Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh
Nalini Singh is perhaps one of my favorite paranormal romance writers to date. Her stories are not simply two people jumping each other and then near the end something happens to make them have to fight to be together. Instead she created a vast alternate world where there are three races: humans, changelings, and psy. Humans are the same but the other two are changes that make the world a different place to live. The changelings are closer to what an animal with human mind capabilities would be, they can change shape but they tend to live in packs or flocks like the animal counterparts, they are also huge advocates of the environment. Then there are the Psy who have mental capabilities that allow them do simple things like x-ray with out a machine all the way to see the future.
In the world about 70 years ago the Psy started a program where all Psy are programed through a training regiment starting at birth to have no emotions. The central plot that carries through the series is the fact that this lack of emotion has created a huge backlash in ways that no one could have forseen. There is a constant threat of war and the Changelings and Psy are locked in a battle dance with Humans struggling to stay in the mix.
Branded by Fire centers around Mercy a leopard changeling and Riley a wolf changeling. Both are the second in command of their respective packs, that have recently formed an alliance. The book opens with the two having back scratching hair pulling good sex in the woods, which is a nice way to start off the book. Then some of the political espionage starts to take place and that is the focus with spurts of Mercy and Riley trying to deal with each other and the issues.
I am all about this book for a few key reasons. Mercy is an in charge kind of woman and she is in a large position of power and she makes it very clear to Riley that if he wants to be with her he is going to have to deal with her power and her family. At no time does she simply whimper and give up everything when Riley says so, she is going to make the rules and he better keep up.
Secondly there isnt this "hold off on the sex until the last possible minute kind of mentality" in the book. No body picks up a romance novel because they hate sex, they pick up romance novels because they want romance and then some hard core grinding, not necessarily in that order. But several authors I like are making me work for it these days and I am not cool with that. This isn't catholic school I want my characters to get down, and oh boy do they.
Third is the epic plots. To really enjoy Branded by Fire one should read the previous books because the political balance and continued struggles. If you haven't just keep reading and try to piece things together.
This book is on my must own list.
There is a good chance I am going to be going over and older book again next week seeing as I am on a bit of a tv kick, or should I say netflix kick. Seriously so much to watch!