So this is a first for me, reviewing an entire series instead of just one book at a time. But I figured since the Psy-Changeling series is a series (12 books and counting!), it would be easier for me to just gush about the series as a whole and make short reviews for each book. And this adult, paranormal romance series is the. best. I honestly had no idea I would fall this much in love with it, but I did, and I’m now such a huge fan of Nalini Singh. The only thing I don’t like about the series are the awful covers. I really, really don’t like them. Heart of Obsidian is the only cover I love (well, maybe Kiss of Snow too *cough* beautiful abs *cough*), but I’m so glad they revamped the book covers later. But whatever, who cares about the covers? It’s what’s on the inside that counts, and oh my god, this series is just one of my absolute favorites that I will never get tired of. I trust whatever Nalini Singh throws at us in future Psy-Changeling books.
Here’s a little bit about the Psy-Changeling series:
It is the year 2079, and there are 3 kinds of beings that exist in the Psy-Changeling world: humans, Psy, and Changelings. Humans are, obviously, just normal human beings. The Psy are like humans, except they have powers like telepathy, telekinesis, foresight, and a whole wide range of other powers, and they are under a regime called Silence. Changelings are the shifters, people who can shift into animals like wolves, leopards, hawks, rats, etc.
Silence is a huge part of the series. All Psy are under Silence (implemented in 1979), which means they have cut off all feelings, so they don’t feel any emotions, not love, happiness, sadness, lust, anger, fear, etc. The Council are the leaders of the Psy who are in charge of making sure Silence is maintained. However, Silence is breaking. Slowly, the Psy have been feeling more and more, and the Psy-Changeling series tells the ongoing story of the Psy learning to love again, and all humans, changeling, and Psy working together.
The series focuses on two changeling packs: the DarkRiver leopards and the SnowDancer wolves.
The first book of the Psy-Changeling series completely hooked me in. I wouldn’t have had the motivation to continue and finish the rest of the 12 books if I hadn’t loved Slave to Sensation. But I did end up loving it so much, and Lucas and Sascha’s story is one of my favorites of the series. It’s currently my third favorite book in this series. Lucas is the alpha of his DarkRiver leopard pack, centered in San Fransisco, and when he meets Sascha, sparks fly, even though it seems she has no feelings because she’s Psy. So Lucas slowly worms his way into Sascha’s heart and shows her how to feel and eventually, love. I love Lucas so much, his fierceness, strength, and capacity to love; he’s the main reason why I loved Slave to Sensation so much, though Sascha can hold her own too. I highly, highly recommend reading Slave to Sensation! Who knows, you might end up reading the entire series and loving it like I did!
After reading a fantastic first book of the series, I was pretty disappointed with the second. I’m not even sure why I didn’t love it as much as the first. I just couldn’t get into it and there was too much information to take in. Vaughn is part of Lucas’s leopard pack, even though he’s a jaguar. He meets Faith, who is an F-Psy, a Psy capable of predicting the future, in her secluded home. Because of her powers, Faith is slowly losing her mind, and a serial killer is on the loose. Their relationship starts off more wary than Lucas and Sascha’s, since both Vaughn and Faith are closeted people, but of course, they still end up falling for each other, and their story is a bit slower, but sweet. I couldn’t connect much with either of the main characters, so Visions of Heat is my least favorite of the series. Still, it’s worth a read, since it’s Nalini Singh! She creates such a fleshed-out world that is so believable.
We finally get more in depth with the SnowDancer wolf pack, the leopards’ neighbors and tentative allies. Judd is a former Arrow, a Psy who is a trained assassin. He and his family have escaped Silence and are seeking refuge with the wolves. Brenna is a wolf changeling, and was nearly killed by the hands of a serial killer. She is haunted by her kidnapping, and though she has 2 overprotective brothers, it’s Judd who brings her out of her shell. And even though Judd is cold and unfeeling, which is necessary to hold back his powers to keep from hurting others, Brenna still manages to work her way under his skin and into his heart. Going into this, I was hoping that it would be as good as Slave to Sensation, since I was disappointed with the second book. And Nalini Singh didn’t disappoint! I didn’t particularly like Judd too much in the beginning, but he grew on me, and Brenna is just a fantastic heroine. I didn’t love it, but it was still very enjoyable! I think I ended up loving Judd even more in the subsequent books.
I was so, so glad that Mine to Possess was incredible! I wasn’t sure if I could love any other books in the series, but Mine to Possess just blew me away. Plus, it’s got one of my favorite types of romances: childhood sweethearts! Although it’s not as simple as that. Clay (who is half-leopard, half-human) and Talin grew up together with humans, but in abusive homes. The only solace they found was in each other, which was so sweet! But then something horrible happens, and Clay thinks Talin died. Of course, everything changes once they reunite. And Clay, hot damn, once he sees Talin again, he decides he wants her, forever, and won’t lose her again. Alpha male alert! Although, technically, pretty much ALL the Psy-Changeling heroes are alpha males, but Clay is pretty high up there. Maybe not as much as the actual Alphas, like Lucas and Hawke, but still! *squeals* I absolutely loved Clay and Talin’s story. Their pasts are sad and painful, but they’re able to find a future with each other, and I loved seeing them get their HEA.
I was SO exited to read Dorian’s story, since I loved seeing him in previous books. His leopard is dormant, meaning he can’t shift. He’s the good-looking changeling, but underneath those good looks is an angry man. His sister was tortured and killed by a Psy, and the last thing he wants is to fall for one. But he does-he can’t help it! He slowly gets to know Ashaya, a medical Psy, sees the intelligence and strength and love she has in her, and can’t help but fall in love with her. But Ashaya doesn’t need any complications with her love life, since her whole life centers around her beloved son. Her love for her son is beautiful, and Dorian sees that. Their happily ever after was so satisfying and sweet-and the ending! Perfect.
Branded by Fire is the first changeling-changeling book in the Psy-Changeling series! And of course it had to happen between changelings of packs that could not be more different: leopards and wolves. I had high expectations for this, and Nalini didn’t disappoint. It was fantastic reading about two head-strong, take-charge, dominant changelings falling in love. Riley has super protective tendencies, as an older brother to Brenna and Drew (who gets his own book!). But Mercy doesn’t want or need Riley’s protection, and the two go head-to-head arguing about this. And I loved the humor in this book; I’m pretty sure Branded by Fire was the funniest book out of all 12 books. I loved everything about this book, and another good thing about it was Hawke! We get to see more of the SnowDancer Alpha, since Riley is his second-in-command, and Hawke is… *fans self* I was getting SO psyched for his book, especially since by Branded by Fire, I had an inkling of who would be his mate….
I’d thought that I wouldn’t enjoy Blaze of Memory very much, because, psh, no changeling main characters! But alas, Nalini smacked me in the head with this next installment of the Psy-Changeling series. I loved it. I loved Dev, who was an alpha male through and through, even being human, and Katya, who was a great counterpart to him. She’s lost all her memory, so she has no idea who she is. Their relationship was doomed from the start, but no! They fight for their love, and they fight for each other. They love each other fiercely, and their romance was perfect. I missed seeing the changelings (who will forever be in my heart), but we do get to see glimpses of them, since the author connects and intertwines all the characters and stories so perfectly well.
Another human-Psy pairing! While Blaze of Memory was great, Bonds of Justice blew me away. I loved loved Max! We’d previously met him in Mine to Possess, and I had wondered if he would be getting his own book, and he did! He’s a cop, but a unique one: he has a natural mental shield that protects him from Psy powers. On one of his cases, he gets paired with Sophia, a Justice-Psy, who has the power to retrieve memories, and uses this power on criminals. Max and Sophia are perfect for each other! Max is probably the sweetest, most romantic of all the Psy-Changeling heroes, at least to me he is. I loved his nicknames for Sophia, and the sweet notes he left her. *sighs* I fell completely in love with Max, who can definitely hold his own against the alpha male leopards and wolves!
Play of Passion is the first book to have a changeling pair from the same pack! Drew (brother of Riley and Brenna) is a couple of years younger than the woman he’s in love with, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing her. Indigo only sees him as a younger man who she shouldn’t be seeing romantically. But Drew is the pack’s tracker, and he doesn’t give up easily. I loved getting back to the changelings, who I’d missed, and Drew and Indigo’s story was fantastic! Honestly, I would have given Play of Passion 4 hearts though, if it wasn’t for HAWKE!!! Though Indigo and Drew get center stage, and I loved reading their story, what made the book perfect was the build-up of anticipation. Because Hawke was finally getting his story told next. And oh my. I was insanely excited for it, because I knew that it would be p e r f e c t.
God. This book. I had been waiting FOREVER for it. Ever since Hawke appeared in the first book, I was desperate to know his story. And it didn’t help that all the past books were all building up to Kiss of Snow. The anticipation was killing me! And oh. my. god. Hawke and Sienna’s story was bloody a m a z i n g. It’s currently my second favorite book of the series, although at the time I finished reading it, it was my top favorite. Because, hello? Hawke is one sexy mofo. *swoon* I don’t even know how to explain how much I love him, but know that I just do. I was SO happy that he finally FINALLY (GOSH NALINI, MAKING US WAIT NINE BOOKS) was getting his HEA. Because he definitely deserves it, even though he believes that he can’t love. His would-have-been mate was killed when she was a child, so he never believed he could find another mate. But then comes along Sienna, and things start heating up. She’s 19 years old in Kiss of Snow, and yes, there’s a bit of an age gap, but she’s definitely not a child. She’s an X-Psy, the deadliest and most dangerous of all Psy designations, and because of this, she’s had to grow up at a young age. The tension and anticipation between Hawke and Sienna is perfect. I think I would have been annoyed if it were any other characters, but Hawke and Sienna needed time before anything could happen, so I understood why it took so long for them to have a HEA. Doesn’t mean that I was happy about the long wait though! But Nalini Singh never does wrong, and Hawke and Sienna got a perfect romance. The ending was intense, but I loved it! And p.s. I totally knew what Hawke’s last name was!
Okay, so maybe it’s not fair that I loved Tangle of Need and Play of Passion because Hawke and Sienna were part of it, but I can’t help it! I can’t help that I get all happy and giddy every time Hawke and Sienna are mentioned. Not that I didn’t love Riaz and Adria’s story too! Their romance was so sweet and charming. But it didn’t start out that way. Riaz, a lone wolf, has found his mate, but she is already in love with and married to another man. Tangle of Need addresses the issue of whether it was possible to love someone who wasn’t your mate. Both Adria and Riaz are scared of possibly loving again, but when they do love, it’s the most beautiful thing imaginable. My absolute favorite part was at the end, when they’re at the park, and they finally accept that even though they will never be mates, they love each other, and that’s all that matters. Like, I said, so sweet! *happy sigh*
I can say that I L O V E D Heart of Obsidian with all my heart. It’s my ABSOLUTE favorite of all 12 books. And one of my favorite books of all time. I couldn’t imagine loving a book more than Kiss of Snow, but of course Nalini would prove me wrong. I went straight from Tangle of Need to Heart Of Obsidian, not knowing anything, but hoping, hoping, the main hero would be who I thought it was. Especially because of Tangle of Need’s ending. And YES. IT WAS. And I was SO happy, because I never expected him to get his own book, even though I really wanted one. So after 11 books, we finally get his story, and I’ll just say that it was incredible. I read somewhere that Nalini thought Heart of Obsidian was the most romantic of the Psy-Changeling books, and I have to agree. The hero completely stole my heart. His love, faithfulness, loyalty and fierce protectiveness for the heroine was so beautiful (not to mention hot!). And the heroine was fantastic too. So tough and resilient, and perfect for the hero. But not only was the book romantic, it was also a huge game-changer for the series and Psy-Changeling world. *Spoiler* I LOVE YOU KALEB SO DAMN MUCH **SOBS** His and Sahara’s story was so heartbreaking, I wanted to cry. And for Kaleb to do everything, for her… that their love never died even after 7 years… *swoon* DAMN YOU KALEB! Why do you have to be so perfect!?! *End Spoiler*
Nalini Singh is the goddess of paranormal romance. Going on a Psy-Changeling marathon was the best decision ever. I love this series so much, and after 12 books, it’s like I know nearly every character so well. I love that there are recurring characters, that their stories never really end with their book. I’m so insanely excited for book 13, because it’s going to be *Spoiler* Vasic’s *End Spoiler* story! Can’t wait to find out who the heroine will be! All we know is that she’s a new character… So boo to all the Aden & Vasic fans.