Shards of Hope is the 14th (if I’m not mistaken) Psy-Changeling novel by Nalini Singh.
Finished on: 14.1.2016
[Here are my reviews of the other books in the series.]
Aden and Zaira wake in a cell together, both wounded and without any idea where they actually are. Fortunately for them – and unfortunately for their captors – they are both highly trained Arrows, elite soldiers. As they fight their way back home, they must lean on each other. But they can’t do so too much – not only because being an Arrow requires making hard decisions and not only when they are being hunted by an unknown enemy, but also because Zaira desperately needs to remain Silent, emotionless, or else risk falling apart.
Shards of Hope is a nice entry into the Psy-Changeling Series, especially because it opened up the world we got to see so far and included other packs and people we hadn’t really known before and because it nicely pushed the overarching plot along, while at the same time having two likeable leads on the micro level.
Reading the Psy-Changeling series by now is like eating the same thing each Christmas: towards the end of the year (when the paperback comes out), I dive back into the world to read about a relationship that is pretty much exactly like the relationship that came before it, with minor alterations. It is a comfortable, comforting tradition that doesn’t need too much change (though I still would like less heteronormativity and wouldn’t mind if the relationship dynamic was a little different each time). In that regard, Shards of Hope fully delivers (although I am looking forward to the next book that appears to be not about one particular couple, but rather revisits the people we met so far). It’s part of its charm that Singh uses the same vocabulary all the time, and that all of her couples seem to have the same gestures (of affection) and body language and the same understanding of what and how love is.
Admittedly, though, I continue to read the series mostly for the world-building and the overall plot and less for the pairings that I’m starting to muddle up anyway, especially because they are so similar. Not that I didn’t like Aden and Zaira (although I’m still a little sore that Aden did not end up with Vasic), but I’m more interested to see how the world they inhabit will achieve balance and less how they will work out as a couple. In that regard, there’s a lot happening in Shards of Hope and most of it is really interesting. I’m really looking forward to further investigate this world and the new layers Singh keeps peeling back with every book.
Summarizing: Not my favorite in the series, but one of the stronger books.