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Visions of Heat is a hot read
Visions of Heat - Nalini Singh
Member Name: ladybracknell
Visions of Heat - Nalini Singh
Advantages: Good story, easy reading.
Nalini Singh is a writer of paranormal romance, most notably her Psy-Changeling series, of which Visions of Heat is the second book. There are currently six books in the series to date.
Like most writers of paranormal series, world building is important and the world of the Psy-Changelings created by Ms Singh is up there with the best. Several species co-habit this world: Humans, Changelings and the Psy. The Psy elected to remove feelings and emotion from their psyche to achieve a more logical approach to existence, (somewhat similar to Startreck's Spock) and they are ruled by a council of rather chilling individuals. All Psy are connected to each other through the Psynet and without this web it is thought they would die or at the very least go mad. The Changelings, on the other hand, are creatures ruled by their animal instincts as well as their emotions. One would imagine that never the twain should meet but Nalini Singh weaves a wonderful tale of how two very disparate characters come together grow to love each other with passion.
Synopsis: Faith Nightstar is the embodiement of a sheltered Psy. As an F-Psy able to predict the future, her talents are coveted by her family. Cocooned against the outside world, she's tucked away in her own compound, where she can predict safe things, things that make the PsyClan Nightstar very wealthy. When dark, disturbing visions begin to plague her at any given time, and a particular murder cuts too close to home, she knows she cannot ignore them...no matter how fragile her mind might be.
Drawn to the enigmatic and unusual Psy, Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo uses his abilities as a jaguar to encroach on Faith's territory. He must tread carefully, for too much contact with the delicate Psy could send her senses into overload. He's determined to make her feel though and it's going to be on his terms. He sees strength in Faith and that's what he plans to draw forth in her, till she can handle exactly what he wants to give her. When visions of the killer cut too close to home, and the Psy come for her too, Vaughn will be there to catch Faith and dispense the remorseless justice changelings are known so well for.
Having read the first book, Slave to Sensation, in which Vaughn D'Angelo first made his appearance, I looked forward to reading his story in this second of the series and was not disappointed. Nalini Singh builds further on the world she has created so that the readers' understanding of Human, Psy and Changeling interaction, or lack thereof, becomes more clear and with Faith and Vaughn she has produced an appealing pair of protagonists.
The writers of paranormal fiction seem mainly to be based in the USA. Nalini Singh, however, is a New Zealander and brings a fresh, antipodean approach to this genre. Her world building and characterisation are definite strengths in this book.
Vaughn, unlike the rest of the leopard clan of Changelings to which he belongs, is a jaguar: strong, sleek and deadly. And from the first he is attracted to Faith despite her desperate suppression of all her emotions. Faith is a powerful Psy whose predictions on the stock markets have made her a valuable commodity to the Psy community. Although the story centres on these two characters, Nalini Singh introduces other members of both communities, both from the previous book and from future titles, who add meat to the bones of the story and these secondary characters are every bit as fleshed out as the principal characters.
The story, though possibly not quite as engaging as the first, is a pacey and a very satisfying read. It would probably help to have read the first book in the series simply to allow a better understanding of the Psy-Changeling world, but it isn't essential and it's possible to enjoy this book as a standalone.
For those who are tempted to try the series, the books in chronological order are:
1. Slave to Sensation
2. Visions of Heat
3. Carressed by Ice
4. Mine to Possess
5. Hostage to Pleasure
6. Branded by Fire
Although Ms Singh is now working on a different series entirely, I feel that there will be much more to come from the Psy-Changelings in the future.
Visions of Heat
Publisher: Berkley (Nov 2007)
Summary: Another chapter from the Psy-Changeling world.