Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review: Shards of Hope

SHARDS OF HOPE
Psy-Changeling #14
Nalini Singh
Paranormal Romance
496 pages
Berkley
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.


MY THOUGHTS
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.

Rating: 4/5

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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.

32 comments:

  1. wow it's already book 14? I'm soooooooo late as I haven't even started the series, lol it's a lot of books now. I know I have one in the series so I'll surely try even if it's surely something like book 8? I'll see.

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    1. I know! It goes fast doesn't it? Most of the early ones can be read as stand-alones, but there's a lot going on now with the worldbuilding that would be confusing if you just jumped in:)

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  2. I am so behind on this series :/

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    1. I hope you have the chance to get caught up! It's such a great series:)

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  3. oh I can't wait for this one...so excited..I just love this series.

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    1. ME TOO!!! I do love the Psy boys, but I'm ready for another Changeling story!

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  4. Holy crumb. Fourteen books and still going strong? Now that's impressive. :)

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    1. Right? I love Nalini's characters:)

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  5. I really need to read this series! I can't believe there are 14 books to catch up on! I'm glad to hear Aden and Zaira's relationship helps keep up a strong reader emotional connection. Can't wait to try these!

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    1. DO IT LAUREN!!!! Hawke and Sienna will forever be my favorites (I think they're book 9 maybe?), but you need to read the books leading up to them to get their full story:)

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  6. I have never read a Nalini Singh book and I think that's something that needs to change. I love the sound of Aden and his relationship with Zaira.
    I'll need to check out one or 2 books from this series.
    Lovely review!

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    1. *falls down dead* WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR NICK?!

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  7. Your reviews are always so beautifully written Jenny, you make me want to read everything you have, even the bad ones! :P

    Wonderful job! I do need to try this author, she sounds fantastic!

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    1. Thanks so much Ali!!!! Nalini is awesome, I really hope you get the chance to try either this series or her Guild Hunter books. Or her Rockstar series. You can't go wrong with any of them:)

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  8. Oh boy, book 14?? I don't think I can start on a series with so many books already!! Can they be read as stand-alones or better to read them all in order, Jenny?

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    1. I know, it's intimidating. You can definitely bounce around in the beginning - I'm Changeling-obsessed so I skipped around to those books first before going back and didn't have any trouble. I think these later books though would be tricky though as things are getting complicated between the 3 races:)

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  9. Wow, there's already fourteen books in the series?! Singh must be doing something right! I love the sound of the romance.

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    1. I know, I didn't even realize it was that many until I did this post. I never tire of this series though Z!

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  10. Looking forward to reading this one. I do miss the changelings though and I hope we get them back in the next book.

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    1. MORE CHANGELINGS RUMMANAH! I've thoroughly enjoyed the last 3 books, but I'm ready for a Changeling hero or heroine again:)

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  11. Jenny you deserve an award for sticking with this series for so long. Fourteen books and counting is HUGE committment. (And the author of course deserves major credit and tons of chcolate chop brownies. she rocks!)

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    1. Heh. I started this series when there were maybe 6 books out? I flew threw them and then have been devouring them as soon as they come out every since ;-)

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  12. I love the fact that Nalini Singh continues to create such a terrific, long lasting series like this. The romance between Aden and Zaira’s sounds wonderful. Should these be read starting with book one?
    Lovely review, Jenny - Thanks :)

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    1. She writes such great romances Kim! I've loved everything of hers I've read from paranormal to contemporary, so I can't recommend her enough.

      I would definitely start with book one so you get a feel for the world and the different races. Then if you want you can skip around a bit you can through the first 5 or 6 books. After that I would go in order:)

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  13. Fourteen books - wow! It's a very intimidating number. I don't know if I had the patience to follow a series for so long. Congratulations to you, it sounds like a compelling story and obviously you've got a great reader stamina :)

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    1. It is. Not quite as intimidating as JD Robb's In Death series though - I think she's at nearly 40. *dies*

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  14. This is one of those series that has gotten away from me. I really would like to check it out sometime as you are such a big fan. Sigh... I need more hours in the day to read.

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    1. ME TOO HEIDI! There are so many series out there I want to start or get caught up on. *sigh*

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  15. I think I tried reading the first book many moons ago, but it just wasn't in the cards for me. I'm glad you're keeping up with this series, though. I admire devoted readers. :)

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    1. I will never miss an installment of this series Joy, I just love it!

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  16. Wow! The fourteenth in series!? I love that it sounds like it is going strong so many books in, but I am intimidated to start a series that is this long with so many books already on my TBR. Every time I see one of these books, I am tempted though.

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    1. Don't be intimidated! You can skip around a bit, but definitely read book one first to get a feel for the world:)

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