Thursday, 16 September 2010

Hostage to Pleasure - Nalini Singh

Hostage to Pleasure is #5 in the Psy-Changeling series. It ties up some of the plot ends left dangling at the end of Mine to Possess. Ashaya Aleine is a Psy who is desperate to save her son and escape the PsyNet. Dorian Christensen is a DarkRiver Sentinel who hates the Psi. His sister was killed by a Psy sociopath and he hungers for vengeance. Yet when Ashaya makes her break for freedom it is Dorian who helps her. But getting free of the Psynet is not an easy thing and the Psy Council are never more dangerous than when they feel they are losing control.

It's been a while since I read a Psy/Changeling book, for some reason I stalled out on the series. I don't know why because I love Nalini Singh's writing. Maybe part of the reason is that I didn't feel drawn to Dorian as a character. Having finished the book I admit that I didn't quite like it as much as the previous books in the series, but I am sorry that I waited so long to read it.

I don't think this is a story that you can come to without having read the previous books in the series first. The overall arc of the Psy/Changeling series is getting more complex - there are Psy machinations within machinations. Of particular interest to me is how Kaleb Krychek's story moves forward here. I love how even though Nalini Singh reveals more about him, he is still so mysterious. We're not 100% sure whose side he's on - other than his own. My other favourite inscrutable Psy - Vasic - also makes an appearance here. I hope that one day he will have a story of his own.

The story is multi-plotted, alongside the main story there are several other stories ticking along. I wonder if Keenan's comments about who he's going to marry will come true. I find this one of the most rewarding aspects of the Psy-Changeling series the sense that each story takes place in a much larger world.

It would be so easy to unintentionally spoil this book so this review is a little shorter than usual and a little more general.

Of the two main characters I found Ashaya the harder to connect with - though as she's Psy perhaps that's not surprising. What I think will become clearer on a second reading is how fractured her conditioning is. Something which I don't think you're immediately aware of on a first read through. I love books which have high readability.

It's Dorian (I think) who goes on the larger journey. He's at war with himself, drawn to Ashaya but repulsed by the Psy.
Attracted to one of the Silent?
His mouth set in a grim line. He'd cut off his own balls before he accepted that.
Hopefully I'm not giving too much away when I say that he doesn't have to resort to such a drastic option. :) But at the end it's Ashaya who makes the leap of faith to save them both.

I don't think it will be too long before I read the next Psy/Changeling book on my TBR pile. There are some series you shouldn't let stall.


Sullivan McPig said...

I still have to start this series. I really liked the short story in 'Burning Up' so should go and order the first book in the series.

Anonymous said...

This is a series that is sitting on my shelf, yelling at me to read it....sigh!!!

Too many books and not enough time.

Will have to pick up this one soon.

in Germany

LesleyW said...

Sullivan - This is one of my favourite series so I hope you get round to reading the rest of the books soon.

Valerie - lol, I can join in the shouting. But I completely appreciate having too many books and not enough time. I have a couple of three hour train journeys coming up so I hope I'm going to be able to catch up on some reading.