4.5 Stars? Aaahhh... Make it 5! ^_^
“Tell a child something often enough and she starts to believe it.”
~ Sascha to Faith
*sigh* I LOVED this book even more the second time around!!
While my re-read of Slave to Sensation had me dreaming (again!) about being enslaved by the delicious Lucas Hunter *grins*... it more seriously had me contemplating the concept of a “society without emotion”, that is the Psy. In my re-read of Visions of Heat, the theme that became the focus of my reflections - which was also a prevalent theme in the first book - was that of having the courage to free one’s “self” from the "prison" imposed by others, and of seeing things we were blind to before.
Faith Nighstar, of the PsyClan NightStar, is a powerful “F-Psy” – a cardinal Psy with the ability of foresight. Since the age of 3, she has been isolated from society and trained to give business forecasts, worth billions. She has also been told that the F-Psy are particularly susceptible to madness. That for her own protection, she must be constantly monitored and undergo medical tests, regularly.
Now, at the age of 24, Faith is starting to have some very dark dreams, malevolent visions of blood and murder. She thinks - not “fears”, as the Psy are not supposed to fear - that insanity is looming. In an effort to get more information, without alerting her keepers of her degeneration, Faith decides to seek out Sascha Duncan, a renegade Psy who is now part of the DarkRiver changeling leopard pack.
Vaughn D’Angelo, a jaguar adopted into the leopard pack through a tragic event, whose beast prowls closer to the surface than other changelings, is a sentinel of DarkRiver. He has recently become very curious about an isolated compound, in which appears to live a Psy. The Psy usually choose to love in skyscrapers.
When Faith escapes the compound to seek out Sascha, it is Vaughn who finds her in DarkRiver territory. Vaughn’s cat side is immediately instinctually drawn to Faith and can’t stop teasing and bombarding her senses with his touch. This puzzles Vaughn, the man, as he does not believe in the concept of “mating”, not wanting to ever need anyone or have someone need him.
I was drawn into Vaughn and Faith’s story: Vaughn, as he works though his conflicted feelings towards Faith; as he sees her as not just a cold Psy, but a fascinating woman he wants to tease and protect, and as he realises that while he has "mated" with Faith, she can refuse that mating bond. Faith, as she tries to buckle “Silence”, to find pleasure in Vaughn’s touch, and to allow herself to feel. I felt for the losses they had both suffered – Vaughn’s story, particularly, broke my heart. I admired Faith as she fought not to fall into the madness of her dark visions; as she started to “see” that the things she has been told all her life were lies. How does Faith break through the walls that isolate and imprison her, when they are so much a part of “her”?
I appreciated the intriguing political aspects that Nalini Singh included in this book - and also in the first - through the machinations of the Psy Council.
Through my re-read, I found the initially bewildering, complex concept of the PsyNet easier to process.
There were a few loose threads at the end of this book, which I’m expecting will be answered later the series…at least, I hope so!
P.S. I DO NOT like the cover of this book and the guy looks nothing like how Vaughn is described! In fact., a lot of the covers in this amazing series by Nalini Singh just don't do it justice, in my humble opinion.
“Faith looked up. And up. As she’d guessed from the feel of him at her back, the jaguar was tall in human form. His hair was a thick amber-gold, long enough to brush his shoulders, and his eyes ... they were an odd almost-gold, the eyes of a cat made human. There was nothing soft about him, nothing tame. Yet she, a woman who'd never before understood the concept, found him beautiful. It was an inexplicable reaction, one her brain couldn't accept, going as it did against every rule of Silence.”
|Vaughn is prrrimally sexxxy...|
|His jaguar is strong within him...|
|Faith has only known a sterile Psy environment ....|
|And her senses expode under|
Vaughn's heated touch - RAWR!!!
Can Vaughn help Faith break free of her prison?
~*~*~*~*~*~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