Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Caressed by Ice - Nalini Singh

Caressed by Ice
Nalini Singh
Berkley Sensation

Paranormal Romance

Note: This is the third volume in this series, following SLAVE TO SENSATION and VISIONS OF HEAT. If you have not read the first two books, this review contains spoilers.

The Psy are beings who live almost exclusively on the mental plane, connected through the PsyNet. Their Silence Protocol has left them without emotions. Breaking Silence can have disastrous, even fatal, effects. No one knows this better than Judd Lauren. As an Arrow, a member of an elite assassin squad, he’s been off the grid for some time. When his sister committed suicide, the entire family was slated for “rehabilitation,” that would effectively wipe their minds clean. Judd risked his own life to help his family create their own Net. According to the Psy Council, the all-powerful ruling body, the Lauren family is dead.

Brenna Kincaid, member of the SnowDancer wolf Pack, is still recovering from being kidnapped and tortured by a Psy serial killer. She’s healed physically, but the psychic damage remains. Something keeps drawing her to Judd Lauren, the Psy. The Pack allows the family to live with them, for the sake of the children, but the adults are not trusted. Brenna has no idea what Judd did before arriving in SnowDancer lands, but she’s sure she can melt his icy exterior.

Judd is fairly sure of it, too. But, for him, it could mean death. There are Psy who can break Silence and still function. Judd isn’t one of them. His set of abilities, the ones that make him an effective assassin, must be chained by Silence at all times, lest he kill someone with a stray thought. For Judd, breaking Silence will eventually cause irreparable brain damage. He channels most of his energy into missions for a mysterious “Ghost” who works against the Council. Someone is trying to set the Packs against one another, and is using any means necessary to do it.

Many of the events here, particularly Brenna’s abduction, have their roots in the first novel, SLAVE TO SENSATION. The inner dealings and political maneuvering of the Psy Council is an arc that began in the first book, and still continues. Readers of the series will see the progression; newcomers will be brought up to speed fairly quickly. Judd, the first male Psy to be featured in this series, is a fascinating character. Not your average ‘bad boy,’ Judd has real blood on his hands, leaving his fate in real doubt. There’s a multi-layered mystery going on, dealing with current events and stretching back to the first book. All of this is handled deftly, as the author continues to deepen this complex world in a very realistic way. I hope there are many more installments to come.

Rating: 8
September 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21842-6 (paperback)


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