Well, I jumped into Allegiance of Honor before I really knew much about it. Nalini’s author’s note gave me more insight on how Shards of Hope closed out “season 1” of the Psy-Changling series. She wanted to revisit the high points of this season from book one, Slave to Sensation, before pushing forward with “season 2” with a new generation. Alliegiance of Honor is about revisiting several couples we have grown to love while saying a good-bye at the same time.
The overall theme of the story takes on multiple threads. Several main ones run throughout the story like the young water changling who has been kidnapped, scarred, tortured and sends out a message in a bottle hoping for rescue. There is a lot about Naya, Lucas and Sascha’s daughter. She is the first child coming out of this rebirth and thought of as being dangerous by some groups. A plot to kidnap her is hatched and drives a lot of the story as well. There is also the decaying spots of the Psy-Net that the E-Psy have no explanation. We can’t forget Xavier, the priest, who goes looking for his long lost love through letters.
What’s the common thread of all the many, many stories is the connection that one group of people cannot do everything and they must all work together to resolve issues. There are plenty of other stories, but those are the main threads connecting the different groups.
I loved visiting all the characters I loved, but at times I felt like the basics were being explained to me again and even multiple times within this same story. Like touch privileges. I knew about them, but I got taught again and again about them. Or how the alpha knows how to handle things, his connection to his pack, to his mate and children. Yep, read that all before. At times I felt it was dragging with the reiterating of the details over more than once.
The second thing that got to me is we see only one sex scene in the entire story. It is not about passion at all. Lucas and Sacha over and over tough a lot, but never get going in the bedroom. Yes, they have a one year old and we all know what that means, but I wanted some alone time for them to get it on.
Hawke and Sienna get some time, but it is over quick and easy. These two were my favorite love story and I wanted more.
Riley and Mercy are expecting their pupcubs any day. The pool is getting huge on how many she is having, the sexes and if they will be wolf or leopard. While they are central to the story, you don’t get much one on one time with this couple.
Other couples come in and out throughout the story as they work through all the intricate stories binding them in different ways. While it felt like closure, a lot of loose ends were also left open for another season of Psy-Changlings to take over.
So while I liked coming back to see all my favorite characters, the story incorporated a lot of content, that left me skimming at times or putting the book down to take a break. Clocking in at 492 pages, it isn’t a short read by any stretch. There are happy endings, good for now endings and some threads we will see come back in the future. While I enjoyed the stories, it did leave me feeling kind of blah about it all, thus why it ended up being 3.5. It was just too much shoved into a book with some preachy moments that turned me off.
So I look forward to season 2 and getting to hopefully know more Psy-Changlings.
Literary Pickers: Underwater
Nalini Singh on the future of the Psy-Changeling series
Is Allegiance of Honor the end of the Psy-Changeling series?
No, it’s not. 🙂 I ADORE this world and the characters and I have so many Psy-Changeling stories yet to tell. (I’ve often joked that I’ll be writing this series until I’m ninety-eight!)
Where do you see the Psy-Changeling world going from here? Who is the next book about?
(Slightly spoilery answer to follow if you’re just starting the series).
Allegiance of Honor sets up a lot of possibilities for the future. There are many avenues I could take. However, for me, this arc is all about what happens not just to the Psy, but to the world, now that Silence has fallen and all the rules have changed.
We’ve had the immediate aftermath books, both of which focused on the Psy race (Shield of Winter & Shards of Hope), but what about the wider long-term future? Because Silence existed for a reason. The Psy still have these incredible abilities that have the potential to drive them murderously insane, and the world is still a fractured triumvirate. And there are players about whom we know very little, like the falcons and BlackSea.
As for who’s book is next, I’m not ready to announce it yet because I want to be certain this character is ready – but I think you’ll be pleased. 😉
Excerpt from Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
Lucas had had to chase Naya around the aerie at bedtime last night—her walk might still be a little shaky, but she was a rocket when it came to crawling. Dressed only in a diaper, she’d laughed uproariously and said a loud, firm “No” each time Lucas caught her and put her in her crib.
After which she’d clamber out—she’d figured out how to escape a month earlier—and the game would begin again. Of course, since Lucas was a cat, he’d been having just as much fun as their daughter. Sascha, meanwhile, had sat in the living room with a cup of hot chocolate and just indulged in the sight of her mate playing with their cub.
She’d had to pretend to be stern when Naya ran over and pleaded her case with loud sounds and wild gesticulations of her hands. “No, Naya,” she’d said, biting her tongue in an effort not to laugh. “It’s time for bed. Go with Papa.”
At which point, Naya had growled at her, eyes sparkling with mischief.
And Sascha had cracked, laughing so hard she’d had to put down her hot chocolate before she spilled it. Lucas had shaken his head as Naya plopped down on her diaper-covered butt and joined in, clapping her hands at having made her mommy laugh. “No discipline.” Lucas had mock-growled at her before picking up their misbehaving baby. “And you”—a growly nuzzle that made Naya laugh harder and pat his stubbled cheek—“time for bed.”
He’d finally got her to sleep—by walking around with her pressed up against his bare chest.
Today, their cub was playing in the living area just outside the kitchen nook. Sascha had locked the aerie door to ensure Naya wouldn’t undo the latch and go out onto the balcony, and Lucas had childproofed the entire main area of the aerie, so Naya was free to roam as she liked. A lot of the time she practiced her walking skills. And no matter how often she fell down, she started back up again after a little break.
Stubborn, determined baby.
Peeking out from the kitchen, Sascha found her concentrating on stacking the colored alphabet blocks Faith and Vaughn had given her as a gift. Beside her sat a more than slightly ragged wolf plush toy, aka “The Toy That Shall Not Be Named.” Hawke had given that to Naya when she was a newborn, and it remained her favorite snuggle toy, much to her father’s despair.
Though Lucas did enjoy it when Naya went leopard on the toy, growling and “fighting” with the wolf. Then he’d smile and say, “That’s my girl.”
Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2016.
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