Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

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-free-because-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. Oh, and the hero. I'll tell you the hero.

Don't highlight if you don't want to know.


Last chance to back away.

Here it comes.

I give you the first sentence of Heart of Obsidian"Kaleb Krychek, Cardinal telekinetic and a man no one wanted to meet alone on a dark night, had been searching for his quarry for seven years, three weeks, and two days."

I know there are some die-hard Kaleb fangirls out there and you are going to be very happy. Nalini took a cryptic blank-slate-could-go-either-way character and turned him into a fascinatingly complex man. And, dayum, he's also scorchingly hot. There was one bit on page 131 that had me cranking up the AC. 

Heart of Obsidian releases on June 4th. If you buy the e-book from Barnes and Noble, steeling yourself against Penguin's WTF ebook pricing, you should be able to download it around 1am on the 4th.