Monday, February 19, 2007

Slave To Sensation by Nalini Singh

I predict that Slave To Sensation will fall within my Top Ten Reads for 2007. Fabulous book.

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Like Marjorie Liu’s books, Slave To Sensation is another that transcends my aversions to complex world building and characters with animal DNA. Singh deftly solicited my care for the heroine, Sascha, within a few paragraphs. Then she engaged my heart with the promise of a great romance in Sascha’s first meeting with Lucas, the hero. All before page ten. Under the tingle of anticipation, the subsequent introduction of Singh’s Psy and Changling worlds felt seamless, unobtrusive. Serving only to layer her characters and bring readers to the edge of their seat.

Singh’s focus on her characters kept me well immersed in the story. Sascha’s struggle to survive was heart wrenching. And I desperately wanted a happy ending for her. A dozen scenarios played in my head, but Singh managed to keep me guessing to the last few pages. I remained uncertain about Sascha’s mother and other Psy. I wondered if Sascha was truly Psy at all. I anticipated some revelation about Lucas’ own genetic makeup. In short, I was utterly engrossed in the mystery and hopeful for a positive twist around every corner. To that end, the suspense in this book was phenomenal. The danger ever-present and the unknown filled with both horror and hope.

Lucas was an exotic hero. A Changeling, the panther in him provided for a sleek and powerful masculinity, an extraordinary alpha commanding both fear and trust. Singh’s insistence on presenting the man and beast as one in mind and spirit worked beautifully. I could never separate the two and loved the cat as much as the man. Just as man and beast ride the same edge of the knife, so do his strength and vulnerabilities. As a result, I was equally desperate for his happy ending, searching for hope every time I turned a page.

The plane on which Singh brings Sascha and Lucas together provided for an unexpected and poignant intimacy—one Singh easily established despite all logical constraints. Again, another construct indigenous to paranormals that I typically reject. Here, it made all the sense in their world and I was nothing short of captivated.

Slave To Sensation’s supporting characters—specifically those in the Changeling packs—also charmed. In addition to their respective roles in the conflict, each contributes to the character development of Lucas and, to some extent, Sascha. They all serve to heighten the predatory tension Singh uses to both frighten and arouse. None more so than Hawke, alpha leader of the wolf pack. With Hawke, Singh sequel baits just enough to trigger the series lovers’ saliva glands.

All in all, another one of those widely recommended reads I now regret having put off. And another outside my traditional comfort zone that I will push on my other, non-paranormal reading friends. Ahem. Lori, darling?


  1. It was a fabulous book wasn't it?

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it, methinks we have very similar taste in books, because I too generally hate paranormals, and all the confusing world-building issues that normally go hand in hand with them

  2. Are you just reading this one now? Lucky you that you don't have the long wait the rest of us did for her next one (due out very soon now!)

  3. This book was great! I'm glad you enjoyed it, Jennifer :) and you read it just in time for the sequel which is coming out next month :)

  4. *sigh* oh. all. right. Bring it on.


  5. As another person who generally dislikes paranormals, I agree this one's worth it!

  6. As most of my TBR items originate at your recommendation Karen, I'd have to agree. LOL We do like the same stuff. *g*

    Kristie and Nath - I couldn't be happier about the next release. *g* But I know I'll have to order online. I live rurally and will have no chance of picking up the book locally. Sigh.

    Jennie - With paranormals, I go with the titles everyone here raves about. Otherwise, I still skip over them when browsing online. So far, this blogging community hasn't let me down. *g*

    Lori - On its way Love!

  7. Thanks Chantal! Hurry up and read it...LOL. Everyone tells me the next in this series is close. *g*


Have you read it? What do you think?

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