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Shield of Winter: Psy-Changeling, Book 13 | [Nalini Singh]

Shield of Winter: Psy-Changeling, Book 13

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he's done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch-if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake....
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Publisher's Summary

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he's done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch - if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life. For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake....

Having rebuilt her life after medical "treatment" that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she'll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy's fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness.

©2014 Nalini Singh (P)2014 Tantor

What Members Say

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4.6 (323 )
5 star
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4.6 (309 )
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Story
4.6 (309 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Federal Way, Wa, United States 06-05-14
    Amazon Customer Federal Way, Wa, United States 06-05-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved every minute"

    Kind heartbreakingly dark at times hearing about how Vasic was trained as a child but there is so much to like about Ivy, Rabbit and Vasic's friendship with Aiden that it helps balance out the ugliness of his training.

    It is well worth the read but then I haven't found one in this series that isn't.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Avid reader Aurora, Co 06-26-14
    Avid reader Aurora, Co 06-26-14 Member Since 2012

    Sherrie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "Poor quality of recording and Narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    As always this is a good addition to the series.


    What other book might you compare Shield of Winter to and why?

    .


    How could the performance have been better?

    Narrator ended each sentence by emphasizing the last word, starting low going high and back to low. Then she would pause. Also the esp. towards the end of the book, the volume would increase, decrease or sound as if it were in a tunnel before reverting back to normal. Very distracting.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patsy G. 06-08-14
    Patsy G. 06-08-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    316
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    "My all time favorite... Vasic...."

    Another totally fabulous book in the Psy-Changeling series, I do think this was my very favorite book in this series..I loved the story of Vasic and was thrill she gave us readers/listeners a more closer look into this very humble, soft spoken man.
    Excellent!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rocky PENSACOLA, FL, United States 06-06-14
    Rocky PENSACOLA, FL, United States 06-06-14 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Writing is brilliant, as usual; however..."
    What would have made Shield of Winter better?

    Angela Dawe failed this story. Her narration was discordant, lacking both harmony and rhythm, and her inflection was atrocious. I was so shocked at her narration that I looked back on the others to see if I'd just failed to remember poor narration. No, she did a beautiful job in all but this one.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Shield of Winter?

    I was unable to finish the audiobook due to poor narration. I downloaded the print version on my Kindle, but it'll be weeks before I have the time to sit and read it. That is why I always pre-order my favorite authors on Audible. The first seven chapters had brilliant writing, but were a struggle to listen to.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Angela Dawe's narration could have been consistent with previous books in this series.


    Any additional comments?

    Nalini Singh has written a brilliant book; however, the narration was awful. I will have to find the time to finish the book in print and this might well be the end of pre-ordering the Audible version. Definitely, for the next one, I'll wait to test a sample before I buy it.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Calhoun, KY, United States 06-06-14
    Rebecca Calhoun, KY, United States 06-06-14 Member Since 2008

    I'm a PhD theatre student who loves not proofreading my reviews (sorry) because I have to do enough of that in school. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the best but loved it anyway."

    I guess I should start out with how much I love this series. While in the world of what I consider fluff reading, the world-building is awesome and I have come back to Nalini Singh's books more than once. To gear up for this new book I re-listened to the entire 12 books that came before it.

    Which is probably why Angela Dawe fell a little flat this time around.

    I think Jim Dale (of the Harry Potter audiobooks) has proved that you can not only create a huge number of voices, but that you can carry them throughout an entire series. The moment Hawk and Lucas started talking through Dawe's performance in this book, I was immediately taken out of the story: she changed them. You just can't do that. It's like breaking a Cardinal Rule (punpun). If you don't have a range of male voices, which I don't think is true because I've always commended Dawe on her male voices, then don't suddenly lower one just to create a difference. It's bizarre for someone you know to suddenly drop into a lower scratchy octave.

    (SPOILERS)

    As for the story, there was just something about it that seemed disjointed. At this point, the pool of singletons in Singh's book world are starting to dwindle so we're jumping out of the realm of the better-known characters into the life of the mysterious arrow Vasic and newcomer Ivy. The natural progression was there but while the former novels had a fluidity to the overall plotline, there was just something about this story that made me want to say "get on with it" in some areas and "wait, I want more detail" in others. And Ming... that whole line in the story needs to be revisited - he showed up as a blip comment then a quickly-over skirmish where he wasn't even present - he seemed more like a forgotten menace than an actual threat. Also, the new empaths seemed to start out strong as characters then pretty much faded into a general group occasionally mentioned near the end. The main problem/sickness/darkness in the book arrived so sudden, with really no hint at trouble until the previous book, that it seemed to be more of an excuse for something (other than Ming) to battle... I think I would have liked to see it stick around for a few books more rather than escalating and being resolved in one novel out of 13.

    Still, as with any series we adore, even this tasty morsel of a story is welcome. It's not the best story of the series... trying to beat the original Lucas/Sasha story, the thrilling Judd/Brenna pairing, the steamy Riley/Mercy book, the long anticipated Hawke/Sienna novel, or the revelation/super hero saga that was Caleb/Sahara is pretty tough and I don't think this one succeeded. However I do think it beats some of the others and was yummy on its own. Vasic is a fun one to move on to and I was excitedly anticipating this book's release. I like Ivy and her little dog too, and was curious at how the couple would come together.

    Though Dawe failed to deliver her usual stellar performance when it came to past characters, and the book had a few issues, my joy at listening to is couldn't let me give it the 3 that is the overall average of my score... 4 stars.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Malinda Phoenix, AZ, United States 06-04-14
    Malinda Phoenix, AZ, United States 06-04-14 Member Since 2006

    I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great addition to the series! :D"

    4.5-5 stars

    This was a great story. I've always liked Vasic and was looking forward to his story and Ivy made a good mate for him. After the big blow up in the Psy society in the last book (the over throw of the Silence protocol) I was curious about how the next book would go and I really liked the direction that Singh took the story line. I was sucked in to the story quickly and didn't want to stop until the end.

    Ivy is a Psy and a strong empathy but because of the silence protocol (the one that makes all emotions in Psy something to be banished) her abilities have been suppressed all her life. Ivy wasn't able to keep to the silence protocol and went through a major reconditioning when she was 15. This almost turned her in to a vegetable but she managed to pull through eventually (partially because of an injured stray dog she nursed back to health and adopted as a pet). Ivy’s parents, in an effort to protect her, moved their family in to a remote community with a few other Psy and they've been living there for years.

    Vasic is a Psy and was born with strong and dangerous abilities. These abilities pushed him in to the Arrow squadron where he was trained from the age of 4 to suppress all emotions, control his powers and become an Arrow (much more strenuous and torturous training than what normal Psy children go through). His training has turned Vasic in to an unfeeling soldier and he thinks he needs his lack of emotions to keep his abilities restrained so he’s safe to others.

    Since the end of the silence protocol, Kaleb (the hero from Heart of Obsidian) has pretty much been running the Psy community with the support of the Arrow squad and the other former Councilors, Nakita and Anthony. Kaleb is trying to find a cure for the infection that’s been spreading across the Psy-net. He believes that the empaths (who have had their abilities ruthlessly suppressed up to now) are the key to fixing at least some of the issues on the Psy-net if not the whole disease. Kaleb asks the Arrows to help him test this theory and protect a group of empaths while they try to bring out their power and see what they can do. Vasic ends up leading the team set up to protect the empaths (who are all offered jobs as incentive to join the project) and during his duties he meets Ivy. She’s an empath and although her very presence makes him uncomfortable (something about her emotions bothering his silence) he finds himself drawn to her and wanting to protect her. Vasic ends up making it his mission to keep Ivy and the other empaths safe…even from Kaleb is needed. Ivy hasn't been restrained by the silence protocol since she managed to recover from the reconditioning (although she’s still tried to suppress her emotions as much as she can so they don’t leak out on to the Psy-net). When Ivy first saw Vasic she feared him but once he told her about her ability and offered her the chance to learn more about it, she starts to trust him. When he saves her life from assassins, she feels even closer to Vasic. Ivy joins the project along with some other empaths and they stay in cabins in the Changling territories (with prearranged permission) with Arrows to protect them. As Vasic and Ivy spend more time together (and he continues to protect her and give slight signs of kindness), she starts to feel more for Vasic and wants to touch him (empaths instinctively want touch, especially with those they’re close to) but she restrains herself because she doesn't want to make Vasic uncomfortable and possible make him avoid her.

    During their time in the cabins, Ivy and the other empaths learn what they can about their gifts with some help from Sascha (the heroine from Slave to Sensation who is a strong empath), who visits to share with them what she’s learned. Things get worse on the Psy-net though and the spreading disease starts causing more and more outbreaks of violence around the world. Ivy and some of the other empaths (and their arrows) go out in to the more infected areas to see what they can do to help but it’s often not enough for the large amounts of Psy being affected. Vasic determinedly protects Ivy and makes sure she doesn't push herself too far. Although Vasic tried to keep his distance, he slowly starts thinking of Ivy as his. Vasic doesn't believe he deserves Ivy but eventually he doesn't care. As Ivy has spent time with Vasic and seen the kind of man he actually is she believes he’s a good man and has come to care for him. She pushes (gently) to try to get him to acknowledge their bond and not run from it. When Vasic stops fighting her and they start to come together, he has a bit of trouble controlling his powers as they get intimate which causes some interesting results. Their coupling works well though because Arrows tend to serve and don’t think of themselves and empaths tend to take care of people they care about and can be very stubborn so Ivy takes care of Vasic whether he wants her to or not and he gets peace from protecting her. Unfortunately, the net problems aren't their only issue as Vasic's “gauntlet” (an artificial attachment to one of his arms that links in to his mind) starts malfunctioning and they have to attempt to find a way to disable it before it kills Vasic. There are some very interesting times while everyone is scrambling to find the solutions to the multiple different issues. I really liked the way the Psy-net/empath story line played out because once they found the solution, it wasn't big and flashy but it worked for me and seemed believable. The same for Vasic's issue with his gauntlet, it didn't turn out perfect but it worked out as it needed to. Vasic and Ivy…I loved the way things worked for them and was very happy with their resulting relationship and HEA.

    I greatly enjoyed this story. Ivy and Vasic are a wonderful couple and was very happy to see them get past their difficulties and come out with a HEA in the end. I also really liked how things turned out for Ivy and the rest of the empaths. There are still issues that need to be faced and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more when the next book in the series comes out. I’d recommend this book. 2 thumbs up! :D

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Corvallis, OR, United States 08-05-14
    Kelly Corvallis, OR, United States 08-05-14 Member Since 2010

    Books-n-Kisses

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Does anyone truly know the heart of an Arrow?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, Nalini is an amazing story teller and Angela Dawe is an amazing narrator. Great combination.


    Any additional comments?

    NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 1/2
    REVIEW:
    We all know (that is if you have read the first 12 books) that the Psy are a very cold race. They like everything perfect. There is no room for flaws of any kind. Flaws have been dealt with swiftly and harshly over the last 100 years. But with the fall of Silence in (bk 12 Heart of Obsidian) the Psy race is now fighting a new killer. One that does not care who or what stands in it’s way. There are two ways to save the Psy race: 1. Cut out the affected and kill millions or 2. Hope that the E-Psy will awake in time to stop choice number 1.

    As always Nalini writes a story that sucks me in and makes me not want to leave no matter how bad it gets at time. Vasic and Ivy’s story is both amazingly filled with hope and heartbreakingly sad at the same time. I honestly had my doubts on Vasic based off prior books. He is the perfect Psy in all ways. Ivy Jane was new to me, but I loved her the minute she stepped on the page. These two are just flat out amazing together. Yes, I laughed, cried and wanted to kill the leaders of the Psy from 100 years ago. I want to say so much but don’t want to spoil it for you. Just know the manuals are very important!!! :)

    I did listen to this book on audio as I have done with all of Nalini’s Psy-Changeling books. Ms. Dawe does a great job again with the voices of each character. My only issue was that the audio file I had seemed to go in and out. At times it seemed muffled at time. I am not sure what it was. But even with this I loved the story.

    Disclaimer:
    I purchased this book from Audible and this review is my own opinion and not a paid review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Draggin Lady Detroit, MI 06-30-14
    Draggin Lady Detroit, MI 06-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
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    "Great story - irritating performance"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book - yes. The audio version - no. I love this author, and this is my favorite series of hers. I enjoyed the story, but I had to switch to the written version to finish it. I found the performance really annoying. The audio had poor quality at times, and the narrator's voice was just plain irritating for me.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Shield of Winter?

    I loved the way the two main characters developed real trust for each other, and the way Ivy decided to treat all Arrows as family.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The funny tone she uses to end most of her sentences was particularly irritating. It was hard to stay in the story because the way she spoke was so distracting.


    Was Shield of Winter worth the listening time?

    Yes, but only because the story is very good. For this book, reading was more enjoyable.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kalita LEESVILLE, LA, United States 06-26-14
    Kalita LEESVILLE, LA, United States 06-26-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    "Awww ... Not what I wanted."
    Where does Shield of Winter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I felt bad because I never was able to care for them. I cared for the story but not for the individuals of the story. 1st time in the books. I felt bad.


    Has Shield of Winter turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I love Nalini Singh. I love the the series. Love.


    Which character – as performed by Angela Dawe – was your favorite?

    I love the characters that she did before. But again couldn't truly love main characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I loved the story because of the series so I wanted to know where the series would go. Love it. Love it!!!!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady Reader Fallon, NV USA 06-16-14
    Lady Reader Fallon, NV USA 06-16-14 Member Since 2009

    Marj

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "ouststanding"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes i would recommend this book to anyone who loves a romance with something more. The book is just amazing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Shield of Winter?

    one moment was when Ivy was able to see how the em-paths linked to others and of course the relationship between Vasic and Ivy running through the whole book.


    What does Angela Dawe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She does an outstanding job by not intruding on the book. Meaning her performance is so flawless you are focused on the story not her presentation.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    So many moments in the book that even now i am not totally disengaged from the story.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the last book in this series and i have read and listened to them all. Each book will stand on it own but they have more meaning if all have been read/listened. I just hope Ms .Singh continues with this world she has created. Her talent is outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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