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Shield of Winter: A Psy-Changeling Novel [Format Kindle]

Nalini Singh
4.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

Copyright © 2014 by Nalini Singh

There was nothing left of the man he’d been.

Vasic stared through the glass wall in front of him as the computronic gauntlet biologically fused to his left forearm hummed near silently in the diagnostic mode he’d initiated. Sleek black, the new invention remained relatively unstable, despite the constant and ongoing refinement by the medics and techs, but Vasic wasn’t concerned about his life.

He hadn’t been concerned about anything for a long time. At first it had been his conditioning under Silence that kept him cold, his emotions on ice. Now, as the world navigated the first days of a new year, he was beyond Silence and into a numbness so vast, it was an endless grayness.

The only reason he kept waking up in the morning was for the others, the ones in the squad who still had some hope of a normal life. It was far too late for him, his hands permanently stained with blood from the countless lives he’d taken in pursuit of a mandate that had proven false in a very ugly way.

“What is it?” he said to the man clad in a black combat uniform who’d just entered the common area of Arrow Central Command. None of them were sociable, yet they maintained this space, having learned through bitter experience that even an Arrow couldn’t always walk alone.

Today the room was empty except for the two of them.

“Krychek has a theory.” Aden came to stand beside Vasic, his dark eyes on the vista beyond the glass. It wasn’t of the outside world—the Arrows were creatures of shadow, and so they lived in the shadows, their headquarters buried deep underground in a location inaccessible to anyone who didn’t know the correct routes and codes.

Even a teleporter needed a visual lock, and there were no images of Arrow Central Command anywhere in the world, not in any database, not on the PsyNet, nowhere. Which made it all the more notable that Kaleb Krychek had demonstrated the ability to ’port into the HQ when the squad first contacted him. However, despite the subterranean nature of the squad’s base of operations, on the other side of the glass lay a sprawling green space full of trees, ferns, even a natural-seeming pool, the area bathed in simulated sunlight that would change to moonlight as the day turned.

It had been difficult to acquire that technology without tipping their hand—the SnowDancer wolves were very proprietary of their tech, usually installed it themselves. But the squad had managed, because that light was as necessary to their sanity and their physical health as the captured piece of the outside world on which it shone.

“Krychek’s theory—it’s about the disease in the Net,” Vasic guessed, aware that the broken remnants of fanatical Pure Psy and the sporadic new outbreaks of violence notwithstanding, that was the most dangerous threat facing their race.

“You’ve seen the reports.”

“Yes.” The disease, the infection, was spreading at a phenomenal pace no one could’ve predicted. Rooted in the psychic fabric that connected every Psy on the planet but for the renegades, it had the potential to devastate their race . . . because to be Psy was to need the biofeedback provided by a psychic network. Now that same link could well be pumping poison directly into their brains.

There were some who whispered that the fall of Silence a month prior was behind the acceleration, but Vasic didn’t believe that to be the truth—the decay was too deeply integrated in the PsyNet. It had had over a century to grow, feeding on the suppressed psychic energy of all the dark, twisted emotions their race sought to stifle. “Krychek’s theory?”

Aden, his hands clasped loosely behind his back, said, “He believes the empaths are the key.”

The empaths.

An unexpected idea from Kaleb Krychek, whom many considered the epitome of Silence . . . but that was a false truth, as the entire Net had learned when he had lowered the shield around the adamantine bond that linked him to Sahara Kyriakus. Of course, it was a false truth only when it came to Sahara Kyriakus. That was a fact Vasic didn’t think everyone understood, and it was a critical one.

Kaleb Krychek remained a lethal threat.

“Krychek,” Aden continued, “theorizes that the fact the empaths are so prevalent in the population speaks to their necessity in subtle ways we’ve never grasped. Stifling their abilities has thus had a dangerous flow-on effect.”

Vasic saw the logic—empaths might’ve been publicly erased from the Net, but every Arrow knew the E designation had never been rare. Except once. Their emotion-linked abilities contrary to the very foundations of the Protocol, the Es had been systematically eliminated from the gene pool in the years after Silence was first implemented, only for the ruling Council to realize almost too late that it was attempting to excise a vital organ.

No one truly understood why the Net needed the Es, but it was incontrovertible that it did. The Council that had first come face-to-face with that truth had named it the Correlation Concept—the lower the number of E-Psy in the population, the higher the incidents of psychopathy and insanity. However, while the current generation of Es might’ve been allowed to be born, they’d never been allowed to be, conditioned to stifle their abilities since birth. “Has Krychek considered the fact that it might not be a case of merely awakening the Es?”

“Yes. You see the critical problem.”

It was inescapable—if the empaths had to do something active to negate the infection, then the Psy race might well disintegrate to ash, because there was no one left to teach the Es what to do. By the time the ruling Council of the time had accepted their mistake in attempting to cull the Es from the gene pool, all the old ones were dead and information about their abilities had been erased from every known archive.

“How many?” Vasic asked, knowing they couldn’t simply begin to nudge the empaths awake on a wholesale level. Their deaths had almost collapsed the PsyNet. No one knew what would happen if they woke all at once, disoriented and unable to control their abilities.

“A test group of ten.” Aden telepathed him the list.

Scanning it, Vasic saw the short-listed Es were all high Gradient, from cardinal to 8.7. “No,” he said, before Aden could make the request. “I won’t retrieve them.”

“You don’t have to retrieve them all. Just one.”

“No,” Vasic said again. “If Krychek wishes to abduct empaths, he’s capable of doing so himself.” Vasic was no longer on anyone’s leash but his own.

Aden’s response was quiet. “Do you think I’d bring you such a request?”

Turning at last, Vasic met the eyes of the telepath who was the one individual in the world he considered a friend, their lives intertwined since childhood—when they’d been paired up to do exercises designed to turn Vasic into a stone-cold killer. To their trainers, Aden had simply been a useful telepathic sparring partner, a well-behaved complement to Vasic’s erratic temperament at the time, an Arrow trainee only because his parents were both Arrows who’d worked to hone his skills since the cradle.

As such, Aden had been put into classes that eventually qualified him as a field medic. He’d been given the same harsh training all inductees were given, but was never deemed worthy of any extra interest—except when it came to punishments designed to “harden” a boy who’d been small for his age. Always, the ones who would use the Arrows had underestimated Aden, and in so doing, they’d given the squad a leader who’d saved countless lives and who they would follow into any hell.

“No,” Vasic conceded. “You wouldn’t.” Aden knew exactly how close Vasic was to the edge, that the destruction of, or damage to one more innocent life could snap the razor-fine thread that bound him to the world.

“Krychek,” Aden continued into the quiet between them, “doesn’t think his proposed experiment as to the impact of the empaths on the infection will work if the Es are forced to participate.” A pause. “I’m not certain if that’s his personal view, or if it’s Sahara’s, but whatever the case, each of the Es must volunteer.”

Vasic agreed with Aden that the compassion was likely to emanate from the woman who had appeared out of nowhere to forge an unbreakable bond with the otherwise cold-blooded dual cardinal, and who, their investigations told them, was in no way Silent. “Where does Krychek intend to run his experiment?”

“SnowDancer-DarkRiver territory.”

Very few things had the capacity to surprise Vasic, on any level. This, however, was unexpected. “The SnowDancer wolves have a tendency to shoot intruders on sight”—“shoot first and ask questions of the corpses” was their rumored motto—“and the leopards aren’t much friendlier.”

“I’ve told Krychek the same, yet I can see his point as to the area’s suitability.”

“An isolated location, no other PsyNet connected minds for miles in any direction.” As a result, that part of the Net, too, would be quiet, giving Krychek a clean canvas on which to run his experiment.

However, that was a factor that could be replicated elsewhere.

Which left a single critical element that could only be found in the changeling-held territory. “Sascha Duncan.” Access to the only active E in the world no doubt played a crucial part in Krychek’s plans.

“There’s no infection in that section of the Net,” Aden said, instead of nodding to confirm what they both knew must be true. “However Krychek has the ability to shift the infection in that direction, or seed the area with it. He says he can’t control it beyond that, but I haven’t yet decided if he’s lying.” The other Arrow turned to acknowledge another member of the squad who’d just entered, walking over to her when she indicated she needed to speak to him.

Alone, Vasic considered the misleading simplicity of Krychek’s proposed experiment. An isolated group of empaths surrounded on the Net by the infection. If the experiment failed and the infection threatened to overwhelm them in a wave of murderous madness or more subtle mental degradation, it would be relatively easy to relocate all ten men and women at short notice. As well, the deterioration of an empty part of the Net would cause few ripples.

In that sense, it was a clean plan, with no threat of major losses.

Of course, no one could predict how the infection would move, what it would do to the empaths. “I can’t, Aden,” he said when the other man returned to his side, their fellow Arrow having left the room.

Aden waited.

“You know what happened when I had cause to pass near Sascha Duncan prior to her defection. It was a deeply . . . uncomfortable experience.” Councilor Nikita Duncan’s daughter had been pretending to be Silent at the time, but even then, there’d been something about her that had made his instincts bristle.

It was one of the few times he’d felt true pain as an adult—at first, he’d thought he was under attack, only to realize it was Sascha’s simple presence in a room separated from the one where he stood by a solid wall, that was sandpaper along the insides of his skin. As if some part of him knew she was the antithesis to everything he had ever been taught to be, the rejection primal.

It wasn’t until her defection and the resulting revelation of her empathy that he’d realized the reason behind the strange effect; the knowledge had made him recall the numerous other times he’d felt a faint irritation against his skin as he moved through the shadows in populated areas. Sleeping empaths, their conditioning not as badly degraded as Sascha’s must have been.

He also knew he was an anomaly in sensing them in such a way—according to Aden, no one else in the squad had ever reported the same. Vasic had a theory that the awareness was an undocumented adjunct of being a Tk-V, a born teleporter. Patton, the only other Tk-V Vasic had ever met, had often complained about an “itch” under his skin when he was in the outside world.

Regardless of whether that was true or not, the effect continued unchecked for Vasic, causing deeper and more frequent serrated scrapes over his skin as the conditioning of the Es in the Net fractured further with each passing day.

Aden took several minutes to reply. “Uncomfortable, not debilitating.” The words of a leader evaluating one of his men. “The empaths will need a protection squad—their designation has never been aggressive according to the historical records I’ve been able to unearth so far, and none of this group are, either.”

The telepath’s tone remained even as he added, “I want you to run it. You’re the only man I trust to get them all out of danger if there’s a sudden spike in the infection, or if the pro-Silence elements in the Net seek to do them harm.”

Vasic knew that wasn’t quite the truth—the squad had other teleport-capable operatives in its ranks. No one as fast as Vasic, but fast enough. None of them, however, stood so close to an irrevocable and final descent into the abyss. “Are you trying to put me on soft duty?”

“Yes.” Eyes on the greenery outside, but his attention on Vasic, Aden continued to speak. “You don’t see it, but you’re one of the core members of the squad, the one we all rely on when things go to hell. Outside emergency situations, the younger Arrows turn to you for guidance; the older ones use you as a sounding board. Your loss would be a staggering blow to the group . . . to me.”

“I won’t snap.” Even though he knew the oblivion of death was the only peace he’d ever find. “I have things to do yet.” And it didn’t only have to do with helping to save those Arrows who might still have the chance to live some kind of a real life.

You don’t have the right to be tired. When you can write her name on a memorial, when you can honor her blood, then you’ll have earned the right.

A leopard changeling had said that to him over the broken body of a woman whose death Vasic had been sent to erase. The leopard couldn’t know how many names Vasic needed to write, how many deaths he’d covered up when he’d believed that what he was doing was for the good of his people . . . and later, when he’d known it was too early for any revolution to succeed. Each and every name had a claim on his soul.

“Nevertheless, I want you away from the violence, at least for a short period.” Again, Aden’s voice was that of the leader he was, and yet it was no order, their relationship far too old to need any such trappings. “There’s another reason I want you on this detail—and why I’m going to ask you to consider certain others for your team. Being near empaths may be uncomfortable for you, but it will likely be soothing for the Es.”

Because, Vasic realized, he and the others like him, were ice-cold, permanently cut off from their emotions. Unlike the fractured, they would leak neither fear nor pain, eliminating one source of stress on the newly awakened Es. “How does that tie in with being so close to the changelings?” The shapeshifting race was as rawly emotional as the Psy were not, their world painted in vivid shades of passion.

“If Krychek manages to negotiate access to part of their land, he intends to agree to full satellite and remote surveillance, while asking them to keep a physical distance the majority of the time.” Aden paused as a butterfly flew from the lush green of the trees to flutter its scarlet wings against the glass before returning to more hospitable climes. “It’ll take time for negotiations to be concluded, a location to be settled on, whether it’s in changeling territory or elsewhere. Take the invitation to your nominated E, gauge whether you could remain in her proximity for the duration.”

“You’ve already decided who I’m to approach.”

“According to Krychek, all the empaths on the list but one have already begun to wake to their abilities, even if they aren’t cognizant of it.”

Vasic didn’t ask how Krychek could’ve known that, aware the cardinal telekinetic had an intimate link with the NetMind, the vast neosentience that was the librarian and guardian of the Net. The NetMind had no doubt informed Krychek of the Es who were coming to an awareness of their true designation.

“Your retrieval, however, first broke conditioning at sixteen and was given aggressive reconditioning to wrench her abilities back under. Two months later, she and her parents quietly disappeared.”

It was the second surprise of the conversation. “The NetMind can’t locate the family unit?”

“Not that type of disappearance,” Aden clarified. “We know where they are geographically, but they’ve done an impeccable job of making themselves of no interest to anyone. Her mother was a systems analyst for a cutting edge computronic firm in Washington; her father held a senior position in a bank. Now they run a large but only moderately successful farm in North Dakota, in cooperation with a number of other Psy.”

Psy preferred to live in cities, near others of their kind, but that wasn’t to say none of their race ever chose outdoor occupations. Like humans and changelings, Psy needed to eat, to put a roof over their heads, and work was work. Such a massive career change, however, was an indication of a conscious decision. “Protecting their child?” It wasn’t impossible, the parental instinct a driving force even in many of the Silent, though Vasic had no personal experience of such.

“Possible but unconfirmed.”

Vasic knew there was more to come.

“What’s also unconfirmed is if she still has access to her abilities—or if they were terminally damaged by the reconditioning process.” Aden stared unblinking through the glass. “I watched the recording, and it was one of the most brutal sessions I’ve ever seen, a hairsbreadth from a rehabilitation.”

“Then why is she on the list?” The ugliness of rehabilitation erased the personality, left the individual a drooling vegetable, and if this E had come so close to it, she had to bear major mental scars.

“To be valid, the experiment needs not only Psy who have never been reconditioned, but those who’ve been through the process. She’s one of six in the group who have, but the others underwent only a minor reset.”

It made absolute sense . . . because the majority of empaths in the Net would’ve undergone reconditioning at some stage, the process designed to force their minds back into the accepted norm, in denial of the fact those minds had never been meant to be emotionless constructs. Which meant the PsyNet had to deal not only with Es who didn’t have any idea of how to utilize their abilities, but also ones damaged on a fundamental level.

“The flip side to their problematic conditioning,” Aden added, faultlessly following Vasic’s line of thought, “is that they’ll suffer no pain breaking it.”

“Of course.” The process known as dissonance was designed to reinforce Silence by punishing any unacceptable emotional deviation with pain, but clearly that approach wouldn’t work on an individual whose mental pathways were structured with emotion as the core. It would simply kill. “The details of the retrieval.”

Aden handed Vasic an envelope. “A letter to her directly from Krychek, setting out the parameters of her engagement, as well as the payment schedule.”

“He’s offering them jobs?” The Council had always just taken.

“We both know how intelligent he is. Why coerce when you can contract?” With that cool statement that perfectly described the way Krychek’s mind worked, Aden sent Vasic a telepathic image.

It was of a small female with black hair to her shoulders, the strands shaping themselves into soft natural curls, and eyes so unusual, he took a second look. The pupils were jet-black against irises of translucent copper ringed by a fine rim of gold. They stood out against the golden cream of her skin, somehow too old, too perceptive.

As if she saw beneath the skin.

Storing the photograph in a mental vault after imprinting a geographic location on his mind using her appearance as a lock, he looked down at the envelope. Her name was hand-written across it in black ink: Ivy Jane.

He wondered what Ivy Jane would think of the Arrow about to enter her life, a man who could never again feel anything. Even were it physiologically possible, Vasic had no intention of allowing his Silence to fragment . . . because behind it lay only a howling madness created of blood and death and endless horror.

Revue de presse

Praise for Nalini Singh and her Psy-Changeling Novels

“A must-read for all of my fans.”—Christine Feehan, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“The book I’ve been waiting for, the book I’ve been dreaming of...It’s dynamic, and Nalini is brilliant.”—USA Today

“Scorching hot.”—Dear Author

“Singh has ruined me for all other books. Passion on this level cannot be easily redone or replicated.”—Fresh Fiction

“Paranormal romance at its best.”—Publishers Weekly

“This unique race that Ms. Singh created has to be one of my favorite[s]…One of those series that stays consistent book after book…Perfect. I need more!”—Darkest Addictions

“A fast-moving, heart-pounding, sexy-as-hell thrill ride.”—Joyfully Reviewed

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2070 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 400 pages
  • Editeur : Gollancz (5 juin 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00I5KIO1O
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Génial, que dire d'autre x) 5 juin 2014
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Comme tous les autres livres de Nalini, je suis fan, j'adhère et je valide. L'histoire de Vasic et d'Ivy est prenante, il y a du sentiment, de l'amour, de la passion, du doute, c'est parfait. J'ai un peu moins accroché que les autres Psy-Changeling parce que Vasic n'est pas très expressif ni très tactile au début, mais après tout, c'est une Arrow alors c'est normal, et ce petit bémol est compensé par sa possessivité envers Ivy, et son besoin de la protéger et de prendre soin d'elle. On s'attache tout de suite aux personnages: Ivy, la bonté personnifié, un grand coeur, qui n'est pas sous Silence et qui va faire craquer notre Vasic. Haaaa Vasic *-* J'adore le personnage, il est puissant, aussi bien physiquement que mentalement, et il a le sens de l'honneur, du bien, de la justice, malgré les tentatives qui ont été faites pour le briser, et on ne peut que l'aimer. Son amitié avec Aden est évoquée assez souvent, c'est très bien, et j'ai hâte de lire dans le prochain tome l'histoire d'Aden.
En gros, c'était un tome très attendu, et à la hauteur de mes attentes :) Il lève un peu du mystère qui entour les Arrow, et à peine fini, on a déjà hâte de lire la suite et d'en savoir encore d'avantage.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 toujours bien 9 août 2014
Par Anne
Format:Broché
Après le dernier livre je pensais que la série était terminée mais non. Ce livre raconte comment les empathes psy vont sauver leur race de la destruction qui les menace, avec l'aide des soldats Arrow, tueurs sans sentiments et sans merci.

Vraiment très bien et la série s'améliore de livres en livres. Comment des extrêmes arrivent à se comprendre et à s'aimer.

J'attends maintenant le prochain tome de l'histoire avec impatience.

Vraiment série à recommander.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Parfait 9 juillet 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
J'attendais ce tome avec impatience, et il ne m'a pas déçue. Je l'ai lu quasi d'une seule traite. L'histoire de Vasic et Ivy est très prenante, on en apprend bien plus sur les Arrows, enfin ! J'ai aussi trouvé que par rapport aux deux précédents tomes où beaucoup de choses se mettaient en place mais peu arrivaient vraiment, il y a eu plus de progression dans l'histoire et dans l'univers de la série. Maintenant il ne reste plus qu'à patienter jusqu'au prochain tome.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  474 commentaires
30 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great installment in one of my favorite series! 4 juin 2014
Par Gypsy Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
This is a very strong book. It really brings a lot of issues that have been lingering from the very first book in this series around and puts them in context. The exploration of the E Psy and the Arrows was fantastic. And the resolution of some of the creeping dangers in the series was very good.

A lot of the other reviewers have detailed the particulars of the plot, so I won't do that. I will just say that it is a great installment in the series that moves the overarching plot lines forward and brings resolution to many of them.

That said... why four stars instead of five? Nalini has set an incredibly high bar with several books in this series. Namely, Slave to Sensation, Caressed by Ice, Branded by Fire, and Heart of Obsidian. And those are the 5 star books in this series, to date for me. This one while excellent, lacked something.

So what did it lack? Well, in all the books I listed the hero and heroine were able to get together against the odds. Which is the initial set up of this book as well. But in the 5 star books I listed, even though you KNEW that it was a PNR and the couple would get together the journey to unity was very exciting and nothing was taken for granted. At any time the couples COULD (and in some cases did) try to walk away or the threats against them COULD have overwhelmed them. And reading how the couple negotiated their relationship and overcame obstacles... and grew together as a unit was not something that was taken for granted and kept me at the edge of my seat. In this book that wasn't the case. You knew that the couple would get together, and it seemed that the couple new from the start that they would get together too... and the obstacles were just noise and plot devices to make the book long enough to resolve the overarching Psy Net plot challengers. I was never at the edge of my seat wondering just HOW they would overcome the obstacles, flipping pages eagerly to see what came next. And the biggest threat to their unity was something completely outside of their relationship. Vasic's arm implant. In the 5 star books I noted the obstacle was something that was fundamental to the couple and well, within their control as a unit if they worked together. And I think Nalini had the opportunity to do that in this book, where the hero is an Arrow damaged to the core and shut off from his emotions as a critical self defense mechanism and a woman to whom emotion is as fundamental as breathing and who has been damaged trying to suppress that aspect of herself. This conflict could have been written (and in the past has been written). in a way where it wasn't at all certain that either character will be able to meet the other half way. Where the journey the characters have to undergo to be able to meet each other half way is exciting and engaging. That wasn't really the case here. Vasic did have to grow, but I never doubted that he would. And Ivy, well she had to grow in her confidence about her powers. But in terms of meeting Vasic half way... well, she never really did. I didn't see her grow, or change to accommodate Vasic . I can't explain it any better than that. But that's why I can't give it five stars. I felt that there was an opportunity missed to push this book from very good to fantastic.

Still, like I said, great book. I am happy for Ivy and Vasic... and for the Arrows and E Psy as a whole. Can't WAIT for the next book (and for Ming to get what he's got coming to him).
54 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 OMG! WE HAVE ARROWS... 3 juin 2014
Par Shawnie Nicole - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Shield Of Winter Review by Shawnie

(Reviewer Note: Please don't try and compare this book to Heart Of Obsidian. IT CAN NOT BE DONE.)

Before I start this review I want to say that I have been a fan of Nalini Singh since I found her books some years ago. She has become a very integral part of my reading life and I am grateful for that. She has a writing style all her own and the depth at which she writes is amazing. She is... in my humble opinion going to be one of the authors who goes down in Romance history for BOTH the Psy/Changling & Guild Hunter series.

REVIEW...
Finally we have an Arrow. Not to say Judd isn't an Arrow, but he was when we got to his book a SnowDancer. But with this book, we finally get an Arrow who is still very much functional in the inner affairs of the group. His loyalty is to the Arrows. The inner workings and perception that we get with this book is insightful and breathtaking. I loved the Arrows when we met Judd, but now... now it is so much more than that. Love is a pale word that I am forced to use as a way to describe how I now feel about the Arrows.

Shield of Winter is based on the Arrow Vasic and Ivy, a rehabilitated Empath. Krycheck has found a possible way to help slow/stop the mental breakdown of the Psy race and help with the damaging effects of the Dark Mind. His solution isn't going to be a cake walk and you can tell that much way before they implement his plan. For the Psy race to succeed, they must first wake the Empaths. They must pull the same people they had sought to erase back into the living, breathing, emotional world. The issue? These empaths have been told that they were flawed from the beginning, some have been rehabilitated so it's going to take some strong Psy to completely break, these Empaths’ silence. It's going to take the ARROWS.

Vasic was dealt a bad hand, he was never meant to be an Arrow because the core of his being wants only to protect. But when you are born with the TK-V ability, what you are supposed to be doesn't matter to people who only want to use you. Placed into Arrow "care" at the age of 4, they had sought to break Vasic and turn him into the perfect killer. But a tiger can't change his strips and although he has blood on his hands, he has done good. No matter what he thinks. His arrow family keep him somewhat grounded, while Aden, Zie Zen and his own sense of obligation that keep him going. But it will be Ivy who brings him into the light and makes him fight to live and have a piece of happiness.

Ivy is a Empath who had her mind violated, but it had been her choice at the time. She has always thought she was flawed and with her silence shattering at an unbelievable pace, she doesn't know what to do. Until an Arrow, wrapped in ice, appears in her garden. Nothing could have prepared her for what Vasic, was asking her to do, but Ivy is done hiding and done pretending that she doesn't feel. She is determined to make her Arrow realize he is more than a killer. She is determined to learn and help her race survive, even at the cost of her own life. Good thing Vasic has no plans on letting her sacrifice herself.

As they rush to save their people, from the madness trying to destroy them, Vasic and Ivy find a love so pure it's hard to swallow sometimes. They become a symbol of hope and acceptance within the Arrow group and they show the world that despite what the Arrows where made to do, that is not who they were anymore. They are capable of taking care of their people without causing bloodshed; but make no mistake, an attack on any of "their" empaths will mean an end to your life.

Shield of Winter is a raw and up close look into the world of the Arrows. How they think, feel, act, and see things. It is a blue print of sorts into how they operate and what happens when they take on a task. They have evolved from the killing machines they were once made to be and now they can finally show the world who they really are. Partnering with the Empaths in my opinion was just the start of what the Arrows are going to show the world.

(I fell a little for the Arrow Aden, who is without a doubt the leader of these extraordinary group of people. Singh gives us a peak into his world too. But it's only to wet your feet, I can't wait for his book. )

Book Pages & Dropping Ink gives Shield of Winter 5 C4 bricks and a must read stamp of approval.
29 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Winner in the Psy-Changeling series 3 juin 2014
Par Jen Twimom - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by publisher.

Shield of Winter opens shortly after the fall of Silence and the world-altering events of the previous book, Heart of Obsidian. Kaleb Krychek has taken a leadership role for the Psy race now that their once-ruling council has been disbanded. He believes the empaths (E-designation Psys) are the key to stopping the horrible disease that is infecting the PsyNet - the psychic fabric that connects all Psys and provides the biofeedback necessary for the race to survive. Krychek wants to run an experiment with targeted volunteers (gone are the old ways of force) in the Snow Dancer-Dark River territory. Enter Vasic and Ivy Jane.

Ivy Jane is a damaged empath with extraordinary potential. She agrees to help Krychek to see if the E’s can save the Psys. Because of the social unrest after the fall of Silence, an Arrow is assigned to assist and protect each E-Psy. Vasic is charged with Ivy’s care, and the pair begin to develop a partnership and friendship. However, with time running out on multiple fronts, it is unclear if the group of E’s and Arrows can overcome the problems they face.

I found Shield of Winter to be an enjoyable follow up to the powerhouse story of Heart of Obsidian, and although it had the feel of a transitional book, the romance was sweet and the story engaging. I enjoyed learning more about both E’s and Arrows - two groups that until now, have not been looked at in much detail. In addition, I found the solution presented to cure the problems of the crashing PsyNet to be realistic within the parameters of the world. The journey to discover the solution was intense, although at times a bit drawn out, but overall, I enjoyed the plot.

Before this book, readers didn’t know much of Vasic, other than cryptic bits and pieces. I found that Ms. Singh did an excellent job of “humanizing” Vasic without changing his core personality, and without repeating the journey other hardline Psys like Kaleb and Judd took to find their freedom from the ties that bind. Right from the start, Vasic is shown as someone who is in the fight for his comrades, trying to give those like him a better life. By accepting his own fate (he has faltering tech attached to his body and only weeks to live), yet fighting for others because it is the right thing to do, the reader sees that Vasic can be kind without feeling the emotions behind the reasons. I found Vasic’s dedication to the E’s and his fierce loyalty helped created a hero that I wanted to get behind.

Ivy Jane is also a very likable character. She is not as outrageous with her emotions as previous heroines, but she has an infectious appreciation for life and dynamic personal connections. Right off the start, I liked Ivy’s attitude. She realized that she is defective and unstable, but that she didn’t deserve to be “violated and tortured” in her youth. I appreciate her willingness to trust Kaleb and his plans, even though she would have been condemned if Silence was still in place. Ivy is cautious, yet at the same time optimistic and willing to create change.

The pair have a slow-burning romance. One that starts in inquiries and dialogue, and moves towards teenage sexual interest. I loved how they both are curious and trying to understand the other... coming to ideas from two different directions and willing to listen. Then, as Ivy feels more for Vasic, I cheered for her willingness to go out on a limb and explore her sexuality. I adored their private moments as they began to build in to more and more. Overall, I didn’t mind the slow pace of the romance, because it fit the characters. However, Vasic’s teleporting problem every time the pair got intimate began to wear on me by the three-quarter mark of the book.

While there are a few important relationships throughout the story, and my favorite was the one between Zie Zen and Vasic. “Grandfather” is in fact, Vasic’s blood relative, although not too many know this. He was alive pre-Silence, and the story he shares about his lover Sunny, is touching. I adore how Vasic treats Grandfather with awe, reverence, and even love (although Vasic would never call it that). The pair share tender and intimate moments that brought a tear or two to my eyes.

Overall, Shield of Winter is a good story that brings readers into post-Silence life. Vasic and Ivy share a sweet romance, which is slow-burning yet pleasing. I loved their innocence and efforts to support one another no matter what. And while they didn’t share scorching hot sex scenes, it’s how it should be since they are both completely inexperienced virgins. The two main conflicts - the failing mechanical gauntlet grafted to Vasic’s arm, giving him weeks to live and the infection in the PsyNet gaining ground and driving Psys to a violent madness - provided solid suspense and action; however I did feel like it went on a bit too long. I would have preferred one less mass riot scene or so. The most touching scenes throughout the book were consistently those between Vasic and his grandfather. The book did hit on an emotional level many times, and overall, I really enjoyed the book.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Okay, not as great as other books 7 juin 2014
Par onetime - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
What disappointed me was that Vasic is pretty much Judd. I can't think of anything that separates the two, in my mind. And for the first half of the book, Ivy was just like Brenna. So I felt like I wasn't getting a new relationship.

I would have liked to have seen more of how the other empaths worked together to actually solve the problem, instead of having it being paraphrased in a few short paragraphs.

As always, I loved the Sascha/Lucas scenes; they are amongst my favorite Singh characters.

Oh, well. You know have to read the books anyway, because you like the world so much.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting Plot, Romance a Repeat 5 juin 2014
Par Sunnidale - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The story of the illness in the PsyNet and the solution (the Empaths rise again) was quite interesting. It took a while, lots of trial and error but the story kept my interest. Not so much with the romance between Ivy and Vasic. It is very similar to Sahara and Kaleb in Heart of Obsidian (her previous Psy/Changling novel): mistreated woman who is so much stronger than anyone expects rescuing a cold, silent, damaged male and dragging him into the light. Even the sex scenes are similar with the male losing control of his Psy powers and causing damage (in Kaleb's case, causing earthquakes, etc, in Vasic's case, teleporting them all over the world. Not one of her best, but still better than most other authors in this genre.
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