For my inaugural Spotlight, I’ll be talking about my all-time favorite, the Psy-Changeling series, which also happens to be written by my favorite author Nalini Singh. When I say this series is my favorite, I mean like really really my favorite. I own each book in the series and I’ve read them many times, often rereading the books prior to the release of a new one. My husband proposed using the first book in the series, my bridesmaids got me a signed copy of the UK edition, and I might have fangirled just a little bit when I got to meet Nalini Singh at the 2014 RT Book Lovers Convention. So when I wanted to write my first Spotlight post, there really wasn’t any question about what I would start with.
The world is divided into three groups — humans, changelings who turn into animals, and Psy who have psychic abilities. The three races lived in peace until 1979 when the Psy, drowning in the chaos of their abilities, began conditioning emotion out of their people. Now 100 years later, they are ruled by the ruthless and deadly Psy Council which demands icy perfection in it’s people. The changelings and humans live in opposition to the emotionless Psy race who believes that changelings and humans are beneath them. But the changelings are a force to be reckoned with and their power base is growing, especially in California where the DarkRiver leopards and the SnowDancer wolves rule. But things begin to change when one Psy can no longer hide who and what she really is.
And so starts the first in the series, Slave to Sensation, though you may want to note there are 2 prequel novellas that were written later but can be read at any time. Beginning this year, Nalini Singh began the Psy-Changeling Trinity series which is being described as “Season Two” of this epic journey. Though you could start the series here, I would highly recommend starting all the way from the beginning because the world and characters will be so much richer if you experience it from the beginning. You can find a more in-depth explanation of the Trinity series here on Nalini Singh’s website.
How I Found the Series
I’ve been reading this series since 2007 (holy crap 10 years!) and I can still remember the exact moment I found it. My parents and I would go to dinner every Friday night and we often found ourselves ending the evening at Barnes & Noble. I was a junior in high school and had been reading romance for several years so I made a beeline for the New Romance section every time. My eye caught on Visions of Heat and the cover blurb was beyond intriguing. I was a die-hard vampire PNR fan but hadn’t really ventured into shifters yet. I splurged my meager allowance on the book and promptly started reading it the next day (bonus: I also bought Dark Protector by Alexis Morgan).
I’m a stickler for reading a series in the correct order so when I realized that this was the second book, I jumped on my computer and quickly (not really because our internet was terribly slow) ordered the first in the series. As the saying goes, the rest was history. I was immediately blown away by the first few books in the series and there was no turning back from that point.
What I Love About the Series
These books have been such a huge part of my reading life and it’s a foundation for everything I love about romance. Nalini Singh is an incredible writer and it blows my mind that she came up with this amazing and wonderful world. The complexity of this series gets better with each book. When I started, I never predicted that this would grow and develop the way it has. From a simple story about divided races, it’s grown into a huge revolution with warring factions, rebel groups, good vs. evil. But there’s still a core of romance to each book. You always know that things will work out for the couple and though the rest of the world might still be in conflict, the HEA will be there.
Not only is Singh a master world builder, she also has a way of completely sucking you in and getting you invested in every character. I’ve practically grown up with the DarkRiver leopards, the SnowDancer wolves, the Psy, the Arrows, and so many more. Each character is unique, diverse, and absolutely fascinating. Character development can make or break a book and the characters in this series have always been a high point for me. Singh does a fantastic job of investing the reader in the lives of the characters. So much so, that when Psy-Changeling Trinity was announced, I was equal parts excited for new groups of changelings but also really upset that DarkRiver (my favorite) and SnowDancer wouldn’t be so prominent anymore. Reader’s joke about the “book hangover” and it’s so true when it comes to this series.
But what I love the most is the inherent romance that Singh writes into the books. Too often authors forget to add the romance in the romance genre. It’s about more than just lust and sex; it’s the small touches, the whispered words, the holding hands, an arm around the waist, a kiss on the neck, a quiet moment in each other’s presence. These are the things that make me believe two characters have fallen in love. Singh is a master at this and it always makes me want to sigh in happiness when I read her books.
- An immense and complex world with a deep history
- Characters you can easily fall in love with
- Deeply emotional experiences
- Characters overcoming familial expectations and social prejudices
- Characters you desperately want redemption for and characters you love to hate
- Further into the series, you also get epic battles and political intrigue
Favorite Books in the Series
Slave to Sensation: There’s always something about the first and this happens to be my favorite book of all time. Deeply emotional with a wonderful hero (Lucas Hunter, am I right?), I feel it’s the best series starter out there.
Caressed by Ice: Number three in the series, this one presents our first Psy hero instead of heroine. Judd is icy and jaded, but there’s a heart of gold buried in there and Brenna knows just how to melt it.
Hostage to Pleasure: Things really start to get complex by book five and I was anxiously awaiting Dorian’s story. He’s one of my favorite characters and watching him heal was beautiful.
Play of Passion: Number nine brings a lot of fire as Indigo and Drew tangle with each other. The sparks are flying because Drew is one hell of a charmer and he won’t let Indigo slip through his fingers.
Kiss of Snow: The long awaited number ten was a roller coaster of emotions. Hawke has been a beloved character from the very beginning and he fights falling in love every step of the way. This book also marks a bit of a turning point for the series and the world the characters live in.
It’ll be a long wait, but the next Psy-Changeling book, Ocean Light, will be out June 12, 2018. This will be the 2nd book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series.