Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Series: Psy-Changeling #3
Type: Adult Paranormal Romance
Judd Lauren was an Arrow, an elite soldier trained to be a merciless killer under the complete control of the ruthless Psy Council. But when Judd's family was slated for rehabilitation, a fate far worse than death for any psy, he defected and now the Laurens live hidden in SnowDancer lands. Brenna Kincaid was a happy innocent student before she was kidnapped and tortured by a Psy serial killer. Her SnowDancer pack saved her, but her scars run deep and when she begins to have visions of another killer she realises the only one who can help her is Judd.
This is the third in the Psy-Changeling series (after Slave to Sensation and Visions of Heat) which is fast shaping up to be one of my favourite paranormal romance series. In the last two books, a female psy has broken the Silence (the training that strips psy of their emotions) and fallen for a changeling. This book changes that formula to have a male psy fall for a female changeling. Brenna and Judd were both introduced in the first book and up until now have been little more than background characters, so it was great to see them get more development.
Brenna was kidnapped in Slave to Sensation and although she was rescued, it was after she had spent almost a week at the hands of a sadistic serial killer. Not only is she emotionally damaged, her abuduction has also scarred the SnowDancer pack as a whole. Judd has always seemed like he was made of ice in the previous novels, but it was great to see why he was so committed to maintaining his lack of emotions despite his defection from the psy. The whole relationship was sweet and well thought-out, and a welcome variation on the theme.
Unlike the previous books, this is also unique in that the book isn't just from Brenna and Judd's perspectives. Small sections of the book are also from Sascha, Faith and the killer's perspective as well. This could have been jarring but it was so cleverly done that there are seemless transistions between the narrators which really helps the story to advance smoothly and at a good pace.
Nalini Singh also continues her world building, gradually deepening and developing the world she has created. The idea of Arrows was introduced briefly in the last book, but the concept is fully explored here. Also developed from previous snippets of information is the new protocol for culling emotions within the Psy, basically creating a fully controllable hive mind. There is also a new plotline introduced about a renegade Psy known only as 'Ghost' who is working within the PsyNet to bring down their world from within.
All in all, this was another awesome read and I can't wait to read Mine to Possess