Friday, May 30, 2014

Shield of Winter review

Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling, #13)

I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Nalini Singh's Shield of Winter at the RT Booklovers Convention! It will be released on June 3rd.

I've been reading the Psy-Changeling series since the beginning and have eagerly anticipated Vasic and Aden's books so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that Vasic's story would be out this year. I worried a little that I would be disappointed - I'd been dreaming about his story for so long - but Singh hit it out of the park with Shield of Winter. I devoured this book in one sitting and then went back and re-read it a second time.

Vasic has been a solitary character from the very first time we met him, separate not just in the emotionless Psy way but going even beyond that in an isolation even from his fellow Arrows. Even with Aden, Vasic is withdrawn much to his friend's consternation and frustration. Is it because he is the perfect member of Silence? If so, why would he feel guilt at the lives he has taken as an Arrow? It was clear to me through the series that Vasic wasn't Silent at all and that was his reason for isolating himself. So who could connect with such a man? At first I thought it might be a changeling since they are so far opposite Silence but Singh's need to have protection for the newly acknowledged Empaths after the revolution in the PsyNet made the pairing of the Arrow and an Empath the perfect solution.

Ivy Jane was a bit of a surprise. Not because she was an Empath or because she was able to bring out the protectiveness inherent in Vasic but because her growth through the book was very clear. From a scared but determined Psy not willing to be silenced to a worthy match for Vasic and for her role in the lives of the other characters and community, Ivy showed what Empaths can become if given the chance to flourish rather than be stifled. We had seen this with Sasha but she wasn't in the PsyNet so it is a bit different.

The continued journey of a post-Silent Psy and the continued inclusion of previous characters such as Lucas, Kaleb, Judd, and the rest makes for a wonderful continuity as the series gets longer while progressing the world building and plot arc beautifully.

Shield of Winter is a fantastic addition to the Psy-Changeling series and now I have to (impatiently!) wait for the next book - I hope it is Aden!!


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…

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hunting Ground review

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2)

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs is the second full length book in the Alpha and Omega series after Cry Wolf. Hunting Ground takes us closer to Bran's plan for the big reveal that werewolves exist.

In Hunting Ground, Charles and Anna travel to Seattle in Bran's place to meet with the European pack alphas about problems with revealing werewolves to humans. We meet lots of wolves - including Tom and Moira, Tom's witch mate and the Beast, a French werewolf who is basically a serial killer. I liked meeting more of the North American wolves that owe Bran fealty as well as the alpha wolves from Europe because Briggs does such a great job of giving each one a unique personality.

Briggs builds more supernatural into the series with Hunting Ground. In Cry Wolf, there were werewolves and witches and in Hunting Ground, Briggs brings in vampires, the Fae and the legends of Arthur, which may not be legends after all. It's a neat twist, especially since the Alpha and Omega series is set in the same world as Briggs' Mercy Thompson series but has focused more specifically on the wolves because of the isolated setting of Bran's pack in Montana.

I liked that Anna is clearly growing into her role as Omega and her increasing understanding of who she is and what being an Omega means is underscored by her remaining mental and emotional issues from being changed and her early years in the Chicago pack. It's an interesting dichotomy and one that a less skilled author would not be able to balance as well as Briggs does.

Hunting Ground is an excellent entry in the Alpha and Omega series and I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and paranormal stories with interesting characters.


Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either...

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything...