As an avid reader of Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, I had to grab this anthology, of course, even though I’m not familiar with the other series that were featured with novellas here. The resulting collection and my reading experiences were pretty mixed. It’s a quick read in any case.
After the jump I’ll talk about the four novellas separately.
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.
Vasic is an Arrow and has been for a very long time. As a true telepath, he was and is an important tool for the Arrows and one that has seen quite some misuse and abuse in his time. Now he is about to break and his best friend and leader of the Arrows Aden gives him a new assignement: to guard Ivy, one of the few empaths they are trying to build up again in the hope that it will halt the decay in the PsyNet. Because that decay is taking over and threatens their entire race.
Shield of Winter was the usual Psy-Changeling fare by Singh. I enjoyed reading it and I especially enjoyed the background development of the world, though I also liked Vasic and Ivy, even though I did think that Singh chose the wrong pairing with this one.
Kaleb Krychek is one of the psy council. Or he was when that still existed. He is definitely one of the most dangerous people in the world. He’s been looking for Sahara for years. She has been missing, kidnapped because of her abiliteis. Now he finally found her, though he is not sure how much of her mind is actually still there. If it turns out that she was destroyed, Kaleb knows he’ll make the world pay for that.
Heart of Obsidian had a couple of things I didn’t like so much but most of it was awesome. I flew through the book and would have no trouble reading and enjoying it again.
In Beat of Temptation, Tammy and Nate both know that they are meant to mate since Tammy’s fifteenth birthday. Now, she’s nineteen and Nate – afraid that he’ll make Tammy feel locked in and rid her of her youth – still keeps his distance. Which drives Tammy absolutely insane.
In Stroke of Enticement, Annie is a (human) teacher, Zach is the uncle of one of her students and a changeling. When they meet, passion flares. But Annie is determined to only have a fling, while Zach knows that she’s his mate.
In Declaration of Courtship, Grace is one of the most submissive wolves in the den. So when dominant Coop decides to court her, both of them have to be extremely careful with each other.
In Texture of Intimacy, Walker and Lara only recently mated and are now building their lives together. But being mates doesn’t necessarily mean that having a relationship goes without a hitch.
There are a few years between Singh having written Beat of Temptation (the oldest of the stories) and Texture of Intimacy (the newest) and it is rather interesting to see how her world has changed in details, while her writing barely changed at all. But overall the book is exactly what you expect and want for an easy, entertaining read on the beach.
Adria and Riaz are both soldiers in the SnowDancer wolf pack, pretty high up in the hierarchy, though both only recently found their place in the local pack structure – Riaz used to be stationed in Europe, while Adria lived in another territory. And both are trying to leave their pasts behind. As the conflict with(in) the Psys continues, Adria and Riaz have their own demons to fight – and their attraction to each other that neither wants to feel.
Tangle of Need drew me in very deep again. Though I might not feel the same excitement about this series that I did in the beginning, the books are still fantastic reads and exactly the right thing for me when I’m in the mood for fluff.
Ever since the Laurens joined the SnowDancer pack, Sienna Lauren and alpha Hawke have had a special kind of explosive relationship. Now Sienna has come of age and Hawke can’t deny their chemistry together anymore. While they try to figure out the new terms of their relationship, SnowDancer gets continuously attacked by the Psy council, or at least a few renegade parts of it.
Kiss of Snow takes a bit to get started – about 200 pages or so. But once it moves away from Sienna and Hawke angsting around and gets into the conflict with the Psy council, I enjoyed it a lot.
Indigo is a dominant wolf and the highest ranking female in the SnowDancer pack. Which makes it kind of hard for her to relate to the men around her. That is, until Drew – her good friend – suddenly turns on the charm. But will he be able to accept a partner who is more dominant than him?
At the same time, the pack comes under threat of parts of the Psy Council who feel that the changelings are a huge contributing factor in the failing of Silence.
Since the last few books didn’t do that much for me, I had my doubts about this one. But it seems that all I needed to fall back in love with the series, was a little more changeling action. Because Play of Passion was awesome.
I bought it for Nalini Singh (how could it be any different?), since her novella was a Psy-Changeling story. [My reviews of the other books here.] That story was also the best on in the book. The other three were mostly meh. There was also nothing that really kept them together, except them being paranormal (one of them was actually SciFi, not Fantasy) and romance-y. The settings were very different (1 medieval, 1 1800s, 1 futuristic, 1 steampunk) and the tones and themes just wouldn’t fit together.
As an anthology, it’s pretty much average to bad. More about the stories individually after the jump.
Max is a cop, with a natural shield against Psy abilities. Sophia is a Justice Psy, charged with going into the brains of criminals and retrieving their memories. When councilor Nikita Duncan summons them both to investigate the murders of several of her employees, neither of them expects the impact the other one has.
I’m a little bit torn about this one. After the little disappointment that was the last book, Bonds of Justice was definitely a step up again. But it still didn’t give me the satisfaction the other books gave me. I didn’t care too much about Max and Sophia as a couple and the really interesting bits weren’t expanded upon enough.