Start at the Start: Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Series

Posted 4 June, 2015 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 11 Comments

There are so many fantastic paranormal romance series out there but many of them have a bunch of books already in the queue. It’s a challenge to know if this series is actually worth your time. Is it a series you need to start at the beginning? Are you going to love it? Seriously, I struggle with this, too. As we all know, there’s just never enough time to read everything we want…nay, *need* to read…and we certainly don’t want to be disappointed when we finally do pick up a new book in a new (or new-to-us) series.

Blogger friends, if you haven’t picked up Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, now’s the time to do it. Berkley just issued a new cover for the first in the series, SLAVE TO SENSATION, and the fourteenth book in the series (I know, right? But, trust me, SO GOOD and so worth the time investment), SHARDS OF HOPE, was just released June 2. *sigh of happiness*

SLAVE TO SEslave-to-sensation-new-cover-186x300NSATION (Psy-Changeling #1) by Nalini Singh

Paranormal romance; paperback, 352 pages
Originally published September 5, 2006 by Berkley Sensation; source: purchased

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…

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 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 didn’t start with this book. I started with one of the books somewhere in the middle of the series (seriously, I can’t even remember which one it was…) but, as soon as I finished, I ran out and purchased this book. Then the next. Then the next until I’d made it all the way through to book #13 (since 14 wasn’t out yet). It took me a little over a week to binge the entire series, gobbling them up like a gigantic bag of Lay’s potato chips (can’t eat just one and all. Damn. Now, I’m craving salty potato chips).

This first story is a story of rebellion, one a long time in coming. Silence isn’t working; the Psy have gotten too big for their britches; the Changelings and humans are getting restless. The coming together of Lucas (*fans self* adorable alpha male alert!) and Sascha (smart, strong woman who’s a perfect foil for Lucas), a coming together of different races, of two people who are so different but completely fit together, is just the spark needed to motivate change.

17159943SHARDS OF HOPE (Psy-Changeling #14) by Nalini Singh

Paranormal romance; hardcover, 483 pages
Published June 2, 2015 by Berkley Hardcover; source: publisher

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

Fourteen books later and change has rocked the world. A disaster has been averted. Silence is broken. Of course, that’s just the beginning, as Psy, Changeling and humans must relearn how to work together, how to function as a complete society, not three disparate races.

I’ve been waiting a long while for Aiden’s story. He’s always been a healer, the heart of the deadly group of Psy known as Arrows. He saved his friend, he saved the Arrows. And then he’s kidnapped along with fellow Arrow, Zaira, held in an unknown place, unable to use their abilities. Those who want to bring down the new-found equality and broken Silence know that Aiden is key to the survival of the Arrows, that he’s the one man they’d do anything for.

Certainly, I fell even harder for Aiden but I actually fell for Zaira, too. She thinks she’s completely broken, unable to live amongst her fellow Arrows, much less “normal” people. She’s the epitome of an alpha woman, willing and able to protect and care for the man she loves. While I do love my strong heroines, they’re not always alphas — just kick-ass chicks (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The byplay between the two heroes is fantastic. Singh knows how to draw her characters together in such a way that has me rooting for them to get it on while enjoying the banter and sparks that come from their joining.

I love how this story shows some very real fallout from a catastrophic change in societal norms. The chaos and worries are dealt with, folded into the story itself, creating a new arc as the races scramble to handle their new world. Singh just doesn’t disappoint.

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

11 Responses to “Start at the Start: Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Series”

  1. I do get a little intimidated when I see 14 books already out in a series, but knowing you loved it (and yes, thank you, I’d like some salty chips, too, now!) makes me want to give this a go. That exact pose/model for Slave to Sensation was used on a contemporary romance, but the name escapes me. They just switched in some forest background and different clothes, lol!
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  2. YEAH MARY!!!! This is an all-time favorite series of mine as well. I did start reading these in order, but I ended up bouncing around a touch in the middle because I always gravitate toward the Changeling stories. I LOVE YOU, HAWKE!!!! I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 3 books which have all been Psy stories though, but I am looking forward to a Changeling one next hopefully. *swoons*
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  3. I’ve been meaning to get back into things and start reading some more UF and i’ve considered this series for a really long time. I know so amny people love it and while the sheer length of these series intimidates me i’m also so ready to dive into these worlds.
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  4. There definitely TONS of UF series out there. I think I’ve started 15 and never finished any of them (except for YA). But, yeah, I mean I’ve heard of this series but never thought to much about it, honestly. Maybe I should. Great and convincing post 🙂
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