Monday, June 25, 2018

ARC Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Series:Psy-Changeling Trinity #2
Pub. Date:June 12, 2018
Length:430 pgs

Ocean Light is the second book in the Psy-Changeling spinoff series, Psy-Changeling Trinity, which focuses on the alliance (and its members) among the Psy, Changelings and Human Alliance. Instead of focusing on the races separately, we now are working toward a more integrated society with the signing of the Trinity Accord. Silence has fallen for the Psy, and they are attempting to make inroads into the human race as they have learned that, much like the empaths, they are necessary for the health of the PsyNet.

Leader of the Human Alliance, Bowen Knight, has a played a large role in previous books. We knew that he was living on borrowed time due to the protective chip in his brain, which is rapidly deteriorating. I believe it was the last book, Silver Silence, which saw Bo taking a bullet to the heart. He certainly never expected to wake submersed into the deep black sea surrounded by unfamiliar water changelings. But much like everything else, Bo takes his continued existence (and countdown to brain damage) in stoic stride. I enjoyed getting to know Bo more than we have in previous books. He is a caring and honorable man, willing to sacrifice himself for his people. And while he gets twitchy about telepaths, he doesn't really treat any of the races different from himself. I also liked that, as a human, he was just as deadly as some of our changelings! 

Kaia Luna is somewhat of a tragic heroine, and a water changeling. I will leave it to you to figure out which type. The water changelings have been so mysterious throughout the series, and we never really know what they are. I liked that their second nature was immediately laid out for us at the outset, Nalini kept us guessing for the whole book before we finally got confirmation of Kaia's second form. I really liked Kaia. She was a mothering sort - caring for everyone equally and making sure they all got her time, attention, and cooking skills. I also respected her for giving up the science gig to do something that truly made her happy - and I would love to have an iota of her culinary skills. She thought she hid her soft-hearted nature behind a tough exterior shell, but most people saw through her and that teflon coating wasn't so hard to crack. Her determination in this story, in spite of her extreme fear, was wonderful to behold. I was rooting for her the whole way.

The relationship between Kaia and Bowen is not instalove, but it is instant attraction, chemistry, and a realization that there was something real between them. Even when Kaia suspects Bo of carrying out evil deeds, she can't quite dim her curiosity and desire for the man. I thought the relationship was more on the sweet side than steamy, and it unfolded at a nice pace along with the story.

Our secondary storyline in this book involves the sea changelings that have been kidnapped and mutilated in prior books. The plot is still being carried out, but its being laid on the shoulders of Bowen Knight and the Human Alliance. Bo must prove to the changelings that he hasn't betrayed them, all the while finding a traitor in his midst. I had my suspicions as I was reading, but I didn't predict things playing out as they did. So this was a good secondary storyline that advanced the plot nicely.

I was intrigued by the BlackSea Security Chief, Malachai, before I read this story. But I am even more curious about him now. I hope he and Mignon both have a story coming soon - I can't wait to find out what their sea creatures are.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley.

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