Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh

I'm starting to wonder why I'm always saying I don't like fantasy or paranormals and then I keep finidng books I like in said genre. This time it was Nalini Singh's Psy Changeling series and all I can say is: Why didn't I pick it up before?

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation...

The first thing that makes me love is that Singh creates a fascinating and absorbing world for her characters. It's a fairly simple world in the beginning because it's still earth but a few years in the future where 3 races coexist, the humans (little talked about), the Psy (with strong psychic abilities but who have managed to destroy emotion in their race in a quest for perfection) and the changelings, the shape shifters who live in packs. Has soon as I started reading I wanted to know more and more about it. I must say that of the three races (species?) the Psys seem to have the most original world.

Sascha is a Cardinal-Psy, the ones who have more potential, and they usually have an ability they are experts in. However she never found her specific ability and in recent years has started to feel emotions which both confuses her and makes her fear being discovered by the other psys. Members of their race who don't adjust to the Silence (the conditioning program to remove emotion) are rehabilitated by having their brains wiped out. Sascha has been working with her mother (an important member of the ruling Psy Council) in a construction development and her latest project is one in association with a changeling pack, the Dark River’s.

On site she meets Lucas Hunter, the leader of the Dark River. Not being fond of the Psys who are generally considered cold and too different from the others for being devoid of emotions he has his own reasons to want to be close to one. Human and changeling women are being kidnapped and killed and Lucas believes a psy is behind it. Maybe he can find who the killer is if he manages to get close to Sascha and discover more of how they work.

From the beginning Lucas and Sascha feel the attraction between them but they both fight it. To Sascha that's one more symptom that she is losing control of her body and may be close to becoming insane and to Lucas it is strange to have feelings towards one of the despised Psys but he just can’t resist teasing her and seeing how she reacts differently from what he is expecting.

I think Singh really made the tension work between those two and I just couldn’t wait for them to be together. First Sascha must come to terms with what she is and while she doesn’t she lives in fear that she is really losing her mind and dying. Also the mystery of who’s behind the kidnappings in an integral part of the story without overshadowing the main characters and the love story. I think Singh is very good in how she builds up the relationship between the characters and she makes them all so interesting that as soon as I finished I knew I wanted to know more about several of the secondary characters mentioned in the book.

Grade: A


  1. I really enjoyed this when I read it, and yet I haven't yet managed to read the second book!


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