SHIELD OF WINTER - Nalini Singh
Psy-Changeling , Book 13
It is the dawn of a new era – an era without Silence. For one hundred years, the Psy race has existed in Silence, taught from a young age not to feel emotion because at one time the Psy who were unable to control their psychic gifts became sociopathic or psychotic. But the Silence Protocol was not perfect, actually making it easier for sociopaths and psychopaths to hide. A growing infection within PsyNet has caused massive global disruption and was instrumental in causing Silence to Fall. The infection remains, causing violent outbreaks around the world with Psy killing indiscriminately. Councilor Kaleb Krychek believes the only hope of saving the Psy race lies with a Psy designation that was almost completely wiped out at the beginning of Silence. The Empaths.
Ivy Jane's Silence has always been fractured. At sixteen she was bombarded with so many emotions that she voluntarily went through Rehabilitation, but it almost killed her. As a result, her parents uprooted their lives, moving to an isolated community of Psy who live off the radar. The arrival of an Arrow in her orchard is frightening at first, but when he explains the offer as well as her Psy designation, Ivy's life seems so much clearer. She no longer sees herself as flawed, but as an E-Psy, someone who is supposed to feel emotions. Ivy has the opportunity to meet Sascha Duncan and learn more about Empaths, as well as be given a purpose: figure out how to stop the infection in the PsyNet from spreading.
Vasic is an Arrow, trained from a young age to be an assassin for the Council with the primary goal of keeping Silence at any cost. A protector at heart, learning that some of his missions had little to do with Silence and more to do with a Councilor's personal ambitions, Vasic believes himself beyond hope or redemption, but wants peace for his fellow Arrows. He's aware that Aden has assigned him to the Empath experiment to pull him back from the edge of insanity, and he hopes that he'll be of some help to the Empaths, especially Ivy. He sees the strength in her that even Ivy isn't sure she has, and believes that if anyone is to figure out how to save the Psy, it will be Ivy and those like her. The more time Vasic spends with Ivy, the more the man who sees no future for himself begins to want one.
Fans of the Psy-Changeling series will be thrilled to finally have Vasic's story, SHIELD OF WINTER. A background character in several stories, the deadly Arrow is coldly Silent and has followed the orders given to him, for to disobey means pain. The betrayal of the Councilors, Ming LeBon in particular, has damaged Vasic, and he wants nothing more than to stabilize the PsyNet before his death. Ivy is not something he could ever have imagined, and slowly but surely she breaks through the icy reserve of the Arrow to the man beneath. Learning that she's an Empath has explained so much to Ivy about her life, and with the Fall of Silence and her new designation, she embraces her emotions and everything life has to offer.
The thirteenth novel in the series, I wouldn't recommend starting with this book, as so much has taken place throughout the series that leads up to where we are now. The world Nalini Singh has built is harsh and currently a bit chaotic, which makes Ivy and Vasic falling in love in the middle of this all the more amazing. Pairing up a man who has been trained not to feel emotion with a woman whose psychic gift is to feel emotion creates a fascinating romance, and that romance is set against the backdrop of a world seemingly coming apart at the seams with an entire race of people on the brink of extinction.
A book that captivates from the very first page and keeps you riveted throughout, I've awarded SHIELD OF WINTER a Perfect 10. The reality that the Psy have lived with for all of their lives has changed, and they need to learn how to adapt. An infection in PsyNet is killing not just Psy but humans and changelings caught in the middle when a violent outbreak occurs, and yet in the middle of all of this, two people find love…and hope.