Title: Slave to Sensation
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changling Novels
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Gollancz Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads)
Born a Psy, Sascha Duncan must hide the emotions which mark her as flawed. But a passionate Changeling will tempt her to reveal everything – and risk her very soul.
What’s Good About It
This is not the sort of book I usually read. I’m all for a bit of romance, but romance as a genre doesn’t generally do it for me. I like story and great characters. If those characters happen to take a momentary break from the narrative to have a bit of sex, that’s fine, but it has to be in the very least not detrimental to the plot, and not the entire puropse of the story. Paranormal romance, or romance of any sort usually has it the other way round. Sex with characters and story tacked on as an afterthough. Usually stereotyped and overdone characters and storylines. But maybe I’m generalising – it’s been a while since I read any romance novels, and Slave to Sensation certainly wasn’t that way at all.
First, the concept. The whole idea of the Psy and Changeling races living alongside humans, their polar opposite natures – Psys cold and emotionless, Changeling’s ruled by their animal instincts, passionate and physical – was fascinating. It was a world I was ready to believe in, exist in for the novel. It was well constructed, well thought out and incredibly original. Three big plusses for me.
Then there were the characters. While the whole romance/attraction thing has to happen fairly fast for the sake of their being plenty of passionate scenes in the novel, the whole idea of Sascha discovering her sexuality, and Lucas’ passionate, dominant nature made it believable. Their interactions were great and while things did get pretty steamy pretty quickly, Singh cleverly drew it out in a way that gave the relationship space to develop realistically without skimping on the sexual content.
The story was okay, too, with the romance happening around a grisly murder mystery. Which may not seem the most fertile ground for passionate attraction, but it works. The intrigue and subterfuge used by both the Psy and Changelings kept Sascha in a precarious position throughout the novel, and kept me reading at a fairly rapid pace.
What’s Not So Good
The whole murder thing was wrapped up a little quickly, with everything resolving very neatly at the end. There was some fall out, but mostly to peripheral characters I didn’t really know or care about, and even there was the promise that everything would be alright fairly rapidly. I know it’s not really the sort of book that’s meant to make you think long after the pages are shut, but it could only really escape out of the four-star band, for me, if it did.