I guess I'm behind everyone else that's read this series, but hey, we all have to start somewhere, right? Besides, it's not like I haven't read millions of books. Maybe that's pushing it, so I'll go with, hundreds of thousands instead.
Even though I am still very much in the midst of the paranormal genre, this series is completely different to anything I have ever read. Yes, there are wolves, but no vampires (well, none that I've met as yet). On the one hand we have the Psy and on the other, the changelings. A world being shared by these two factions along with humans.
When I started this book, it took me a while to get into the story, making me scratch my head and wondering why that was. I've come to the conclusion that it must be the wonder of Nalini Singh's mind to create a world such as this one. If you can, imagine our world as is but with Psy, who all have different degrees of powers, with those at the very top known as Cardinals who in turn form the Council. The Psy use the power of the mind, are connected through what's called the PsyNet (like the Internet except made up of minds) and were conditioned as children to abide by the code of Silence. Meaning, that all and any emotion is eradicated. The changelings or shape shifters, are total opposites who live for family (or pack in this case), their mates and their young and show an abundance of affection, love and honour. Panthers, leopards, wolves - interesting to say the least.
There is one Psy who is different, who is trying her damnedest to suppress what she's feeling and that's Sascha Duncan. Because Sascha has to constantly hide and bury what ultimately could get her sent into rehabilitation by her mother, she believes that she's broken. Sascha is also a Cardinal but will never be a member of the Council as she's...different, although her mother, Nikkita, holds one of the top positions. Sascha is overseeing a project between the Psy and changelings. The Psy aren't building homes for the changelings out of the goodness of their hearts, they are using Sascha as a spy, unbeknownst to her in the beginning, to gather changeling information. Prior to commencement and at the first meeting, Sascha meets Lucas Hunter, the DarkRiver's Alpha, who also has designs of his own. Unfortunately, a serial killer is on the loose, murdering changeling females. The changelings know he's a Psy as they've scented him. Apparently Psy have a distinctive repelling smell. One of Lucas' pack has already lost his sister to this monster and now one of the SnowDancer's (wolf pack) females has gone missing. Lucas intends to use Sascha's mind to infiltrate the PsyNet and pinpoint who the killer is. The changelings have a problem with Sascha in the beginning as she's Psy and they can't be trusted. Lucas believes she knows exactly who is behind the murders. What Lucas doesn't expect though, although he'd been feeling that something wasn't quite 'normal' where Sascha is concerned, is the fact that she's one Psy who, however hard she tries, still shows emotion. Sascha who has always felt that she was broken, is finally starting to realise what she's been missing for the past 26 years and she wants it, for however long she's able to hold on to it.
Working together with the changelings, both DarkRiver and SnowDancer packs, this story takes you on an intricate and fascinating world wide web (hmmm) of mind power, trust and acceptance. For clarification (if I can even try) the Psy communicate through the mind and have powers from telepathy (Tp-Psy) to telekinetic (Tk-Psy), Medical (M-Psy) and Empath (E-Psy) (which was done away with - or so some thought), with the most rare being the Foresight (F-Psy). Cardinals have access to more powers than the general population.
In order for her to help them, it could mean the death of Sascha, but if that's what it takes, she will put her life on the line to save another. After shadowing certain high ranking Council members and learning one or two things, albeit sickening, and after reporting these findings to Lucas and the pack, she has decided that she must get in as quickly as possible before she loses any remaining power she has left to lure the killer, before the rest of her shields drop away completely.
What Nalini Singh has created here is so mind boggling and intricate that it's extremely hard to describe or interpret. It's something you will definitely have to read for yourself and once you do, I believe you will feel exactly as I do. It all seems so unbelievable, yet it makes perfect sense for some reason. I was left thinking - wow. I read somewhere that the world building was lacklustre. Oh, bollocks! The chemistry between Lucas and Sascha was perfect and towards the end of the book, there went soppy me once again. Besides the two main characters, the rest were just as entertaining and some fascinating. I am actually looking forward to #2 called Visions of Heat. When I first started this book, it took me a while to get through the first few chapters though and I felt like it was a bit much to take in, and only because it's new ground. I found myself reading over a particular paragraph a few times, just to make sure I was understanding it correctly and once satisfied, would move on. This does frustrate me no end, but I hung in there because despite the fact that I hate being slowed down, it was so worth the effort. Once I was less than halfway through, I had grasped the concept fully (woohoo) and henceforth consumed the rest of the book greedily.
So glad I read it! Give it a try, I really think you will enjoy it too. I have it on good authority that it only gets better and better. *rubs hands together*
RATING: 4 STARS
RATING: 4 STARS