Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #13
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: Jun 3, 2014
Book provided by Berkley/NAL Romance
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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!
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