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Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Nalini Singh so I like it ... but ... it's lacking a certain something, 7 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Tangle of Need: The Psy-Changeling Series (Psy-Challenging Book 11) (Kindle Edition)
I wish I could give this 3.5 stars rather than 4. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Nalini Singh both this series and her Angels series,I believe completely in her characters and her world. BUT (and it is a big one) somehow this book feels like a fill-in, where the author is just biding her time and getting the story arc together for the next book.

Quick summary - we see Riaz (first seen in Play of Passion) and Adria (Indigo's sister - snape) as the central pair. We also see a lot of Hawke and Sienna (a LOT) and some of Brenna and Judd (quite a lot of 'some') and Drew and Indigo AND Mercy and Riley (and no, I'm giving NO spoilers about any news aboutany of them). While it's lovely to catch up on other members of the packs, we did see a lot (really, a LOT) of the other couples - almost more than the so-called 'central' couple.
This is part of the problem.

There is also the rather splintered story line with the fall of the Psynet: you have Kaleb chasing someone (a 'her' but it's all very mysterious and, to be honest, a bit clumsy); you have Kaleb plotting (again, all very mysterious); you have Ming plotting to get Sienna (more of this later); you have your Pure Psy (again, more later); you have your Human Alliance. It's the weaving together of these story arcs and all the couples that just makes the whole book seem very fragmented - nothing seems completely 'together'.

At the end of the last book Ming seemed to be the eminence grise controlling Henry Scott's grab for power ... now he's totally fixated on Sierra, plots to grab her and then ... he's got rid of but he's swearing revenge. Given the build up of suspense in earlier sections of the book about this, it's all very sudden and rather simplistic.

The whole story arc that started earlier on in the series (Bonds of Justice)with Kaleb looking for someone (personally I suspect it's Alice that he's looking for) is, again, all too mysterious and too unlinked with anything else that happens in the book - which makes it seem like a bolt on and a bit clumsy.

The Pure Psy - in the last book controlled by Henry Scott (and therefore possibly Ming), now controlled by a supposedly dead ex-Arrow who (again supposedly) reports to Scott ... who are now trying to destroy the Psynet by killing anchors - a new designation (A) hinted at in Bonds of Justice (and other books) - but never given a designation of their own. Apparently the Net collapses if the anchors disappear... Hmm...

Again, I love Nalini Singh - her books are autobuys for me - but this feels too disjointed, too bitty and there are some interesting continuity blips... In Play of Passion, Adria is mated but this book doesn't refer to her breaking a mating bond, it does talk about the death of a relationship, but not the breaking of a mating bond. This seems odd. Early books in this series imply that the mating bond is permanent and unavoidable ... now we find out that the mating bond is always the woman's choice and it is a choice. So either side can walk away from it. Again... hmmm... (nope, not giving any spoilers)

So ...
Is the central pairing a good one? Yes
Did I enjoy reading it? Yes
Is it as good as others in the series? No
Major flaw? bitty - doesn't hang together as a whole
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jun 2012 22:30:55 BDT
SS says:
she wasn't mated - that was the weird thing - she was in a long-term relationship but was never mated

Posted on 2 May 2013 12:10:36 BDT
Wilde woman says:
So basically your complaint is that this book ties together the other threads and continues the story, that you didn't understand our just skimmed over the details of changeling mating, and that sneaky, twisty,two-faced politicians who are quite certain to never be doing what anyone thinks they're doing weren't doing what you thought they were???

First of all, Adria was mated but no-one at any point said she was bonded to her mate. Hmmm...... do you think that might be why there was no mention of her breaking a bond?
Breaking a Mating Bond is impossible, that wasn't implied that was stated outright several times. It can be hidden, it can be muted but it can't be broken.

How the mating bond works is stated quite clearly several times in the series;
1 The pair meet and often one or both immediately recognises that they are meant to be together.
2 They have sex and the mating dance starts at which point the male decides if he wants to pursue the female (and whether he wants to tell her that the mating dance has started)
3 Female finds out about mating dance.........
4 Male courts female and she decides whether or not to accept the mating bond

It's not always straight forward because these are people not machines and life is messy, like the couples who were meant to be but never meet or the ones who meet after one is already in a relationship, the couple who mate for love regardless of the bond. Mated couples aren't the same as a bonded pair...... that's why they have different names!
The way that mating works has always allowed for free will, either party could always walk away right up until the point where the bond is formed. If you don't get that they're more than animals driven by instinct they you must have only been reading the dirty bits.
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