Rec a Series: Psy/Changeling Series

Rec a Series is a monthly post highlighting one of my favorite series, past or present. With the holidays approaching, I’ve decided to go with a “sweeter” series by Nalini Singh. Lusty leopards, hierarchical wolves, feisty humans, and oh those stoic Psy! Let’s dive into the alternate world of the Psy/Changeling Series.

The Psy/Changeling Series by Nalini Singh

A bit of history on Singh’s world. There are three distinct races, all genetically compatible and all originating at one point from a common ancestor. The psy race are born with mental abilities ranging from the minor (just enough to keep them connected to the PsyNet) to the earth shattering…literally. Telekinesis, telepathy, foresight, and anything else your GameMaster could think of the day she brought home that Psionics manual are the tools and weapons of the psy. But mental abilities are dangerous in the hands of a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, so they rid themselves of emotion and created a fertile breeding ground for sociopaths to thrive.

The changelings are shapeshifters. Predatory races— wolves, leopards, bears—rule the largest territories, but there are non-predatory changelings as well. There are also changelings who swim the waters—fish, sharks, and other things that go chomp in the deep. They gather in packs because, unlike the psy, they thrive on emotion, on touch, and on the bonds that tie friend to friend and mate to mate. The psy think of them as little more than animals. They’re in for a bit of a surprise.

The ones at the sharpest disadvantage are the humans. Not as strong or fast as the changelings, not as mentally adept or powerful as the psy, the humans are the worker bees who think they have power until they run into those who truly do. Some are natively immune to psy abilities, but they are too few. Some join changeling packs as bonded mates or trusted members. A very few hide their ancestry as the Forgotten—those descendants of the psy who left the PsyNet at the dawn of Silence, the protocol that erases all emotion from the psy race.

The series starts out with tension between two changeling packs, DarkRiver leopards and Snow Dancer wolves, and the psy at the point of violence. One of the psy has been torturing and killing young changeling women. A DarkRiver female has already been lost. A Snow Dancer is still missing. And Lucas Hunter, alpha of DarkRiver, has an entrée into the Psy Council via the daughter of a council member. There’s just one problem…Sasha Duncan interests his leopard just a bit too much.

From that book throughout the rest of the series, Silence and its effect on the psy—those who want to keep it, those who need it, and those who want to see it fall—becomes a major focus. The bonds between Snow Dancer and Dark River are a lesser focus, as wary truce becomes friendship and morphs into true blood bonded allies. At the end of the series, a new plot focus forms which is the basis of the next “season” kicking off with Silver Silence.

Like most series, there are good books and not so good books. I seem to prefer those with the psy over those with just the changelings, so Heart of Obsidian takes the lead with Kaleb Krychek as its center. Kaleb is a character who grows and changes throughout the series but the reasons for many of his actions are explained in Obsidian. Next favorite would have to be Shield of Winter. I liked Ivy alright, but Vasic was just yummy on so many levels. Shards of Hope rounds out my top three with two members of the Arrow squad: Aden and Zaira. Seeing what had only been hinted at concerning Aden’s ability was a “FINALLY!” moment and very well done. Anything that confuses Kaleb is also a plus.

Now for the ‘not so good’ books. The one that disappointed the most was Blaze of Memory. I really, really wanted to like Dev’s book as the Forgotten are a fascinating bunch. However, the ending felt a bit too much like a Deus ex Machina moment which is always a disappointment. Another was Tangle of Need. From Riaz’s mate bond with a married human to his lust for Indigo, I really think Adria was short changed in a companion. No mate bond and only third-best? Yeah, no. The third, to a lesser extent, is Kiss of Snow. Hawke and Sienna were an obvious couple from the beginning, but I think Hawke played the “methinks thou dost protest too much!” role for too long. Clinging to a mate who died when he was a pre-teen was a crutch if they weren’t actually mated and he seemed too strong to continue to use that excuse once his wolf arrowed in on Sienna.

Quotes:

  • His kiss held his heart. It broke hers. ~ Slave to Sensation
  • “Don’t be afraid of me, Sahara.” Bending his head, he spoke with his lips against hers, the contact igniting a thousand tiny lightning strikes in her blood. “I’d line the streets with bodies before I’d ever hurt you.” ~ Heart of Obsidian
  • “You can’t break, Ivy. You’re the only home my Arrows know—no matter what, that home must survive.” ~ Shield of Winter
  • “Where did you learn your charm—the gulag?” ~ Caressed by Ice

The Psy/Changeling Series –

Number of Books: Fifteen

  1. Slave to Sensation (Lucas/Sasha)
  2. Visions of Heat (Vaugn/Faith)
  3. Caressed by Ice (Judd/Brenna)
  4. Mine to Possess (Clay/Talin)
  5. Hostage to Pleasure (Dorian/Ashaya)
  6. Branded by Fire (Riley/Mercy)
  7. Blaze of Memory (Devras/Katya)
  8. Bonds of Justice (Max/Sophia)
  9. Play of Passion (Drew/Indigo)
  10. Kiss of Snow (Hawke/Sienna)
  11. Tangle of Need (Riaz/Adria)
  12. Heart of Obsidian (Kaleb/Sahara)
  13. Shield of Winter (Vasic/Ivy)
  14. Shards of Hope (Aden/Zaira)
  15. Allegiance of Honor (ensemble)

Number of Extras:  Nine (plus freebies on her site)

Complete?

  • Yes, but with a caveat. Singh is doing this series in “seasons” which encompass overarching plot lines. The first season was the fall of Silence. The second season, scheduled to kick off with Silver Silence in June, 2017, centers around the Trinity Accords.

Author’s Site:

*Denotes an approximation of placement in the series, not an official designation.

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Author: Elaina Roberts

Author of urban fantasy with a dash of romance

4 thoughts on “Rec a Series: Psy/Changeling Series”

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