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. 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. 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.
©2015 Nalini Singh (P)2015 Tantor
The story by Nalini Singh is as good as I have come to expect from her. Entertaining and fast moving. Normally, I enjoy Angela Dawes' narration. However, in this book, when Ms Dawes was doing narration, the volume on her mike was at peak level. But when she moved into dialog, she not only spoke in a very soft voice, but it sounded as if the volume on her mike was turned down to almost nothing. I had to adjust the volume at every change just to hear what the dialog was, then turn it down so I didn't blast my eardrums at the narration. This should have been fixed in the edit room. Totally unacceptable for an audio book.
See above. Edit and record appropriately.
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
Fine narration by Angela Dawe. In some books, her cadence becomes sing-songy, lulling me to sleep. Not here. In fact, the narration was slightly better than the story itself, in my view.
Compared to prequels, this is a considerably longer book, with fewer and shorter sex scenes, and not as much cussing or profanity. Fine by me!
The story takes place in late spring, four months after book #12 Heart of Obsidian and several weeks after #13 Shield of Winter.
The opening chapters were fabulous — when Aden and Zaira escape their captors (see book synopsis), finding refuge and even joy. Vivid scenes, and credible. An imminent threat which links back to several prequels. Perhaps these opening chapters were the best in the book.
Singh included several heartwarming scenes with children. Arrow children and changeling. JoJo, Tavish, etc. I really enjoy the way Singh writes about kids.
With one major caveat, I loved the fiercely protective and possessive Zaira. Her feelings for Aden were bedrock and of long standing. Loved the scene when she took down a killer in public view. Vivid!! Appreciated the fact that sex did not intrude upon the relationship development until late in the book, and then only a few times. Her fear of madness made sense, but her repeated thoughts about her madness and rage got very old. Overkill. Annoying.
Our hero Aden: Loyal to the bone. Loved seeing what this humble Arrow can really do. Great scene! Vividly written. A unique and beautiful ability.
Enjoyed seeing so many characters from prequels: Judd, Walker, Sienna, Lucas, Hawke, Ivy, Vasic, Devraj Santos from the Shine Foundation of the Forgotten, Bo Knight from the Human Alliance, etc.
We get to know some new characters, including Remi who hates to be called Remington, alpha of Rainfire Leopard Pack in the Smokie Mountains of Tennesee--Carolina, and his sentinels Angel, Theo, and Lark. We also learn much more about Miane LaBek, alpha of the Black Sea water-based changeling pack — she's one shrewd shark!
Best of all, we see the good guys foil the bad with the brightest and best weapons in the world •• open communication and trust.
••• Quibbles and Complaints:
Much as I enjoyed the book, it gradually lost points with me. Why? Overkill. Too grim. There was no need to inflict yet another serial killer upon my poor abused senses, as seen in soooo many prequels, beginning with #1 Slave to Sensation. It was a plot digression, adding basically nothing, and infringing on one of the sweetest scenes in the book. Furthermore, wouldn't the empathic Psy Net alleviate some of that pathology? Remove the serial killer scenes and the pace would flow swiftly (this book is the longest of them all, and bogs in places).
Likewise, did Zaira really have to have such an unbelievably horrible childhood?? As a toddler and very young girl, and given her fragile Psy body, how did she even survive such torture, for years? Did Singh have to repeat that grim tale of childhood abuse so many times?? And then repeat Zaira's thoughts about her boundless rage? Repetition annoys me. I'm not forgetful.
It strikes me that Singh seems to rely on childhood abuse / torture across this series, to garner sympathy for her heroes /heroines. Remember poor little Kaleb, in Heart of Obsidian, young Sophie, in Bonds of Justice, and young Tallin, in Mine to Possess? It's not credible or necessary, especially in this book. I would sympathize with Zaira simply for being raised in Silence, as an Arrow, abandoned by unfeeling parents, as was the case with Vasic in Shield of Winter.
Bottom line: The stage is set for future books, with a tentative new Trinity Accord, and with the Consortium's evil mastermind still a mystery. I have my guesses, but nothing solid. The series-wide plot is cohesive and fairly credible.
Oh...And the word "lethal" didn't seem quite so predominant as in prequels. Yay!
I certainly have fondness for Aden after this one, but my favorite parts of this book are the snippets of all the various characters we have one to know over the series as the book weaves in how the groups connect now. It also brings new story arcs and characters including a new leopard pack to bring us back to some of the grrrr from the first part of the series.
I'm a grad student with very little time to edit reviews because I'm editing research papers. Forgive the typos. They're made with love.
Sorry for the all caps but Nalini Singh is my favorite Audible author and despite this being her 14th book, I'm still enthralled and want to know more. It is longer, but I'm trying to figure out why some people think this is a bad thing. I loved every moment and it's still not as long as GRRM or Gabaldon's books.
If you're just coming across this series, start at the beginning. While the book can stand on it's own in a sense, there are waaaayyy too many thing leading up to this point that will simple rob you of the experience to be had with the 13 previous novels.
It was lovely to finally understand how important Aden was to the Arrows and to the rest of the world Singh has built. He's always been this tag along character, who we knew was important, but never had a major role. He's a leader for a reason and near the end of this we finally understand why. Wonderful.
Zaira was also a bit of a side character from the last few books and it was great to see into her world. It's refreshing to have a woman who isn't perfect, who recognizes her flaws and fights them, and who is "petite and weak looking" in stature but kicks serious butt because she knows her body and it's limits.
Angela Dawe has come back to her own as the narrator and while I booed her changing up of the voices of Hawk and Lucas in the last novel, I probably should have blamed whoever directed the book. She seems to have come back to the original voices somewhat in this book which made me happy. She's a bit robotic at times but I find I like that in a world where Psy voices would be more computed and less emotional.
This is a wonderful addition to the series. ENJOY!
Yes - if you have wonderful hearing or a great sound system
I love the story and actually like the reader BUT it is so irritating when she drops into a whisper type of voice and I loose half of what is being said.
The story was good. I enjoy this series. It is well-written and I anticipate the next book. My main problem with this one was the constant use of whispered dialog. I listened to the book while commuting, and I had to continually adjust the volume and repeat sections to try to hear what was said. Just because the author described something as "subvocal", it seemed as if the narrator tried to speak that softly. Then, without warning, she went back to normal volume. It was so loud that I swerved a few times from the shock. I probably won't get the next audio book if it is narrated by the same person, but will read it instead.
I love this book and I love Angela Dawe's narration, however in this story she had the characters talking so quietly that I had to turn up the volume and then turn it down again when normal action/dialogue continued. This made for a far less pleasant listening experience than I usually have listening to these books. Please stop whispering. Thank you.
Well worth it
I read the book and also listened to the Audible - both were great and I enjoyed the narration.
Nalini Singh does not disappoint. Another great story in the Psy/Changling series.
I loved the book, but had to constantly turn volume up and down due to Angela narrating much louder than Aden, Kiran were speaking...need to address this issue. I only listen to audio books and this book with the volume issue was irritating.
But not this time. She drops her voice to a very low register for the two main characters' voices, making it VERY hard to hear the reading. I turn the volume up, then get blasted when she resumes reading.
I'm enjoying the book, but I am getting tired of heroines (or heroes) who have been tortured endlessly and spend the whole book trying to get past it.
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