on 6 April 2008
I bought this book after reading the other reviews. I am a fan of JR Ward and thought that there could'nt be another author out there with such flair for a story that is within a story. I was wrong and stand in awe of Nalini Singh. I now not only own this one but have hurriedly purchased the others in the series. My husband and dog are having to fend for themselves, because as soon as I finished one I picked up the next. Well done to all those other reviewers without whom this author would have been missed by me.
on 4 February 2007
Slave to Sensation is an alternative history paranormal, set in the year 2079 on an Earth populated by three races: the Psy - emotionless and cold, the shapeshifting Changelings who rely on their animal instincts, and humans.
From the moment that Lucas Hunter (Changeling) and Sascha Duncan (Psy) meet there is a chemistry between them that fairly leaps off the page. This causes conflict as Lucas is a creature of instinct and sensation, whilst Sascha must maintain a facade of logic and efficiency at all costs.
Although it is the love story between Lucas and Sascha that is the driving force behind the narrative. The reason this book works so well is because you can immerse yourself in the world that Nalini Singh has created. The dynamics of both pack (Changeling) and Psy life are well-explained and the book is populated with interesting characters that give the story an added depth. And at the same time leave you wanting to know more about them. :)
One of the things I like is that it's made clear that both species are equally capable of brutality. Psy who don't conform to the acceptable standards of the Silence live with the constant threat of rehabilitation (mind-wiping) at the Center. Whilst the Changelings live under a territorial law that can erupt into violence. However, the reader does come down on the side of the Changeling way of life with its emphasis on family and pack.
There are one or two slips, but when the standard of storytelling is this high, they are easily forgiven. This is one of the best paranormals I've read and I would rank it with J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood as one of my favourite series. Visions of Heat (Book 2) is released in March 2007
on 31 December 2006
Sascha Duncan is a member of a race known for their emotional detachment, cold precision and deadly sharp minds. Only Sascha isn't like other Psy. She feels powerful emotion and she grows worried she may soon not be able to repress the building surge. A business meeting with changeling Lucas Hunter, the alpha of the DarkRiver leopards, lures her even closer to the edge of certain discovery. As she is assigned as the Psy contact for the ensuing project Lucas's company takes on, she soon begins to fear grave repercussions from her people.
Lucas feels something different about Sascha--she's not like other Psy. It doesn't take long for the dominant male to begin asserting his blatant interest in her in traditionally pack ways. Could her mysterious differences be the key his and a rival pack's have been looking for? A serial killer has targeted changeling women, and the packs believe the killer to be Psy. As a Psy with connections amongst her race, Sascha will become the only saving grace in a race against time to stop two opposing groups on the brink of war. Her and Lucas's efforts will bring them to some shocking realizations as well as some heated and sensually stimulating encounters.
The first impression of this romance was that it combined an awesome feel of not only paranormal elements, but sci-fi as well. Lucas's pack dynamics will ring somewhat similar to other paranormal romances, while having their own unique qualities at the same time, most notably their love for one another and family dynamics. The chilling addition of the Psy brings to mind a more futuristic sense with their sparse and utilitarian lifestyles. There are some very interesting twists to the plot that makes good use of the pacing throughout the book, making for a very hard to put down read. Sascha is a heroine readers may sympathize with in her plight to become fully herself, while Lucas is so wonderfully sexy in his concern for her welfare. Look for the sequel, Visions of Heat (March 6, 2007) about Psy member Faith NightStar and changeling Vaugn D'Angelo.
I'm a big fan of Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series so it was about time I finally got around to starting the Psy-Changeling books! I have to say I was impressed and I think this has the potential to become my favourite out of the two series. I loved the world that Nalini has created, you have two very different races who have pretty much the opposite outlooks and are struggling to live alongside each other. The Psy have incredible psychic abilities, from mind reading all the way through to telekinetic powers (although I'm sure there are even more types that we are yet to discover). As a race they have been trained not to feel any kind of emotions, they are supposed to be ruled purely by logic and anyone who shows the slightest hint of emotional behaviour will have their personality brutally wiped out at a rehabilitation centre. The Changelings on the other hand are ruled by their feelings, they work hard and play harder and nothing is more important to them than the bonds between pack and family - the Psy don't even develop close relationships with their parents or siblings.
Our main characters for this instalment are Psy Sasha and Changeling Lucas. Sasha has always known how different she is from the other Psy and learnt from a young age to keep her feelings closely hidden - even from her mother who would never understand her behaviour. As the daughter of an important Council member Sasha knows more than most just how dangerous it would be if anyone found out just how different she is and she knows that not even her mother would protect her if she is discovered. Lucas is the alpha of the DarkRiver Leopard pack and he is working to track down the Psy who has been brutally murdering Changeling women. The latest victim was a member of his pack and he will do whatever it takes to make them pay, even if that does mean working with Sasha and trying to use her to get the information he needs.
I absolutely adored this book, I loved the world building, I'm fascinated by the Psys (although I wouldn't want to be one!) and I always enjoy reading about different kinds of shapeshifters. Above all I loved the relationship between Sasha and Lucas, Nalini Singh takes the time to develop their relationship slowly and I enjoyed every minute of it. The way Lucas cares for his pack is heart warming but it was so good to see the way he began to care for Sasha and how determined he was to protect her and keep her safe from harm. Sasha had never been allowed to freely express herself so she finds it hard to even understand all the emotions that Lucas brings out in her, she instinctively knows how to love but she is so used to locking all her feelings away that she finds it hard to express herself. Lucas never pushes her beyond what she is prepared to give though, he understands how hard it is for her and he teaches her how to care for him and his packmates. One of my favourite things about the couple was the banter between them and when you have conversations like the one below it is very hard not to laugh out loud:
"I could turn your mind to mush if I wanted"
"But then who'd lick you to orgasm?"
Slave to Sensation was a fantastic start to the Psy-Changeling series and one that has left me very excited to find out more. We have been introduced to a great range of side characters so I'm happy that each book focuses on a different couple but I'm also interested to see how the ongoing storyline of the political relationship between the Psy and Changeling races will play out. If Nalini Singh wasn't already on my list of favourite authors this would have earned her a place there so if you haven't read any of her books before then you really should do as soon as possible!
There are three races in the world - humans, simplest and weakest; Changelings, strong half-human, half-animal; and Psy, cold, cerebral rulers of the world. Sascha Duncan is a rare Cardinal, a Psy whose mind-powers exceed all classifications. As the daughter of one of the ruling Council, her importance should have been beyond doubt. Except Sascha is flawed. Her Cardinal powers remain undeveloped and undetected, and she's starting to feel things. Which in a race that conditions all emotions out of themselves from early childhood, can only mean one thing - once her shields crack, and others realise, her mind and personality will be wiped out.
As the alpha of an important leopard Changeling pack, Lucas Hunter knows all about being in control. So when the brutal murder of a pack mate threatens his world, he's determined to find the culprit. But the killer is Psy, and the Council deny that any such violence could be caused by their perfect, unfeeling race. In his quest to root out the monster the Council is protecting, Lucas will stop at nothing to complete his hunt. Even if it means getting up close and personal with one of the enemy.
For those new to the PSY-CHANGELING world, (getting a long deserved UK release) it is one of the best paranormal romance series out there. Nalini Singh has created a detailed, complex world based around an alternate San Francisco, filled with powerful, sexy men and strong, sensual women. As Sascha proves when she struggles to cope in a world that rejects everything she is, while fighting her attraction to the passionate and protective Lucas. With the close-knit, affectionate Changelings versus the mysterious, cold and fascinating Psy, there is a lot to enjoy here, even beyond the compelling romance as the two groups move closer to all out war.
If you're tired of the over population of vampires, demons and slayers in the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres, but you enjoy excellent storytelling with well-developed characters, give Nalini Singh a try. You won't be disappointed.
on 11 November 2006
I enjoyed this book because, despite featuring werewolves and other shapeshifters, it was unlike any other shapeshifter book I have read. In `Slave To Sensation' Nalini Singh describes a world where there are three classes of people - the humans, the shapeshifters and the Psy. The Psy are those with psychic talents who, 100 years previously, made a pact to detach themselves from all emotions in order to become more perfect people. The Psy consider themselves above the humans and shapeshifters and keep themselves mostly separate from the others - it's like a sub-group of people like Mr Spock. Their culture is one of lack of emotion, no touch, no fear or pain and no crime.
Or is it? Sascha Duncan is a Cardinal Psy, theoretically one of the most powerful of the Psy group and visibly marked by her special eyes. Everyone can see that she is a Cardinal and yet she doesn't seem to have the requisite huge psychic power. She can feel that her life is coming apart, her barriers to emotion are crumbling and she knows that when her mother Nikita or anyone else on the Psy Council realise this they will give her, in effect, a lobotomy. She's desperately trying to hide her Psy problems from them for as long as possible.
Lucas Hunter is a shapeshifter Panther who finds himself in a business relationship with Sascha and her mother. He has an ulterior motive for the business link - he is trying to investigate a serial killer of shapeshifter women who is definitely one of the Psy; perhaps Sascha is his chance to learn more about the Psy and to find the killer through her.
However, pretty soon their close contact with each other starts to erode the barriers between them and their mutual suspicions. It seems that they must work together, and with the local werewolf clan, to try to find out who the killer is - but Sascha knows that it will cause her death and Lucas begins to think that's too big a sacrifice.
This book was a really good read - the gradual thawing of Sascha's Mr Spock personality was very touchingly written. Lucas is, of course, an Alpha male and fulfils all the required alpha male stereotypes in this genre of book but he also comes across as caring and intelligent. The hunt for the serial killer, although not an overwhelming part of the story (and the villain not particularly surprising), is well plotted. The descriptions of Sascha's travels in the Psy world are interesting and well thought through.
The final pages of the book are a preview to a new book, `Visions Of Heat' to be released in 2007 which evidently follows on from `Slave To Sensation' - and it's a book that I'll be buying.
on 18 June 2008
...It was so predictable (hence three stars). I chose this book because of the reviews and thought it was worth a go. I'd read one of Ms Singh's short stories and thought this might be a little - well - 'more'.
I did like the book and fell in lust with the passionate 'Alpha Male Panther/Leopard/Man' Lucas Hunter from the outset (he's so hot!) and the chemistry between him and Sascha, the 'Spock-like' Psy was great, particularly as they were supposed to be polar opposites. I also liked some of the secondary 'pack' characters - especially Kit, Vaughn and Tamsyn.
I read it in a day and a bit because it's easy to read promised lots of heat. However, for me, it failed to deliver. Perhaps it's because I've been spoiled by J R Ward, Angela Knight and Sherrilyn Kenyon. The story centres around a series of murders - and I knew who it was the moment the character was introduced. The action and sex scenes could have been much more descriptive but they didn't quite come to the boil.
Ms Singh is a very good writer but could have done so much more with her storyline. She could easily be ranked alongside the likes of Knight and Kenyon if she just opened up a bit more.
This book makes for an okay read but, for me, it was a bit like making room for my favourite dessert in my favourite restaurant, only to find it's off the menu.
on 8 February 2011
This was not only my introduction to Nalini Singh's excellent Psy-Changeling world, but probably the first paranormal romance I'd read. And what a place to start!
I was quickly blown away by the world she's created, so similar to our own, yet so different. How I want a Lucas in my life... sigh...
Needless to say, I gobbled this book in a couple of days and eagerly raced for the second in the series.
I am a complete convert.
on 3 December 2010
I am very late in coming to the Nalini Singh books, but they keep coming up on my Amazon recommends list so I have finally given them a try.
I found the world that she has created for this series fascinating. I love the contrast between the Psy and the Changelings and I was interested to find out more about how they interact. It was a very good premise to have a Psy character who has been hiding her imperfections from the rest of her race for some time. The Psy are well-written. Their coldness and lack of emotion really comes off the page when you are reading. Similarly the warmth and family orientated attitude of the Changelings is clear to the reader. Lucas is the perfect domineering male shape-shifter character and Sascha is well-written as a cold Psy who secretly feels emotion.
Where the book falls down is the large amount of "glossing over" that Ms Singh is keen on. Lucas and Sascha's relationship happens before your eyes but has little or no explanation throughout. At the end, I had no real idea what sort of relationship they were having. The contrast between Lucas' world and what Sascha is used to is touched upon but not expanded in any detail. We have no clue as to how the sudden change affects her. There is some heat between the characters but nothing to get excited about. I was interested in them but I wasn't really willing them to get together which is surely the point of the book?
In short, I think that this is okay for the beginning of a series and an interesting world has been created. However, I would expect a great deal more from any future books in the series. There particularly needs to be a lot more detail in the relationships between all the characters. This was far too brief in that regard. If you are used to the way other writers in this genre write their characters' relationships and emotions (Kresley Cole, JRWard, Gena Showalter for eg) then you will find this sadly lacking in detail. A good start but serious room for improvement.
NB/ Kindle buyers- this Kindle version does not have any major problems with formatting or typos etc :)
on 27 May 2008
It is the year 2079 and the world is populated by three races, Human, Psy and Changelings. It is the Psy that dominate with their cold, calculated ways but even in their emotionless world darkness can still hide.
The DarkRiver pack has formed an alliance with the SnowDancer pack to gain more strength so they can make a fist to the Psy and the influence they have on the world in general. Now the Psy Sascha, as a member of the Duncan family, will co-operate in a business venture with the DarkRiver pack and their Alpha, Lucas Hunter.
They both have ulterior motives but as the panther in Lucas notices the difference in Sascha from the other Psy it is intrigued and Sascha cannot hide what she considers to be a flaw in her design. Much is stirred to life as the hunt for a murderer continues...
SLAVE TO SENSATION is the first entry in to the Psy-Changeling series of Nalini Singh and it nails you to the couch with a sheer enthralling read of this new world. It is where I got to meet this group of characters that only made me instantly hunger for each and every story. I was a compass needle spinning out of control for the pack members whom each growled with a past that needs further exploring.
Still, as I got drawn in to the tale of SLAVE TO SENSATION it is Lucas and Sascha that give me glimpses of both their worlds. It speaks of calculated reasoning versus vibrant feelings and the duality of it delivers a spine tingling story that demands your attention from first till last word. Sascha is at a loss with herself, she knows she is flawed and doesn't know how much longer she can hold her shields up. Then there is Lucas with his scarred past. He triggers all that is forbidden for Sascha and quickens the moment that her flaws are exposed to the Psy-Net where each Psy is linked to.
The dynamics between Lucas and Sascha are both scorching as they are endearing. Sascha is in conflict with herself and as she is raised Psy deals with this in logic and reason. But the answers do not lie in logic and reason and this fact creates a compelling heroine! You will encourage her in every step on her journey as you root for her boldness regarding Lucas. Lucas on the other hand is all emotion, he is the Alpha and there is no mistake about it. He is sure of his qualities which of course give him the arrogance to match but in the end he will lay his life down for the pack. The cubs and females are to be treasured above all and the bond with a life-mate is sacred.
Though there is an aggressive animalistic side to him, there is also a soul rendering moment of Lucas in the forest where he honors his parents that speaks more than a thousand words. This is something that Nalini Singh superbly envisioned, the merge of human and beast. The combination of skin privilege, pack structure or even their playful natures, everything is integrated but still they also have human like qualities.
It all portrays such a life-like changeling race that it makes me devour each aspect of it. And not only the changeling race was shaped and envisioned with aspects any reader can emphasize with. It is the cold and aloof ways of the Psy world that counters with the Changeling and Human world. Never can one truly master or dominate the other and a battle has begun that only makes me very eager, awaiting for the next installment in this series that will arrive by mail.
With, SLAVE TO SENSATION, Nalini Singh has given the reader a story with plot wise many layers that makes you want to unravel it all. An electrifying love between Lucas and Sascha that makes the heart sigh in content and an secondary cast of family and friends that make you more than eager to find out what this author holds in store for us next!
If you want to try out a new paranormal series, let your choice be Nalini Singh with her first entry in her Psy-Changeling series: SLAVE TO SENSATION!
Reviewed by Leontine
Courtesy of Realms On Our Bookshelves