Also by this author: Rock Hard, Slave to Sensation, Archangel's Enigma, Allegiance of Honor, Archangel's Heart, Silver Silence, Archangel's Prophecy
Published by Berkley, Penguin on June 2, 2015
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Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.
And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what. This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.
Nalini Singh has written an exception urban fantasy thriller with a heartfelt romance in Shards of Hope. In book fourteen of the Psy/Changeling series, the Psy are dealing with the fall of Silence, and the deadly Arrows, the elite guards who were created to guard Silence, are in the crosshairs of a shadow enemy. The book starts with, Aden the Arrow’s leader and one of his commanders Zaire, having been captured by an unknown enemy. These two are amongst the most deadly individuals on the planet, it is a hard blow to the Arrows that two of their elite have been taken. The ramifications of the capture results in a book choked full of danger, romance, political intrigue and the makings of a brave new Psy/Changeling/Human world; that is if it doesn’t explode, or implode. The Psy-Changeling world is walking a razors edge and one slip or the right push could turn the entire planet into a battlefield and the winner would control a ravaged planet and it’s fragmented societies; but they would have an unrivaled power base.
The shadow enemy group is dark and dangerous, and I won’t giveaway any plot points, but I will say there are plenty of eye opening revelations as their goal is instability at any cost. I can’t wait to see the motivating factor behind this new organization, as Singh expands on this new story arc for this phenomenal series. What has led to the staying power of this series is that Singh has gone beyond the urban fantasy romance, and has crafted a taunt political thriller, that encompasses all the races, and she has kept the wizard behind the curtain to give her readers a marvelous novel, and enough threads to keep readers wanting more of the series.
This book is a gut wrenching read, as I found my self viscerally upset over what Zaire had to endure as a child. Her sense of self was decimated from birth, and I was tearing up several times. Both main characters Zaire and Aden were raised in an Arrow facility before the fall of Silence, and anyone who reads these books knows what a hard life those children led. Aden’s childhood was equally devastating; as he was conceived as a tool, to be used by his parents. He was also seen as a failed implement, but those same parents. What is remarkable is that despite both Aden and Zaire being discarded by their birth families, they created a family of their own inside the deadly Arrows.
There are enough twist and turns and shocks that kept me reading throughout the night, and into the early hour of the next day. Long time readers will love various characters popping into this novel, but know that each one is inserted into the book, for legitimate reasons, not because this is the Psy-Changeling farewell tour, which it is not. What results is a simply one of the best urban fantasy books of the year, and that is saying something, as 2015 has been a great year for urban fantasy books.