I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this. I wasn't sure I'd get into the story, with both of the characters dealing with angst at their past failed matings. It was such a great book. I don't know why I was surprised because Nalini Singh is a fantastic writer. I've tended to be more of a Psy fan for a while, and the latest books in the series that were Changeling/Changeling mating weren't my favorites. However, this book broke that negative streak for me. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the Psy storyline is so prominent!
Riaz is a cool guy. He's a strong dominant, but he's also a very caring man. He comes off as being a jerk at first, but it's just him trying to deal with his soul-deep hurt. He's attracted to Adria, another dominant soldier in the SnowDancer pack. It's inconvenient and powerful. When she suggests they become lovers to deal with their need for skin to skin contact as changelings, he rebuffs her in a hurtful way. But he isn't able to stop his feelings for her.
I liked how Nalini Singh dealt with the idea of fated mates not working out like one would expect. In this case, Riaz fated mate is someone else and he can't have her. Adria chose a partner who wasn't strong enough to handle her as a dominant female. It broke her heart. She's not in a position to fall in love again. I like that she isn't going to let Riaz walk all over her. He has to earn her trust and she does continue to guard her heart because of the fact that she's not Riaz's true mate. However, their love grows naturally and deeply. It's almost as though the whole concept of fated mates is turned on its ears in this book. But it's done so well, I was happy with the result. I loved how Riaz continues to woo Adria and show his love for her.
The ongoing suspense story about the PsyNet breaking down--and Pure Psy's attempts to destroy it so that people can go back to their rigid and pure form of Silence--continues. This book follows up after Kiss of Snow and Sienna's manifestation as a powerful X-Psy, and what that means. Sienna and Hawke's relationship is still prominent in this book, but that's fine with me. I love them as a couple, and it's great to see how well things are going for them. The Arrows have their own plans in helping their people, and they form an alliance with Kaleb Krychek, a powerful Psy who has some motivations that aren't 100% clear. And there's some very good news for a past mated pair.
This storyline just continues to grow and the connection between the Psy, Changelings, and Humans becomes more rich and complicated with each book. The Humans aren't the frail, ineffectual agents in this world that one might believe. Far from it.
I'm so excited to read Kaleb, Vasic and Aden's book. When I started this book, I was mainly just reading it so I could make it to the next books, which are Psy-oriented. But I ended up enjoying this enormously.