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Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Slave to Sensation (Psy/Changelings #1) by Nalini Singh
Paranormal Romance, Futuristic, Psychic, Shapeshifters
Mass Market $7.99 (352 pages, BERKLEY)
Ebook $7.99
Audiobook $29.99

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Author Site: www.nalinisingh.com

A smooth blend of futuristic worldbuilding and paranormal romance (4 stars)

Shut off from their emotions for decades the cold, logical Psy lord over the human and Changeling population. But they are not as flawless as they seem. Sascha Duncan has seen the secrets that set her apart from her Psy brethren, knows of the mystery of how she is different but not why. When she is asked to learn the secrets of the Changelings as she works together with one of their leaders on a housing project little does she know that her whole world is about to change.

A Psy has been murdering Changeling women in a most brutal, efficient manner. As the leader of the DarkRiver leopard pack, Lucas Hunter, wants to use Sascha to figure out who the murderer is. When it becomes clear that Sascha is unique among her kind his inner animal wants her. As the icy facade she has struggled to hide behind to protect herself from her own kind crumbles she may discover more about herself and the Psy than she's bargained for and Lucas may not be able to protect her.

Having sampled an anthology short or two from the Psy/Changeling world I've been looking forward to finally giving this popular series a try. I can't say that I was madly wooed by this first installment but I did enjoy it. I really love the world Singh has built, there's something a little Spock-ish about the Psy but contrasting them with the touchy-feely Changelings is a brilliant plot device. My only real big beef was the confusing PsyNet stuff. I'm not even sure I can explain it for the sake of the review, imagine the internet if it was all brains (not physically but mentally) connecting to one another instead of computers. Almost hive-minded but not. Yeah, it was confusing... cool conceptually but confusing to understand how it worked.

Sascha and Lucas have a pretty good romance but he felt very generic to me. Sascha on the otherhand was great, I loved the outsider experiences she went through and was really pleased that she was multiracial. While Lucas did feel a little cookie-cutter to me as a reader the dream scenes the two shared were pretty sexy and the dialog within them was really amusing. The things the two go through to catch the murderer moved along fairly nice pace-wise but I was frustrated at how obvious the answer was from early on.

I'd suggest you read this one more for the romance than the plot. It's a great first book to introduce a new world and I'm already working on the next installment. A must-read series for lovers of paranormal races and futuristic themes.

Notes: Purchased by me.

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