This is not a review. This is a reaction.
This is not hyperbole: I have NEVER read a book like Slave to Sensation before.
It challenged me, it challenged my perceptions, my preferences, and my imagination.
I absolutely adored it.
It is unlike anything I have ever read. Given that I’ve read just over one hundred (100) books so far in 2009 I think that’s saying something…
I don’t read sci-fi/fantasy, some vampire paranormals are as far as I go.
But it wasn’t just the genre (sub-genre?) that was new to me – I think it was the writing. The imagination, the details, the personalities, the IDEA that these beings could exist – let alone battle evil and fall in love?!?! I’M in love!
Sigh, sign me up for another series addiction. Luckily I’m late to the game on this one so 5 more books in the series have already been written!
Set on a futuristic, alternate Earth in the year 2079 with 3 races – Humans, Changelings/shapeshifters, and the Psy with psychic abilities – I was utterly fascinated. Each race had defining characteristics, the way they spoke, moved, thought, and reacted belonged to them and them alone. That alternate Earth Ms. Singh created utterly captivated me.
The only times I’ve even come close to this kind of storytelling has been in movies, like Gattaca, Minority Report, hmm can’t think of any others right now…because again…I really don’t seek out this kind of stuff.
I’ve never read a book before where there are totally made up beings who are our hero/heroine. Sascha, the heroine, is a Psy. Her eyes are black with white sparkles. Black! With White Sparkles! When she is emotional the white sparkles turn into rainbow fireworks.
At first I was all, ugh, a non-human heroine? Yuck! Also in my imagination her eyes were like those old Windows Screensavers, like stars zooming towards you in a black field? You know?
But by page 10 I was being reeled in, hook, line, and sinker.
Sascha’s body is human, but her mind has extra powers such being able to speak mind-to-mind with other Psy’s and telekenesis. The exciting thing about this book is she has as yet unknown powers that do not fit the typical Psy profile and she must hide them from the others in her race, while at the same time exploring them.
The Hero, Lucas Hunter, is also very fascinating, even though he was not a totally new to me being like the Psy were. He is the alpha of the DarkRiver leopard changeling pack, but he turns into a panther. The added layers and twists to the legend, myth and magic of shapeshifters were all NEW and fascinating. The way his pack interacts, where they live, the hierarchy, the way they calm each other, the way they touch each other, the way even THEY are psychically connected is allll unique to Ms. Singh.
Again, I’ve never read anything like it.
I LOVED IT.
I’ve never read a book like that before because a futuristic Earth? With 3 races of beings? Color me disinterested.
But of course blogland is all abuzz with the Psy/Changeling series, I saw the first post somewhere about Ms. Singh maybe 4ish months ago and thought nothing of it.
I saw another few posts when the most recent book in her series came out and I was all “M’eh, not for me.”
But I was slipping closer to the edge, the Nalini Singh edge, ready to topple into the abyss of her amazing world-building.
I’m still on a reading high from the book so I feel like being a little silly (stick figure drawings inspired by Jill Pilgrim) so this was me:
Here is one of my favorite passages because it not only shows how COOL our heroine is, but just how cool the world-building and the possibilities within the world are:
Sascha just realized she’d attacked the alpha of DarkRiver. Too bad. He’d been acting like a complete Neanderthal. Meeting those eyes, which had gone more panther than human, she put her hands on her hips and tried to pretend the telekinetic effort [to push him] hadn’t worn her out.
“Still want to play?” It was a taunt she’d never have made before she’d started to spend so much time with changelings.
“Oh, yeah, kitten, I want to play.” Lucas moved towards her in that lighting-fast way of his, his emotions a mix of exhilaration and challenge.
She was ready. Using her remaining strength, she jumped backwards onto the table, the action almost catlike. Her Psy mind had watched the way the leopards moved and now it mimicked the beautifully smooth action. Lucas’s eyes widened as he found her halfway across the table. “You’ve been keeping secrets.”
“Poor baby,” she taunted.
He started to smile. “Come here.” – “Are you going to behave?” – “No.”
Her lips twitched. Feeling silly crouching on the table now that he was no longer chasing her, she jumped off to stand in front of him. His hand went to her neck again, holding her in a possessive grasp. Except this time, there was sensuality instead of anger in his touch. His kiss burned her though to her toes.
So I’ve only babbled on about the world building and romance, there is also a fascinating psycho killer sub plot where a woman from Lucas’s pack becomes the 7th victim of a Psy who is kidnapping, torturing, and eventual murdering changelings. Even this is linked the the traits of the Psy, because their brains are so powerful, they are overly cerebral, and by 2079 when the book is set they have eliminated all traces of emotion in their race. This superiority and cold calculation has caused a consistent percentage of them to be violent.
Honestly, the landscape of my reading has been forever changed. I feel like Slave to Sensation broadened my reading horizons, I can almost see it growing in my mind’s eye. Of course it IS still romance, but still!!!
Thank you to all of you who put up with my snooty self and continued to recommend Ms. Singh’s books!
Filed under: Grade A, Paranormal/Fantasy | 26 Comments »