New Zealand author Nalini Singh returns to the world of the Psy-Changelings in her new novel, Shield of Winter. A highly gifted teleporter, Vasic was removed from his family as a 4-year-old and trained to become an Arrow, an elite warrior class within the Psy race. After a lifetime spent as an assassin, his “soul is drenched in blood.” Although he’s a powerful force within the Arrows, he’s weary of his life and is on the verge of self-destruction. He knows he is “ice cold and permanently cut off from his emotions.” He cares so little for life that he’s volunteered to be the test subject for a dangerous experimental weapon, a glove-like prototype which fuses to his nervous system. The future holds no hope for him.
But his personal crisis must wait, for the Psy world he was trained to protect is in extreme peril. The mind Net, which is vital to Psy existence, is suffering from a deadly contagion. His Arrow superiors charge Vasic with awakening the once-rejected empaths in a last ditch attempt to save the Net. Vasic’s first empath contact is Ivy Jane, a beautiful young woman whose perceptive copper and gold eyes, golden skin, black hair and warm empathy shock his icy heart. The more he interacts with her, the deeper his fascination grows. Ivy Jane feels the same attraction to this deadly Arrow with grey eyes of winter frost.
Exploring their feelings must wait, however, because the chaos in the Net is growing ever more deadly. Despite their best efforts, a solution appears unattainable until an experiment with a contagion outbreak in New York City sends Vasic and Jane in another direction. Have they found the combination of Psy powers that will save their world?
Yet, just as hope looms on the horizon, the deterioration of the prototype fused to Vasic's body speeds up. Vasic’s life is in danger, for if the prototype fails, he will die. Racing against time, Ivy and Vasic seek help from his lifelong mentor to track down the original inventor of the device. The couple needs not just one solution to life-threatening problems, but two.
Singh’s marvelous imagination and amazing ability to create other worlds shines in her latest novel. Both new and longtime readers will be delighted with Vasic’s story. Pairing nail-biting suspense with smoldering sensuality, the author delivers a rattling good read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and awake long past their bedtime to reach the last page.
Lois Dyer writes from her home in Port Orchard, Washington.