Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Shield of Winter
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #13
Hero/Heroine: Vasic & Ivy
Genre: M/F Urban Fantasy
Length: 448 pages
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Available at: Penguin & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.
For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…
Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…
A bit of forewarning: this review is COMPLETELY biased! And will hold a lot of gushing…
Nalini Singh is one of my top favorite M/F writers. I ADORE her writing and I especially adore her Psy-Changeling books. There have been novels in this series I haven’t enjoyed as much as others but ultimately, this is just about THE series for me in the M/F world (that features different couples). So, yeah, I’m a bit biased and, to be honest, I have no idea where to even START with writing this review.
Simply put, I LOVED IT. Caressed by Ice, which is Judd & Brenna’s story and book 3 in this series, has been my absolutely favorite for YEARS but holy shit, I think Judd just got pushed to the side by Vasic! At least, it’s a tie of which hero I love more in this series right now! These Psy who are Arrows, OMG, they are just torture city with themselves but they always seem to have a heart of gold buried under all that frost. And that’s one of my weaknesses! GAH!
Okay, a little about the story: With Silence broken, the PsyNet is being invaded by a disease that is infecting a majority of the Psy at an increasing rate; a disease caused by trying to smother the E-Psy from their abilities. Now, with the discovery that the empaths may be needed more than ever, a group of Arrows are tasked with overseeing an experiment with the empaths. Vasic, a well-respected Arrow, is paired with Ivy, a high-Gradient level empath, who’s past ‘treatment’ has left her damaged. The interactions between not just Ivy and Vasic, but other E-Psy and Arrows, form unexpected bonds, especially in the very creatures that are the epitome of ‘Silence’. It doesn’t take long for those bonds to become unbreakable. Before long, multiple violent attacks caused by the disease force the Arrows and E-Psy to take their abilities to help the public. Unfortunately, the E-Psy are just starting to wake and their abilities are as untrained as ever. With the violent attacks caused by the Psy illness and panic ensuing in the public, can Ivy and Vasic stop the mayhem occurring or will the mistakes of the past happen again?
Alright, alright, that was a really crappy description because, really, this book is HEAVY in romance and my little recap just barely touches on that. But I wanted to show that this book deals a lot with not only a developing and sustaining romance between Vasic and Ivy but also the troubles with the Psy. Where in the past there were conflicts with the shifters AND the Psy, this book is mostly just about the Psy. YES, we still get to see our favorite shifters (Hawke anyone?!) but this one is focused on the issues with the Psy and finding solutions to the issues that have been developing throughout this whole series.
Vasic, as an Arrow, needs Silence to keep his deadly Psy abilities in check. Without having such a tight leash on his powers, he’d be unpredictable. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that stops him from realizing he’s killed people in the past that were completely innocent. He’s an assassin but he still feels remorse… even if he doesn’t realize it’s remorse he feels. His life has pushed him to almost the breaking point with him on the last thread of his sanity… until he meets Ivy. Immediately, the young empath soothes his fragmented soul and calms his heart, bringing out a fierce need to protect and possess along with it. Where Ivy settles Vasic, though, Vasic helps Ivy find her destiny and gives her the opportunity to realize what she is capable of, giving her the chance to FINALLY find out WHO she is and HOW she can help everyone.
The two together are SO HOT! I LOVED them. Vasic is such a mess and I ADORED that about him. Ivy is all soft, sweetness mixed with Vasic’s cold, hardness. They balance each other out in more ways than one. But most of all, they both hold such a FIERCENESS for the other that it made me fall in love with them over and over. It made me sad when they came across obstacles that blocked their ability to have a future and it made me WEEP when those obstacles proved almost too high to overcome. OMG, THE TEARS! I’m not ashamed to say I shed a few tears for this couple. I mean, how could I not?! They broke my heart!
*cough* I could go on and on about this book, this couple and what they have to go through but I’m going to stop myself here. Vasic and Ivy have definitely wormed their way into my heart. I’ll say it over and over: I loved this book. It brought out so many emotions in me but it also showed a great balance between the romance and the progression of the conflict/suspense/action interspersed in the story. It was PHENOMENAL.
Nalini’s taking the Psy-Changeling series into a whole new light and I honestly can’t wait to see where it goes from here… but I really hope we get Aden’s book soon! He needs one ASAP! If you love this series then you’ll definitely enjoy this book 🙂
Overall Impression: It was amazing!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*