In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation" - the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was...My Thoughts: I had a sneaking suspicion before I ever started this book that I would enjoy the entire world that Nalini Singh created. You know what? I was totally right. I liked so much about it that this review is going to be one those gushing wonders that make people think I should just marry the damn thing if I liked it so much. I JUST MIGHT DO THAT!
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of a war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion - and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities - or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation...
I loved how much depth and detail was given to the two separate ... species? Maybe 'worlds' would be better. The Psy world is cold and calculating, built on logic and functionality. The individuals have bred themselves into being unfeeling robots, everything within them working toward the bottom line. On the other hand, the Changelings are sensual, inquisitive people who rely on touch and feeling to anchor themselves and find peace. It's a division that could have been very cliched and bland, but Nalini Singh's writing makes it hum with life and possibilities.
The downside to this sort of world-building is that there is a lot of exposition. You know, I'm say 'downside' but it actually works pretty darn well, so maybe you should ignore that.
I loved the characters, Sascha especially. The way she's had to repress her entire personality to try to fit into a very narrow and rigid mindset was well-written. Her introduction into the Changeling society and her exposure to their emotions and craving for touch showed her the chasm between her people's way of life and the one she longs for.
Obviously, I really enjoyed this book. The murder mystery was interesting (although not that difficult to figure out) and there are so many potential paths this series can take that I'm thrilled to see where it goes.
PSST! This book and several others by Nalini Singh are currently $3.20 through Amazon. GO!
More books by Nalini Singh
Reading challenges: The Paranormal Romance Challenge, The Shifter Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge