go back and re-read the couple of books that I have already read, then power through the rest of the series, just so I can feel that I didn’t miss any backstory that will impact what is going on here. As a bonus, you all have mentioned that the romantic-whiplash thing does eventually get resolved, so I am in.
Did you check this one out? What did you think? Doug sent over his early review a while back, so hopefully you have had time to check it out by now. How does it compare to Jane for you? For those who loathed Rick heading into this one, was he redeemed at all?