I received this book for free from Let's Talk! Promotions in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Soulwood #3
Published by Ace Books on December 5, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED—the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.
A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead—and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more—or less—than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.
Having previously reviewed the first two books in Faith Hunter’s Soulwood series featuring paranormal federal agent and former cult member Nell Ingram, I was absolutely stoked to get my hands on the third book, Flame in the Dark. And having read it twice over, I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint.
In fact, I feel like this is the book where the series really shows it’s come into its own, rather than being a spinoff of Hunter’s popular Jane Yellowrock series. In Flame in the Dark, readers get a great immersion into the world of Nell Ingram and PsyLED. You learn about different species as well as the politics that exist between them, and you also get deeper insights into Nell’s family and her magical abilities.
Characters, too, get rounded out in this novel. I feel like this is where Nell really comes into her own as a badass contemporary fantasy character because here you see her making conscious decisions to move away from the church that dictated the thought patterns, behaviors, and decisions of her youth. More, you see her deciding who she wants to be and how she wants to make her mark in the world, which is all to the good.
We also see more of secondary characters who have promised to be major players in the series. First off, there’s Nell’s sister Mindy, also known as Mud, who is all set up to be a fixture in the series by the end of this book. Next, and more importantly, there’s cat shifter Occam, who was very much a supporting character in previous novels, despite not-at-all-subtle hints of attraction between him and Nell. In Flame in the Dark, he proves himself a strong love interest contender, not to mention a full-fledged major character with a complex and textured background I can’t wait to learn more about.
While the format of the story telling followed your standard paranormal procedural (not necessarily a bad thing, as I’m hooked on these kinds of books and TV series), there was a healthy dose of intrigue and action nevertheless. Plus, there was a clarity of story and a real sense of having it center around the character of Nell Ingram, which was a little more convoluted in the previous book in the series.
My overall verdict? I’m thoroughly frustrated that I’m going to have to wait another year or more before I get my greedy paws on book four!
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Soulwood Series Reading Order
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