Author: Nalini Singh
Book Name: Shards of Hope
Blurb: Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.
And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what. This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.
Review: Love, love, LOVED it. Yet again, Nalini Singh shows that she is an example to follow when it comes to writing a truly excellent fantasy novel.
The world she created for the Psy-Changeling series is amazingly done. There are so many times where something that would have, under any other author, blown my ability to stay enmeshed and believing in the stories right out of the water, but she always follows through and makes it work so smoothly that I don’t even realize it until much later and I think back on how well she crafts her stories.
I adore the blend of cultures she has created for this world and that each one has their own unique abilities and vulnerabilities. I have to say that my favorites are the changelings. Though we didn’t get to spend as much time with them in this book, I was not disappointed. We did get to see how much the world has begun to change after the fall of Silence and the fact that it impacts more than just the Psy.
Both Aden and Zaira in this book are strong characters and I love that, even with Silence in place while they were young and becoming Arrows, they stayed connected and loyal to each other. Their story has some similar characteristics we’ve seen out of other Psy pair stories from this series in the past, but it is still very unique. Even though this is book 14 in the series, it is far from cookie cutter.
Zaira has her damage and with that, her doubts, but they way Ms. Singh brings her to life in this story still allows her to have those doubts without the character becoming so doubt filled she is unable to still be an amazingly strong character. That is sort of a signature in her writing and a facet that I love about all of her books.
I really enjoyed the revelation of Aden’s actual strength and his uniqueness. It makes me wonder if his abilities are hints at what some of the Forgotten children, that are mentioned in passing in this book, will develop in later books. Lots of new potential for new, future, issues were hinted at and I’m anxious to see where the next book is going to take us.