"Spells for the Dead" By Faith Hunter: Review/Giveaway

by Terrance McArthur

Details at the end of this post on how to win a signed copy of this book and links to purchase it.

I really like Nell Ingram. I liked her when I first met her in a Jane Yellowrock story by Faith Hunter. When she graduated to her own Soulwood series, my heart beat a little faster. With each book, Nell became dearer and dearer to me. Now, it’s her fifth solo outing, Spells for the Dead, and it’s so good to see her, again.


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Nell is an outcast to the men of the polygamous sect where she grew up because she has a way with plants (they grow for her) and because she communicates with the earth (She sticks her fingers into the soil and learns all sorts of things.). They think she’s a witch. The government isn’t sure what she is, but she now works with PsyLED, a paranormal unit of Homeland Security, along with shapeshifters, an empath, a truth-finder, a witch, and a “reformed” computer hacker. She’s no longer a “probie;” she has passed her probationary period and is a full team member, now. She shares her home with two of her sisters with similar talents; when stresses would make other people break out in hives, they break out in leaves.

Nell and the PsyLED team get the call in Knoxville when a beloved country singer suddenly dies, and decomposes rapidly, along with part of her entourage. There are family secrets, long-hidden truths, and death magic. Nell uses her deductive reasoning and her paranormal abilities along with a killer tree that appoints itself her guardian knight. It’s a police procedural from The Twilight Zone.

Nell’s relationship with her shape-shifting cat-man, Occam, grows, as does her pregnant sister, who gains strength by leaving her husband. Nell helps both of her sisters develop their powers and their independence, apart from their family’s religious upbringing. Nell embraces computer technology, solar power…and Occam.

The plot is a twisty creature, with cats and horses, echoes of communal love, the trappings of country music fame, and the tight-knit community of life on the road. Faith Hunter and Nell deliver a thinking-person’s urban fantasy with a dose of down-home charm.

To enter to win a signed copy of Spells for the Dead, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "spells,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 12, 2020. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via mail please include your mailing address in case you win, it will not be used for any other reason. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. We delete all emails after the contest is over.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:




Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Librarian in Fresno County, California. He is also a storyteller, puppeteer, magician, and maker of pine needle baskets. On top of that he writes stories that range from rhymed children's tales to splatterpunk horror. He's an odd bird, but he's nice to have around.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.









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