Title: Slave to Sensation
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling, #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley (Imprint of Penguin)
Date Published: September 5th, 2006
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 coexistence, 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…
Slave to Sensation is the first book in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. I’ve had this one on my to-read list for a long, long time so I’m happy to say that I’ve finally gotten around to starting it.
In this book we meet Sascha who is a Psy, which is essentially a race of very powerful psychics. But the Psy aren’t humans by any means. A long time ago it was decided that the Psy race was better off without emotions so their children have been bred from birth with the understanding that emotions make them weak and they are taught to push them down until they are seemingly non-existent. But Sascha has a secret — she can feel, and boy does it make her scared because if the Psy Council (of which her mother is a member) finds this out, then she could be sentenced to death. Unfortunately for her, meeting Lucas certainly doesn’t help her situation.
Lucas is a changeling, which is essentially a shifter. He’s a black panther shifter and in contrast to the emotionless Psy, Changelings are a very affectionate and emotion-driven race. So when Sascha and Lucas have to work together on a business deal it is bound to end up a bit interesting for both of them.
I really, really liked this book. One thing that I’ve learned about Nalini Singh from reading her Guild Hunter series is that she’s amazing at building incredibly detailed and remarkable worlds that are unlike anything you’ve ever read about and very easy to get lost into. While it could be argued that Changelings are nothing more than shifters, the Psy world and PsyNet is incredibly unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read about. It’s actually the kind of thing that is almost impossible to explain, but somehow Singh does it with such ease that I was able to picture even the most extraordinary things in this book.
So the world alone is one that made the book amazing right off the bat . But aside from that I enjoyed the relationship between Sascha and Lucas, which is playful at first but clearly grows into something deeper as the book progresses. I really felt for Sascha because she’s at risk of losing everything, including her life, if she were to give into her feelings for Lucas. But its easy to see why she would be willing to risk it all because the interactions not only with Lucas, but with his pack were truly endearing, especially those scenes with the cubs.
I’m definitely happy to have finally started this series. I was pretty sure I would enjoy it since I do love her Guild Hunter series, and I’m happy to say I was right. If you’re a fan of shifters, psychics, and amazing world-building, then I’d definitely recommend this series.
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