Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 13
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Paranormal Romance Shield of Winter Cover
ISBN: 9780425264010
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

Shield of Winter is a mind-blowing, utterly brilliant book – exactly what you’d expect from powerhouse paranormal romance author Nalini Singh. This is not a book you want to start late at night, for Shield of Winter is richly compelling and there’s no way you’ll want to put it down.

Vasic is an Arrow and a Tk-V Psy whose abilities make him a valuable commodity to many. Precious few see him as more than a weapon, which just about broke my heart. He’s got blood on his hands and the weight of what he was made to do in the past is crushing him, though he believes he cannot feel. It takes Ivy Jane – a powerful empath – to reach him. Ivy’s a strong soul with a giving heart, but she was almost broken as a child thanks to the Silence Protocol. Her will to survive and her need to help others made her a truly excellent heroine, and the way she and Vasic connected was simply lovely. Their alternatingly romantic, sexy, heartbreaking, and joyful slide into love made me melt, and I was rooting for them to find a way to be together forever. Because while falling in love may be surprisingly easy, staying alive isn’t. Not only does Vasic have an experimental implant that’s slowly killing him, the world is in chaos with the fall of Silence.

Though Silence has slowly been fracturing throughout the Net over the course of the Psy-Changeling series, in the previous book, Heart of Obsidian, we see the official end of the Silence Protocol. The consequences of that decision have ripple effects all throughout the Net and in Shield of Winter we see the fallout. In addition, the Net is diseased and the only hope for saving the Psy race lies with the empaths, a designation most Psy have never even heard of. There’s blood, chaos, and danger aplenty in Shield of Winter, and Ms. Singh definitely keeps you guessing as to how things will work out. I won’t say more for fear of spoiling the book, so suffice it to say that readers are in for one hell of a ride.

Shield of Winter is the thirteenth full-length Psy-Changeling book, and though Ms. Singh does provide the necessary background information needed to enjoy the story, I don’t think it would be as impressive as it truly is if read as a standalone. The Psy-Changeling world is complex, and the foundation for the explosive change of events in Heart of Obsidian and Shield of Winter were layered in all throughout the first eleven books. Vasic and Ivy’s emotional, sensual romance aside, fans of the series should go wild for this book. Between the phenomenal worldbuilding and the strong supporting roles played by the Psy-Changeling “power players” (as I think of them) – Sasha, Lucas, Judd, Hawke, Kaleb, Sahara, and Aden – this is don’t miss for anyone who loves the series.

In a series filled with standout books, Shield of Winter shines. Nalini Singh never misses a beat and I loved every single page of this tightly-written, romantic adventure. The next Psy-Changeling book can’t come soon enough!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.