Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini SinghAllegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #15
Published by Berkley on June 14, 2016
Pages: 492 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: Old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.

To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?

I have to admit that I was sadden when starting Allegiance of Honor. This sadness had nothing to do with Nalini Singh’s note at the end of Shards of Hope or the one at the beginning of Allegiance of Honor. It’s just that its story represents the end of a chapter that has been part of my reading life for a long time.

After being supplied with action filled story after action filled story I felt a smidgen of disappointment at how toned down Allegiance of Honor was. The stories before this installment was full of all types of changes and hype that I seriously thought that Allegiance of Honor would carry the same tone.

In hindsight I’m glad for Singh’s decision to tone down this story, the second chapter of her Psy-Changeling series needed to be able to come out strong and if Allegiance of Honor went off with a bang then…idk it just wouldn’t have been as anticipated, I don’t think.

Regardless of my bratty response, Allegiance of Honor was ah-mazing. It, I believe, touched on a slice of life from every couple we’ve met so far, which is something we haven’t had since the earlier books in the Psy-Changeling series. I loved how Singh tied every situation and character/character couple storyline up perfectly, but Allegiance of Honor seriously felt like a goodbye to all that these characters have been through since before Slave to Sensation.

I am apprehensive about Silver Silence because I’m simply not ready to leave behind this first chapter *crying internally*.

About Nalini Singh

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated frequently).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

Shards of Hope by Nalini SinghShards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #14
Published by Berkley on December 29, 2015
Pages: 500 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

Just like with Shield of Winter I didn’t know what to expect with Shards of Hope. I also didn’t want to get my hopes up if it by chance ended up turning out like Heart of Obsidian. When I read the synopsis my eyebrows raised in wonder and a little bit of shock that Aiden and Zaira were the focal couple of Shards of Hope. My wonder and trust in Nalini Singh’s writing, and the fact that she hasn’t let me down and I didn’t think she would start with Aiden’s story, was enough for me to dive in.

Both Zaira and Aiden’s characters, story, and background pulled at my heart stings. From their childhoods, training situations, and struggles in trying to navigate through of this new area of life all Arrows are having to experience my emotions were totally invested. But since Zaira and Aden, along with Vasic, reside as the face, or head, of the Arrows, it was particularly tough to see them struggle and still have to put forth a strong front.

There was a time when reading in series installment order wasn’t a priority, but I have to say that in going in order with the Psy-Changeling series I am gaining so much more insight than I know I would’ve if I would’ve continued out of order starting with Kiss of Snow. If I had just jumped into Silver Silence when I received it I would’ve been completely lost, and would’ve either given up or missed the entirety of its story and what it contributed to the Psy-Changeling world.

With all that said I can’t wait to jump into Allegiance of Honor and see how Singh closes out this chapter of the Psy-Changeling series.

About Nalini Singh

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated frequently).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh @BerkleyRomance

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh @BerkleyRomanceShield of Winter by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #13
Published by Berkley on December 30, 2014
Pages: 442 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

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 stifle 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 was everything I was looking for from the newer releases of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. There’s so much yes that I want to shout at this story, but I’ll refrain and try to encompass my thoughts within the parameters of this review.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I was iffy about how Shield of Winter was going to be executed. It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with a few of the previous stories within this series by Singh, but I realized that I need to stop being such a worry wort because it sours the great relationship I have with Singh’s writing. Plus, I’m also finding out that my worrying is for naught because Shield of Winter turned out to be so freaking good!

Just like with the other characters in Shield of Winter, I had a hard time believing that Vasic would be able to grab on to the same happiness and life that Kaleb and Judd were able to find. The character development and story progression in which Nalini Singh implemented in both his character and relationship with Ivy, and this series with this installment was as perfect as I could’ve ever hoped to come from the continuation of the Psy-Changeling series.

I loved that with each installment in this series the character(s) featured are placed in a new and totally authentic light that either changes your perspective of them or makes you fall more in love with their story. This was definitely the case with Shield of Winter for Vasic and Aden, although Aden’s story hasn’t been told.

Other than the beautiful and one-of-a-kind romance between Vasic and Ivy, the Psy-Changeling world was again rocked. I found myself semi-permanently stuck to the end of my seat because I really didn’t think that things would work out for the better. Things would happen and my assumption and premonition device would malfunction because there is possibly no way that your mind would be able to come up with the things that Singh had in Shield of Winter. Just like the romance was one-of-a-kind, the story of Shield of Winter was so unique from the others in this series that nothing can prepare you for what’s to come.

Shield of Winter single handedly made me fall deeper love with this Psy-Changeling series, especially with all the issues I found with the last two full-length stories.

About Nalini Singh

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated frequently).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh @BerkleyRomance

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.

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh @BerkleyRomanceSilver Silence by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #1, Psy-Changeling #16
Published by Berkley on June 13, 2017
Pages: 496 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

Silver Silence was everything! I had no expectations but goodness gracious I wasn’t expecting things to get this intense for the continuation and spinoff of the Psy-Changeling series. Whew!

I don’t know whose character I loved more, Valentin’s or Silver’s because both showed up and showed out and made Silver Silence easily another favorite by Nalini Singh. It’s been a while since I’ve felt torn between two characters, I think the last duo was Sienna and Hawke so for Valentin and Silver to be currently fighting for that number one spot says something. It wasn’t so much that either had such dominant personalities and were both leaders of their sphere of influence, I think the way they both carried themselves while being thrust into some sticky situations and still being able to keep a level head and be the beacon of hope their people needed just spoke volumes.

If you’re read any of my reviews on Shelly Laurenston‘s stories then you know how much I love bear shifters, so when you couple Singh’s writing with my favorite paranormal caricatures explosive is written all over it. I will admit to some skepticism before starting Silver Silence because I have been burned before when I’ve given into the excitement of what I hoped a bear shifter story would be like only to either get the opposite or for it to not even reach the cusp of my expectations. But, like I’ve said in many a review on Singh’s writing, I trust her and she hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Even with how fast paced Silver Silence turned out to be, the emotional connection I had with its story and characters was very much present and active, I found myself holding back tears quite a few times because of the raw emotions these characters went through and the situations they were placed in. Maybe ‘fast paced’ is the wrong terminology, a better phrase would be ‘smooth flowing.’

Silver Silence flowed so smoothly that I seriously felt like I was only reading a 150 page book – except for the beginning portion where I had started and stopped, I just had a lot going on at the time…nope I’m lying I had to finish Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley and I couldn’t focus on anything else until then. But seriously, Silver Silence kept my attention and I never knew what was coming with each page turn and when part two came I didn’t know what to do with myself especially when I saw that the book was already at the 70% mark.

While reading Silver Silence you could definitely feel the fingerprints of Slave to Sensation but not so much that it felt like a rewrite with different characters and settings, but more of it being the start of something new, also without the heavy load of doing a lot of world building.

Before Silver Silence, and other than her cameos during scenes with Kaleb, I didn’t really pay much attention to Silver but I always knew that she would somehow rise to the front because she was too dominant a personality to sit on the sidelines and be Kaleb’s assistant forever. I was really surprised by how much I ended up loving Silver’s character, she might just be my favorite heroine out of the entire Psy-Changeling series.

In conclusion, Silver Silence did its thing and I seriously can’t wait for what the Psy-Changeling Trinity, part two of the Psy-Changeling series, has to offer.

About Nalini Singh

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated frequently).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

Secrets At Midnight by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh

Secrets At Midnight by Nalini Singh @NaliniSinghSecrets At Midnight by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #12.5
Published by InterMix on August 22, 2016
Pages: 99 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Bastien Smith is frustrated. A changeling male should be able to track his mate anywhere—through fire and hail, snow and rain. But he keeps finding and losing her scent in the city streets, ever since he first became aware of it two weeks earlier, when the elusive fragrance awakened the leopard within him...

Then Bastien is suddenly confronted with his prey. Kirby is an all-too-human woman who wants Bastien just as much as he wants her. But he can’t deny what his body and senses are telling him: there is a raging chaos inside of Kirby that he doesn’t understand, secrets that whisper awake at midnight and cause her terrible pain. If they’re to have any chance of forever, then he must solve the mystery that is Kirby...

Secrets at Midnight originally appeared in Night Shift.

I was so skeptical about reading Secrets at Midnight because of how toned down my feelings were towards Heart of Obsidian. But like with every Nalini Singh story I went in with no expectations and an open mind, it didn’t hurt that I have an amazing track record with her novellas.

When I caught on to the fact that Basiten was to be the hero of Secrets at Midnight I immediately zeroed into what all was going on so that I wouldn’t miss anything of what I was sure would be a fun ride. Ever since we were introduced to Mercy’s crazy and meddling brothers I’ve been really interested in Bastien’s character and story, maybe the red hair bewitched me <lol>.

In every story where there has been an interracial couple – by our understanding since the Psy-Changeling world has different races – I’ve been wanting to commend Singh on how she handles the physical differences of her characters. I love that she doesn’t focus on race, or race as we see it, but instead focuses on how the darkness of a certain characters skin contrast with another character’s creamy or tanned skin, or the curliness of ones hair might contrast with another’s wavy hair. In the case of Secrets of Midnight a big deal wasn’t made about Kirby being of a darker skin tone than Bastien, in fact more emphasis was put on the fact that she’s a lynx shifter (not in a bad way) than anything.

Seeing Bastien’s character placed in situations where we were able to see his vulnerable side as well as his dominance, especially when it came to Kirby becoming a part of Dark River, made him more well-rounded. Seeing the multiple sides of Basiten when we previously just saw him as an annoying brother was such a treat, and I have no problem saying that out of all Mercy’s brothers he’s my absolutely favorite.

After somewhat knowing who Bastien was it was interesting to see how Kirby’s character would fit when pitted up against his. Kirby might’ve been shy but knew when and how to stand up for herself which really endeared me to her character. Since everything dealing with Dark River and Bastien’s family is somewhat well-known it was great to see another side of the world Singh has created with her Psy-Changeling series. Learning about other shifter packs in the world – for Secrets at Midnight the lynx pack in Canada – was both sad – because of the circumstances of their introduction – and exciting for what they brought to Kirby and Bastien’s life.

All in all Secrets at Midnight was so refreshing and perfectly placed after all the drama and series shift that was Heart of Obsidian. I also hope that Secrets at Midnight is a look into what the tone of the remaining books of the Psy-Changeling series, or at least part one of the Psy-Changeling series, could possibly be because there has definitely been a shift and I’m iffy about whether I’m all aboard or if I still have reservations.

About Nalini Singh

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated frequently).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.