Jun 022014

Shield of WinterShield of Winter by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #13
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: Jun 3, 2014
Book provided by Berkley/NAL Romance
**Giveway Below! Be sure to enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Shield of Winter! **

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…

D.G.’s Rating: 3.5 Skulls = B

After the fall of Silence, the Psy population is in shock. They don’t believe that Silence has truly fallen but that they are being tricked. There’s a lot of mistrust and anger, with lots of Psy minds on the verge of panic. On top of that, the infection in the Psy-Net has reached a critical point and it’s threatening to destroy the Psy race from within.

This is the setting for Shield of Winter, the latest book in the Psy-Changeling series. The main characters, Vasic and Ivy, are our second Psy couple – which makes sense because the overall conflict is about their race. We’ve met Vasic in past books; he’s the only known Tk-V alive in the Psy race, a true telekinetic traveler whose main power is to teleport. He’s also part of the Arrow squad, a group of highly trained operatives formerly under the control of Ming LeBong. Now that they can choose their own destiny, the Arrows are aligned with Kaleb Krychek because they believe he has the best chances to lead the Psy in the post-Silence era. But they are not his puppets, more like his allies.

One of Kaleb’s ideas to fight the infection in the Net is to awaken the Empaths, a type of Psy that had been eliminated at the dawn of Silence. But the Empaths still exist and Ivy is one of them. Even though she didn’t even know what she was, she readily accepts the offer because she wants to help. That’s how she meets Vasic and he quickly becomes “her Arrow.”

Shield of Winter is more about the Psy race overall than the romance of Vasic and Ivy. They fall for each other fairly quickly and I wasn’t as touched by their plight – it just didn’t have the same urgency I’ve seen in previous books. I got tired of them fighting the infected people (who behaved like zombies) because it seemed as if the same things were happening over and over. Kaleb Krychek was still an integral part of the story and we witnessed lots of moments of his life with Sahara. The changelings make a few appearances but nothing big, and I confess I missed them. I’ve always been a big fan of the Psy but I liked the dichotomy of a couple where one was all mind and the other was all heart. As an Empath, Ivy almost behaved like the latter but it’s not really the same.

Like Ivy, a naive part of me thought that everything would be fixed after the fall of Silence but this was not the case. And I was glad! There was disagreement, mistrust, greed and everything that can happen after the end of a regime when for the first time, people can voice their opinions. Psy even acknowledge that parts of Silence are necessary for those like the Arrows, who needed amazing discipline and training to learn how to control their extreme powers. But now they need to find a happy medium between childhood torture and leaving the dangerously powerful to the chaos of their emotions.

The end of this series is really close but I hope to see at least another changeling main character – by the way, I noticed that the Wolves have dominated the last half of the series. We haven’t had a Leopard main character since book 6! (And this is 13.) I guess that’s why we’ve seen so many novellas in this series featuring leopards.

This was a necessary book in the series but I hope to see more excitement from the couple in the upcoming ones. Samuel Rain seemed like a really interesting character and I hope to learn more about him in future books.

Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley/NAL Romance for providing a review copy of this book!

**Giveway! Enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Shield of Winter. US Entries Only**

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D.G.I'm a very eclectic reader – I read pretty much everything - so I switch genres after every book. Besides reading, I spend a lot of time with my husband and watching sports (I firmly believe that watching strong men running around in tight outfits is one of life’s simple pleasures.)
 Posted by on June 2, 2014 at 7:14 am

  20 Responses to “Early Review & Giveaway: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh”

Comments (18) Pingbacks (2)
  1. I really can’t pick a fave. They’re all wonderful! I really love how Nalini works with her characters and the story. Especially how she works with the cats/wolves pack.

  2. Singh is such a great author it’s far too difficult to select a single favorite character.

  3. I love the world even more than the characters in this series, but I’ll go for Drew from Play of Passion.

  4. Hawk has always been my fave in this awesome series! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  5. I’ve been meaning to get back to this series forever. I really enjoyed the first one so I don’t know why I haven’t continued. Great review! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Judd and Lucas have always been my favorites. Love both of those Alpha males and their books were amazing. Can’t wait yo read Vasic’s book.

  7. Not sure yet, can’t wait to find out!

  8. don’t have one; only read one

  9. Lucas, Dorian, and Vasic fascinate me most. Although I have soft spot for strong, silent Vaughn too. 🙂 Great post and thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Oh, and meant to say, great review DG!

  11. Kaleb from Heart of Obsidian gets my vote for Fav Hero right this minute. However, Judd in Caressed By Ice sometimes displaces Kaleb 😉

    • Hahahaha! It’s difficult to choose but I totally get your choices. Hands down, Judd has always been my favorite.

  12. I really enjoyed reading this review. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a long time, but now that it’s finally almost here I’m almost afraid to pick it up. I loved Heart of Obsidian, and I really like that the series has kind of switched to a Psy focus – I just feel like Psy characters have more complex stories to tell. From your review and the past couple books it seems like Nalini Singh keeps trying to raise the bar, and while I appreciate the drama and emotions running high I don’t want to be disappointed. I guess I won’t know until I get actually read it.

    • I’m with you Alexandra. The most complex stories in this series have definitely come from the Psy POV.

      Don’t be afraid to pick this one up. It’s a good book, just don’t compare it to Heart of Obsidian, LOL!

  13. I might start this series once the end is in sight. I personally prefer wolves, so I’m encouraged by the fact that they are at the forefront in the later installments, but it’s weird that the leopards have been MIA for so long. Thanks for the chance!

  14. Honestly it’s been so many books ago I can’t even remember who the heroes’ are in the series. But that’s the great thing about series, that within the first few pages, you’re transported back into the Psy-Changeling world.