Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us on a new adventure in this next novel of the Psy-Changeling Trinity series...

The end of Silence was supposed to create a better world for future generations. But trust is broken, and the alliance between Psy, Changeling, and human is thin. The problems that led to Silence are back in full force. Because Silence fixed nothing, just hid the problems.

This time, the Psy have to find a real answer to their problems—if one exists. Or their race will soon go extinct in a cascade of violence. The answer begins with an empath who is attuned to monsters—and who is going to charm a wolf into loving her despite his own demons.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really loved this story! Like the first two books in the Psy-Changeling Trinity, this story pretty much goes back to series basics – a damaged Psy meets an alpha changeling. Memory has spent most of her life a captive and Alexei’s world is alien to her. Like some of the Psy women we’ve seen in previous books, Memory’s abilities are terrifying and potentially dangerous.

One of my favourite parts of this book was getting to catch up with Sascha Duncan and her group of empaths. Many of the recent books have been set in various parts of the world and it was lovely to come back to SnowDancer, DarkRiver, and so many of my favourite characters.

Memory and Alexei’s relationship follows familiar patterns. Following straight after the mind-blowing Ocean Light, this book feels easy and comfortable. Alexei is a good romantic lead but there isn’t much that is new or novel about his character. Memory’s story has similarities to Sienna’s and there are also echoes of Brenna’s experiences. The combination of tormented Alpha wolf and strong female Psy is fairly formulaic but it's a familiar, comforting formula and I'm not really complaining.

I really like that these new Trinity books have moved away from some of the metaphysical theoretics that made my head spin. The overarching series plot about the crumbling Psy-Net became far too complicated for me by the last few books in the original series. There’s a little more about the Psy-Net in this book than there was in Ocean Light, but this is much less complicated than the last few books in the original series. I’m enjoying a return to the characters, relationships, and romance that made me first fall in love with this series.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Just when you thought the PsyNet might be settling down now that the Empaths are free from Silence, there is another storm brewing. Kaleb can sense it, but neither he nor the Net Mind or the Dark Mind can find it.

Alexei is having a hard time dealing with the loss of his brother. Taking a break from his normal routine, he scouts SnowDancer territory when he comes across a hidden bunker. What he finds surprises him. A Psy female who looks to be a prisoner, holding her dead cat. Alexei knows that this woman/child is important, and he leads her to safety. Hearing her story only makes Alexei more determined to protect her.

Memory hasn't had freedom since she was eight years old and the monster that holds her captive killed her mother. She's been brainwashed to believe that her gifts are evil and that she is a monster for having these gifts. What she is, however, is a very rare "E" sub-designation that can only help the PsyNet.

Yet there are people in the world that don't want the PsyNet to heal itself. They want the fragile alliance between the humans, changelings, and the Psy destroyed.

I love how we get to see old characters interacting with the new ones and I'm certainly glad we got to see Mercy's pup-cubs. I can't wait until we find out who's right – Are they wolves or cats?

Memory's strength and Lexi's determination make them stronger and able to take on the forces that seek to divide them.

Wolf Rain is the 18th installment of the Psy-Changeling series. While it's listed as the 3rd in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series, I suggest strongly against starting at Silver Silence. Go back to the very beginning and read Slave to Sensation, because I have no idea how a reader wouldn't be confused by reading only the past two novels, when all the foundation and world-building laid is from the original series, along with the plots mentioned and the characters cameoed.

After struggling with the past two novels, I immediately fell back in love with the Psy-Changeling series within a page or two of Wolf Rain. It was classic Singh. The world-building is immense, original, and intriguing, while the author breathes lifelike realism into the characters.

I'm not sure if I was simply struggling with the human aspects in the past novels, or simply because I adore the perfect balance of a Psy mated with a shifter.

Memory has been held captive since she was only eight years old, a Psy with an E-designation. Empath. Only Memory doesn't believe herself to be an Empath, more of a monster. The reader learns alongside Memory, how her E-designation functions, and that is why this novel resonated so strongly with me. The story unfolds, the information is delivered, smoothly and organically, as to not confuse the reader, because we're on this journey with Memory. No info-dumps as the all-knowing narrator tries to catch the reader up to speed, because our narrator is in the dark as much as we are, as we learn about this new type of Empath. This is why the flow is reminiscent of the earliest novels in the series, where we learned alongside the narrator.

Alexei is a wolf, displaying all the wolfy attributes that makes shifter stories so addictive. He's strong, fierce, possessive, yet compassionate. Terrified of going rogue like his father and brother, terrified of ending the life of his mate as his father and brother did, Alexei assumes it's the mating that triggers the rogue curse to be activated in his bloodline. He's grieving the heinous loss of his only brother and his sister-in-law, at the hands of the alpha who protected them all. Similar to a Psy, he's shut himself off emotionally, only engaging in the most basic of skin privileges.

What made me appreciate Wolf Rain so much is simply how the romance wasn't forced, wasn't thrust in my face from the pages. There was masculine and feminine appreciation, but no "OMG! He/she's so hot, I just can't help myself but to fall into love within three seconds!" Even with the fierce drive to mate for a wolf, Alexei and Memory take it slowly, building a connection over time and interaction, not using the need to 'mate' as an excuse for insta-love/lust/mating. There's a beautiful slow-burn nature to their romance that has the reader buying into the strength of the connection.

I struggled with the past two novels, as they both seemed too insta-love for my enjoyment. The last being between a human and shifter, when it was the human displaying the feelings of insta-love mating that just felt off. That had left me leery of the human couplings to come – as I said, Wolf Rain renewed my love of the series and regained the trust I placed in the author.

The pets and children were heartstring tuggers. Adorableness. The treat deliveries when Memory didn't realize it was part of the mating dance. The past characters shown. All of it put a smile on my face and clenched my heart.

Avoiding spoilers: the villains of the tale weren't mockeries. They were written with flaws that explained why they were the way they were, not simply to push the plot forward to a predetermined destination. What tied this all together is how they both interacted with Memory, balancing out the purposeful and usefulness of her unique gifts.

Before reading this novel, I was truly on the fence about continuing farther in the series. I realize books are hit or miss, and sometimes even our favorite authors within one of our favorite series won't resonate. But after two misses in a row, I was worried my reading tastes had changed. Wolf Rain was classic Psy-Changeling, and I look forward to more in the series to come.

Definitely recommend to Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy fans. Start at Slave to Sensation. Some of the books are more paranormal, some are more romancy, but most top my favorites list.

Also Available in the Psy-Changeling Trinity Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Silver Silence post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Ocean Light post.

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China, the Highlands of Scotland, and the frozen landscapes of Antarctica, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer. Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand. You can contact her directly through her website. While visiting the site, Nalini invites you to join her newsletter for up-to-date news about both the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series, as well as fun exclusive extras, including free short stories set in her worlds.

Connect with Nalini

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Berkley – http://www.penguin.com/publishers/berkley/

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Wolf Rain (Psy-Changeling Trinity #3, Psy-Changeling #18) by Nalini Singh to read and review.

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