Most helpful critical review
"Psy-Changeling" series book 6
on 14 August 2011
For the first time in this futuristic romance series, it is 2 shape shifters that take a lead role; Mercy a sentinel in the DarkRiver leopard pack and Riley, a lieutenant in the SnowDancer wolf pack. With 2 alpha's butting heads for dominance, it's a rough ride ahead for Mercy and Riley especially considering their deep loyalties to their individual packs. Add to the plot the further machinations of both the Human Alliance and the Psy Council and this book should have been a fantastic read.
"Branded By Fire" is good, but when compared to its exceptional predecessors, it didn't quite have the same level of oomph to the story line. This isn't down to a lack of action (there's plenty that both Riley and Mercy tackle head on) or a lack of passion (there's plenty of heat generated between the leading lovers) but to the change of direction this series has taken. I find myself with a slight bias as I preferred the dynamics found in the previous Psy/Changeling and Human/Changeling relationships rather than Changeling/Changeling. The relationship between Riley and Mercy is one of the hottest so far, but there lacks the level of romance found in previous books. In fact Mercy initially comes across as someone needing an itch scratched and her leopard recognises Riley's wolf as aggressive enough to relieve it.
I like the direction this series is taking. There are plenty of characters that remain ambivalent, established bad guys that may be covertly helping the good guys out and additional Changeling species introduced. "Branded By Fire" isn't the bad apple in the "Psy-Changeling" applecart; I just didn't find it such a tasty treat as "Slave to Sensation" or "Visions of Heat". 3.5 stars