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Overview Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singhâ€™s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling worldâ€Ś
A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred. A woman whose very existence has been erased. A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself. A deadly price that must be paid. The day of reckoning is here.
From â€œthe alpha author of paranormal romanceâ€? (Booklist) comes the most highly anticipated novel of her careerâ€”one that blurs the line between madness and genius, between subjugation and liberation, between the living and the dead.
Reviews It had been over 365 days since I read a new full-length Psy-Changeling novel and I did my best to refrain from impatient whining. As a reward for my uncharacteristic, albeit reluctant, acceptance of delayed gratification, the Book Gods saw fit to grant me a boon. Enough about me, though, as I know you want to know about the book, so let's move on to the pretty-much-spoiler-freebecause-it's-all-my-reactions review.
Heart of Obsidian reminds me of those long, quiet, hours that mark off time before night slips into the dawn. Change is happening, anything is possible, and a new day is breaking. Still, this is not an easy book. As much as one could claim the main theme is rebirth, there's no denying the traumas that perpetually ripple throughout the book. It will be a trigger for some, especially given recent events, and, by the end, parents may reconsider the wisdom of letting their teenagers fly too far from the nest.
Despite the heaviness, this is one of Nalini's simplest books. It could almost be a stand-alone, if the reader was familiar with the sociological and political framework of the Psy/Changeling world, as it focuses very tightly on the hero and heroine. The SnowDancers don't appear at all and only two of the previous heroines make cameos. However, just like I said in my Tangle of Need review, starting with Heart of Obsidian will do you a disservice. Nalini has brought together disparate threads to reveal a stunning tapestry that finally shows what she has been working towards during the past eleven books. There are clues as far back as Slave to Sensation and jumping to the end will rob you of the grand reveals.
With Tangle of Need, I was willing to cryptically answer questions, but I'm not going to do that with Heart of Obsidian. As I said previously, the book is so tightly focused, a hint about one thing could also apply to everything. so feel free to speculate in the comments, but I will not confirm or deny anything. However, I will tell you that my personal theory about the Ghost was very wrong. There has been much build up and secrecy with this book in the months leading up to publication. Who is the hero? Who is the heroine? Is the Ghost involved? I’ve gone back and forth trying to figure out how to review this book and not give away answers to those who are trying to avoid spoilers. But at the same time, it’s hard to review a book when I can’t mention characters by name. So, I’ve decided to put the entire review under a spoiler tag. I don’t give away any major plot points or crazy spoilers, but under the spoiler tag I do mention who the hero and heroine is and I set-up the book etc.. Your choice whether you want to click.
For those who choose not to read it for now, let me tell you this is one of my absolute favorite reads of the year. Nalini Singh not only has built an incredible world, but she gives us such an intense, dramatic romance. It’s awesome. By the time you read this, I’ll have already read Heart of Obsidian again. Possibly a third time.
If you were paying attention to the end of Tangle of Need, you know the hero of Obsidian is none other than Councilor Kaleb Krychek, and you know that he’s succeeded in finding his quarry after years of searching. The Psy who may be the most deadly man on the planet has had one goal, and only one goal: to find Sahara Kyriakus. And when he finds her, he finds a shell that may contain no trace of the girl he knew.
When the blurb for this book was released, it said it was a “love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.” They weren’t kidding. Kaleb’s Silence is impenetrable to the point I had to wonder how Nalini Singh was going to redeem him, his hands so bloodied, his conscience a thing of the past, and yet, she does. Brilliantly. The man who is cold as black ice, is fiercely loyal to the one person who has always treated him like a human, and he would do anything to keep her safe. Any. Thing. Under the obsidian he encases himself in lies a rage so potent, he doesn’t think twice about killing anyone who has done her harm. The only person who can stop him is Sahara herself.
Sahara, surprisingly, doesn’t break under Kaleb’s will. She sees right through to him, to the soul he claims not to have. She brings him out of the darkness and won’t give up on him, not even after horrors from their shared past are brought to light. She is tiny, her shields fragile, but her Silence was never perfect, and the years she spent apart from Kaleb fractured it all together. It was only her ability and her mind’s fierce will to survive that kept her from being shattered.
Their relationship starts slow with a gradual climb out of the darkened hole of looming insanity for Sahara. She repairs her memories, repairs her shields, and takes advantage of the fact that no one comments on her broken Silence by cultivating friendships within the DarkRiver pack. It doesn’t take long for her to reach for Kaleb, though, touch something she needs to heal on an almost primitive level.
Kaleb, for his part, approaches the seduction with the icy calm you’d expect of a Psy with perfect Silence. He acknowledges her obvious attraction to him, conveniently forgetting the rush of sensations he feels at her touch. Sahara knows his moves could be, and likely are, calculated to earn her trust. But the violence of their attraction to each other is greater than either expected. And it is violent. As a cardinal Tk of unknown strength, Kaleb is rumored to have the ability to level cities. I’m surprised the house was still standing in the end.
While Heart of Obsidian is very much centered on the relationship between Kaleb and Sahara, it’s also about the approaching clash with the Pure Psy faction, those Psy determined to use Silence to prove theirs is the superior race. Catastrophic events around the world devastating both the population and the PsyNet itself lead to final chapters so tightly paced, I’m pretty sure I missed half of what was going on the first time I read them, I was reading so fast. By the end, you realize that what you thought was a conclusion was really only the beginning.
But this is, at its heart, a story of redemption for a hero who may not deserve it, except for the love of one woman who has always believed in him. Heart of Obsidian is a haunting, beautiful, passionate love story that we, the fans, have been waiting impatiently for—and Nalini Singh delivers. In spades.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go read it again.
Loved it! This was, for me, the most anticipated novel of the series and it was an excellent one. I remember my assumptions about a year ago and it turns out much of it was right!
Well, first of all, the Ghost is Kaleb. Yep, that was pretty obvious. The only other way it could've played is if NS intended to put a huge, shocking twist in the series and that doesn't really happen here. And frankly: I fricking love Kaleb. I always have! How can you not love the handsome, powerful and cold man who still loves so intensely? He's like Judd times a thousands in terms of power. He's a cardinal Tk and Tp, making him the most powerful Psy alive. He can control the Net (even has the power to destroy it) and can literally make the Earth move during smexy times. Now, THAT is hot. I like that he wasn't "reformed". He'll always be implacable and shaped by his tragic, heart-breaking childhood, but he has Sahara to take care of him now.
Then, Sahara. Because of the glimpses we've seen of what Kaleb was looking for, she was a strong possibility for a heroine. I liked her a lot. At the beginning she was shattered, her mind so fractured she wasn't herself anymore. Then, slowly she starts to recover, for some reason unknown to her, trusting Kaleb with every atom of her being... Yet she can't remember knowing him... She's strong, she's feisty, but she's gentle too. They really are sweet together. And no, I never guessed her ability and I think it could've been better explained, so we know EXACTLY all that she can and cannot do.
I loved their past, too. The sweetness and innocence of it, giving the emotions foundations and believability. Those little glimpses of young Kaleb and Sahara were just awww.
As to the world... Well, we've seen this coming. The Silence has been fracturing for a long time now. We get to see Pure Psy make their stand, as they try to subjugate...everyone and we see the sickness on the Net spreading. What I am curious about is what comes next. So, the Silence is officially abandoned. What now? Will the sickness disappear? How will all the Psy handle it? Is Ming gone? How big of a role will Kaleb play in the events to come? I'm guessing huge, but I want to see it. All for the next books.
A few more things I'd like to see are: Arrows and their reaction. Vasic and Aden finding their HEA (dare I say, with each other :P. Now that would be awesome).
Kaleb and Sahara discussing children. Changeling dealing with Kaleb. That's bound to be hilarious. Just, you know, aftermaths.
So, yeah, I loved it all. Not really a surprise, since my favorite book so far was Caressed by Ice and this has theme similarities (a cold, powerful Psy and a woman tortured and broken, rising), but really NS outdid herself. Move over Kiss of Snow. As much as I loved that book, Heart of Obsidian is even better. Easily and completely my new favorite in the Psy-Changeling series. I'm going to try very hard not to spoil the story beyond a basic set-up, but I am going to mention the hero and heroine by name, so beware.
Kaleb Krychek has been this powerful enigma ever since the series began. He is cold and calculating. But there is a fire under that ice that is positively molten. He has led a life shaped by cruelty at the hands of his mentor. He was brutalized. He never knew love or loyalty, until he met Sahara Nightstar. As children, they became the best of friends. She was his one solace... until she was ripped away. He has spent the past seven years searching for her. And now that he has her back, he will never let her go again.
There is so much passion and emotion in this book. Kaleb's devotion to Sahara is so complete, so unbreakable, it's breathtaking. He is willing to do anything --give anything-- be anything-- for this fragile, abused woman. He would burn the world for her, and, frankly, he has the power to do it. His memories of her have shaped his entire life.
Meanwhile, she has no memory of him at all. Years of torture have robbed her of so much, yet she knows him on a visceral level. She trusts him; she is drawn to him. And as she heals, she begins to remember him in bits and pieces.
I love these two as individuals, but they are exponentially more amazing as a couple. What they bring out in each other is the very best part of the book. Their love is unconditional. They do not try to change each other. They simply are better people because of each other. Kaleb is no saint; he never has been. But Sahara doesn't expect him to be. She SEES him and loves him anyway... no --not in spite of who he is, but BECAUSE of it. He was forged in fire and it was what made him the man who owns her heart. It's her unflinching love of his true self that has changed his life; it is the delicate string that makes him a man instead of a monster.
I could gush forever on the dynamic of the relationship... on how amazingly Nalini Singh crafted this bleak, unbending man who holds on to his humanity with the ray of hope created by one woman's regard. I could warn you to arm yourself with a fan to cool off from the OHMYGODHOT sex. But I would be remiss if I didn't also at least mention two other major points. One: We finally learn the identity of the Ghost and it's revealed in fabulous fashion. And two: the ending is huge. It will change the course of the series. It speaks to just how epic the romance is, however, that when the story is done, that's really all you'll be thinking about.
I would not change a thing about this book. It was phenomenal. Go buy it right now.
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