Tag Archives: psy-changeling series

Silver Silence

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh 

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Description: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her extraordinary Psy-Changeling world with a story of wild passion and darkest betrayal…

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence–her mind clear of all emotion–Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

Review originally posted at Alpha Book Club.

Review: 

To be honest, I read this book twice before writing my review. The first time I read it was solely for my own enjoyment. I absolutely adore everything Nalini Singh has ever written and this book is no exception! Silver Silence made me both chuckle and cry, and

Me with Nalini Singh when I was lucky enough to meet her in 2015.

by cry, I mean ugly sob for the second part of the book. I was afraid I was dehydrated by the time I finished this book. It was all I could have wanted for Silver’s book. Okay, enough gushing and on to the review!

Silver Mercant was introduced in the first half of the Psy-Changeling series. She was Kaleb Krychek’s personal assistant and her family is a Psy shadow power. In the later books, she heads up the EmNet which is a worldwide emergency response system. Needless to say, Silver’s a complete badass and alpha heroine! She needs a hero who can both appreciate her badassness and break through the shield of Silence surrounding her. Luckily the readers, Nalini Singh had the perfect hero up her sleeve. Valentin Nikolaev, the alpha of the StoneWater Bears. Yup, bears! Singh has moved away from her usual leopards and wolves to bring us to a new pack of bears! And the bears are freaking awesome. Like the SnowDancer wolves, the bears reside in the same housing complex, this time a cave. Silver is introduced to the world of the bears after being poisoned and needing a secure place to reside. Luckily for her, Valentin had his eye on Silver for a while now and was more than willing to offer her safe haven.

While a majority of the book focused on Silver and Valentin, Singh continued introduce the arc of the new series, Psy-Changeling Trinity, of which Silver Silence is the first book. Unlike her previous books, i.e. Slave to Sensation, Kiss of Snow, etc, these books have two word titles, singling the start of the new storyline. Silence and the Psy Council fell in the previous books and now a new world order is developing, complete with a new unknown villain. One of the storytelling techniques Singh excels at is keeping the reader engaged throughout a long series. While each of her books is standalone, apart from Allegiance of Honor, there is an overall storyline which ties them together. Silver Silence continues that new storyline as the stability of this new world is threaten by fringe groups as well as the Architect. I have my guess about how the Architect is but I have feeling we won’t find out for a while, especially considering how long it took us to find out who the Ghost was in the previous series.

As much as I admire Singh’s world shaping, my favorite part of this book is the relationship between Silver and Valentin. In this series, we’ve seen many examples of Pys’s breaking their Silence and forming relationships. However, Silver presented a new twist to this familiar story. She quickly gives in to Valentin’s playful seduction but her Silence is still necessary. She has a very different reason for needing to suppress her emotions and when she has to make that choice, my heart broke. Without spoilers, the depth of their relationship is severely tested and how Valentin deals with it shots him up to the top of my all-time favorite heroes list. He is so passionate and loving of Silver even when facing something which surely means his own heartbreak. I honestly have no words for the emotions I experienced reading their love story. It was just so beautiful.

I’m sure I’ve gushed enough over this book by now but I’d just like to throw out a few more things. There was a myriad of nicknames within this book, which some characters like Valentin having as many as four. While initially confusing, it actually proved to be very sweet once you realized they symbolized a special connection. I’m also hoping for a MM romance for Nalini Singh. There were hints of it in this book and maybe if we all wish hard enough, Nalini Singh will give us a novella with Silver’s brother, Arwen and Pavel, Valentin’s lieutenant. I want to end this review with saying that everyone should read this book!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! 

    

Review Copy of Silver Silence provided by Nalini Singh for an honest review.

 

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Allegiance of Honor

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

26089799Description: The “unparalleled romantic adventure”* of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as a new dawn begins for the Psy-Changeling world…

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: Old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.

To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?

Review: 

I came really close to taking off work on the release day of Allegiance of Honor so I can stay home and read the book. However, I decided to be a responsible adult and go to work, though I did leave early to stop at my local Barnes and Noble and pick up the copy that I had on hold. Then I went home and devoured the book. My sister, who also reads the Psy-Changeling series, periodically poked her head in my room and told me to read faster. She usually reads the books after I finish them and she wanted to know how many pup-cubs! To prepare for this release, I’ve been listening to some Psy-Changeling audio-books on my commute to work and rereading some old favorites. That being said, after finishing this book, I’m determined to go back and reread the two books I usually skip over, Blaze of Memory and Bonds of Justice. Sophie and Max and Katya and Dev play a role in this book.

When I write my reviews, I think if I’d recommend this book to my friends who read romance novels. In this case, I would specify that I would tell any friend who has read the series to read this book. While any of the other Psy-Changeling books can be read as stand-alone, the full impact of this book would be dulled if you weren’t already familiar with the characters.If I had to pick a main couple for this book, and the couple I enjoyed the most, it would have to be Lucas and Sascha. I loved catching up with them and seeing how their life has changed three years after their book. Their daughter, Naya, is now a year old and we got to witness her first shift! Sascha and Lucas are both faced with trying to keep their daughter safe without putting limitations on her. For Sascha, it is accepting that her daughter is a cat and with that comes a feline curiosity and agility, which can be terrifying for a protective mother. Lucas, on the other hand, is less concerned about Naya’s agility but rather her overall safety as outside forces threaten Naya. The subplot running through the book centers on external threats to Naya as the first Psy-Changeling child born since Silence. This subplot connects to the new mysterious villain and arc of the series: the Architect and the Consortium. My sister and I have a myriad of theories about who the Architect is. After being oblivious to the identity of the Ghost in the previous books, we are determined to figure out who the Architect is in this new story arc.

What is amazing about this book is Nalini Singh’s ability to revisit old characters without stagnating the plot. I was a little concerned that this book was going to be a “where are they now?” book but the underlying plot was gripping and made the story flow. It was great to see how seamlessly the individual couples are linked in the stunning world Nalini Singh created. With a series as long as this one, it is easy for the books to become tiring and the story arcs dragged out; Nalini Singh did an excellent job of flowing from one story arc to a new one in a way that seems organic to the Psy-Changeling universe.  This book was everything I wanted and more. My only complaint is that I have to wait til August for the next anthology and then until next year for the next full-length Psy-Changeling book!

Rating: 5 out of 5!

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Shield of Winter

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling, #13)Description: Assassin.Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…
Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

Review: The 13th installment in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Series follows the mysterious teleporter Arrow, Vasic and his relationship with empath, Ivy Jane. It was nice to return to an empath psy. While we were introduced to empaths in the first book, Slave to Sensation, with Sascha Duncan, much was still unknown about the hidden designation “E”. In this book, the death of the Psy-Net has begun to speed up and Kaleb Krychek, the ruler of the Net, is attempting to find ways to save it. He enlists the Arrow Squad to protect a group of empaths in their experimental battle against the disease poisoning the net. Aden, the leader of the Arrows, places the protection of the empaths in the hands of his best friend, Vasic. As Vasic and Ivy Jane, one of the empaths, work to discover a way to combat the sickness of the Net, they begin to form an unbreakable bond, one which is threatened by Vasic’s attempted self-destruction.

Arrows & Empaths- I loved seeing the relationships bloomed between Arrows and empaths, especially Jaya and Abbott. I never would have expected peaceful empaths and Arrows to get along so well. And yet, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. I totally love that the empaths are the secret to saving the Psy-Net and it was great to see more into their designation. I also liked the glimpses we get into the Arrows, which sets up for Aden’s book.

Vasic & Ivy- I loved Vasic and Ivy Jane as a couple! Watching their relationship blossom, even in the midst of the Psy-Net turmoil and violence, acted as great counterpoint to the story-arc Nalini Singh has taken the series. It becomes clearly early in the book that only empath can break through the shields, the guilt, and the self-destruction which surround Vasic. And the protectiveness of Ivy which Vasic displays is keeping with Singh’s alpha heroes- all of whom I love! I especially loved, and cried over, the parts of the book with Zie Zen and his Sunny. 😥

Vasic & Aden – I just wanted to include a shout-out to one of the series’ best friendships! Nalini Singh describes their relationship best: “To Vasic, Aden had helped him stay sane. To Aden, Vasic had helped him stay upright when he would’ve fallen. One lost boy helping another.”

Favorite Quotes: 

“You’re my hope, Ivy, my beacon home on the darkest night.”

“He has a heart so huge, it’s kept pumping, kept going long past endurance—even though life has bruised it to a pulp.”

“We all have to live with our past, but it doesn’t have to define us.”

“It was too late the first day we met. You’re inside me, and I ‘m inside you. It’s done.”

“There’s a kind of secrecy in the world at this time of night, as if I’m allowed to see mysteries hidden in daylight.”

Rating: 5 out of 5. 

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Heart of Obsidian

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

I’ve read Heart of Obsidian  by Nalini Singh at least four times. Nalini Singh is one of my absolute favorite authors ( Meeting Nalini Singh ) and I find myself rereading books from her Psy-Changeling series at least once every 3 months. Heart of Obsidian is the book I didn’t know I wanted until the later books in the series. When we’re first introduced to Kaleb Krycheck in Visions of Heat, he is presented as almost a potential villain. ( His heroine, Sahara Kyriakus is also mentioned briefly in Visions of Heat) And he maintains that potential villain status throughout the series, as a Councilor.

Meeting Nalini Singh

Meeting Nalini Singh

However, as the series progresses, hints about Kaleb present a far more intriguing character. Perhaps he isn’t the one-dimensional villain we thought. It becomes clear that there is a driving force behind Kaleb’s actions, a person he is looking for. And at the very end of Tangle of Need , Kaleb finally finds that person.

This book is an emotional roller-coaster. When we are first introduced to Sahara, she is trapped in a labyrinth in her mind, designed to keep her from breaking under the torture of her captors. When Kaleb finally finds her, that labyrinth starts to unravel. She feels a tie to Kaleb but her memories are slow to return. In the meantime, Kaleb works to consolidate his power over the Psy-Net.

One of the things I love most about this book, and which is the driving point, is the relationship between Kaleb and Sahara. Their bond was formed in childhood and bathed in blood. It was able to withstand years apart and horrific torture. While you realize early on that Sahara and Kaleb share a deep past, their relationship essentially begins anew in the time it takes for Sahara’s memories to return. There is the best of both worlds: watching the characters fall in love, romantic and sexual love, while at the same time having a shared bond of friendship and devotion from their childhood.

The complex character which is Kaleb becomes more understandable throughout this book. His Silence always seemed rock-hard and yet, there remains this absolute devotion to Sahara.  “You”, he said, “are the single exception that rule”. The oldest, deepest, most beautiful flaw in his Silence.”Without you, I would be a monster.”

Sahara is his anchor, the sole reason Kaleb does not become a monster, a dictator. While such influence does not seem believable, the characters and world Nalini Singh has weaved in this book, makes it so.

“Sahara dug her fingers into his arms. “You do not do this,” she said, and it was an order. “You do not let that monster destroy the life we are going to have together. You are mine, not his. You have always been mine.”
The claiming was so absolute, it dared him to fight. Kaleb had no intention of doing so. Shudd1370280746001-Heart-of-Obsidianering, he crushed her to him. “Yes,” he said, battling the rage because if he gave in to it, he would lose Sahara. “I’m yours. I will always be yours.”

In addition to the love-story between Kaleb and Sahara, this book also chronicles the fall of Silence. There are devastating attacks by the Pure Psy on different cities, giving Kaleb and the Arrows a chance to demonstrate their power. But through the midst of this terror, there is hope for the future, one without Silence. There are scenes of Psy, humans, and changelings all working together to help the injured and locate the dead. The last Pure Psy attack ends with Kaleb and Sahara, in partnership with SnowDancer and DarkRiver, working to prevent it.

This is the first Psy-changeling book in which both the hero and the heroine are Psy. The packs, DarkRiver and SnowDancer, are the centers of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling universe and the books which move away from the packs, i.e. Blaze of Memory and Bonds of Justice, are my least favorite. However, with Heart of Obsidian, it is clear we are gearing up for more Arrow/Psy books. By starting this arc with Kaleb and Sahara, you are eased away from the packs and into the transition from Silence to a new world. While hopefully the story-line will not move too far away from the packs ( there are still SnowDancer lieutenants I want stories for), I am happy with the currently arc of the series and the role the Arrows and Kaleb will play in the upcoming books. The transition is made all the easier by Kaleb’s protectiveness of Sahara, which mirrors any of the changeling heroes we’ve meet.

I’ll end this review with some of my favorite quotes from Heart of Obsidian. Go read it. Now!

Favorite Quotes: 

“Love is the greatest form of loyalty, one that places happiness of the beloved over the lover.”

“He would do things for he’d do for no one else, but while he’d empty the sky for her so she could spread her wings, fly, he would not set her free. She belonged to him, would always belong to him”

“All right.” Shimmering droplets on her eyelashes, stars caught in transition. “But will you replace it with something for me?”
“Anything.” His body was hers.
Brushing her fingers over his lips, she said, “You gave me an eagle. I want to give you one, too.” A tender kiss pressed to the scar. “I want us to fly together.”

So we literally made the earth move? A slight pause, before Kaleb said, I suggest we don’t engage in sex in populated areas.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Booksigning – Nalini Singh with Sarah Wendell

To start off my week of romance novels, last Monday I went to a booksiging for Nalini Singh. I’ve been fortunate that over the last few years, my local Barnes and Noble has hosted a variety of romance novelists. I’ve meet everyone from Eloisa James and Julia Quinn (total fangirl moment) to Brenda Jackson.

Sarah Wendell and my signed copy of Beyond Heaving Bosoms- The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels

Sarah Wendell and my signed copy of Beyond Heaving Bosoms- The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels

My night started off amazing. I left work early and headed straight to Barnes and Noble. What I can I say, I wanted a good seat and was totally okay with arriving 2 hours early. While I was sitting in Starbucks, rereading Heart of Obsidian, I looked over and there was Sarah Wendell. For those of you who don’t know, Sarah Wendell co-runs one of the best romance websites around: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. And she co-wrote Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels and wrote Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels. So of course, I had to go over and talk to her.

Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh

And ask her to sign my copy of Beyond Heaving Bosoms. And chat with her

about romance novels. As one does.

The night got even better from there when Nalini Singh arrived. Since I basically worship the ground she walks on and re-read her Psy-Changeling series every few months, you can understand my excitement. She and Sarah chatted about her books, her addiction, while in the States, to Extreme Couponing, and everything in between. Sarah was sneaky and kept trying to get Nalini to slip up and tell the identity of “The Architect”. I was lucky enough to get ask Nalini a few questions.

Pups or Cubs- Referring to Mercy and Riley’s future children from Branded by Fire  – she laughed and refused to answer

Who would win in a fight: Hawke or Lucas – She also didn’t answer- I don’t blame her; I’m not sure either

While getting my books signed, I also asked her if Hawke and Sienna will have a satisfying showdown with Ming- They will!!

It was an amazing night and an excellent way to kick off my romance novels week!

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