Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Review: Slave to Sensation, by Nalini Singh

Title: Slave to Sensation
Author: Nalini Singh
Format: Paperback
Length: 334 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance

This book. Just. This Book. Seriously? Is Nalini Singh allowed to be talented enough to have not just one awesome series, but two?

Actually who cares if it is allowed, it has happened, deal with it.

So, Slave to Sensation is the first in Singh's Psy-Changeling Series. In the world Singh creates, there are humans, and two other species living amongst them- Psy and Changelings. Changelings are shapeshifters, which are a very well used trope that Singh has managed to make her own. Psy, on the other hand, are a complete creation of Singh's genius mind. In the 1960's the Psy began a program called Silence, eradicating emotions amongst their race in an attempt to reduce violent crime. A hundred years or so later, and any sign of remaining emotion amongst adult Psy is deemed a flaw, the punishment or 'cure' for which is 'rehabilitation', essentially a stripping of one's mind. This is what faces Sascha Duncan if it is discovered that, behind her impressive mental shields, she is hiding a massive case of the feels. With the terrible pressure upon her to keep her shields up, plus the fact that she is fundamentally flawed, breaking slowly, Sascha feels that it is only time that separates her from eventual madness. 

And then she meets Lucas Hunter, a Leopard changeling pack leader who she is negotiating a business deal with. Lucas needs Sascha, in order to gain access to the Psy, so that he can investigate the murders of several changeling women. Sascha agrees to work with him, almost unable to believe that any Psy could be capable of such brutal murders, or that The Council (including her own mother) would let anyone get away with such behaviour. 

The relationship between Sascha and Lucas is excellently developed throughout the book- there is plenty of chemistry, and Lucas's intrigue into who Sascha really is behind her shields is brilliantly played, and totally hawwwt to read. The whole thing builds up nice and slowly, with passion and chemistry bubbling barely under the surface throughout the book. I think the slow development really helped me buy into their unlikely relationship, as it seemed built on more than just sexual attraction. 

Sascha's self sacrificing shtick is rather irksome (but I never buy into any of that nonsense, regardless of the book), but vaguely understandable/justifiable, seeing as she is convinced throughout the book that she will mentally crack and either go insane or be sent for "rehabilitiation". But, watching Sascha battle with and then embrace her emotions was really touching. This was definitely a book that I got lost in for hours at a time, drawn in by the complex world, the gripping plot, the chemistry, and the loveable, sexy, intricate characters.

The book serves as an incredibly strong opening to a long-running paranormal romance series, which I plan to be reading over the coming months, as budget allows. There are several secondary characters that I have already pegged as ones to watch, who will have rather epic books of their own. Plus, I really want to see how Lucas and Sascha continue to develop after this book, as secondary characters in later installations.

Rather bloody good stuff, this is. Not as epic as The Guild Hunter/ Archangel Series by the same author (see my fangirling here or here) but it is a damn good effort. 8.0 stars

1 comment:

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