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REVIEW – Slave to Sensation

January 28, 2009
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Slave to Sensation

Author: Nalini Singh
Copyright: 2006 (Berkley); pgs. 334
ISBN: 0-425-21286-6
Series: 1st in the Psy/Changeling series
Sensuality: Hot

Who: Sascha Duncan (Psy) and Lucas Hunter (Changeling)

Sascha Duncan is a Psy who’s talent never manifested itself — or so everyone, including Sascha, thinks — to the level it should have as a cardinal Psy. Psy should not experience feelings, yet Sascha can, and it’s getting harder to keep them hidden. She is assigned to work with the DarkRiver changelings on a housing project. On the surface, it looks to be nothing more than a business arrangement, but things aren’t what they seem.

Lucas Hunter, a panther, is the DarkRiver alpha. He’s investigating the death of a pack mate. Lucas is certain there is a serial killer out there, targeting Changeling females, and that the killer is a Psy. The Psy keep a close hold on their secrets and Lucas needs a way to infiltrate the PsyNet. He believes the best way to do that is to have direct dealings with a Psy. Lucas is intrigued by Sascha, sensing that she isn’t like the rest of her kind, and he comes to trust her enough to confides in her. Sascha is willing to help, but time is running out. A member of the local wolf pack has been abducted and her pack alpha is threatening an all-out attack on the Psy unless Lucas and Sascha can find the culprit. The only way to that could kill Sascha in the process.

I mostly enjoyed this book. The world building, in particular, hooked me and I liked the cast of characters enough that I promptly bought the other books in the series (including a pre-order) before I even finished the first one. However, I did have a few issues with the book.

One thing that bother me was that I felt there were several key incidents that should have been shown, not told. Sascha’s fear of rehabilitation would have had more impact if we’d seen what exactly happens to a Psy — in the Prologue, perhaps — instead of being told what happens. I also never got the feeling that Sascha was in any danger, no matter how many times she told us otherwise. Her mental shields held throughout; she spent much of her time with the Changelings, not the Psy where she’d have to be constantly on guard; and she was able to stall her mother and Enrique rather easily and effectively whenever they demanded information from her. Getting into the mind of the killer — seeing things from his point of view without revealing his identity — would have added a sense of danger if not to Sascha herself, then to show what they were up against.

My other issue, a minor one really, was reconciling Lucas’ past and his present behavior. I wasn’t expecting him to brood darkly throughout, but I thought he’d be a bit more aloof. I thought he’d resist his attraction to Sascha a little longer than he did, given his determination never to mate.

These issues did not change my decision to read the next book in the series. Like I said, the world building is something unique for me, and I am willing to give the series another try.

Started: 16 January 2009
Finished: 24 January 2009


5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2009 1:55 pm

    So you finally got around to reading StS!

    Something that I’ve noticed with every Psy/Changeling book except one, is that the males are very unresistant to the mating bond. Even if they suffered in the past or are wary of their mate, they still go full throttle with them. I can see where that would raise an issue.

    I have to say that I liked this book in the series the best. The rest were good, but they had little impact on me and aside from the world building, were a little forgettable.

  2. misscz permalink
    January 31, 2009 6:37 pm

    Yep. I did enjoy it — even if it sounds like I’m nitpicking. I think I should have read something else — the Heyer, maybe — between this book and Dawnkeepers. I really LOVED Dawnkeepers and that may have influenced my reading.

    A hero with a trauma like that should be reluctant to fall in love, or that how it’s usually presented in romance. I finally reconciled it, in my mind anyway, by reasoning that it’s the cat calling the shots, ignoring the man’s resistance/reluctance to the bonding. 😀

    I also have Angel’s Blood pre-ordered.

  3. January 31, 2009 11:14 pm

    This is still my favorite book out of all the Psy books.

  4. February 2, 2009 10:55 pm

    This is the second post I’ve come across today that talks about Singh’s world-building abilities. I’m impressed that you still are willing to give the Psy series another try because of this. I haven’t read this author yet, but I’m really thinking I’ll pick up one of her books soon.

  5. misscz permalink
    February 3, 2009 9:23 pm

    If I find the first book of a series to be a bit wobbly (in my opinion), I have to read the second book to really know. First books have to set up the series and the world it exists in, and sometimes that means something else gets shortchanged a bit. I try to keep that in mind as I read.

    I really liked the premise of the story and the world Ms. Singh created (alternate reality Earth). I’ve seen reviews for the second book that state the reader preferred it to the first one. I’m really looking forward to reading Visions of Heat, to find out if I fit in that category, too, or if I think the book equal or less than the first. 🙂

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