Friday, May 27, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Hostage to Pleasure

Title: Hostage to Pleasure

Author: Nalini Singh

Publisher: Gollancz

RRP: $22.99

ISBN: 9780575100039

Release Date: April 2011

Pages: 352


Nalini Singh's psy-changeling series returns with another stunning novel.

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy: cool, calm, least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.

DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance.

Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...


Nalini Singh was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She spent three years living and working in Japan and travelling around Asia before returning to New Zealand now - although she's always plotting new trips. She has worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher, not necessarily in that order. Some people might call that inconsistency, but she calls it grist for the writer's mill.


Hostage To Pleasure starts right where Mine To Possess left off. The DarkRiver clan has paid off it's debt to Ashaya Aleine and have kidnapped her son and hidden him away in their Pack. With her son safe, Ashaya also manages to escape the Council's sphere but her contact had to abandon her in lynx territory.

As the perfect Psy with perfect Silence(Conditioning that rid the Psy of all emotion)designated M-Psy(medical), Ashaya Aleine, has the rare gift of seeing into the human body at the DNA level. This makes her a prime asset to the Psy Council and the implementation of Protocol I. We learned about Protocol I in series book three 'Caressed by Ice' and it's goal essentially is to make all Psy into a hive mind, destroying all individual uniqueness and personality. And like a bee hive, there must be a leader and the fight over this ultimate power is a deadly one. A fight in which Ashaya is unwillingly a part of. In order to ensure Ashaya's cooperation, the Council is holding her son, Keenan, hostage but Ashaya has put into motion a plan that will save her son and hopefully herself. In exchange for helping DarkRiver save two human children from her underground lab, DarkRiver will kidnap her son from the Psy Council.

Ms. Singh is a writer of unparalleled talent. I remain incredibly impressed with her continuing ability to create such unique heroes and heroines. Each and every character in this series, from heroes to villains, is so real, so distinct, when I read the books it is as if they come to life around me. As for the world she creates, Hostage to Pleasure builds on the world Ms. Singh has established in previous books, but surprised me yet again with the twists and complications that arose.

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