Sunday, January 6, 2013

Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Title: Slave to Sensation
Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 1
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Length: 293 Pages
Publication Date: September 5, 2006
Available Format: Kindle Edition, eBook, Paperback, Mass Paperback, Audiobook.
Source: Bought
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Get it @: Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads


In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Sometimes I put off books based on the most idiotic of arguments. In this case it was the cover and the length of the series. Although the cover has an incredibly hot guy, something about it (can’t quite say what) wasn’t calling me. But thanks to Kick’n Ladies I gave this series a go and boy I wish I had done so a while ago.

Slave to Sensation is the first book in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. A Paranormal Romance novel that has both Dystopian and Sci-Fi elements. The story is set in a futuristic urban environment, making it also classifiable under the Urban Fantasy genre. The story’s present timeframe is 2079, one hundred years after the Psy race implemented Silence –an inductivism protocol design to strip away emotions from each individual. As someone who is majoring in Education, and who happens to be taking two psychology classes this term, I am very familiar with Pavlov’s system of rewards/punishment to elicit a desired reaction in another individual. The truth is that this is the first book in the PNR genre that I come across that leans so heavily in this construct in order to delineate half of its staring world building. As a result of 100 years under this indoctrination, the Psy people are the most cerebral of all the races, but they are also the most cold hearted and snobbish that you can find. After all when your entire race is known as those who rule, you are bound to believe that you are better than most. Likewise their world is all steel and glass; tall, cold, concrete buildings that can be houses, but never a home.

In contrast to the Psy we have the Changelings, which are your average shifters, people that are born with the ability to shift into a particular animal and whom are much more in tune with their natural, more primeval side. Where the Psy are cold and calculative, the Changelings are instinct and emotions, calm and detachment [the Psy] VS fire and dominance [the Changelings].

I love the way Nalini Singh explores the intertwining and the clashing of these two opposite worlds. In her story we have Sasha Duncan, a Psy Cardinal who in the outside is the poster child of the Psy forces, but who hides a terrible secret: she can feel emotions (something that is considered a defect in her world). On the other side we have Lucas Hunter, the Dark River Pack alpha who witness (and survived by cheer will power) his family’s murder when he was a child. Hunter is not only his last name, but also his title. He's not only responsible for the welfare of his pack, but also in charge of hunting and stopping those changeling who have gone rogue and have taken too much a liking to their animal half. Following these two characters as they dance around each other turned out to be extremely addictive and entertaining.

The bottom line is that Slave to Sensation opens the door to a world with major power struggles that threaten to alter the very nature of the character’s existence. It has a great love story that leaves you wanting more. Oh and did I mention that it has scorching hot sex scenes. Sasha has never experience actual physical contact, until she meets Lucas and OMG does those two know how turn things on fire. If you are not afraid of great story aided by some steamy, almost poetic, but highly graphic scenes, then I suggest you pick up this book and give Psy-Changeling a try; I know I didn’t regret it.

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