Sunday, 7 June 2015

Review - Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

Title: Shards of Hope
Series: Psy-Changling #14
Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: June 2, 2015

The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action” of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what. 

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

Shards of Hope is the fourteenth book in this excellent, auto-buy series, and with every new book, I marvel at the breadth and depth of this unique world, these stirring characters, and this heart-pounding series. With a now sprawling cast of Changeling, Psy and humans, all with varying talents, skills, challenges, issues and idiosyncrasies, the Psy-Changeling series is one full of surprises, romance, pain and, as the title of this book clearly states, hope. 

Injured and isolated, Arrows Aden and Zaira must fight to escape not just their would-be jailers, but also the harsh environment that threatens their lives as much as the men gunning for them. These deadly shadow soldiers have no choice but to survive, as attempts to shatter the unstable peace after the fall of Silence jeopardizes the fledging hope of those facing this new world. 

With the future promising a chance for even the most deadly and volatile members of society, Aden is determined to do all he can to ensure that no Arrow is left behind. But his blind faith may not be enough; not enough to stop those determined to take down the squad, and not enough to help Zaira see that her past and her pain does not make her broken beyond repair...

Having read and re-read this series so many times, to say I was excited to get my hands on Aden's story would be an understatement of epic proportions. But underneath my excitement was a healthy dose of nerves. Would this book live up to the others, including the fantastic previous installment, Shield of Winter? Would this story be enough for a reader whose desperation to return to the Changelings packs bordered on obsessive? Would the reveal of Aden's hidden, but hinted at, power be as epic as it needed to be? I am happy to say the answer all those questions was a resounding YES.

Within the first few pages, I was hooked. The action was rapid; the characters addicting. I'm amazed -- which, really, I shouldn't be given Ms. Singh's track record with this series and her equally brilliant Guild Hunter series -- at how seamlessly the characters, new and old, are worked into the overall story. And at how Shards of Hope intricately weaves a tale that's not only wonderful on its own, but is also the perfect addition to a series that moves forward rapidly and unapologetically. 

So much happens in this book, it would be impossible for me to list it all. And I wouldn't want to, because reading Aden and Zaira's story, a story about need and hope and faith and love, should be experienced without preconceived ideas about who and what they are, where they have been and where they are going, and how/if they are going to get there. Both of these characters have been seen in earlier books -- Aden more so -- but never like this. Ms. Singh makes their growth, and the changes they affect in themselves and those surrounding them, believable and understandable. Desirable. Needed. And a little bit heart-breaking.

Shards of Hope pushed this series into a new dimension. The story has changed so much since Slave to Sensation, and yet it's been so organic, you can't help but feel like you're living in this world. And as such, formed a strong bond with all of these characters, strong or weak, good or (mostly) bad, male or female, Psy, Changeling or human. I'm excited to see what comes next. With so many questions still unanswered and scores of characters that deserve their happily ever after, my desperation now knows no bounds. I need more of this series. And right now, I don't care how I get it. Or who it's about.

~ Review by Beth

Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives in New Zealand but travels as much as possible (the travel bug bit hard from when she escaped working as a lawyer to run away and teach English in Japan). Nalini loves to write, loves to read, and thinks chocolate is a food group. 

Find out more about Nalini at Make sure to join her monthly newsletter to receive exclusive updates, free short stories and more! 

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She enjoys hearing from readers, so drop her an email at nalinisinghwritesATgmailDOTcom if you ever have any questions!

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