I love it when an author has the ability to enhance and build upon a world in a series. Getting to know characters who have only played a small part in previous books and watching their stories unfold is one of my favourite things about reading series. Oh, and matching covers that are beautifully done… well I’m a bit of a sucker for that as well which is why I’m trading in my old set of Psy-Changelling books and getting the ones with these new covers.
Shifter vs Psychics, net mind concept, solid world building, contrasts (cold vs feeling, tech vs nature, control vs elemental), new cover!
Quote that best sums up the lead (female) character:
“Shivering at the morbid thought, she crawled back into bed and lay there, staring up at the ceiling, memories of blood and horror her only companions. And though she refused to admit she felt anything, loneliness had a claw grip around her heart.
What the psy race will do to each other in order to protect business assets and their precious silence is all the more brutal for the calmness and logic with which it is done. By taking concepts already established in Slave to Sensation, Visions of Heat slowly builds on the world building that set the Psy-Changelling series off to such a good start. The concept of killers being hidden within the psy world is built on as an F-Psy sits locked away in a virtual fortress leaving her vulnerable to psychic attack.
Faith NightStar is a cardinal F-Psy. She has an unprecedented success rate in her predictions making her worth billions to her family and the corporations she works for. As a result she has been locked away, removed from all contact and monitored continually since she was three. She isn’t touched or nurtured and isn’t close to her family, which is why she doesn’t realise that the dark visions she has been having were of her sisters murder. I really liked Faith. The way her character worked to push past the boundaries of her existence was both brave and at times fool-hardy. She isn’t like Sascha who had grown up knowing she was capable of feeling – she has to go from one of the loneliest existence’s I’ve ever heard described to one where she not only feels but is touched. It’s a big leap, plus when you add that she has grown up with the knowledge that F-Psy’s have a tendency to loose their minds it’s no wonder a lot of her decision had the feeling of a person running on borrowed time.
Vaughn is jaguar living in a leopard pack. Because of the way Ms Singh so skilfully portrays the cat as separate to the man, you get a real sense of subtle differences between his cat and Lucas’s. He is unfailingly loyal to his pack and this story allowed the concept of the sentinels to be expanded on, giving the reader an understanding of what it means to their day to day lives. These boys are lead around by their cats. No, really I mean their cats. Vaughn’s cat decided that Faith was the one long before Vaughn was even comfortable being attracted to Faith. Half the time he couldn’t explain why he was doing something or why he was certain a particular course of action was the right one which lead to some interesting internal dialogue.
The relationship between Vaughn and Faith was an interesting one to watch develop. I had the feeling at times that the man and woman viewed each other as ticking time bombs. Walk very slowly and carefully and you may have a chance of surviving. Vaughn’s cat however was pretty much sure from the start. I have to give Vaughn credit for having moments of uncertainty about whether Faith was attracted to him or whether she was just clinging because he was the first on to show her touch and affection. He treaded carefully with her, pushing her as far as he thought she could take but ultimately trusting her to be her own woman. Without giving away to many spoilers I loved the fact that Faith, in the end made a conscious reasoned decision to be with Vaughn (and no, that’s not the ending of the book).
You got to see more of both packs and psy’s in this story. Enough that you can tell the author has a well thought out story arc planned for the series. You are given glimpses of characters who may have their own stories further in the series, but you’re never hit over the head with them. Of course, I know who is next, but if I hadn’t known I can’t say that I could pick it just from this book. And I like that. I like feeling like what’s going to happen next is a bit of a mystery rather than it being obvious that so-and-so’s story is coming up next.
The concept of the net-mind is what really made this story stand out for me. It was beautifully executed. Actually the whole story is beautifully executed. The way the stories flow in these books almost has a gentle feel to it. There’s no harsh conclusions or big battles which suited the story perfectly. Faith has lived so much in her own mind it’s fitting that her story developed and concluded in line with that. The same way that Sascha’s story developed in line with her own unique history. The writing style is the same but their stories feel unique and special to them. Which is going to make this an interesting series to follow.