Monday, July 16, 2012

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) by Nalini Singh

A serial killer is on the loose killing Changeling females. The only thing known about the killer is that he is a Psy. The Changelings have a very acute sense of smell and the only scent left on the victims is the distinct odor of a Psy. Lucas Hunter, a Changeling and pack leader, is determined to hunt down the killer before the next victim is killed. To do so he negotiates a business deal in an attempt to get close to a Psy, preferably one with connections to the Council, and gain information as to who is doing the killing. The problem is that the Psy are known as cold and uncaring. Convincing one to help will be next to impossible.

Sascha Duncan was put in charge of managing the business deal between the Psy and the Dark River Changeling Pack. She was sent in to see if she could gain any new information on how the Changelings function and gain a better understanding of them. Sascha, however, is not like other Psy. She has a secret she's afraid to reveal because, "Psy don't allow broken creatures to live."

The Psy and Changelings are about as different as two races can be. The Psy are described as being a cold, emotionless people who are loyal only to their own, and then, only so far. The Changelings on the other hand are a touchy-feely bunch who openly display their feelings. They are a very sociable and touchy feely group that  hug, kiss, and rub against each other. Just think of how cats act toward one another and you'll get the idea. Changelings, if you haven't guessed, are shape-shifters and can change into one particular animal.

Psy are Psychics with the ability to communicate with and are linked to each other via their minds. If a Psy is split from the PsyNet they will die. Each Psy also possesses abilities which vary from person to person. Some can manipulate people's will while others can read minds. I'm sure will learn about other powers as the series progresses. They are lead by the Council and years ago a program was set in place in an attempt to curb the amount of insanity and serial killing within the populace. This program was called the Silence. Basically the Psy were stripped of their emotions.

I found Sascha to be a very interesting character. She's grown up thinking she's defective and broken, and doesn't realize her true powers or come into her own, until she removes herself from the cold environment of the Psy. I like how bit by bit Lucas and the Dark River pack chip away at her cold exterior and melt her into a compassionate and caring individual.

Lucas, what can I say about him? I loved how he dealt with Sascha and how he reigned in his Alpha tendencies when he needed to. I also liked how he wouldn't let Sascha give up on herself and not to be afraid of what she was feeling.

The romance was hot, and I liked how by the end she was acting like a cat. It was as though Lucas had unleashed her inner kitten and she roared to life. By the end he had her purring, and I loved how Nalini added some cat related descriptions of her own when she wrote, "He lapped at her like a bowl of milk..." A very clever tie in to the cat theme. Additionally, I liked how the relationship seemed doomed at the very beginning of the story. I love it when an author does something like this and you wonder to yourself, "How the heck are they going to pull a HEA out of this one?" I believe any author can appear to paint themselves into a corner and back themselves up against a wall, but only the very talented can pick up their pen and write themselves right back out again leaving you with your jaw dropping and mind whirling. I think Nalini would have no problem with that.

The mystery of who the serial killer was was also interesting. I like how we gained a better understanding of how the Psy function as Sascha got deeper and deeper into her investigations. I can't wait to see how the things Sascha uncovered will play out in the rest of the series. 

Why is the book called Slave to Sensation? I believe because of this line: 'Unused to sensation, she was close to becoming a slave to it, the fantasies she'd indulged in during sleep leeching into her waking life.' 

I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I adore Nalini's books they're dark seductive and oh so addictive. They have a lot of depth with many layers underlying the story. You can tell she thinks through practically every aspect of the story and could answer any question you'd throw at her. I loved the descriptions of the PsyNet and PsyMind. The Psy reminded me a little of the Vulcans from Star Trek. It'd be interesting to know if they perhaps inspired Nalini's Psy creation. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scores a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

Sample of the Audio Book:

Order of Series:

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