Available June 2nd
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.
And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.
This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.
Shards of Hope delves us deeper once again into the cool and calculating minds of the Psy race, and as always, it’s an absolute treat to watch our lead couple pull themselves out of the darkness that was Silence and into the light. Aden and Zaira, as damaged by the brutal way the Psy race disciplines their young as Vasic, Kaleb and Sahara before them, are unique as a couple in that they’ve had a lifetime together prior to us meeting them, their shared past making their eventual romance all the more satisfying.
Aden, perhaps the least Silent of the Psy protagonists immediately preceding him, makes it easy to fall in love with him quickly, shedding his Silent skin with far greater speed than Zaira, though the development of their romance is anything but fast. He’s more than aware of Zaira’s absolute need for a rigid structure to her life, the strength of her rage as a result of all that was done to her when she was young something that cannot go unchecked, and so the two of them take beautiful baby steps forward in changing the nature of their relationship. Each small step feels like a massive accomplishment however, Ms. Singh giving us glimpses now and then of everything the two of them faced in Arrow training as children to help us understand the emotional challenges they face, and we can do nothing but smile as the two of them fight their pasts to have a chance at their future.
While the Psy-Changeling series has always included time with characters other than our main couple – small snippets of characters whose stories have happened or will happen – Shards of Hope feels as though it bounces around a touch more than previous installments as Aden and Zaira uncover a massive chess game that aims to create a war between Psy, Changelings and humans. The middle in particular meanders a touch as our time with Aden and Zaira exclusively is limited, but as always, Ms. Singh introduces new characters who immediately grab our attention and touches base with beloved ones, so it’s hard to work up any kind of frustration at being denied additional time with our primary romantic pairing.
Overall, Shards of Hope uncovers a complicated plot that will undoubtedly have far-reaching effects in future books, but it anchors us with Aden and Zaira’s relationship, ensuring that we don’t get so overwhelmed with all the political maneuvering that we lose our emotional connection to their story. Here’s hoping a Changeling romance is up next though, as it’s been a while since we’ve gotten to take a walk on the wild side.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.