“Circle Of The Moon – Soulwood #4” by Faith Hunter

“Circle Of The Moon” is the fourth Nell Ingram book, set in the same world as the Jane Yellowrock series. If you haven’t read any of the others, don’t start here, go back and enjoy the whole series.

For me, this book got off to a slightly clunky start as we caught up with events since the violent and traumatic end to the last book, “Flame In The Dark”. I liked the idea that Nell and Occam were both still recovering rather than being magically all better but I could have done with less “Previously, on Soulwood” and just getting on with the story.

My favourite parts of this story dealt with Nell’s relationship with her sister, Mud and her visits back to her family in the Cloud Of God compound. Mud is irrepressible and the dialogue between her and Nell sparkles.

I liked that Nell is getting stronger and more confident of her place in Unit 18. She’s no longer the Probationer and no longer the Widow woman / Churchwoman figuring out a new and strange world. Her confrontation with her boss’s boss, Firewind, was well done and shows that Nell is being to understand her own worth and her own strength.

I also enjoyed the way that Nell dealt with the main vampires in the book. She stands up to Ming of Glass without overstepping into an attack and she treats Yummy fairly and offers her something as close to friendship as she can manage with a vampire. It was refreshing to get such a different perspective on vampires than the Yellowrock vamp-killer turned insider view.

It seems to me that Nell is becoming a little less human with each book. Or perhaps she’s just getting to know herself better. WHAT she is becoming is hard to say. Faith Hunter has come up with an original set of powers for Nell. I’m curious to see what Nell will do with them.

Yet again, Faith Hunter has provided an above average urban fantasy story that was a fun read. She’s developing the characters and opening up the possibilities of the series. The plot was a little straight forward in a save-the-world-from-the-demon-summoner kind of way but the powers used were unusual and the action was well described. The heart of the story lies with the characters. If you like Nell and her sister, you’ll enjoy this book.

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