Book Review: Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

Posted April 28, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Visions of Heat 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.

Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Berkley Books on March 6, 2007
Pages: 356
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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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", Slave to Sensation, Caressed by Ice

Second in the Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series and revolving around three primary races: the two strong Changeling packs in North America — the DarkRiver Leopards 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 Faith NightStar and Vaughn D’Angelo. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Psy-Changeling books on my website.

My Take

Wow! What would it be like knowing this is your destiny, that your life is predicated on total isolation? It’s the most poignant reason for pulling emotion into one’s life. Sure, I get that this Silence Protocol started out sounding good, but like most things, it was too good to be true. The production of a robotic race…is never good.

The F-Psy designation is an interesting one. Forgetting to eat, sleep, breath, keep their hearts beating, requires a massive amount of oversight. It doesn’t help Faith that for decades they’ve been told they are too delicate to handle the outside world.

Visions of Heat is more intent on Faith and Vaughn’s story with fewer interactions with the others. And, okay, so I’m cheating. When I first started reading this series, I hadn’t done an in-depth character review of Visions of Heat. All these years later, I’ve read the series numerous times…and I gotta say that Singh is amazing in how well she’s set up the series arc. Wow. If you ever want an example of good planning…read Psy-Changeling.

It’s third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Faith’s and Vaughn’s perspectives…so we know everything they think, feel, and experience. Especially all that, ahem, attraction, lol. Hmmm, wonder if they’d ever do a cable series… Hubba-hubba…

Their interactions (their thoughts) provide an inside view of life as Psy, the restrictions, versus the life and openness of Changelings. I much prefer the supportive, loyal approach of the Changelings. How it saved Vaughn. And the NetMind? I adore it! It’s such a sweetie.

Okay, so I wouldn’t want to live in those personal boxes in skyscrapers that the Psy exist in, but it does blow my mind that pack members seem to live so far apart from each other. Of course, the architecture of the two packs also blows my mind. I love the caverns of SnowDancer and the aeries (and Vaughn’s cave system) of DarkRiver.

There are a number of incidents that convince Faith of her race’s duplicity. Combined with her own mental degradation, it’s a scary time for her. The threat of rehabilitation. More active action comes from the cat fights that take place between the councilors and that ambush the soldiers try. Hee-hee…

Jeez. Jeez. The implications that come up over why Faith’s sister was chosen…oh. boy. There’s a nice bit of revenge in this with the “alliances” NightStar has in the world. Yeah, it’s a quid pro quo of sorts that no one yet suspects.

Ooh, that “battle” amongst the juveniles is an excellent example of how to do an “info dump” without it actually being a dump! Another example is when Vaughn notes the good that the Psy did in the past.

Whoaaa, that last paragraph… Yep, I need more Psy-Changeling.

The Story

Insanity was the number cause of death for F-Psy before Silence. That’s what they’ve been told.

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A highly sought after F-Psy with the ability to predict the future, the fragile Faith is terrified that she’s breaking. Then her visions show her something even more dangerous — pleasure. Everything that’s been conditioned out of her.

Emotions that are stimulated by the fascinating Jaguar changeling Vaughn D’Angelo who craves this woman, whose desire for her could snap the last threads of her sanity.

The Characters

Twenty-four-year-old Faith “Red” NightStar is a cardinal F-Psy, foresight; she predicts/sees the future and is worth billions to her PsyClan NightStar. Marine, a cardinal telepath and a communications specialist for NightStar, is a younger sister she would have liked to know better.

Vaughn D’Angelo, a DarkRiver Sentinel and artist, is a jaguar changeling with a horrific past. The seven-year-old Skye had been the little sister he couldn’t help.

DarkRiver is…
…the leopard changeling pack that rules San Francisco. Lucas Hunter is the alpha, and he’s mated to Sascha Duncan, the world’s first acknowledged E-Psy (Slave to Sensation, 1). Sascha’s inclusion into the pack created the Web of Stars. Sentinels are Lucas’ elite and include Nate Ryder, Lucas’ second-in-command; Clay of the few words (their construction supervisor); Mercy (works for CTX); Dorian (a latent cat); and, Kylie, the sister who was murdered. Tamsyn Ryder is the pack healer mated to Nate. They have twin sons/cubs: the absolutely darling Roman and Julian. Soldiers include Barker, Jamie, and Desiree. The juveniles include Kit, a future alpha; Cory; Nicki; and, the injured Jase. Zara, a wildcat, is their design consultant and has been adopted into the pack to keep her safe.

SnowDancer is…
…the wolf changeling pack that rules the rest of California. Both packs have a few-months-old alliance. Hawke Snow is the alpha. Indigo is one of his lieutenants. Hawke accepted the defecting Lauren Psy clan: Judd and Walker Lauren are brothers. The troublesome Sienna Lauren is Judd and Walker’s niece; Toby is her brother. Brenna Kincaid is the wolf changeling who had been mind-raped by Enrique. Dalton is their librarian.

CTX is a joint communications network owned by DarkRiver and SnowDancer.

The Psy are…
…a people who see themselves as superior to everyone…and to any Psy with less power than they. They are ruled by an increasingly corrupt, despotic Council. The Councilors, all cardinals, include Marshall Hyde; Nikita Duncan (mental viruses), Sascha’s cold mother and a serious power; Ming LeBon (mental combat); the dominant Shoshanna and her beta husband, Henry, Scott; and, Tatiana Rika-Smythe (able to disrupt the deepest shields). The Arrows are a secret death squad used to permanently silence critics of the Council.

NightStar is…
…led by Anthony Kyriakus, Faith’s father. Her mother had been Zanna Liskowski, part of a fertilization contract. NightStar is a power in the Psy world, as their F-Psy predict the futures of businesses. For the Psy respect only economic might. Tanique Gray, a 9 Ps-Psy (psychometric) is Faith’s half-brother. The eight-year-old Juniper is an up-and-coming F-Psy.

I think Xi Yun is the head of the medical team who monitors Faith. Gia Khan, the ruthless twenty-seven-year-old Kaleb Krychek (Tk), and Faith NightStar are the council candidates. Sione is also an excellent F-Psy of the PsyClan PacificRose.

The PsyNet is the mental meeting place of the Psy that also generates an energy that keeps the Psy alive. The sentient NetMind was created by the PsyNet and split into two; the DarkMind its twin. The Silence Protocol was first created by a cultlike group, Mercury. The Cassandra Spiral is a cascade of pain that turns the Psy it attacks into a vegetable.

E-Psy are empaths, healers of the mind and emotion. A variation on F-Psy is backsight, being able to see the past — handy for getting at the truth.

Santano Enrique (Slave to Sensation) had been a Councilor and a sociopathic serial killer. Michael Bonneau had been a councilor until his unfortunate accident. When Tatiana was present in his home. Jax is a mind-altering drug. Enforcement is this world’s law enforcement; they’re in the Council’s pocket.

The Cover and Title

The cover is the grays of an early evening forest, tall, tall trees silhouetted against a pale gray sky. A partial of Vaughn’s bare shoulder and arm is a blend of deep peach skin and jaguar markings in gray, with his head turning to look back at us. In the top right is an info blurb in white with an angled title in a gray to deep metallic orange gradient. The author’s name is at the bottom on the right in a scripted white. A testimonial, also in white, is on the bottom left.

The title is a blend of Faith’s foresight and the depth of her and Vaughn’s passions, those Visions of Heat.

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