I haven't reviewed book 3 yet, Caressed by Ice, but I wanted to get this one out of my system. Hmm...sounds bad, doesn't it?
Well...I have mixed thoughts/feelings about this 4th installment of the Psy/Changeling series. I’m sad that I didn’t love this one as much as I loved the first 3 books.
Clay Bennett, a sentinel of the DarkRiver leopard pack, grew up in the slums of the human world. He never knew his changeling father and his human Egyptian mother, Isla, wanted him to deny his changeling nature. As a young boy without the support of a Pack, Clay loses control of his animal side and commits a brutal act of violence in order to protect his precious best friend, Talin. He is sent away to juvenile detention and when he is released, he believes Talin has died and this leaves a huge hole in his heart.
Talin McKade, seeks out Clay for help, all these years after that bloody and terror-filled day. In desperation, when some of the street children that were her responsibility go missing, Talin turns to the strongest man she knows.
The moment when Clay first sees Talin again had me aching for him and hooked into the story.
‘He knew that sound, that female voice. It was that of a dead woman. He didn’t care. He had accepted his madness a long time ago. So now he looked, looked and searched.
Air rushed back into his body with the force of a body blow. A roar built in his throat, but he didn’t realease it, violently aware of the acrid scent coming off her in waves.
Son of a bitch! Tally was scared of him. She might as well have taken a knife to his heart.’
I thought the premise for Clay and Talin’s story was very promising and compelling. I love an “angsty” and emotional story. There were moments when my heart truly ached for both of them, for what they went through at such a young age, and how they would move pass that.
But then…there were moments when both Clay and Talin got on my nerves: Talin, with all her fears and flip-flopping; and Clay, with his temper and brooding. I understand that they both went through something just awful, that scarred them both so deeply, and they have issues - of course, they would! – but these behaviours wore thin after a bit, for me, and so affected my connection to them and my enjoyment of this book. Clay teases Tally as a “Brat” and Tally calls Clay a “Bully”. These were meant to be endearments, but unfortunately, for me, there were moments when they lived up to these monikers all too much.
Plus, they seemed to bicker a lot! It wasn't like the banter in the previous books, for me. It felt like bickering, and was not very enjoyable to "watch".
That being said, I know some Goodreads friends who absolutely loved this book, and Clay and Talin. It always fascinates me how we can all have such varying perceptions of characters, and I really wish I could have loved this the way some of my friends did. Understanding what Clay and Tally went through on a logical and mental level, it makes me feel bad that I couldn’t be as understanding on an emotional level, and found them annoying, to some extent. I liked them, but I didn't love them the way I did the couples in the other books. Sorry, Clay, Tally and Nalini Singh!
I loved the developments in the world that Nalini Singh advanced in this book. We learn some interesting history about the Psy and I loved the story about the “Forgotten”.
I always love the one or two pages that Ms Singh uses to lay the foundation of the world development at the start of each book, before we get into the first chapter and introduced to the featured characters and their story.
I loved the introduction of the new characters in this book, and the moments with the ongoing characters.
I was also very excited to get to Dorian's book! I love Dorian!
I ADORE the alpha couple, Lucas and Sascha, and love the little moments that Nalini Singh includes in the later books, such as this one:
‘Nodding, Lucas pressed the Enter key and sat down in the other armchair. Sascha perched on the arm, leaning into her mate, who slipped an arm around her waist, his hand lying loosely on her hip. It was an easy pose, the pose of a couple that had been together long enough to have created their own patterns, their own secret language.’
My Clay and Tally