Sunday, June 9, 2013

Love Letter for the #PSY/CHANGELING Series and @NaliniSingh

One of the definitions of fangirl from is “A female who has overstepped the line between healthy fandom and indecent obsession.” While I wouldn’t necessarily label my love of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series as indecent, I don’t hesitate to call it an obsession. Since the day I opened Slave to Sensation and met Lucas, Sascha, Dorian, Mercy, Clay, Hawke, Sienna, Judd, Walker, Andrew, Riley, Nikita, and Vaughn, I fell utterly in love with the savage, beautiful, and provocative world inhabited by humans, Psy, and changelings. 

I could probably spend hours trying to give you examples, point by point, for what happened that day I read her first book, but I don’t what to try and give you a Reader’s Digest of this world because it is absolutely something you must experience for yourself and to do that, it means reading the books—and I can’t stress this part enough, it means reading them in order. 

With the release of Heart of Obsidian on June 4, there are currently 12 novels set in the Psy-Changeling world, several novellas and if you’re lucky enough to have subscribed to Ms. Singh’s newsletter, you get the occasional short as well. So without further ado, let me give you my reasons why this is a series you cannot miss, should rush out to buy right now if you haven’t, and if you have—well feel free to chime in below. The only thing I would ask for those of you who have read Heart of Obsidian – do not post spoilers below. I went into that novel spoiler-free and I believe to truly, truly appreciate the depth of the story Ms. Singh told is to take the same long journey through all the series to arrive at the same time as the rest of us.

How I Love Nalini Singh’s Breathtaking World

  1. My Writing Brain Turns Off - One of the drawbacks to being a writer for me is an inability to turn off the writing brain when reading. For me what that means is I am always in critique mode, a turn of phrase that an editor may have dinged for me in the past will leap off the page or story crafting where I don’t quite believe a character’s motivations will jettison me from the book. Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling turns off that part of my brain. I become 100% reader, immersed in a colorful, thoroughly textured world with a vibrant history and oftentimes violently uncertain present, but tempered by passion and love.
  2. Lush Setting - The series is set in the ‘near-future’ beginning sometime around 2079. But each book begins with a reflection back to 1979 when “Silence” began. This mixture of sober historical touches adds a level of depth and complexity to the ‘now’ within the series, a historical context if you will, and the wild promise of inherent danger.
  3. Beautiful Savagery – The primary Changeling packs we meet are the Dark River leopards and the Snow Dancer wolves. They promise violence to anyone who attacks their ‘packs,’ but they are without question fierce in their devotion and loyalty as they are violent to those who would do them harm. The history of these packs is soaked in blood, forged in fire, and tempered by hearts that are openly compassionate to those that are weaker than they and this need to protect—frankly it’s sexy as hell and makes you wish you were a part of one of these packs for the security they would provide.
  4. Icy Invitation – On the flip side of all that beautiful savagery is the ice-cold ‘perfection’ of the Silent Psy. Who doesn’t want to thaw the ice around these cold beings who willingly purge emotion through brutal suppression, reinforcement of painful dissonance, and absolute discipline because while their minds are brilliant and jagged in their power—they are also subject to the worst kinds of psychotic breaks. Yet it is the very thing that saves them that may damn them? The isolation from their own humanity is both vicious and vibrant—and when they awake, spectacularly magnificent. (Yes, I said I was a bit obsessed didn’t I?)
  5. Balanced Utterly – But never discount the humans that also inhabit this world, the humans who stand in the balance between these two utterly powerful races. They are wonderful in their utter ‘normalcy.’ Several humans can be found in the Packs, but also outside of it. Three that stand out absolutely for me are Ria, whom we meet in one of the novellas, Tally, and Max. It’s easy to overlook them, because they don’t change shapes or have powerful mental abilities, but it is their humanity that makes them so captivating.

I could go on, and on, and on about the series as anyone who follows me on Facebook can attest. At 10 minutes to midnight on June 3rd, Heart of Obsidian, book 12 downloaded to my Kindle. I literally finished up the edit I was working on and immediately flipped open the Kindle to read. I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning to finish it. I’ve read it twice more since then and then I had to dive back in and re-read the entire series.

Words that come to mind:

  • Lush 
  • Savage 
  • Exquisite 
  • Heart-wrenching 
  • Love 

On Saturday, June 8th, I had the delightful opportunity to see Ms. Singh at a local event called Boas and Tiaras. I had to take a moment since I was there as an author to catch her in the hall and go absolutely squee over the books. You see two years ago, I made some predictions about the series and was utterly delighted about those results. It thrilled me to be able to share with her just how immersed in the world she created that I have become and how much I loved the characters there—so much so that I literally do not care who she writes about next in this world, because I know I will love it. I have loved them all.

For now, I am deeply satisfied, but I know the hunger will come again as soon as we hear the title for the next book and we see the cover and of course, the countdown begins for 2014. But until then, I can visit the world occupied by Lucas, Vaughn, Dorian, Clay, Sascha, Faith, Judd, Brenna, Clay, Tally, Max, Sophia, Katya, Dev, Hawke, Walker, Lara, Sienna, Toby, Marlee, Ben, Roman, Julian, Tamsyn, Nate, Riley, Mercy, Drew, Indigo, Riaz, Adria, Kaleb, Father Perez, Vasic, Aden and so many more. I have a free pass.

I own the whole series. 

So from the bottom of my reading heart, since reading truly was my gateway drug to writing—thank you Nalini Singh. I think Heart of Obsidian was the best yet and I cannot wait to take a trip back to Dark River and Snow Dancer country. My passport is ready!

Happy reading, ya’ll. 



Susan W said...

This is one of my FAVORITE series! Slave to Sensation is one of my go to books when I want to read a comfort read. I can open it at any page and be sucked into the story right away!

Elaine Normandy said...

I read HoO three times in three days as well. I am very happy both with the book and the resolution of the Silence story arc.

Veronica Scott said...

I'm with you on point #1 which is when I'm reading her books, I can totally turn off the "writer" inside me and just...enjoy. Great post (loved your other points as well)!