Friday, July 15, 2022

Last Guard by Nalini Singh

She’ll fight to the death to protect designation A. And he’ll fight to the death to protect her.

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to a world devastated by change in her award-winning Psy-Changeling Trinity series, where two people defined by their aloneness hold the fate of the Psy in their hands...

Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.

For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed “imperfect” by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel for the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.

To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet... or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Psy-Changeling Trinity series!
For book one, Silver Silence, click HERE.
For book two, Ocean Light, click HERE.
For book three, Wolf Rain, click HERE.
For book four, Alpha Night, click HERE.


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Last Guard by Nalini Singh

Book 5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Hardcover (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
Berkley (PRH)



I will protect you always. Never will I hurt you.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Nalini Singh's world building is truly unique. In the world of the Psy-Changelings, we have met and fell in love with lots of changelings and Psy, but I have to admit that Canto Mercant is one of my favorites of all.

As a child, he was subjected to extreme cruelty in order to perfect his silence, and when one of those injuries causes him to lose his ability to walk, he is now flawed physically yet being able to maintain his psychic shields. He has memories of a child – 3K – who had saved his life and who, like he, had trouble maintaining silence as a child.

Now that silence has fallen, he's trying to hold the PsyNet together and needs more anchors to do so. He knows that Payal Rao is an anchor but doesn't know to what extent she is willing to go to help save the net in its entirety.

As Payal and Canto get to know each other, visions of the past overlay the present, causing both to wonder just how deep their scars go and if they truly deserve the happiness they both want. Payal's family is murderous not only to others but to each other and if Payal wants to survive, she must outmaneuver her own family, whereas Canto's family has built a wall – both literally and figuratively – around him to protect him from the dangers seen and unseen.

As PsyNet continues to disintegrate, Canto knows that the only way to save it, is to merge forces with other A’s and bring light to the darkness.

I truly love the world of the Psy-Changelings.

Last Guard is the fifth installment in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series, as well as the 20th installment in the Psy-Changeling series. I would strongly advise against reading out of series order, as well as note that it would be next to impossible to read Last Guard as a standalone.

The blurb uses the term robotic, and I find that word accurately describes the novel from beginning to end.

The struggle was real for me. I found it difficult to fall into the story. I adore this series, as well as place Nalini Singh at the top of my favorite authors list. I've read and reread this series numerous times, skipping over specific installments, and it hurts me to admit this installment would be on the skip list.

The difficulty is when two Psys are the main characters. Their cold, emotionless personalities make it next to impossible for me to emotionally connect with characters who are emotionally disconnected.

The series shines when the coupling paired is between a Psy and a Changeling, because they create an emotional balance. When it is two Psys, the cold affect infects the novel, making it too technical, almost like reading a textbook. The world building shifts, showcasing new Psy designations, which means a ton of info-dumpage, which is hard to digest and retain. I applaud Singh for her ability to mirror her writing with the character's personality, but I don't find being hammered with world building to be entertaining.

This was the case with Last Guard, causing me to struggle from word-one, mixed into the fact that Payal and Canto are relatively new to readers as well, where we haven't experienced them much in past novels as we have with characters where we're anticipating their future novels.

Anchors, Payal and Canto were children schooled together, where Payal saved Canto's life by stopping their instructor. This portion of the novel, the backstory and how the romantic interests were connected is where the novel shined – it was what kept me turning the pages, wishing to know more. In the present, Canto is chasing after Payal, hoping she is his savior from the past, while Payal focuses on how to hold together PsyNet.

Another issue with two Psy narrators, the warmth, joy, and humor of the changelings is absent. There is this cold and depressive state as we read about the collapse of the PsyNet.

There were a few questions raised as I read Canto's backstory. A disabled Psy with how cold and emotionless they are with their genetic engineering, I felt as if there is a reason there aren't physical issues among the Psy, outside of mental issues stemming from Silence and their natural abilities, especially with their focus on science.

My issues aside, I highly recommend the Psy-Changeling series, especially the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. While this was a solid installment, the pairing of Payal and Canto was not to my taste. I look forward to more in the series and hold out hope that it isn't another double Psy novel, and if it is, I'll be hooked from the start.



Two people defined by their aloneness hold the fate of the Psy in their hands.


Author Bio

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 Singh

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They were anchors. The first and last guard of a failing system. This was their duty.


Wicked Reads Review Team

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Last Guard (Psy-Changeling Trinity #5) by Nalini Singh to read and review. Review copy purchased by the blog.

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