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Friday, August 12, 2011

REVIEW: Slave to Sensation (#1 Psy/Changeling) by Nalini Singh

5 of 5 Stars   

The first book in Nalini Singh's 
fascinating and acclaimed 
Paranormal Romance
Psy/Changeling series
 satisfies on so many levels!

*~*Slave to Sensation *~* 

Touching fingertips, 
To ice-cold lips,  
The skimming touch, 
Sensations, too much;  
The brushing thigh,  
Escaping sigh, 
The softest whispers,  
Sends primal shivers;
Barely leashed control,
Of a fractured soul
The heat of skin,  
Burst flames within;
Instinctive artistry,  
Reactive chemistry
The ragged breath,  
Cerebral death; 
Who thought such bliss,  
In just one kiss?  
Now, his changeling touch, she craves,  
Has she become sensation’s slave?
(by J.M.A. a.k.a. Lady Jayne, 12th August 2011)

Nooo… Slave to Sensation isn’t a book of poetry. I had drafted a review for this, but unfortunately, it was on my laptop, which was among the items stolen in a recent break-in. And somehow, when I sat down to re-write this “review”, this poem came out. Sorry. If you are one of the few people (like me) who has not read this series yet, PLEASE do not judge it based on my humble “ode” to it! LOL

Slave to Sensation is the first book in the stimulating Paranormal Romance (PNR) Psy/Changeling series by Fijian-New Zealander author, Nalini Singh. I kept seeing this series being hailed as a favourite PNR amongst my Goodreads friends. I must say, now I know the appeal! What a deliciously enjoyable first book in a series! This book was published in 2006, so yes, I've been slow to jump on this bandwagon...but that's okay, that just means I have lot of Psy-Changeling books to enjoy! *grins*

While Nalini Singh seduced me, with this first taste, to crave more of the books this series, this poem was my attempt to capture how the sexy, tactile and sensually primal Changeling, Lucas Hunter (a panther who is the Alpha of the DarkRiver leopard pack) managed to overwhelm Sascha Duncan (of the cold Psy race) with sensation – something “unnatural” to the Psy who do not touch. Slave to Sensation is indeed an apt title.

I’ve always had a fascination for stories with characters who have psychic abilities, and have developed, in the last few years, a love of the sexy animalism of shape-shifters. And this book combines both loves! I loved this remarkably interesting, detailed and imaginative world that Nalini Singh created - Bravo, Ms. Singh! The writing and the story were thought-provoking and evocative. 

This story is set in 2079 in San Francisco and its surrounds, where co-exist, though not without its tensions, three main groups of people: The Psy - a psychically advanced and logical race, who conditioned emotions out of their society through a program called “Silence”, which was instigated in 1969 in an effort to reduce the high incidence of insanity and violence in the Psy population, and who consider themselves the “superior” race; the Changelings - the instinctual, emotional, territorial and sensual shape-shifters, made up of various animal packs, who are cunning and underestimated by the Psy; and the humans - there is only mention of them in this book, though I am told that there will be human characters in later books.

(Edit: I mentioned that this book was "thought-provoking" and here are some thoughts it provoked - "A Society Without Emotion?")

I loved that there was suspense and mystery in this story – of a serial killer targeting Changeling women. Lucas and Sascha meet as part of a Psy-Changeling business venture and end up working together to solve the mystery.

I loved, and connected with, the character of Sascha, who is terrified about being found out as a “flawed” Psy and as a matter of survival struggles to hold on to her fragile mask of a calm, cool and collected Psy. Sascha is no “typical” Psy and the ability she possesses is one that I wish I had.

And Lucas? Mmm, mmm, mmmm… He was dangerously sexy hawt, with a tortured past, determined to claim Sascha as his mate, and he was just so there for Sascha. Purrrrs….

The only wee issue I had with the book…which is my problem, really… was with the concept of the “PsyNet”, which, while incredibly fascinating, was a little confusing, especially with the projection of a “shield” within a “shield” within a “shield” and the computronics imagery – I’m not tech or computer savvy - which reminded me of Matrix meets Tron meets Inception. Brain buzzingly cool.

I loved the cast of characters of the Changelings and the two packs introduced in this book – the DarkRiver pack (leopards) and the SnowDancers (wolves). I had recently seen the prevalent love for Hawke, the Alpha of the wolf pack, and from his introduction in this book, I could already understand the fascination with him and am excited to get to his book….which unfortunately isn’t until Book 10! I was also fascinated with Vaughn, from the leopard pack, who wears his beast closer to the surface than others in his pack, and just had to read his book, which was next in the series, Visions of Heat, straight away!

If you are one of the few people who haven’t read this series yet, make sure you pick up Slave to Sensation ASAP!!!
"He tasted better than her dreams, as rich and delectable as the most exquisite chocolate, as exotic as the panther he was.”
Lucas Hunter - Lusciously dangerous to the senses

A panther and Alpha of the DarkRiver Leopards

 Sascha - An unraveling cardinal Psy, with night-sky eyes 

Sascha's animal instincts are awakened by Lucas

Psy/Changeling Series reading order:

1. Slave to Sensation
1.5 "The Cannibal Princess" - Free short story:
2. Visions of Heat
3. Caressed By Ice
4. Mine to Possess
5. Hostage to Pleasure
5.5 "A Gift for Kit" - Free short story:
6. Branded By Fire
7. Blaze of Memory
8. Bonds of Justice
9. Play of Passion
10. Kiss of Snow

And there are also stand-alone novellas:
1. "Beat of Temptation" in An Enchanted Season
2. "Stroke of Enticement" in The Magical Christmas Cat
3. "Whisper of Sin" in Burning Up

But if you wish to read in strict chronological order, see Nalini Singh's website (link to the page here): http://www.nalinisingh.com/psybehind.php


  1. Okay, you convinced me. I am one of the few that hasn't read this series. Great review and am now adding it to my "buy" list. smiles...

  2. Oh, Yay! Do you read much Paranormal, Christi? I hope you enjoy it!

    *turns on hypnotism machine* If you don't, I wasn't the one you enticed you. ^_~

  3. Panas, Jayne, panas!! Enjoyed your review, as always.

  4. Haha. Yes, the poem and the pics are rather panas/hot. ^_^ Thanks Mel.