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review 2018-07-09 22:06
Ocean Light
Ocean Light - Nalini Singh

If I believed in such a thing, the Psy-Changeling series would be a "guilty pleasure." While I don't believe in guilt-reading -- that's ridiculous -- there are aspects of the series that make me me feel kinda embarrassed. Any romance involving one of the changelings -- and they are always predatory changelings -- is so hopelessly mired in kinky Victorian notions of biological determinism and dominance and submission. I mean, that's usually what you find in animal shifter narratives, so Singh isn't outside the norm, but I know I'm going to have to grit my teeth through that stuff to get to the extremely cool mythology she's been spinning for almost 20 novels now. (I don't have the same problem with the Psy, who are Vulcan-like psychics, because their romances tend to center around recovery from severe abuse and personal sexual awakening, which I find much more interesting than YOU MAH WOMAN GRARR.)

 

Technically, Psy-Changeling wrapped up with Allegiance of Honor, which was a sort of clip show, where we checked back in with literally everyone who had ever been mentioned in the previous 14 books. I get why it was written that way, but romance epilogues make my teeth ache, and this was more than a dozen of them all piled up. It was also a letdown because the previous three novels, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, and Shards of Hope, are hands down the best novels in the series. Singh brings all of her complicated mythology to full flower in those novels, and in ways that make the romance plot absolutely integral to the narrative. Heart of Obsidian especially. That they're a dozen novels deep in a series makes them even more impressive; Singh had the opposite of burnout. 

 

Silver Silence, the novel directly previous to Ocean Light, was the first of the novels in Psy-Changeling Trinity, which details life after the fall of Silence (a form of widespread social conditioning practiced by the Psy designed to repress all emotion.) Like Ocean Light, it follows a character seen on the periphery for most of the series: Silver Mercant, personal assistant to all-around badass Kaleb Krychek. She falls in with a bear pack outside of Moscow, which was interesting because we've never seen bear changelings in action before. Bear changelings end up being annoying, but then they're not as drearily serious as either the cats or the wolves, so on the balance more fun to read about.

 

Like Silver Silence, Ocean Light centers on a peripheral group, one that has heretofore been shrouded in mystery: the BlackSea pack, the changeling clan that encompasses the entirety of the earth's oceans. Even the land-bound changelings think of them as out there. While we've encountered some of the BlackSea characters in Psy-Changeling novels, specifically Miane, the alpha, and her security guy, the pack itself has been secretive. BlackSea takes in Bowen Knight, head of the Human Alliance, in order for BlackSea scientists to remove a degrading chip in Knight's head. We've met Bowen many times before. As the head of the Human Alliance, he's tangled with both the Psy and changelings (both of whom tend to treat humans like butt monkeys).

 

The romance largely consists of Bowen and the BlackSea chef, Kaia, making eyes at one another while agonizing about how Bowen might die from a medical procedure. It's not particularly compelling. The non-romance plot has to do with ongoing kidnappings of BlackSea members, kidnappings that seem to be perpetrated by the Human Alliance. Knight and Miane's security guy work towards figuring out who the traitors in their organizations must be, but mostly through phone calls and data searches, so that plot-line isn't particularly compelling either. There is some movement at the very end, but reading about a grueling transatlantic flight isn't exactly action either. 

 

BlackSea itself, though, was interesting to read about. There’s still a fair amount we don’t know about the pack – pack members tend to be especially secretive about what their animal is – but the underwater city was beautifully rendered. While shifter narratives almost never address bestiality – and I am not suggesting they should – there was an ongoing tentacle-sex gag going on here that surprised a laugh out of me. All considered, Ocean Light was fine, but I felt like more could have been done with both BlackSea and Bowen Knight, alas.  

 

 

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review 2018-06-22 16:51
Ocean Light by Nalini Singh 4 Star Review!
Ocean Light - Nalini Singh

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment--taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling...

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine...

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back--even if it means striking a devil's bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy...

 

Review

Unlike others who were sad we weren't getting more bear shifters in this long running series, I was dancey dance thrilled that we got a Blacksea heroine. Yea! Sea Shifter,

Kaia is a .... well she hides it from Bowen for a while so I won't tell you. but its fun. All the sea shifters we get to hang out with in the underwater city are uber cool. 

The cast and setting might be my favorite part of the book. There are parts though where Singh is clearly pairing off characters so we won't demand their books later. 

The romance is good as Bowen and Kaia have a lot to overcome and a ticking time bomb to see if Bowen will make it (but we know he must HEA needed so it doesn't ever feel crazy tense)

There is a great deal about what family is, what societies responsibilities to its members as well as prejudices and phobias to make this book engaging along with moving the series plot forward as to what is happening to Blacksea shifters.

Singh is a great writer. I enjoyed this dip into the world she makes. Now, excuse me, while I go figure out what kind of sea shifter I would be!
 
 

 

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review 2018-05-18 00:00
Allegiance of Honor: Psy/Changeling, Book 15
Allegiance of Honor: Psy/Changeling, Book 15 - Nalini Singh,Angela Dawe,Tantor Audio Sweet wrap up/bridge. Gives you glimpses into all the couples but the story doesn't really move forward much. The Architect is bad, failed kidnapping attempts, humans helped save someone, trinity is hope, etc.
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review 2018-03-17 01:20
Secrets at Midnight
Secrets at Midnight (Psy-Changeling Novel, A) - Nalini Singh

Bastien (one of Mercy's brothers) scents his mate, but gets frustrated when her scent vanishes. Kirby, is an orphan, having grown up in the foster care system. She moved to CA and is a kindergarten teacher.
I enjoyed this one. I loved how Bastien wasn't overpowering and how slow he went with Kirby. I also really liked Kirby and how strong she was. Enjoyable read. I love, love this world!

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review 2018-03-09 13:18
Review of "Hostage to Pleasure" (Psy-Changeling, #5) by Nalini Singh
Hostage to Pleasure - Nalini Singh

This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 

 

I really like this book and the earlier books in this series.  

 

Familiar territory for the most part if you've read any of this series. Ashaya, the rebel psy scientist forced into working on horrible mind control and bioweapons for the council, may be one of my favorite characters in the series because she ... well, thinks and plots and plans. Does something. Continually does something because it's the smart move she comes up with or because it protects her son and sister and later in the romance aspect even Dorian. The science was wonky and didn't wash well with me when talking about her ability to "see" and analyze DNA with the naked eye.

 

As always, we're given some new twists with the overall worldbuilding/politics, more on council members and plots, more on Human Alliance, more on NetMind and the darker spinoff ...

 

I will be continuing the series. The sometimes fated mate bits and most books concentrating on a different couple -- as common in many paranormal romance series -- mean I know better than to read too many back to back. But, Nalini Singh's writing, the worldbuilding and sympathetic characters always draw me into these books.


*©2018.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on The Reading Room, Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  

 

Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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