Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nalini Singh: Slave to Sensation

Slave to Sensation: A+

Sascha Duncan & Lucas Hunter

Ooh, what an exciting read! I wish I was living in the amazing world of the Psy and the Changelings.

It is approximately 2060 and the world is full of shape-shifters (humans with the ability to shift into animals) and the Psy. The Psy consider themselves to be of the superior race because of their mental abilities, with each Psy being gifted in either telekinetic powers, telepathic powers, and etc. Back in 1969, the Psy implemented the “Silence” program because of the high numbers of serial killers among them. This program trained the Psy to throw away all their emotions, feelings, and any thoughts that would lead them astray from being the most logical and efficient.

The Psy also have a hierarchical system with the Cardinals ruling over the Psy. The Cardinals are the most powerful of the Psy and also regulate the PsyNet, an internet-like system where all Psy plug into for mental nourishment and interaction with other Psy.

It is in this world that Sascha Duncan is raised in. She, however, believes herself to be a defect because of her abnormal “changeling” tendencies. She finds herself wanting to feel emotion and occasionally, exhibiting traits that are forbidden in the Psy world. Sascha works hard to prevent others from seeing this part of her, for if the Psy discover her flaws, she would be placed into a rehabilitation system, a program to wipe out all but the most basic of brain functions (similar to a vegetable).

Sascha, because of business, meets Lucas, her flaws come out stronger than ever and it gets harder to hide her abnormality. When Lucas informs Sascha of a serial killer among the Psy targeting changelings, she chooses to put in a plan to make herself the bait… and places her life in danger.

There were some elements in this story that I absolutely loved. The creative PsyWorld, the fierceness of the changelings, Lucas and Sascha together… it was all great. But more than anything, I love that Sascha and Lucas showed each other (and to me) the true meaning of love: unconditional, sacrificial love. It’s beyond lust, it’s beyond liking, it’s beyond whirlwind romances… it’s the real thing.

The time had come for Sascha to put her plan into action: to go into PsyNet and find the killer hiding among the Psys by emanating changeling thought patterns.

The downfall: after she discovers the killer, she must block him, then cut herself off from the PsyNet, hence cutting herself off from her lifeline. All Psys must be connected to the PsyNet for its continuous source of mental sustenance.

Lucas, being the animalistic (hey, he’s half panther), domineering, alpha-male that he is, made Sashca promise to him that she after she cut her link from the PsyNet, that she would mentally link to him so that she would survive. He did this knowing that in several months’ time, she would drain him (because he doesn’t have the mental capacity that Psys do) and she’d end up killing him. Still, he wanted her to link him so that they could live for a little longer – and die together. (A little morbid, but romantic, nevertheless.)

Sascha goes in, does her deed, then cuts herself off, and refuses to link to Lucas… to save him.

The fact that Sascha was willing to sacrifice her life for a cause she believed to be worthy is admirable. The undeniable fact that she refused to draw strength from Lucas when she cut her life-giving link from the PsyNet was damn kickass. She was not only willing to give up her life for something she believed to be right, she refused to live so that Lucas would be able to live. She even went back on her promise to him – to save his life. What could be more heroic than that?

And Lucas, seeing that Sascha wasn’t going to connect to him, forces her to link to him through love. (dreamy sigh) His fury over Sascha’s deception and his determination for her to live is a scene I’ll never forget.

It’s romantic. It’s dreamy. It’s love, yo!

(I’m reminded of the scene from The Bronze Horseman where Tatiana sees Alexander dying and literally injects an IV into her vein to feed him the blood that he needs. The amount of blood that Alexander needs is an overwhelming amount and Tatiana eventually passes out from feeding him so much blood. When others try to pull the IV out of her, she refuses, knowing that it’s her blood that would keep Alexander living.)

Plus, all the males sound delicious and yummy. A little bossy, but forgivable because of their love for their mates (and the fact that the females all have minds and wit and aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves.). I loved that Sascha didn’t let Lucas bully her. (Who wants a feeble, weak heroine?)

If you’re into paranormals and want something different from the blood-sucking “Kiss of the Dracula/ Vampire” stories, run out and snag yourself a copy of this book. It’s most definitely worth your time!


1 comment:

Megan said...

Yay! Another book we agree on! I love the Psy/Changling series. They are all soooo good. I think right now my favorite is the third one Caressed by Ice, but they are all great. Can't wait to hear what you think of the next three.
~Megan