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Flame in the Dark
Soulwood #3
Faith Hunter

date Dec 5, 2017/ ISBN 978-0451473332

Reviewed by Jan Fields


Set in the same world as the Jane Yellowrock novels, the Soulwood series has a very different kind of main character in Nell Ingram. Nell grew up in a particularly rigid Christian sect, but she's done being dominated by men by the time we dive into this third book in the series. She works for PsyLED, the paranomal branch of Homeland Security, and lends her gifts of connecting with the earth to each investigation. A gift that she is still learning about, and one that runs the risk of taking over and turning her into something that is far from human. In Flame in the Dark, PsyLED is trying to protect a powerful senator who appears to be targeted by an assassin who kills with fire. Appearance is one of the themes of the whole Soulwood series, and one Nell is often confronting. At one time, she appeared to be a quiet churchwoman, but she’s always been so much more under the surface. Her coworkers have their own struggles with trying to maintain appearance, and control. Since the book is set close to the full moon, Hunter mixes in more themes about self-control, as the weres in PsyLED struggle to do the job during the call of the full moon. All the internal conflicts simmer and seethe, making relationships tough, but compelling. The question of what's going on with the assassination attempts is an interesting one, but it's just one of the many questions that keep a reader intrigued during this page-turning, high-tension plot. The humor, the characterization, and the amazing world building really display Hunter's strengths well in every book in the series so far, and this one definitely left me looking forward to what lies ahead for Nell and the PsyLED team she has come to love.

Reviewed 2017