I received a copy of this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #3
Published by Ace on December 5, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Amazon | Goodreads
Also by this author: Mercy Blade, Circle of the Moon, Skinwalker, Blood Cross, Blood of the Earth, Raven Cursed
Also in this series: Circle of the Moon, Blood of the Earth
Set in the same world as Faith Hunter’s New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the third, thrilling Soulwood novel stars Nell Ingram, who draws her powers from deep within the earth.
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.
Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter brought everything that I loved about this extended world that Hunter created, along with the growth of the members of Unit Eighteen. The conflict they found themselves facing stumped me for the entirety of this installment and I have to admit that that was an unexpected treat in and of itself.
With how explosive the ending of Curse of The Land was, and just the unexpected nature of the characters and tone of Hunter’s Soulwood series, I was left going in blind with Flame in the Dark. While I loved this aspect, I also found myself anxious because other than what I knew of the characters there was nothing to hold onto when it came to this new chapter.
A lot of the relationship dynamics within Unit Eighteen of the PsyLED has changed since Curse of The Land thanks to both what Nell had to do in order to save Rick, and some intimate relationships appearing between other members, as well as the inclusion of Soul who’s almost as strange as Nell. You would think that when the conflict and mystery was presented that the interoffice situations would be overwhelming and/or irritating, but I thoroughly enjoyed the changes happening between the characters and the growth of their connections. With how the conflict and mystery completely stumped everyone involved, it during the down time that Unit Eighteen was able to find within HQ and at Nell’s farm that helps you remain interested instead of being burned out with all the ‘what if’s’ and never ending clues being dropped on almost every page.
The reason I’ve noticed why Hunter’s Soulwood series is my favorite over her Jane Yellowrock series is because of the authentic growth of Nell and the more popular secondary characters. Knowing Nell’s background in God’s Cloud Glory Church you’ll realize that everything she encounters from Blood of the Earth to Flame In The Dark are things that she’s learning and honing for the first time, so I love that she doesn’t have dumb and irresponsible moments because it would be a betrayal of the core of her character. Nell is such a champion and survivor and advocate for others that I find myself a die hard Nell fan. The way she goes about taking care of the Brother Ephraim’s essence on Soulwood, the fate of her younger sister Mud who still resides on church ground, her attraction to Occam, and how she takes things thrown her way with such balls is amazing to me.
Every clue that was revealed and hinted at within Flame in the Dark constantly left me in a state of huh?. Just when I would think I would know what direction the story would go in, Hunter would drop another hint or clue that had me reevaluating everything revealed, just as she did with the characters. Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter fed my mystery, romance, and fantasy appetite in spectacular fashion and I can’t wait to see what the next installment of this series could bring, especially with how this story ended.