Book Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Posted April 23, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

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

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #1
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Berkley Books on March 31, 2009
Pages: 356
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also in this series: Wild Embrace

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", Alpha Night, "A Wedding Breakfast", "Poker Night", "Knives and Sheaths", "Seedlings", "Star Kissed", "A Walk on the Cliffs", "Wild Cat Blues", Caressed by Ice, Visions of Heat

First in the Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series and revolving around three primary groups: the two strong Changeling packs in North America — the DarkRiver Leopards who control the San Francisco area and the SnowDancer Wolves who control the rest of California; the icy, emotionless Psy who see themselves as superior to everyone; and, the humans who are tired of being pushed around. The couple focus is on Psy Sascha Duncan and Alpha Lucas Hunter.

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

My Take

This is a fascinating introduction to the Psy and the Changeling worlds. I very much enjoyed this whole new world Singh creates. A regular world that is ruled by the Psy and is challenged by the Changeling. The intellect versus the physical, the greedy versus the environmentalists and how the twain shall meet.

A changeling murder that is the inciting incident that angers the changelings who are fed up with the lies, superior attitudes, and cover-ups of the Psy. Naturally, Sascha “knows” the murders weren’t committed by a Psy. Equally naturally, the Changelings “know” the murders were.

The “attack” begins with Lucas’ plan to seduce Sascha. And, oh man, is she ever ripe for it, lol. Part of that seduction is the Ryders’ twins, the very young Roman and Julian. Another part is…oh yeah, baby…chocolate.

I do love the overt story of the joint effort between Nikita Duncan and DarkRiver to build homes for changelings. Even more, I absolutely adore the sound of changeling architecture.

There is need in here, on both sides, for Sascha is flawed and beginning to suspect where her salvation lies. More need appears to be the betrayals that abound among the Psy. The coverups, the brutal reconditioning, the denial of gifts.

Singh uses a third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Sascha’s and Lucas’ perspectives. Not only does it enable us to know everything they see, do, and feel, but Singh also uses them to inform us about their races’ histories, giving both races a solid background.

Ya gotta love the Changelings — they believe in individuality. The Psy? Not so much. Psy are expected to be like automatons. No joy. No sadness. Living in compact boxes that all look alike. Eating prescribed nutrients. Ick. Any deviations are programmed out with deconditioning.

Sascha is a fascinating conflict of Psy and emotion. It’s exactly what helps provide such a clear picture of what the Psy are like. It also provides Singh with the opportunity to give Sascha some very contrary skills.

Slave to Sensation is a fascinating and enthralling combination of action and characters. If you like shapeshifters, you’ll love the Psy-Changeling series. It’s been a buy for me.

It’s within Slave to Sensation that the truth of Silence is revealed…

The Story

A Psy is torturing and murdering changelings and the Changelings have had enough. DarkRiver will take their attack to the Psy with Lucas intent on seducing Sascha.

Then SnowDancer loses one of their females, and time is suddenly cut short.

The Characters

Sascha Duncan is the conflicted daughter of Psy councilor Nikita Duncan. Mika had been Sascha’s great-great-grandmother and a strong opponent of Silence. Her daughter, Ai Kumamoto, an E-Psy, had been Sascha’s great-grandmother; her great-grandfather had been Andrew Duncan. Reina Duncan was their daughter, Sascha’s grandmother who had a daughter, Nikita, with Dmitri Kukovich.

The DarkRiver Leopards…
…control the San Francisco area with Lucas Hunter, a black panther born to be a Hunter, as their alpha. Carlo and Shayla, a healer, had been Lucas’ parents, murdered in front of Lucas when he was young. Dorian is a latent leopard, unable to shift, and yet one of Lucas’ Sentinels. The butchered Kylie had been Dorian’s sister. Tamsyn is the pack healer, and she’s mated to Nate, one of the pack Sentinels. They have twin sons, Roman and Julian, who are too, too cute as shapeshifting cubs. More Sentinels include Vaughn, a jaguar and an artist; Clay Bennett, who is the construction supervisor; and, Mercy. Others include Desiree, Cian, and Jamie. Kit Monaghan is one of the juveniles, and a future alpha. He works part-time as a general assistant. Rina is his older sister who works as a soldier for the Pack. Barker is also a soldier. Zara, a wildcat, is an architect working for DarkRiver. Ria is Lucas’ administrative assistant, mated to a DarkRiver leopard. I think Nico and Sarah are more juveniles of the pack. Lachlan had been the previous alpha.

The SnowDancer Wolf Pack is…
…in control of the rest of California and their alpha is Hawke Snow. Brenna is missing. Riley, a lieutenant, and Andrew are Brenna’s older brothers. Indigo is another lieutenant in the pack. The Laurens: Sienna and her brother, Toby; Walker is their uncle and has a daughter, Marlee; and, Walker’s brother, their uncle Judd, an Arrow, had escaped the Psy world.

The Psy Council…
…rules all the Psy. In 1969, they chose Silence, a protocol designed to eliminate all emotion from the Psy, intending to eliminate rage. In 1973 Silence was instituted. Everything they do is based on logic and efficiency. The councilors, all extremely powerful Psy, include Nikita Duncan, a powerful telepath who can also infect minds with viruses; Santano Enrique, an academic who is off-the-scale with Tk-Psy; Tatiana Rika-Smythe, one of Nikita’s primary business rivals; Marshall Hyde; Ming LeBon‘s specialty is mental combat; and, Shoshanna and Henry Scott, who faked their marriage to look good to non-Psy.

Latham. The NetMind is the librarian of the PsyNet, a metaphysical world, that the Psy use to store information, travel, and communicate…to stay alive. The Gradient is the Psy measuring system for their gifts. Ten is the highest rating, although cardinals go beyond. M-Psy is a medical designation. Tk-Psy is telekinetic. F-Psy have foresight. E-Psy, the empathy designation, no longer exists.

Enforcement is…
…the law enforcement in this world, deep in the Psys’ pocket.

Callie works in a florist shop. Dr Cecily Montford is the Arizona medical examiner who broke protocol.

The Cover and Title

The cover is oranges, green, and black. The background consists of a stormy sky on the left with cliffs on the right and greenery in the middle ground. In the foreground is the brown-haired Lucas with his scarred face, crouching in black clothes. The text is all in white from the info blurb at the very top with the author’s name below and the title below that. A testimonial is to the right of Lucas, starting at shoulder height. At the bottom is the series info.

The title is all about Sascha, for she is becoming a Slave to Sensation.

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