New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her breathtaking Psy-Changeling Trinity series with a mating that shouldn’t exist…
Alpha wolf Selenka Durev’s devotion to her pack is equaled only by her anger at anyone who would harm those under her care. That currently includes the empaths who’ve flowed into her city for a symposium that is a security nightmare, a powder keg just waiting for a match.
Ethan Night is an Arrow who isn’t an Arrow. Numb and disengaged from the world, he’s loyal only to himself. Assigned as part of the security force at a world-first symposium, he carries a dark agenda tied to the power-hungry and murderous Consortium. Then violence erupts and Ethan finds himself crashing into the heart and soul of an alpha wolf.
Mating at first sight is a myth, a fairytale. Yet Selenka’s wolf is resolute: Ethan Night, broken Arrow and a man capable of obsessive devotion, is the mate it has chosen. Even if the mating bond is full of static and not quite as it should be. Because Selenka’s new mate has a terrible secret, his mind surging with a power that is a creature of madness and death…
A wolfish moment of eye contact. “Be careful what you give of yourself, Ethan. My wolf can be a possessive beast.”
“I am yours.”
I don’t know why, but Alpha Night just got under my skin. And not in a good way. I don’t know if it was Alpha Night in particular that brought out that itchy “why are you doing this to me?” feeling, or the fact that this is the 32nd book I’ve read from this author I’ve read, most of which were very similar to this one. I think this is going to be my last Singh book for a while.
The whole book is very Singh branded. The best part is that for the first time, we have a mating at first sight. I really love this trope if it is done well. This was done okay, I don’t have any complaints about it.
It is just that if you have read all the Psy/Changeling books up to this point, you know exactly how this book is going to play out. Entirely, utterly predictable. They meet each other, one of them is hiding a secret that will cause them to die or go insane or both. The other finds out, is upset, and bends the universe so they can stay alive and with them through insertrandomthinghere. And there is some background plot, too.
In this case, the background plot was utterly forgettable. And I mean that quite literally. I forgot what it was about while actively reading. To the best of my recollection, and mind I only finished this book yesterday, it didn’t get wrapped up? I’m honestly so confused at what the plot was in this book. Things kept happening that weren’t explained, and I in no way felt invested in it. It might as well not have been there for as much attention and care was put into it.
And Singh has always had issues with world building. I’ve just mostly overlooked it until now. The plot in this book, what little of it there is, is tied in with the further building of the Psy/Changeling world. And it makes next to zero sense. I can’t even get into it due to how little it really ties in to anything else we have learned, and what little Singh has set up for already with act two of this series.
As for the characters, I really liked the Arrow, Ethan. Ethan is the most broken and unique character we have had to date. It is a shame what Singh did to him in this book, though, and a lot of my anger about this book settles around Ethan’s character. Ethan and Selenka mate, and Ethan instantly accepts it and devotes his entire being to it. He is willing to do whatever Selenka wants of him. She owns him. He is the closest thing to a submissive character mating to an alpha we have had in a main novel in this series.
Let me repeat that: Ethan is the closest thing to a submissive we have had. Singh always pairs alphas and alphas, or healers and healers together. Sometimes there is an alpha and a healer paired together. But all her healers are basically alphas, anyway. Submissives are for secondary characters. So it distressed me quite a lot every single time someone said Ethan was a dominant. Singh slowly changed him over the course of the book to be a caricature of a dominant, only because that is what she felt was necessary or something. And it just felt like play acting. And Ethan never felt comfortable with the role, anyway. LET A SUB BE A SUB, SINGH!
As for Selenka, she was just forgettable character. To the point where I had to look up her name because I genuinely wasn’t even sure she had a name. I’ll forget her in the sea of generic Alphas Singh has written in this series. She has nothing to make her stand out from the rest. She cares for her pack above even her own needs. She is in charge of more than you would want to be in charge of, yourself. She needs a mate willing to put up with her pack bullshit. Just forgettable. She was hardly even a character in the book, either. Even Singh didn’t really remember her. Most of the book was from Ethan’s perspective, and a lot of Selenka’s was repeating things we already knew.
It fact, a lot of this book s repeating the same things over and over. As adorable as I found Ethan’s submission to Selenka, I think the book repeated it a good 15 times. Of the five quotes I had picked out while reading to attach to this book, three of them are just this exact topic.
I have been pretty negative to this point. And that isn’t contrary to my reading experience. In fact this is the closest I have ever come to DNFing a Singh book. However I don’t rate it too poorly. Sure, it rides on the coattails of other books in the series, benefiting from a lot of the work already set up. But it isn’t a bad book on its own. It just isn’t as good as most of the other books I have read from this series and author.