Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Blaze of Memory was one of those books that exceeded my expectations significantly, although I know by now what a great author Nalini Singh is. I thought that Dev wouldn't be a very interesting hero (don't ask me why)--but I ended up loving him! He is my kind of hero: ruthless, dangerous, intensely masculine, possessive, powerful...I'll stop now. And, even better, he was capable of tenderness with wounded and fragile Katya. I liked how Nalini Singh showed the dilemma that Dev faced. He has taken on the tough role as the leader of the Shine Foundation, which was established to help the Forgotten, descendents of Psy who dropped out of the PsyNet to live their lives, embracing emotion. And things are not great for the Forgotten right now. The Psy Council has resorted to ruthless tactics to eliminate all the Forgotten. And the younger generation is showing new abilities that have the potential to be very dangerous, even if controlled. Dev carries a tremendous weight on his shoulders, and he does it well. He's a true alpha, in that he takes care of others, yet will fight for those in his care, and resort to being ruthless if necessary.
I was so glad that he found Katya. There was an instant bond between them. Dev had become more and more remote and icy in his dealings with people, as a way to keep control. His past had a horrible event that made him feel like control was absolutely necessary. But, even when he was ruthless, it was more than clear what a good man he was. No question about that. I thought his ability to manipulate metal and use that to control his emotions was very cool. Katya somehow negated this effect, making him into a passionate man and being his weakness in that sense (not really, though). I was really surprised at how possessive Dev was. That seemed more like a Changeling trait. But, I suppose that any man could feel that way about someone with whom he has a powerful connection; and it quickly became clear how connected Dev felt with Katya.
I loved Katya, too. She was emotionally and mentally broken, but somehow she was able to find the strength inside of herself to pick up the broken pieces left after being tortured by cardinal Psy Councilman Ming Le Bon, and made into a possible lethal time bomb weapon against the Forgotten. Poor Katya. How she suffered. She was soft and sweet, but strong at the same time. Her gentleness was the foil for Dev's strength. Yet, he didn't swallow her up or consume her identity.
I just love when a couple turns out to be perfect for each other in a romance. I definitely felt that way about Katya and Dev. They had a lot of chemistry, but there was a strong emotional bond there. To be honest, I wish the love scenes were longer, and in depth, but they were pretty hot the way they were. I loved all the touching and connection they had--Katya needed the stability of touch after her horrible torture, and Dev felt this need to be close to her, and give her with she needed in all ways. It gave me the warm and fuzzies.
This book has a lot of science fiction elements that I loved. I never thought I'd be so into psychic talents in paranormal romance. But I've found I love it, especially after reading this series and the Ghostwalker books by Christine Feehan. And Ms. Singh doesn't let those who like the Psy part of the equation down at all. It's funny. Despite being the shapeshifter lover that I am, I find that Psy-centered books in this series come out on top. I guess I like seeing the powerful abilities, and how the intrinsic human nature that the Psy try to suppress always wins out over intellect and logic. That's real life to me. It gives this very futuristic, cerebral concept a grounding in everyday reality of human existence that appeals to me.
At first, I wasn't too fond of the letter parts and the reports from the Sunshine Facility, but I see why Ms. Singh incorporated those. It really does tie into the story very well.
Can I say that the climax nearly broke my heart? I didn't think I could handle it. Oh, Dev's pain just about killed me, and seeing the suffering that Katya went through! But, Ms. Singh really pulled it off. The part with the kids, oh, I thought I was going to cry tears of joy. That was just perfect. And, you get to see a lot of the other beloved characters return and take part in this story. Judd, Sigh! Dorian, Big, Huge, Sigh! The list goes on.
I am so in love with this series. It really stands out amongst the various paranormal series. I think Ms. Singh has come up with such a brilliant concept here, and she executes it fabulously. I will definitely read every book she writes. And, I am so glad that she managed to give me such an unsuspectingly fantastic and delicious new hero to love in Dev Santos. I can't wait to see what surprises she comes up with for me next.
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