Straight as an Arrow: Sheild of Winter by Nalini Singh

Posted 23 June, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 9 Comments

Let me put it out there that I’m a terrible series reader. Some series, I read forever, slavishly devoted to characters and plotlines that I probably should have give up on long ago. Some, I only read a couple (some even just one), never to pick up again. And some, like the Psy/Changeling series, I pick up in the middle and become utterly devoted…except I still haven’t read the first nine or so books (more or less…at that point, it’s more like base jumping off the Sears Tower into a baby pool. You’re either gonna make it or go splat.). It’s not that I don’t have every intention of going back to the beginning. I do. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. And, because of that, I lose out on a lot of the nuances that Nalini Singh has built into this series. I miss out on the relationships and the dynamics.

But, you know what? It doesn’t matter. Even without all those past experiences and knowledge under my belt, I still loved this book. Built into the story are all the nuances necessary to understand why Vasic is so very cold, right down to his very soul, and why Ivy is so very broken and why they’re so utterly perfect for one another.

With HEART OF OBSIDIAN (the book right before this one) Kaleb, the most powerful Psy in the world, broke the Silence for the sake of the future of his race. In SHIELD OF WINTER, Ivy and the other Es, with the help of the Arrows, set about fixing things so the Psy would survive the break of Silence. These two books together made a fulcrum, swinging us up and over a massive climax and, quite possibly, into a new overreaching plot arc.

As an Arrow, Vasic has had to work in the darkness and keep a solid shield of Silence, without even the slightest trickle of emotion. Of course, when he meets Ivy, a “broken” Psy, one who has emotions, who can’t live without them, his Silence cannot stand up against her and his shield cracks just enough to let her in. The slow dance, the slow burn that builds as they grow to trust and love each other is gorgeous in its entirety. Can I go back and read this one all over again…for the first time?

There’s quite a bit going on in this story besides the broken Silence. There’s also the battle against the infection corrupting the Net that every Psy needs to survive and thrive. Thousands are infected, breaking out in homicidal rage and killing everyone they come across for no apparent reason. Then there’s Vasic’s biofusion gauntlet: a pretty cool bit of hardware that’s going to kill him soon. No ifs, ands or buts. Man’s gonna die because there’s no way to remove it (without killing him, that is. Which kind of defeats the purpose). There’s also the ongoing threat of a Very Bad Dude who wants Vasic back under his thumb. It’s a lot, yeah. But, hey. We’re at book 13. That means there’s a lot of crap that *has* happened, that still needs to be addressed. But I never felt like it was too much.

Maybe this summer I’ll head over to the library and get the first pile of these. Ooh! Binge time!! I do love a good book binge, don’t you? And that’ll give me an excuse to ignore the outside world as well as a chance to reread these last couple books and pick up on all the nuances I missed the first time around.

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9 Responses to “Straight as an Arrow: Sheild of Winter by Nalini Singh”

  1. When I saw it’s book number 13 I actually gasped …. what to do now that I have never started these before… And, I usually have to start at the beginning, I feel like I’m missing out on too much if I do not start right at the earliest beginning.

    I must say that though that the series sounds amazing and just like my cup of tea…

  2. MARY! I can’t believe you started in the middle of this series! I didn’t know that. Please tell me you’ve at least read Hawke’s book? HAWKE MARY!!!!!! He’s my all time favorite, so I can’t recommend his book enough. I think it’s the build up of their relationship that made the payoff of their book so amazing though, so I highly recommend the whole series. Or at least all of the books that feature changeling pairings, I skipped some of the psy pairings in the middle and wasn’t lost at all.

    So glad you enjoyed Vasic. Nalini is an author that can do no wrong for me!

  3. For some reason I get Ilona Andrews and Nailini Singh mixed up. Not sure why. Ah…so many adult series that I need to read. This is just one of them. I should probalby tackle Jeanine Frost first.

  4. Binge time, this series has been on my wishlist. I was thinking when Hollows ended I would add this to my monthly reads. So glad you enjoyed this Mary. I am anxious to try them!

  5. You are hilarious. Ok so you are my proof that you can pick up not from the beginning and still enjoy a series. Im’ always intimidated by the big series books that I haven’t started yet and everyone else has and I want to read but I look at that stack of series books and then I look at MY stack of review books and SOMETHING has got to give and usually its those series books that I really would like to ‘get around to’

    I’ve been meaning to experiment and base jump like you straight into a series where ever it is but then I think WHAT IF I DON”T LIKE IT! What if I miss so much that I don’t give it a chance when it could be awesome!? oh decisions decisions – why and how you torment me.

  6. You haven’t read the first nine books? Then you haven’t read my favorite in the whole series–Branded by Fire, book 6. You should totally hit up the library for a book-binge. I still need to read this one though . . . I’ve been putting it off b/c what could possibly compare to Kaleb Krychek?