Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spells for the Dead (Soulwood #5)” as Want to Read:
Spells for the Dead (Soulwood #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Spells for the Dead

(Soulwood #5)

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  2,813 ratings  ·  383 reviews
Nell Ingram faces a dark craft known as death magic in the newest pulse-pounding paranormal procedural in the New York Times bestselling Soulwood series.

Nell Ingram is a rookie PsyLed agent, using the powers she can channel from deep within the earth to solve paranormal crimes. Together with her team, she's taken on the darkest magic and the direst foes. But she'll need to
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by Ace
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spells for the Dead, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,813 ratings  ·  383 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Spells for the Dead (Soulwood #5)
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Oh, Faith, you know I adore your Jane series, but it seems like every review I give for a Nell book, I say I like Nell just a tad bit more. And it's true. I love your Jane Yellowrock series and don't want it to end, but there's just something about Nell's amazing cast of characters. I'm always just as interested in the personal life parts of Nell as I am the case... especially in this one. There were some huge
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: Currently on sale on Kindle $1.99 on 27Sept20

I’ve enjoyed the Jane Yellowrock series quite a bit but there is just something about Nell and Soulwood that is just a little more special to me and I enjoy these books even more.

Nell is coming into her own. Every book she gains a little more confidence in herself and her powers. Every book she finds a new way to open up to those around her. I really did enjoy the direction this book took with Nell’s trust in her team, finally letting loos
Most UF series' get bigger as they progress. Bigger guns, bigger explosions, bigger bad guys. It usually annoys me sooner or later and more often than not, sooner. In the Soulwood series the best thing is Nell on her land; her feuds with the religious cult that butts up against her land; her relationships with her family who still live in the cult; and her battle with what she is becoming.

And Spells for the Dead well and truly delivers. In some ways it's a smaller story than earlier books in the
RachelW (BamaGal)
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
3.5 Stars. Mixed emotions here. The storyline was good, different, but it dragged somewhat until about 70%, then took off. I read the term death and decay about a 150 times too many, and admittedly did a bit of skimming.

What held it all together for me when the plot meandered a bit was Nell. She’s so different and refreshing as a character. She fascinates me. I don’t think I’ve read any character quite like her, or with her earth powers. She’s not a badass like Jane Yellowrock, but has a quiet
Nell, now a full-fledged PsyLed Agent, is back with her team facing another mysterious paranormal crime scene that might push Nell beyond anything she has faced before. Rapidly deteriorating bodies are discovered at a country music star’s home and everyone that comes in contact with the scene becomes infected as well. A murderer is loose that kills fast and virtually undetectable will stealing the life force of everyone exposed. If that was not enough, PsyLed comes up against a Psy hating FBI ag ...more
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I absolutely love the characters in this series! Maybe even more than the Jane Yellowrock series (and that is saying a TON!) Nell and her unlikely group of compatriots just feel like family. Ms. Hunter does such a fabulous job of wrapping them around our hearts, then tugging the strings - so much so that every interaction, every moment is a joy to experience.

So, why 3 stars instead of 4? Well, the ins and outs were kind of convoluted and the ultimate “bad guy” was just as odd as it was ob
4.5 stars! I love this world and all the paras in it so much. ❤️ And I'm definitely loving where the relationships are going. And I mean all of them, not just Nell and Occam. PsyLED-18 isn't just a para-investigative unit. They're family.

And once again, greedy, greedy me has no more Soulwood to read until the next one. 😕 *sigh*
"We’re plant-people. Our true home is the land and the trees that grow on it.”

First thoughts:

- I LOVE Occam. He is the BEST.

-Ok, i think i'm reconciled with the idea of Nell as non-human.

-Faith: we are happy getting grudges for Jane, so I'm still mad with Ayatas.

Bambi Unbridled
I so enjoy spending time with Nell Inghram, our widder-woman who liberated herself from a cult in East Tennessee. Oh, and a yinehi with unique powers and abilities. I have loved watching her come into herself as the series has progressed. As Nell's experiences have grown beyond pizza and Krispy Kreme, she has amassed a family through blood and the land. So Nell is no longer our loner against the church, but now has a team to help fight battles both personal and professional. Her common sense app ...more
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This book took too long for me to finish considering I love this series and Nell is one of my favorite FMC's. Sadly, the "mystery" was boring and it dragged on with a lot of inconsequential characters coming in and out of the story with nothing but death scenes. I could easily set the book aside and not feel any passion or urge to return to read it. The books repetitive descriptions- "death and decay", blushing, tears welling in Nell's eyes and the police procedural stuff became annoying to read ...more
Anne - Books of My Heart
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, coyer, 7arcs
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4.5 hearts

I was excited to be back in the world of the Soulwood series. As with most urban fantasy, I would definitely read these in order. I have read the Jane Yellowrock series which I think also helps one to understand more of the world and characters. Plus it is just great reading. The Soulwood ser
Jen Davis
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
With this latest installment, I am still a fan of the Soulwood series, though it has evolved quite a bit from its beginnings. For the most part, that is a good thing. I have really liked watching Nell grow into an independent force. She is not a badass, not like Jane Yellowrock, but she has an undeniable quiet strength, like the tread of running water over rocks. She has broken free of so much that tied her down in her youth and now she is guiding her sisters to their own freedom. Awesome. I lov ...more
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 - 4.5

I really love this series! I'm in search of other paranormal procedurals, so if you know of other good ones please let me know. There's so much focus on Nell's growth as a character and the crimes her PSYLED team attempt to solve. There is a pattern with Nell that I hope shifts. (view spoiler) The lack of sexy times fits so perfectly with the character and setting. It's like the character is alive in the author's head telling
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

In this fifth book in the Soulwood series, Nell is now a full member of her PsyLED team. When a country superstar and some of her entourage are found dead, with their bodies and surrounding objects and land also dying and rapidly decomposing, the unit is called in to investigate. The case is puzzling, and the team struggles to figure out not only what kind of magic killed them but also who the perpetrator could be.

This story, more than I recall earlier ones being, seems very much a sup
After reading Spells for the Dead, I can say that I am absolutely 100% still in love with the Soulwood series! Nell’s character growth throughout this series has been incredible and this is the first book in which she stands on her own as a full-fledged agent. No longer a probationary agent, she’s stepping out and leading her portion of the fact-finding with decisiveness and confidence. Although she is still getting used to making investigatory choices on the fly, Nell holds her own when it come ...more
Mike Finn

When I started the Soulwood series with 'Blood Of The Earth', I wondered how Faith Hunter would build a series around a woman who is part tree and whose magic is linked to her land and the forest on it. It was only a question in the back of my mind. Most of my attention was taken up with how much I enjoyed spending time with Nell Ingram and how well-imagined the polygamist sect she was raised in was.

Five books into the series and I'm impressed by how Faith Hunter has been able to develop Nell's
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 4..0


Spells for the Dead is the fifth installment in author Faith Hunter's Soulwood series featuring Psychometric Law Enforcement Division of Homeland Security Special Agent Nell Ingram. It would benefit readers greatly to start reading this series from the beginning, including Jane Yellowrocks series when Nell is first introduced. A whole lot has happened since the first novel. Nell is no longer the probationary member of PsyLED. That tit
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I have been reviewing each book of this series, and I almost feel like the author has actually been taking my reviews into account (or else the flaws in the writing are so blatant and obvious, lots of other people have brought them to her attention). So I'll press on with this one.

The positives:

Nell, our resident "plant person" survivor from a polygamous cult and current paranormal special agent, got a little more feedback about what her species is. She talked to an Irish character about what t
This book really lead them all on a huge chase. Every time it seemed like the team would learn something pertinent it wouldn't be quite right, there would be secrets behind it. Each secret lead to more and more til they finally got to the heart of things, which was a bit eye opening for Nell.

With this book Nell seems to find her stride within PsyLed, she feels more confident as an agent doing what needs to be done, manages to develop a good relationship with the boss that has intimidated her, co
Erica Chilson
I received a free copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

4 Stars

Spells for the Dead is the fifth installment in the Soulwood series, and it absolutely cannot be read out of series order or as a standalone. Start with Blood of the Earth. But honestly, I'd suggest you start at Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1), because this is a sister-series to Jane Yellowrock. This would avoid any confusion, as well as organically explain the world-building in an easy to digest fashion as the reade
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very good mystery! Every time I thought I knew who did it, I was wrong! My only complaint is the over use of the term "death and decay"! ...more
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
It’s been a long time since I finished a book in a few days. Covid-19 has me binge watching tv.
But this book got me excited about reading again. I like this series way better than the other. Jane Yellowrock irks me, though I still listen to her series. I hate her love interest and what he did in the past to her was unforgivable in my eyes. But I’m a me too survivor, so maybe I see things differently.

This series, I like Nell. I like Oakum (listening, have no idea for spellings). I love Rick fou
Laura *Little Read Riding Hood*
The case in this book was less interesting than all the personal interactions Nell had, with her family, her team, and the people she met working the case. She has done a lot of learning and growing, and it really shows in this book. She also learns a lot about herself and what she might be, or at least about what she might be able to do.

I am really looking forward to the audio version, because of the narrator and how she voices Nell and the rest of the gang, I always feel like I learn a bit mo
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 5th book in Faith Hunter's magically delicious Soulwood series, Spells For The Dead., picks up a little bit after book 4. Nell is no longer a probie, she now has two roommates, and her love life is on track. When she is called to the gruesome murder scene of a famous country singer, she discovers that revenge is a powerful motive

I adore Faith Hunter's stories. Her female eccentric story lines, while paranormal in nature, focus on very real world issues such as racism, misogyny, and domestic
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, urban-fantasy
Excellent as always. I love the way Nell is stickin' up for herself and her sisters with the religiots. and how her sisters are learning that same thing for themselves.

And her BF is just soooo freaking perfect for her and they are so sweet together that it's got me thinking he's probably not going to live long and Nell's going to end up, eventually, with Jane's brother (who is seen a lot in this entry). There's absolutely nothing to say that's how it's going to go, just my hunch I am immortalizi
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It's blog tour day today for one of my favorite authors and book #5 in the Soulwood series, Spells for the Dead. If you haven't checked out the rest of the tour stops yet, start here for excerpts and more opportunities to win prizes in the giveaway!

I’m always excited for a new Faith Hunter book, and it’s no different for Spells for the Dead. On
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I love the world of the Soulwood series. “Spells for the Dead” is one of my favorite installments to date. Nell is more comfortable working with her PsyLED team and she and Occam have reach a new level in their personal relationship.

Rick and Margot are working a case out of town when T.Laine calls Nell onto the sprawling 400 acre estate of a famous country singer. The singer, several members of her staff are dead and their bodies have melted into a foul smelling goo. In addition to the t
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Disappointing entry in what has been a stellar series. (There may be a few minor spoilers, so be warned.)

First off, a lot of folks end up dying and dissolving into green goo - but the reader is never given the chance to care about any of them. They're all just names on a page. Plus there was never any threat to the team members until very late in the book and the story suffered from this lack of tension. The situation with her sisters could have supplied some much needed conflict, but it was res
Anniken Haga
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
The only bad thing I can really say about this book is that it has too many characters. I had trouble keeping the team apart before, and now there were so many characters involved, it was hard keeping up on who was/did what. Other than that, though, I flew through this book and really enjoyed it!

Looking forward to see what more may happen in Nell's life in future books!
Maggie K
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
this is my favorite UF series right now. Sometimes you just feel the need for escape and want to read something quick but satisfying, and Faith Hunter' series seem to always capture that feeling. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)
  • High Heat (Hotshots, #2)
  • The Fix (Amos Decker, #3)
  • Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega, #6)
  • Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5)
  • Milkman
  • A Killing Frost (October Daye, #14)
  • All the Blue-Eyed Angels (Erin Solomon Mystery, #1)
  • A Dark Lure (A Dark Lure, #1)
  • Cruel Fate (Cainsville, #5.6)
  • Rough Justice (Cainsville #5.5)
  • The Frequency of Aliens (Sorrow Falls, #2)
  • Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder, #1)
  • Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)
  • Mrs Queen Takes the Train
  • The Fallen (Amos Decker, #4)
  • The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
  • Liars' Paradox (A Jack and Jill Thriller, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Faith Hunter's Junkyard Cats novella series is brand new, with book one available only in Audible at this time.

Faith's Jane Yellowrock series is a dark urban fantasy. Jane is a full blooded Cherokee skinwalker and hunter of rogue-vampires in a world of weres, witches, vampires, and other supernats.

The Soulwood series is a dark-urban fantasy / paranormal police procedural /para-thriller series fea

Other books in the series

Soulwood (5 books)
  • Blood of the Earth (Soulwood, #1)
  • Curse on the Land (Soulwood, #2)
  • Flame in the Dark (Soulwood, #3)
  • Circle of the Moon (Soulwood, #4)

Related Articles

  Author C.L. Clark is no newcomer to the sci-fi and fantasy scene. Though she just published her first novel, The Unbroken, earlier this year,...
124 likes · 12 comments
“Once is chance, twice is coincidence, third time is enemy action. That was military canon.” 0 likes
More quotes…