Saturday, February 20, 2016

Series Saturday Audiobook Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Shield of Winter 
by Nalini Singh
Series:  Psy-Changeling # 13
Pub. Date:  June 3, 2014
Publisher:  Tantor Audio
Narrator:  Angela Dawe
Length:  15 hrs 47 min
Format:  Audiobook
Source:  Hoopla

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

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… 

Silence has fallen and things are changing in the Psy-Net. The infection in the net is spreading faster than ever and has started sending Psy into murderous rages. Kaleb Krychek believes empaths are the key to stopping the darkness and death that is spreading unchecked through the net, so an effort is undertaken to identify empaths and get them working together before the net implodes. This brings our hero (Vasik) and heroine (Ivy Jane) together in a working relationship that evolves into much much more.

Vasic has been one of my favorite psy heroes, second only to Kaleb Krychek. As one of the top members of the Arrow squad, and the strongest teleporter in the psy-net, Vasic has always been in demand by both the good guys and baddies. In previous books, Vasic became self-destructive and volunteered to try a piece of biotechnology which basically made him a human guinea pig with an expiration date. What struck me most about Vasic was that he believed himself to be one of the most silent people in the net... but that wasn't really true. Vasic's fractured silence was evidenced by his extreme loyalty to the other Arrows, and the way he took care of Aidan since they were children. Someone lacking emotions would not have those feelings of loyalty and friendship. It was wonderful to see Vasic realize that he deserved to live and love. Plus, he was pretty darn sexy and powerful. Yum. It's always fun to watch these stoic and practical Psy learn how to be intimate with one another - its a strange and fun blend of innocence and intelligence that makes intimate moments hot and endearing at the same time.

Ivy Jane has lived under broken silence most of her life. Having no idea that Designation E existed, she always thought she was broken. When this scary Arrow appears at the orchard where she and her family have been in semi-hiding, she is terrified and curious. Now that she knows she was not broken, she wants to learn everything she can about being an empath. Seeing Ivy throw herself into the program and try to solve the problem in the net was inspiring. I had a good emotional connection to her character, particularly when it came to the sadness, desperation and hope she felt when it came to Vasic and the ticking time bomb on his life.

I loved that Vasic became the face of the Arrow squad as this silent hero, and that he and Ivy's relationship achieved celebrity status. This is something we have not seen in previous books, and added a touch of realism to the story. We got a much closer look at the Arrow squad in this installment, and I was amazed at the steadfast loyalty among the group. It was nice to see how they all looked up to Vasic - almost as an older brother - they are truly a family built on bonds of loyalty.

And finally, I was glad to see some of our previous favorite couples play a bigger part in this book, namely Sasha and Lucas. It made me want to go back and read Slave to Sensation all over again... especially because we got a little more of the inventive and oh-so-steamy telekinetic sex tricks in this book.

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Psy-Changeling Series