Plot: As part of the Mercant family, Canto is well-connected and has always been protected by them – meaning that despite the fact that he doesn’t conform to Psy ideas of perfection as he’s a wheelchair user, he could still rise in the family ranks and is now in the unique positions to bring together a Psy designation that has been mostly forgotten: the anchors like him. One of those anchors is Payal Rao, tough CEO of the Rao family conglomerate and Canto know that he needs her cooperation to make his plan of an anchor union work. What he didn’t expect when they finally meet in person, was that he actually knows Payal from when they were children – and their old connection immediately comes back to life again.
Last Guard gives us quite a few new perspectives in a world that has been firmly established – not an easy thing to pull off without feeling shoehorned in, but Singh manages it. And I liked Payal and Canto, making the book a full success for me.
[Let me just take a quick moment to say that I can’t believe that I read 20 books in this series, not counting the short story collections, within well over a decade and I am still having fun with the series as a whole.]
Plot: With the first ever Empath convention happening, and knowing that Empaths are integral for the survival of the Psy, tensions are high and the Arrows are running security. One of them is Ethan who runs into alpha wolf Selenka who fears the repercussions of the convention on her city. Selenka and Ethan are both more than surprised by the instant bond between them. They literally mate at first sight – a myth that isn’t supposed to be actually real. Now they need to figure out what to do with that even as Ethan fears his abilities slipping, and the politics around them demand full attention.
Alpha Night was another good and quick read, but it is probably not among my favorites in the series – I took issue with the way they dealt with Ethan’s mental health.
Plot: E-Psy Memory was kidnapped and imprisoned for many years, but she has been finally freed – by Alexei, one of SnowDancer’s wolves. But the danger for Memory is far from over as her captor really wants her – and her abilities – back. Alexei is not about to let this happen, though, especially since Memory quickly obliterates all the barriers he has built between himself and the rest of the pack. Alas, there is a reason for those barriers that isn’t as quickly broken.
Wolf Rain brings us back to familiar places and faces while expanding Singh’s already quite extensive world. It will definitely satisfy fans of the series – as it did me.
Plot: Much of the world believes Bowen Knight to be dead. But he has been hidden with the BlackSea changelings where he is recuperating. At least as much as one can recuperate with a degrading chip in one’s brain that is pretty sure to kill you. Kaia Luna is also hiding in the BlackSea compound, but for her own reasons. She now works as a chef for the changelings and has a good life. She really doesn’t need a dying human to make her life more complicated. Or does she?
This far into the series I probably can’t say much about it that I haven’t said before. Ocean Light in any case delivers what the previous novels promised and delivered as well. The dynamic and structure hardly change, but since that’s what I read these novels for, I’m not complaining about it. In fact, I enjoy it.
Plot: Psy, changelings and humans have come together under the Trinity Accords. The peace and cooperation treaty is still in its infancy, but Silver Mercant plays a central part as the coordinator of a joint emergency response network. That’s exactly why somebody tries to kill her. It’s only due to chance (and his growing obsession with her) that Valentin, alpha of the bear changelings, catches wind of the attempt. He knows that Silver needs a place to lie low and he can give it to her. And maybe he can give her even more.
Silver Silence is the start of a new story arc of the Psy-Changeling books – officially the start of Season 2. Having followed the series from the beginning, I can’t say that I feel much of a break between Season 1 and Season 2, but that doesn’t matter because it achieves again what I’ve come to expect and love from the series.
Wild Embrace is a nice collection that will please fans of the series. It’s probably not a good starting point if you want to get an impression of that particular series as it does require quite a bit knowledge of the world. I definitely enjoyed it, some parts of it more than others.
After the jump, I’ll talk about each of the novellas separately.
The Trinity Accord between Psy, Changeling and Humans is supposed to be a stabilizing factor that brings the world together after Silence has fallen. But not everybody is happy with that solution. The symbol for the new world order is Naya, the daughter of Lucas Hunter – leopard changeling and leader of DarkRiver, one of the biggest changeling groups – and Sascha – cardinal empath psy and the first to publically defect from Silence. So the Consortium – Trinity’s biggest opponent – want to kidnap her. But Naya is not the only (proposed) victim. Many changelings have already gone missing, especially the loose-knit water changelings. When a new clue to the disappearance of one of them appears, water changeling alpha Miane asks the other changeling DarkRiver and SnowDancer for help.
Allegiance of Honor deviates a little from the usual Psy-Changeling formula (and it is a formula) as it is an ensemble book. And I have to say, I greatly enjoyed the look back at many of the characters that haven’t featured so prominently since their own books.
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.