Book Review: Alpha Night by Nalini Singh

Posted December 2, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Alpha Night by Nalini Singh

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Alpha Night by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #4,
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Berkley on June 9, 2020
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also in this series: "Beary Tiny Ghosts"

Also by this author: Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel’s Enigma, Shards of Hope, “Fairy Balloons”, "An Unexpected Guest”, Allegiance of Honor, "The Song of the Wolf", Silver Silence, Archangel’s Heart, Archangel’s Viper, Ocean Light, "Elena's School of Horror", Cherish Hard, "Ain’t No Party Like A Bear Party", Archangel's Prophecy, "One Night At The Refuge", "Secret Things", Rebel Hard, Rock Hard, Wolf Rain, "Clean and Dirty", "Wolf School", "Naya’s Most Important Visitors", "Grocery Shopping", "A Gift for Kit", "Movie Night", "Kaleb and Sahara’s Meeting with Sascha and Lucas", "Housewarming at the Orchard", "Christmas in the Kitchen", "Stalking Hawke", "Romancing Drew", "Sunday Morning", "Rowan", "Baubles & Ben", Wild Embrace, Love Hard, Rock Addiction, "Music Awards", Rock Courtship , "Rock Courtship Memo"s, Rock Redemption, "Sunshine", Rock Wedding, "With This Memo", A Madness of Sunshine, "Beary Tiny Ghosts", "A Wedding Breakfast", "Poker Night", "Knives and Sheaths", "Seedlings", "Star Kissed", "A Walk on the Cliffs", "Wild Cat Blues"

Fourth in the Psy-Changeling Trinity paranormal romance series, nineteenth in the Psy-Changeling Universe, revolving around an alternate history with Psy, shifters, and humans struggling to co-exist. The couple focus is on Selenka Durev, a wolf Alpha, and Ethan Night, a broken Arrow. The story is set in Moscow.

If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Psy-Changeling books on my website.

My Take

A heartwarming story of family and brotherhood, Alpha Night will both break your heart and encourage it.

It’s too funny. Ever since Valentin mated Silver, the wolves and bears are mingling more. Much to Selenka’s annoyance. Those dang bears are so cheerful and fun-loving…and getting her wolves into big trouble.

While the primary point-of-view is third person global subjective, the primary perspectives are from Selenka and Ethan.

I swear nobody loves nor trusts Ming LeBon. With excellent reason. I love that the wolves plan to destroy his empire…and then tear him to pieces.

It’s a new twist Singh has taken with a mate bond that’s all wrong and scary with Ethan heading toward Scarab Syndrome. I do like the minor conflict Singh introduces with Es seeing him as broken, but not the way Ethan believes. Another twist is how Ethan sees the conspiracy to which he agrees. It does make sense, and how scary is that?!

All that talk of the gray in which Ethan had lived was so incredibly sad. And yet so typical of the state in which Psy too frequently found themselves, although Ethan’s is taken to a nasty extreme, all “thanks” to LeBon. What a JERK!

Selenka has her own issues, all created by her jerk of a father.

The primary objective of any pack of shifters is:

Touch is our cornerstone
Cure for the heart
Medicine for the soul

Betrayals abound. Not the least of which is LeBon’s treatment of the Arrows. Ethan’s is particularly sad, and it’s what makes Ethan so determined to kill anyone associated with how he was treated. Look out Axl!!

I’m not really buying this insta-attraction, but hey, what do I know about mating bonds? As for Ethan’s abrupt about-face to trusting all to Selenka…nah, ain’t buying that one either.

Omigod, omigod, ROFLMAO, the Arrows have been so clueless about relationships and making love — Judd found online manuals that have helped him. And that he’s passed on to other Arrows. Singh takes it a step further with Margo intent on introducing him to love through a romantic television series, lol. There is so much else that Ethan doesn’t know about the world that it’s fascinating to read his reaction to everything, and I do mean everything around him.

I do love Aden’s emphasis on the Arrow squad being family. No Arrow is turned away, but instead is cared for and supported. Such a drastic 180 on how they had been treated. A good example are the dogs. Ivy Jane Zen’s dog, Rabbit, was the first catalyst (Shield of Winter, 13), and now Loyal is helping Ethan.

Singh cracked me up with her assessment of Selenka, a powerful Alpha who holds territory with both a bear clan and Krychek.

“No, this is about fun. It’s not the goal that matters but the journey.”

Whoa, those shapeshifters do have some hard and fast rules. Kind of wish we had some of those in our own society… The justice rendered to the murderers of Emanuel is definitely cruel, but oh-so-deserved.

There’s plenty of action with the romance seeming more of an “oh, yeah, the story needs lovin'” kind of feel to it. It felt as though most of the story revolved around Ethan and Selenka thinking about their personal issues.

I love this one:

“No, I’m an eating specialist who has a vested interest in making friends with chefs.”

That penultimate ending was a-mazing while the last sentence of the book was…terrifying, exciting…and dang it, Singh is mean! Talk about a cliffhanger!!!!!

The Story

Alpha wolf Selenka Durev’s devotion to her pack is equaled only by her anger at anyone who would harm those under her care. That currently includes the empaths who’ve flowed into her city for a symposium that is a security nightmare, a powder keg just waiting for a match.

Ethan Night is an Arrow who isn’t an Arrow. Numb and disengaged from the world, he’s loyal only to himself. Assigned as part of the security force at a world-first symposium, he carries a dark agenda tied to the power-hungry and murderous Consortium. Then violence erupts and Ethan finds himself crashing into the heart and soul of an alpha wolf.

Mating at first sight is a myth, a fairytale. Yet Selenka’s wolf is resolute: Ethan Night, broken Arrow and a man capable of obsessive devotion, is the mate it has chosen. Even if the mating bond is full of static and not quite as it should be. Because Selenka’s new mate has a terrible secret, his mind surging with a power that is a creature of madness and death…

The Characters

Selenka “Selya” Durev is the wolf alpha of the Moscow Pack, BlackEdge. Yevgeni Durev, Selenka’s grandfather, had been the previous Alpha. Her grandmother, Lada, is a sweet submissive. Dr Kiev Durev, a professor of physics, is Selenka’s twisted father. Her human mother, Varra, left them to return to her own territory. Nodira and Maviya are Selenka’s half-sisters.

The BlackEdge Pack are…
…wolves, the most powerful pack in Russia, whose home is the Warren. Margo Lucenko, who is Selenka’s best friend and security specialist; Dinara; Alia, who is a very useful submissive, a gamma who is also a renowned scholar of literature mated to Tyoma; Gregori Ivo (Margo’s brother and a computer hacker); Kostya; and, Artem Güvenc are her senior lieutenants. Oleg is the senior healer. Ivina and Tana are more healers. The much-loved Emanuel, an older lieutenant from her grandfather’s rule, had pleaded Haven’s Disciples’ case. Vadem is Emanuel’s brother. Dia is the young submissive Emanuel had been courting. Bykov is an Elder. Ilarion is a young disciplined male of the pack. Oksana “Sana” is one of the cooks. Zhanna “Zhanusya”, Tzi, and Inja (Alia’s daughter) are some of the pups. Manuil “Manya” is mentally disabled and loved with a treasured skill. Katina is one of the teens.

Ethan Night, a Gradient 7.9 Tk who can move and reshape available light, is an Arrow on the edge. Pathologically detached was the term assigned to him. It didn’t help that his family had thrown him away. Loyal is the dog who adopts Ethan.

The Arrows were…
…intended to be the protectors of Silence, lethal assassins taking direction from the Psy Council until Ming LeBon. Aden Kai is their leader, and he’s mated to Zaria Neve, to whom damaged Arrows gravitate (Shards of Hope, 14). Cristabel Rodriguez and Axl Rye are two of his senior Arrows. Abbot Storm, another senior Arrow, is mated to Jaya, an E. Amin. Nerida. Yuri had almost died in (Wolf Rain). Tamar is the squad’s civilian tech specialist. Alejandro, an Arrow, was given too much Jax and is now incapable of independent thought.

StoneWater are…
…a clan of bear shifters led by Valentin Nikolaev, the alpha who mated Silver “Starlight” Mercant, formerly Krycheck’s chief aide and now the director of the Emergency Response Network (EmNet), an organization that directs resources to areas in trouble (Silver Silence, 1 (16)). Arwen Mercant had been a secret E who had held the Mercant clan together. He’s having fun with the bears, *grin*. Chaos is the head chef.

SnowDancer
Hawke is the Alpha of the SnowDancer den of wolves in San Francisco (Kiss of Snow, 10). Alexei “Lexie” Vasiliev Harte, a lieutenant with a horrible paternal line, is mated to Memory Aven-Rose, who is a completely different kind of E, and essential (Wolf Rain, 18).

DarkRiver
Sascha Duncan is the most experienced E in the world, a cardinal Psy, and an expert at creating mind shields. She’s mated to Lucas Hunter, the leopard Alpha of DarkRiver in San Francisco (Slave to Sensation, 1). Dr Keelie Schaeffer is a psychologist who is part of DarkRiver (Wolf Rain). Clay is one of Lucas’ lieutenants (Mine to Possess, 4).

The Empathic Collective is…
…an organization, a union really, of Es, the recently rediscovered — and so essential — Empaths. Ivy Jane Zen, who’s married to Vasic Zen, a teleporter (Shield of Winter), is their president. Eben Kilabuk is a young and powerful E whom Sascha is training (Shield of Winter).

Emilie and Natalia (who had suffered extreme physical abuse under Silence) are Es who are psychologically frail.

The Psy are…
…all about the mind. Sascha’s mother is Nikita Duncan, a former councilor and financial powerhouse with the power to create viruses who is now a member of the Psy Ruling Coalition that replaced the Council. Dr Maia Ndiaye, a Gradient 9.3 M-Psy, is a PsyMed at SF Echo.

Kaleb Krychek is the most powerful Psy in the world. A dual cardinal who is mated to Sahara Kyriaskus (Heart of Obsidian, 12).

Pax Marshall is the CEO of the Marshall Group, and Patient Zero (Wolf Rain). Theo is his weaker twin, sidelined by the family.

Dr Edgar Bashir is a surgeon with experience in some whacked experiments. Madame Zostra may have been an escaped F-Psy. who could foresee the future.

Haven’s Disciples are…
…a group of outcast wolves whom Selenka has permitted on her territory. Blaise, no Alpha, is their “spiritual” leader. Nomani is his lieutenant. Some of his “disciples” include Zivko.

Andriy Golyas had been the Pack accountant until his embezzlement was discovered.

The Consortium is…
…a mix of human, Psy, and shifter who intend to destroy the Es and take over the world. Their leader is the Architect, a.k.a. Spider. Operative C, a.k.a. Cray Jitan, is the agent who approached Ethan. Wolf Killer can be found on the dark web.

Ezra Ree, a Gradient 6.9 telepath, is a physics professor in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Councilor Ming LeBon, a cardinal combat telepath and a master shield builder, is hated throughout the world. Dr Johannes Marr had been a senior Arrow medic. Dr Rebekah Patel had been Marr’s second-in-command.

The Trinity Accord is a cooperation agreement signed by all three races: Psy, shifters, and humans. Scarab Syndrome is lethal and had only been suppressed during Silence (Wolf Rain). Patient Zero is the Psy who brought Scarab to the Trinity’s attention. Subject JX had been a Scarab victim in 2003. Silence is a protocol adopted by the Psy to school all emotion out of their race. Adrian Kenner, a human, is revered for stopping the Territorial Wars of the 18th century. Aunt Rita is an hysterically funny columnist for Wild Woman magazine. Jax was a drug given to Arrows to make them compliant. The PsyNet is a universe of minds, necessary to provide feedback to all Psy. The Honeycomb is a creation of the Empaths that is saving the PsyNet. The NetMind and the DarkMind had been one entity, but when Silence forbade emotion, it split. Chantelle, Ruslan Barnett, and Ridge are characters from Hourglass Lives, the TV series.

The Cover and Title

The cover is awash in purples with the skyline of Moscow all lit up in that night sky. In the forefront is Ethan’s profile facing left with Selenka’s profile facing right, her hair blowing in the breeze. In a lighter purple is the silhouette of a wolf baying at a circle of two crescent moons. All the text is in white from the info blurb at the top with the author’s name immediately below it. The title crosses at Selenka’s shoulder with the series info at the bottom.

The title is a dark time for the wolf alpha, yep, it’s an Alpha Night.

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