REVIEW: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Dear Ms. Singh:
Your story presents a complex but not complicated paranormal inhabited by strong personalities. The plot is fairly simple. Lucas Hunter, the alpha of the DarkRiver leopard pack, is searching for a Psy serial killer who is kidnapping, torturing and killing changeling women. In order to find out more about the mysterious Psy, he offers his business services as a consultant and agent for a construction project run by the Duncan family. This puts him in direct contact with Sascha Duncan, a cardinal Psy.
The Psy are a species who have been trained from birth to not feel emotion. The Silence was a program to stamp out emotion in order to rid itself of violence. But some Psy do feel and Sascha Duncan is one of them. The problem is that Sascha understands that to feel is weak and that the Psy do not allow for weakness within its group. The weak are culled from the herd and basically institutionalized.
The setup creates instant conflict. Sascha a Psy who must feel no emotion is thrown together with Lucas, a changeling whose entire existence is built upon feeling. Lucas feels every emotional range, from hate and vengeance, to caring and love. Importantly, however, is that the conflict in this story is external and does not rely on the Big Mis or hateful actions by the protagonists to drive the story forward.
As Sascha realizes that she is losing control over her ability to eliminate emotions, the worst thing that can happen to her no longer becomes having emotion but living without it. As Sascha becomes more important to Lucas, the worst thing changes for him as well. While there is not significant intricate layering in the story, the subject matter is provocative. The story impels us toward the maxim that feelings, no matter how gritty and painful, are more worthwhile that living without. There are extremely romantic moments and sentiments expressed by both characters.
The sexual tension is thick and the consumation scenes are intense. This book has it all: the paranormal aspect, the alpha hero, the strong heroine, the hot sexy romance, and external conflict. There was a plausible and believable ending which, if a little schmaltzy, suited me just fine. In fact, I could have even endured a few more epilogue pages to show Lucas and Sascha enjoying themselves together.
It’s a book that fulfilled all my emotional needs as a romance reader, closing with a satisfactory HEA ending but still left me anxious for more. The setup for future books was excellent and not at all intrusive. I feel that this is the beginning of a great series. A for the book.