Title: Slave to Sensation
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #1, Psy-Changeling Season One #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters
5th sentence, 74th page: The man wasn’t so certain.
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation” – the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.
This is an amazing start to a fantastic paranormal romance series. The fact that it is written by a woman who is from New Zealand simply further endeared it to me. After all, they are our neighbours! But I digress, Slave to Sensation is everything that a good paranormal romance should be – it is full of steamy passion, but this is balanced by incredibly complex characters, a vivid new world and an intricate storyline which doesn’t simply rely on the story’s raw sensuality.
I love the idea of mating for life – a bond so deep that it is impossible to shake and will leave the remaining partner bereft and untenable should anything happen to their mate. The idea of this depth of connection is a fascinating way in which to explain the connectivity between two beings in love. And the idea of never truly being alone again is a great way to pull at the heart strings of even the most cold hearted reader.
Although this story is primarily about the creation of love and bonding between two completely different individuals, it is also filled with great themes that focus upon the separation of ‘them’ vs. ‘us’. The story highlights how placing somebody as the ‘other’ can help people to justify the most atrocious and cruellest of acts – something that can be seen in human nature throughout the ages. This, partnered by a race of people who have removed all emotion and, thus, compassion from their lives drives home the ways in which we are able to isolate ourselves from others, and the dangers of a lack of accountability in the treatment of others.