Shield of Winter (Psy/Changeling #13)

Why would you flirt with me? ...I'm already yours.

Shield of Winter
Nalini Singh
Psy/Changeling, book thirteen
ebook, 448 pages
ISBN 9780425264010

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she'll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

Ah. The one that started it all.

When I originally purchased Shield of Winter, I had not yet read the first twelve books of the series. I mean, read the first paragraph of the blurb. How does one not ache to read a story with that context?? Pages in, though, I realized that starting here would be a major mistake and quickly went in search of book one. The world of the Psy/Changeling races is no way a simple one. Start from the beginning with this series. You'll be lost if you don't.

Firstly, having read some reviews, I gotta ask: Why the hell do so many people think Vasic was going to end up with Aden? I mean, what? Where was there even a hint of a glimmer of that? It's almost as bad as those who didn't know the identity of the Ghost. What. The. Hell. I can't help it. I pity them. His identity was obvious from his very first appearance.

And now that my moment of incredulity is over...

The changeling packs didn't play much of a role in the last book. How could they, with Kaleb's overwhelming presence? But the most noteworthy advancement was that Mercy is pregnant, with twins! So happy for her and Riley.

This installment begins a mere month after the last, after the fall of Silence, as Kaleb tasks the Arrows to find and employ ten suspected E-Psy to aide in the containment and possible cure for the infection contaminated the Psy Net. Vasic's target is that of Ivy Jane, a twenty-three year old woman who has suffered a reconditioning at age sixteen that few could have had survived, and just might have lost her empath power in the process of it.

"Send me another image."

Unfortunately, Vasic is not Kaleb. Oh, how that man has ruined me. While Kaleb took the time to research intimacy, because yes, he knew he would find Sahara one day, and even Judd took the time to read a book, Vasic wasn't so inclined and therefore failed miserably when it came to being with Ivy. Not saying he wasn't completely adorable in his own innocent way, but the guy couldn't kiss. He learned as he went. As did she. Sufficient to say, it made for some awkward moments.

"I'll get a manual."

When Kaleb lost sexual control, the ground quaked. With Vasic, he spontaneously teleports with Ivy with him. Personally I'd rather send tremors through the earth but at least Vasic managed a loop of uninhabited landscapes. Even Judd had a laugh at his expense as Judd's worst had been breaking all the damn furniture in the house.

While I can't say I truly loved the story of Vasic, I do think it was more Ivy's fault than his. Rabbit certainly didn't endear me, and I do otherwise love dogs. Aden, Sahara, and of course Kaleb managed to keep me in the game while Lucas and Sasha made small appearances as well. I could have done without the 'poster child for Arrow romance' angle and Vasic losing his arm to life saving surgery was a tad blah. Lastly, if any Psy couples are going to have kids, let it be Kaleb and Sahara. They may have more on their plate--and handle it oh so well at that--but I don't think I can I handle Ivy procreating.

3 out of 5 stars.

Previously in the series:

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