Psy-Changeling, Book #1
Heat Factor: They both think they’re having sex dreams about each other, but it’s actually real
Character Chemistry: It’s always fun when the protagonist knows fated mates is a thing but has no idea how that manifests and it takes a while for everyone to figure it out
Plot: She’s trying to avoid being lobotomized because she has feelings, he’s trying to hunt down a serial killer, they’re fated mates
Overall: Nalini Singh is a queen, and I shouldn’t start a 19 book series right now, but I’m hooked
I usually try to avoid getting myself involved in long (read: unending) series. Interconnected series are fine, but more than eight books always feels like a real commitment that I’m just not prepared to make. It’s like when you don’t want to commit to a movie because they’re too long, but you watch three episodes of an hour long show in a row. Like – why?
Am I the only person who does that?
Anyway, this mentality is why I have been avoiding getting into the Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh. But I have been binging her contemporary stuff, and I’ve run out, and I neeeeed mooooooore. So I bit the bullet and here we are.
Now I have 18 more books to read because this book is just exceptional.
The Psy effectively rule the world because they have their mind powers and can go into the PsyNet and mind magic their lives. But also because they had a ridiculously high proportion of, like, murders, they implemented the Silence Protocol in the late 1970s. This means that the Psy have no feelings. Because if they have no feelings they can’t be driven by their emotions and passions, right?
Our heroine, Sascha, has a problem, then, because she does have feelings. Has had them her whole life. And if anyone finds out, she’ll be sent for “rehabilitation” which means she’ll be institutionalized and lobotomized. Ruh roh.
Meanwhile, Changelings are…shifters. They’re pretty normally shiftery. But the DarkRiver pack of leopard Changelings just found out that there’s a Psy serial killer running around murdering Changeling women, and because the Psy refuse to acknowledge feelings, they’re more interested in covering it up than finding the murderer.
Takeaway number 1: Psy are a dystopian autocracy.
Well, the Changelings can’t just sit on their hands! So Lucas, the alpha of DarkRiver, gets a building contract with Sascha’s family as an in to learn more about the Psy. Bonus! Sascha’s mother wants Sascha to work directly on a daily basis with Lucas to ensure the project is constructed to Psy standards. So Lucas really has an in. Meanwhile there’s a wolf pack that’s chomping at the bit to get revenge, so we’re also this close to an all-out war between Changelings and Psy.
Takeaway number 2: I can’t say it enough. Singh is just so good at tension.
Once she’s regularly exposed to her Changeling colleagues, Sascha begins to see some cracks in the stories she’s been told about the Psy for her whole life. She starts to discover that her abilities might not be as inadequate as she’s always been told. She begins to see that maybe having feelings isn’t such a terrible thing. But she’s connected to the PsyNet and if she tries to disconnect from it, she’ll die.
Meanwhile, Lucas, who has been actively avoiding finding his mate because he watched his father fall apart after his mother was murdered, gets an inkling that maybe this Psy is…not just a Psy. And while everyone is going feral for Psy blood, will he be able to continue to lead his pack and maintain his alliance with the wolves if he…is…mated…to…a………Psy?
Tension, people. HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK OUT IF LUCAS IS ALPHA AND SASCHA CAN’T LEAVE THE PSYNET??!?!?!!
See also: A new meaning to the hero growling
This is just such a good fated mates book. The world building is so robust. I want to live in it. Except not because the Psy seem kind of…terrifying. So I’m going to go read book 2 now.
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