Narrator: Angela Dawe
Series: Psy-Changeling #5
Published by Tantor Audio on September 2, 2008
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Length: 12 hours 22 minutes
Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy--cool, calm, emotionless...at least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.
DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...
I have been enjoying the Psy-Changling Readalong, hosted by Anne @ Books of My Heart and today it’s my turn to do the featured review. The review below is the same BUT the official readalong post will have a bunch more goodies – including a giveaway, fun quotes and questions, etc – so be sure to stop by!
My top thoughts:
Hostage to Pleasure was another great addition to the series – not necessarily my favorite, but definitely in the running. I buddy read this one with Anne and as always we had lots of misguided guesses and ended with a bunch of new questions that I’m eager to see answered as the series progresses.
What I liked/didn’t like:
I think there were 3 things that really made this book stand out as a favorite for me.
- Undoubtedly, Ashaya Aleine is the number 1 reason I liked this book. She’s a Psy-mother, something we haven’t gotten this close to yet. It perhaps pulled me a little bit more because I have a toddler right now and so her protective feelings and tenderness towards her child (4 years old, if I remember correctly) was very familiar to me. There were some unexpected developments in that area which I think speak to the sensitivity that Nalini Singh brings to issues (so naturally, I sometimes wonder if it’s unintentional). I think it’s partly that she’s a mother and partly her nature, but Ashaya is fiercely determined. I really enjoyed her character.
- In some part because of Ashaya’s determined nature, a lot of things happen in Hostage to Pleasure to further the plot. I feel like we’re learning more and more about the various powers on the Psy Council and about the Psy Net. And Humans are coming into the story as a potential power player after all, in unexpected ways (at least for me). And this created quite a bit of solid action/tension. As more of an Urban Fantasy than Paranormal Romance reader, I enjoy this so much more than the romance. Hostage to Pleasure started out the most exciting I’ve seen yet – really launching off from the semi-cliff the last book left us on – and there were a lot more tense moments to match that pace throughout.
- We really saw a lot more of previous couples, even getting to have some of their POVs for a section of the book. I always enjoy revisiting couples we knew previously – in this case, we got a decent amount of Sascha and Lucas along with some others.
I do have a couple minor criticisms. First of all – Dorian. I was eager for his book. We met him back in book 1 and we’ve seen glimpses throughout the other books as he heals emotionally from what happened to his sister. We also know he is unable to shift – he’s latent (never been able to shift). I had such high hopes for his book – I was eagerly anticipating it. I think that Ashaya and her problems eclipse him though. I’m not saying that I want less of her, but I was underwhelmed by the way his long-term issues were handled. I guess some of it is that her issues, exacerbate his and solving her problems ends up becoming the priority. We do get his darkness and there is some truly great moments with his connection to her son. And I did enjoy their romance though – complete with their trust issues and his struggle to overcome his hatred for the Psy. So it’s minor, I just wanted MORE.
His shifting – along with another issue I won’t name because it’s a slight spoiler – felt like the big issues of the book (because I don’t get too hung up on the relationship issues, they aren’t my worry). And – my second criticism – they were wrapped up entirely too easily, in my opinion. I worried and contemplated them the whole book and… well I don’t want to spoil, but while I like the end result well enough, I’m not satisfied with how we got there.
Third, and this is really minor, but I think there’s a mistake in a time reference. In the last book I could have sworn we found out we had moved forward 2 years, but Sascha in this book, says she and Lucas have been mated for a year and a half. Seriously minor and maybe I’m even wrong (correct me if I am, seriously). REGARDLESS, I wish we had a clearer sense of time passing throughout the series; that would alleviate clinging to those tiny moments that tell you where we are in time and possibly misunderstanding/confusing.
The way this book wrapped up, I still have tons of questions that I can’t wait to have answered in the next few books.
I plan to continue listening because I adore Angela Dawe and I particularly enjoyed her voice for Ashaya’s 4 year old son in this book. She’s a fantastic narrator and I’ve yet to be disappointed by her performance.