3.5 “Ensembles Just Aren’t My Bag Stars”
This was me before starting this book, literally:
“There’s not enough space in the universe to contain the squee right now.”
This was me when I cracked it open, read the Author’s Note, and soon realized that it was an “ensemble” book:
And this was me about 25 pages in:
Now, let me get one thing straight:
I love Nalini Singh.
Her writing and story lines are incomparable.
I am continuously impressed by her talent and the complex, tangible worlds she has been able to create in all of her series.
And such was definitely the case here.
The writing was flawless – as always.
The complexity of the overarching story brilliance was awesome – as always.
This book was waaaaaaay different from every other Psy-Changeling (PC) book up until this point.
All previous PC books have focused on a new couple pairing – with their specific story line in the forefront – while continuing the larger, overarching story line in the background.
However, as Singh states in the above mentioned Author’s Note:
“Shards of Hope closed what I think of as the first arc, or season one, of the series, while also opening season two. Before we dive fully into the next arc, however, I want to take a look back and see how far the and its characters have come since Slave to Sensation.”
And boy does she ever.
Take us through, Every. Single. Character, that is.
Almost to the point of exhaustion.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this book.
And I loved catching up with the vast majority all of our characters from previous books.
We got some cool moments between all of the different factions, e.g., SnowDancer, Dark River, the Human Alliance, the Forgotten, the Arrows, Kaleb/Sahara, NightStar…a LOT more insight and interactions with the elusive BlackSea pack, and some out of this world pupcubbery.
I felt like this book lacked a true focal point…
Now, I think that was Singh’s goal in having this book act as a kind of “bridge” between “season one” of the series – which dealt with the splintering and ultimate fall of silence – and “season two” – which looks like it’s going to deal with the Trinity group, it’s anti-thesis The Coalition, and the stabilization of the post-silence world as a whole.
But again, while I understand and appreciate the need for this book and its role as the “glue” between the two different series story arcs…that doesn’t change the fact that this book had a lot of drag.
In other words, there were some parts of this book that I really had to trudge through.
Or, to put it plainly:
Some parts were just dull as fuck.
The first 50 pages of this thing were super slow and really hard to get into.
Plus, I think it really just took me that long to come to grips with the fact that there would be no specific focal couple steering this 478-page Goliath.
Overall, I did enjoy this story as a whole, but I will say that it’s definitely not my favorite book in the series.
Without a focal couple, it felt like it was missing something to anchor it.
Plus, even though we got a few snippets of smexy between a few couples, I still felt like this book was missing the romance – or at least the level of romance I love and have come to expect from Nalini Singh.
That said, I don’t regret having read this.
In my opinion, a lot happens here that I feel will be vital to understanding the continuation of this series and I did really enjoy checking in with some of my favorite couples and characters.
Thus – despite not adoring this – it was still an enjoyable, if somewhat odd, PC read for me.
And I look forward to seeing what this series has in store for us next….
***ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review***
There’s not enough space in the universe to contain the squee right now. Well as squee as I get anyway…
Seriously though, I can’t believe I am holding this in my hands right now.
Dead. Dead from amazement and excitement, I tell you.
I’m getting an ARC directly from the AMAZING Nalini Singh herself!
So excited I might crap myself.
Suck it Netgalley!
Just kidding. Love you forever NetGalley.
Apparently I’m not cool enough/VIP enough for Berkeley Publishing.
And they sent me this whole long fucking list about how to make myself more appealing to them.
Lemme think about it…
Please God, let me get this ARC…