Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter

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…

Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ 

Alright, so it took me a little longer then anticipated to read the second Soulwood book thanks to school and an annoying professor who has no clue how to organize crap (ironic since he’s “teaching” a class on organization of information) and posts random stuff at random times which has added to the stress of moi and fellow classmates on an upcoming cataloging project that is 25% of the grade. So yeah, because of that, I didn’t have the time or concentration to read the book as much as I wanted until I declared Friday night a free night and finished up the book. I have to say that I like Nell a lot better in this second book.

At the start of the book, Nell has just finished Spook School and is a probie (probationary new agent) on Unit 18 of PsyLED and finds her break after school interrupted by a case that needs her special talents to read the land. I’m not going to ruin the plot by going into too much detail of everything that involves the case, however I will say that Nell really herself as a special agent, even though she doesn’t necessarily agree with all the rules (probably mostly because of her upbringing and suspicions about government motives) and it sometimes led her to take some rogue actions, that thankfully were approved by Soul (a character that we met in the Jane Yellowrock series, but she takes a bigger role in the Soulwood series since Nell is PsyLED).

Besides the case that Unit 18 must deal with, there is also issues with Brother Ephiphram (sp?), the guy that Nell killed in the last book by giving him to Soulwood, although since he wasn’t human to begin with she doesn’t feel bad about it (actually I doubt she would even if he had been human) and it’s because of the fact that she’s only starting to learn how to her abilities and non-humans status that he seems to still be around and causing trouble. We learn that the church world she was raised is slowly changing with the newer generations that include her older brother Sam, who seems to not only suspect that Nell is not human, but still loves his sister and their other sister Mud (her real name is Mindy) who is more like Nell then their other siblings. There is also some stuff revealed about Paka and Rick (not telling because it’s BIG) and of course we’ve pretty much confirmed that Occam has a thing for Nell and that she has a thing for him, although she doesn’t want to because her marriage has probably left a bad taste in her mouth to be part of a couple. So we’ll see if Occam will be able to woo her into at least dating. I hope he does, but I think they would work well together and with Nell being non-human, Occam can’t infect her with werecat germs.

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