Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Shards of Hope Spoiler Thread

This is the dedicated *spoiler* thread for Shards of Hope and earlier books in the series. Spoilers abound, so be warned!!

Usual rules: be kind to your fellow commenters and have fun. This spoiler thread will remain active as long as the blog does, so you can join in at any time. :-)

I don't monitor the thread for questions, so if you have a Q for me, you can email me, or keep a list and I'll tackle them at the Q&A in a few weeks.

If you're at an earlier point in the series and would like to discuss that book, click on the Spoiler Zone tag and it should bring up all the previous spoiler threads. Some of the earlier books don't have them, but if there's a demand, I'd be happy to set them up. Just drop me an email (nalinisinghwrites AT gmail DOT com).

Remember, *spoilers ahoy*!


Lege Artis said...

Yay! I loved this book to bits.
My favorite parts were:

-scene where Aden's power was revealed. I had goosebumps.
-when Aden told Zaira that if she wants for him to stop to tell him and she answered:
"Why would I do that when I can just break one of your ribs instead?"
-the fact that Kaleb was just a little bit jealous off Aden's power.
-the fact that Ivy stared down Nikita.
- every scene with Nikita and Anthony Kyriakus! I made embarrassing loud noises. We need this, Nalini. :)
- I liked what I read about Grandmother Mercant! She is already my favorite.
-the fact that we finally got to learn more about elusive Sea changelings. This is one part of this world that's still a complete mystery and I am looking forward to knowing more about them.
-the fact that we got to see everybody.

Anonymous said...

Awesome read! one of my favourites for sure :D
Read through the night :)
Going to sleep then have to read it again!!

Anonymous said...

Much awesomeness to enjoy. This book opens up a myriad of possibilities for the series. I look forward to the next installment

library addict said...

Wow! I am still processing as I tried to savor the book while I read it today and not rush through it. My thoughts are a jumble, so I’m sure I’ll forget something.

While I expected to meet either Remi or Selena based on the blurb, was a pleasant surprise to meet them both. I may have squealed out loud when Finn was mentioned. So happy to finally have a glimpse of him again. And Aubry and Bo as well. Plus more Sophia & Max! And Dev & Katya! So happy to get a glimpe of them all, even though with Max & Sophia it wasn't under the best of circumstances.

So many great moments: Aden’s power finally revealed, confirmation on Nikita’s feelings for Sascha (so happy about this!), a hint at Nikita/Anthony.

I loved Beatrice and hope we see more of her. I had expected to like Aden’s parents, but the direction that went was actually better. And I loved all the Walker scenes. And the way the packs worked with Aden for the juveniles and teens. And more Lucas/Sascha and Kaleb/Sahara. Plus Judd (but sad no Brenna).

I am intrigued by the set up with the new villains.

I’m glad there is still no resolution on Shoshanna and Ming. Not only would that have been too much for this book as it would have detracted from the lovely romance. And I loved Zaira. She was so perfect for Aden.

So many questions were answered (including the reason why BlackSea sought an alliance) but I have so many more.

• Ming
• Xavier & Nina
• Nikita & Anthony – what, if anything, is going on? Hints, but we need more – LOL.
• Nikita meeting Naya – I know what Nikita said, but I’m holding out hope it will happen
• Who was Henry talking about in Slave to Sensation when he was tagging the records and made the cryptic statement about the youngest boy being cause for concern?
• How many pupcubs will Mercy have and what types?
• Faith’s thought re: The Ghost becoming important to DarkRiver in Caressed by Ice
• If/how Kaleb gets the NetMind and DarkMind to merge

Couples which I hope have a book/novella
• D’Arn & Sing-Liu
• Elias & Yuki
• Joe & Jess
• Tag & Tiara
• Andre & Amberleigh ???
• Lake & Maria
• Shamus & Emma
• Abbot & Jaya (or just some POV scenes)
• Axl & Tamar (or was that my imagination?)
• Amin & Cristabel

Characters I really hope get a book
• Silver
• Adam
• Bowen
• Teijan
• Rina
• Desiree
• Lissa
• Finn
• Remi

And I know they’ve had short story in newsletter but hoping for proper book or novella for Riordan & Noelle and Tai & Evie.

Lege Artis said...

@library addict

I was pleasantly surprised with how Nalini handled Ming situation. Specifically, the fact that Hawk put the good of everyone in front of personal need for revenge no matter how understandable it is. When we began this series, all three factions (Psy, humans and changelings) were opposed to one another. But later on in books, alliances were made and by Fall of Silence we see them working together. Hence, the Ming thing was in the spirit of that; it actually showed me that cooperation was not made up for purpose of resolving that one plot- it's the direction our characters developed in. Amazing writing by NS.
+ I agree on everything else, I was looking forward to see what you and everyone else I am used to seeing here have to say. :)

Anonymous said...

The book was okay, but to be honest, it also disappointed me. I had expected it to answer more questions and some people didn't even get a mention (Alice Eldridge, which I'd have expected given that Zaid was the first Arrow Squad leader).

I also like both characters, but it felt at times like there was happening so much that the development of their relationship was just squeezed in here and there, this after a start that dragged out quite a bit in which not much did happen.

I will admit; the perfect book IMO in this series was HoO, and I compared both SoW and SoH to it. While the latter two are okay reads in the series, they just don't measure up to the masterful way the characters developed in HoO. The only thing that compensates for this is the world building in both books and the way story lines come together in that aspect.

I sincerely hope SoH won't be the last book in this series and that we'll learn more about the Consortium, the new changeling packs we met, Ming and so on... :)

Anonymous said...

I have gone to work without a minute of sleep because I stayed up all night readina SoH. I have no complains just praises.
I have done a excellent job, Nalini!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I absolutely loved this book. It was just what I had imagined Aden's book would be like. It answered so many questions I had regarding people and situations and raised even more ! I look forward to having their answers in the future books.
Some of my favourite scenes from the book in no particular order are-
1. The scene when Nikita woke up in the hospital. Her interactions with Sascha and Anthony were very interesting.
2. When Zaira hugged Aden in the valley and the children and teenagers followed her.
3. Blake's memorial. Aden's actions and words. Hats off.
4. The scene in the aerie between Zaira bit Aden.
5. I adored JoJo and Zaira's interactions throughout the book.
6. The scene when Aden's power was revealed. I was bursting with curiosity before the book was even released and when it happened, man was it worth it wait !!
7. Kaleb and Sahara's scene after Aden's power was revealed. I liked the insight into their 'domestic' life and Kaleb's reaction to Aden's power.
8. When Zaira cried and Aden held her. Heartbreaking.
9. Zaira's interaction with Beatrice. I was so glad Blake could not break her and Zaira got through to her.
Blind faith. And love.
I would love to see books or novellas about Axl & Tamar and Amin & Cris.
I would also like to know the inner dynamics of Nikita's and Anthony's relationship.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot to love in Shards of Hope...the world-building continues to be excellent, and one of the things I love most about this series is the way that Singh inserts little details that grow into plot points in future books. Singh is a disciplined, patient writer who lets things simmer, knowing that the boiling point doesn't necessarily have to happen immediately (or even within the same book) - it's a deft talent that a lot of writers either don't want to develop or can't. It's why we were excited in Heart of Obsidian when Kaleb finally retrieved Sahara.

Personally, I wasn't really overwhelmed (or surprised) by the reveal of Aden's ability, but I was highly satisfied with it. It made sense. I love, love, love the idea that what's basically a passive ability, when compared to other flashy active abilities, carries so much unique power. And that fact that Kaleb was climbing the walls trying to figure out how Aden pulled it off - and that he couldn't replicate it - was fan-freaking-tastic. Kaleb having a slight fit of jealousy was just hilarious. ***Also**** it shows that some of the greatest powers are going to be out-of-the-box - which makes me think that Dev's multiple references to (but no concrete examples of) "unusual" abilities emerging among the Forgotten is going to be a fun thing to explore in future books. This is probably my favorite thing about Shards of Hope.

The romance wasn't high volume, but it was deep and after Shield of Winter, I was content to get away from the emotionally demonstrative and "life loving" Es and the infinitely sweet interactions between Es and Arrows. It was perfect for Vasic and Ivy, but would've felt sort false between Aden and Zaira.

I also love that the villains in this piece aren't wildly powerful or particularly evil on their own, like Ming or Santino. The villains seem to be motivated by something much more fundamental, which makes them more dangerous, more believable, and fortunately for fans of the series (like me) more plentiful. The fact that the villains need other villains sets up a nice parallel for the heros needing other heros. World-building - I love it.

I found myself annoyed with the subplot about Blake and Beatrice, but once it was resolved, I appreciate it's inclusion. He was a foil for Zaira. Zaira confused her anger for madness; Blake was truly insane. The parallel was necessary in the end. I appreciated that Aden, despite Blake's horrific actions, brought Blake's body back to the Arrow home for burial and reminded the Arrows that regardless of his actions, Blake was still family. Cruelty would not be tolerated, but it didn't negate the fact that everyone, even the worst people, need family. Had things been different in Blake's childhood, Blake may have grown into a different Arrow - I think that was Aden's point. Bravo to Singh for that little plot point.

Noteworthy Things I Loved...

- Favorite moment: Kaleb trying to do what Aden did and failing. Brilliant.
- Other favorite moment: when Zaira thinks to herself that she's keeping Aden's leather jacket, "he gave it to me. It's mine. I'm keeping it, but I'll let him borrow it sometimes." (paraphrasing there a bit) For all her dark madness, Zaira also has some very light-hearted, lovable nuttiness that makes her so wonderful.
- Favorite mention of a previous character: Samuel Rain tossing Vasic's failing robotic arm into a pit, then telling Vasic to retrieve it after he calmed down.
- Favorite future set up: Nikita meeting her grandcub - that would be SWEEEEEEEEEET. And probably hilarious.
- Best reunion: Olivia diving into the water with Persephone - and Zaira's observation that the water began to glow. That moment was both rewarding and necessary for Zaira, but also felt like a touch of old-world mythology that makes me love the sea changelings.

Loved, loved, loved this book.

Anonymous said...

I have read the book 2 times so far its a really good book. The only thing is there was alot going on. I would have liked to have seen more of Aden's and Zaira's inner thoughts and more interaction of them together.

Anonymous said...

I am just about finished with Shards of Hope. When I read about Aden's power, my jaw dropped. As Walker told Lara it's the quiet ones you have to be careful of, and Aden's power fits the bill. Zaira is a perfect mate for Aden, even though she survived hell. I loved the scene where she stomps on the changeling that tried to shoot her (and shot Aden). We got to see how much Zaira changed internally but externally is one "...crazy Psy chick..." (from the informants in Venice).

Nikita and Anthony...hmmm...we all saw it coming in previous books. They both have daughters who are cardinals and out of the Net. What makes me smile about these two is that they are like two teens at a dance on opposite sides of the floor. They look at each other, look away, maybe talk, but not sure what the other is going to do. To be continued on this one.

It was nice to read about Finn! I wondered what happened to him after Nate and Tammy's story. I'm glad he's with Remi and his group. I liked how Remi said to Aden that they are both in the remedial alpha training. Made me laugh since that sounds like something Hawke or Lucas would say.

The children...what can I say? They made me smile. It is nice to see the Arrow children be children. It was also nice to read Sienna's part with the older teens. Was she teaching them a "manual"????

As others mentioned, it was nice to finally read about BlackSea, the changeling group other changelings don't know about (this is a quote from Kenji in Tangle of Need). Miane and Zaira...whoa...watch out for these two.

I also agree with everyone that it was nice to read about everyone else. It makes the transition to the Psy world easier than just starting fresh and getting everyone confused.

This series gets better and better. :)

Patricia S

Becca said...

I finished this late Monday night (gotta love the PST for book releases in the US!) and when I was done, I felt like it was definitely in my top 5 for this series so far. Yes, there was a LOT going on as a commenter had already mentioned, but in this world, with so many things interconnected, I felt the story was really tied everyone together.

Aden and Zaira - I was a bit hesitant with this coupling. I knew Aden had power and that Zaira would be a worthy partner, I just wasn't sure of the context. But these two, man, they just grew together over the course of the book and I loved it. Their interactions were emotionally without being over the top, and you can feel the love and respect build with each chapter. I think they were wonderful because they took care of each other. I found their relationship similar to Riley & Mercy's (another couple I adored) - with Riley/Aden being more cerebral and Mercy/Zaira being more physical with their demonstrations of love as well as how they express themselves.

Things I Love:
*Alpha School with Remi & Aden - what a great little one-off this would be. I can almost see them in a fake classroom with Lucas in front, throwing questions and scenarios at them.
*Finn! Loved that he was able to be part of a pack again.
*Zaira/Jojo interaction - This was adorable and I'm VERY curious about the markings on Jojo's face.
*Nikita - I feel for her, I really do. Sending all that time trying to the protect your child when everything in your world is telling you that you shouldn't?
*Sea Changelings - this whole storyline in the book just broke my heart.
*Beatrice - Most of the Arrows that we've read about all have these "super" powers, and there she was, told that she was destined to be a foot soldier. I'd love to see her develop more.

And really, there are so, so many great parts of this book. I can honestly say that I enjoyed it so much more than the recent Psy/Changeling books (not that they weren't great, but this one holds a piece of my heart for sure).

Maria R said...

Finished reading the book this morning and at the end all I could think was WOW! I loved everything about it. The suspense when they are fleeing from the bunker, and throughout the book, was nail biting.

What I loved about Aden was his attitude regarding his partner while fleeing the bunker, his "Alpha training" with Remi, his interaction with both the changeling cubs and the arrow children, his display of power, his evolving relationship with Zaira, and his brilliant mind and leadership leading to the Trinity Accord. What I loved the most about Zaira is her bravery in connecting with Aden despite her abusive childhood, and the fact that she puts his well being first always. My favorite moment in the book is when Zaira decides to open her mind to Aden and they truly bond. What a fantastic scene. They have now become my favorite couple (moving Kaleb and Sahara to 2nd place).

Nikita and Anthony - well, we all saw that coming, though it's not clear how closely they've connected.

I can't wait to learn more about the sea changelings. Miane, I think, is a mako shark, but I'd love to know what some of the others are. Also, Angel is intriguing. What is a tiger doing amongst leopards, I wonder?

I loved the Rainfire pack; the fact that such a small predatory pack would reach out to help two arrows was unexpected but delightful. I hope we see more of them in the future.

And lastly I loved that despite the attempt at division and dissention between the various groups, they managed to communicate, avoid conflict and work together. And still, the one word that comes to mind when I start to think about the book is WOW!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it very much! Anyone else catch the opening lines of Chapter 20 where Theo from RainFire shakes his head "....eyes gone WOLF in admiration." Uh, isn't he a cat, Nalini lol???

Em said...

Just need more books!

azteclady said...

I enjoyed Shards of Hope quite a bit, but I have issues with it.

In my review I mention that I think it's a break in world-building that neither Vasic nor Kaleb can lock on Aden or Zaira. The implant blocks Aden and Zaira's psychic abilities, but how does that affect Vasic's teleporting?

In Shield of Winter he ports to Sascha, who is not in the PsyNet, and both Lucas and Sascha take care to shield Naya's face so Vasic doesn't have an image to lock onto. So far in the series, we have been told that both Vasic and Kaled use images to go to places they've never been to before, and in Shards of Hope Vasic can't locate the missing BlackSea changelings because their faces have been altered by scarring.

So how is it that now neither Vasic nor Kaleb can lock onto Aden's or Zaira's faces, which have not ben altered in any way?

While I liked Aden's and Zaira's relationship, I struggled to believe that it had existed long ago--mostly because of thoughts from Aden's point of view in Shield of Winter, where he more or less thinks that Vasic is his only emotional tie. Then, in the very next book, we are told Zaira has been special to him almost since he first met her, two decades before.

Mind you, I wouldn't expect Nalini to telegraph everything, but just as there were two or three mentions in previous books that Aden "was no medic," it would have been nice to know there was someone he cared for beyond Vasic.

Things I loved:

The beginning. Aden and Zaira's escape from the bunker, their eventual rescue by Remi, and their stay with the RainFire pack. I found all of that was riveting and wonderful.

The idea of 'alpha remedial school' tickled me in many ways. It makes sense that not all alphas are identified as early as Lucas or Hawke; people usually live past one hundred and thirty years, after all.

I also liked Kaleb being jealous of Aden's power, and wanting to know more about it. I like the consistency in the fact that, just as Judd will flameout if he uses up too much power, Aden and the five people feeding him power would crash.

Really enjoyed the Arrow/Changeling interactions on many levels, and Remi treating Aden as a fellow alpha made all the sense to me--as does the fact that this never comes up with Lucas or Hawke interact with Kaleb, because Kaleb only truly cares about Sahara. We see more hints in this novel of why people are loyal to Kaleb--he doesn't use and discard people, but he doesn't care for them either.

I really liked seeing more of Walker and learning what exactly he had done for Aden, and, through him, for all the other Arrows.

I loved that we were shown how different Arrows react to the fall of Silent; it makes sense that, training or not, personality influences how each individual adapts to such a deep change in circumstances.

I laughed when the whole 'manual' thing was brought up--and I still wonder when exactly Judd researched the topic.

I would love to learn eventually what makes some abilities martial/non-martial. For example, Martine (Faith's sister, Visions of Heat) was a cardinal telepath, but there is no mention that she could/would have been an Arrow. Yet Zaira, who only a telepath, was isolated and hidden by her parents because they didn't want the squad to take her. Nikita can basically make people's brains explode, yet again, no mention of the squad paying her any attention growing up.

My main issue now, though?

Waiting another twelve months for the next Psy/Changeling novel.

(Here's hoping that anthology comes out sometime in December/January!)

library addict said...

@ azteclady

I thought part of the reason Vasic couldn’t teleport was that Aden was stunned in the face when he was taken, so part of his face was swollen just enough to throw off the facial lock. Not sure about Zaira. I bought into Aden’s explanation at the time, so I’ll have to do a reread.

The mention that Aden had just come from Venice in Heart of Obsidian and his conversation with Vasic about Zaira in Shield of Winter was enough for me to buy into their long-standing relationship. But I fully admit I was looking for clues during my last reread of the series.

As for the telepaths, it's stated over and over that Zaira is a combat telepath. Beatrice has the natural ability to smash shields which manifested when she was three and injured her father. Marine’s ability as a cardinal Tp was in her ability of being able to transmit over huge distances with no loss of clarity. So I took it to mean her Tp abilities did not fall in the combat zone. And it could be that Anthony was unwilling to sign her over, though it’s clear she did end up working for the Council substructure as most cardinals did in some way. Same with Nikita. Her ability with viruses was said to be part of her Tp, but we don’t know when or under what circumstances she first started working for the Council. Like with Ming taking Sienna and Enrique taking Kaleb, it could be she was destined for the Arrow squad but given a private mentor. Or she could have kept her ability under wraps until she was older and went to work directly for the Council as soon as she graduated the protocol. I agree it would be nice to get some further explanations as to what does and does not equal a martial ability for the Tp designation.

azteclady said...

library addict,

Good point about Aden's face being bruised and swollen, though that still does not explain why neither Vasic nor Kaleb could lock on Zaira's.

I had just re-read Shield of Winter for my review last week, and I confess I don't remember a conversation between Aden and Vasic about Zaira. Will have to look for it.

I do have a very clear memory of Aden thinking about Vasic, and something along the lines of him (Vasic) being the one person he (Aden) truly cares about/has a deep relationship with; and how important it is for Aden that Vasic be happy. I will also look for it, and probably come back and quote it, because that passage is what made me so hard for me to buy that Aden had always cared more for Zaira than for the other Arrows.

On the martial/non-martial abilities, it's not just telepathy (though what makes a person 'a combat telepath' instead of just a regular telepath?). We have some telekinetics powerful enough to teleport, which means they could have lost control as children and hurt someone accidentally just as Judd did (in fact, there's a minor character who goes to voluntary reconditioning because of something like that; unfortunately I don't remember the book), and yet, they are not co-opted into the squad. Santano Enrique is the perfect example. As for Kaleb, his parents (of record) relinquished him to Santano Enrique at around the age he would have been noticed by the squad (going by other Arrows' stories mentioned, three years?).

This last point--what makes a particular ability 'martial' and what doesn't--is not, I think, a world-building issue; if and when it's explained, I'm certain it will make sense. I am just very curious.

library addict said...

Kaleb was actually placed in one of the schools for prospective Arrows at 3 and then Santano took him from the school when he was 7. But he spent 4 years at the school.

I'm just wondering if the child's abilities don't result in the injury/death of someone possibly they do not come to the attention of TPTB? Plus it's only children who are high gradient (6.5 and above) who seem to be "destined" for the squad. So children who only have mid or low range Tk (like Sascha) they aren't so interested in. It seems to me more high gradient Tks—be they teleport capable or not—end up in the squad than Tps. And all cardinals seemed to be tracked and most eventually copted by the Council in some form or another. I'm sure we aren't the only ones who are interested in reading more about it.

Anonymous said...

I truly enjoyed Shards of Hope. These books just keep getting better and better.

Nikita - proof that we should not judge a book by its cover. I'm so intrigued. Who's Nikita's boogeyman? Anthony and Nikita's interactions made me smile and laugh. I'm rooting for these two to work it out, Nalini.

It's always good to see the characters returning a book after book. I'm so excited for the next phase of the Psy-Changeling world.

About the children, I love the way Nalini writes children. I just love it, and I'm thirsty for more.

Thank you, Nalini.

Anonymous said...

azteclady said...

I enjoyed Shards of Hope quite a bit, but I have issues with it.

In my review I mention that I think it's a break in world-building that neither Vasic nor Kaleb can lock on Aden or Zaira. The implant blocks Aden and Zaira's psychic abilities, but how does that affect Vasic's teleporting?
Same thing that prevented Kaleb from locking on Sahara. Her labyrint made her not realy Sahara anymore. Psy are their minds and abilities, block that and they are no longer the same individual.

azteclady said...

Anonymous, good point.

However, if memory serves, that one was both addressed and explained: Sahara didn't know herself while the labyrinth in her mind existed. The lack of facial recognition in her case could be explained away by her growth during those seven years--some people do change, physically, quite a bit during late adolescence.

As far as Psy being their minds, etc.: call me picky and stubborn, but Vasic did not lock on Sascha's mind or Psy essence when he 'ports to her in Shield of Winter, he locks specifically on her face.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part has to be Kaleb and Sahara's discussion of Aden's abilities and Anthony/Nakita pairing. I was hoping for a book where "unstoppable object meets immovable force" but I guess Nalini just posted in an interview Nakita is not getting her own book. But it's going to be fun to watch anyway.
Early in SoH Aden says Zaira has a distant changeling ancestor that gave her exceptional hearing, I think if she was any more changeling they would label her a maternal dominant and she would shift. I also wonder if behind the Psy reproduction contracts certain individuals might be distantly or not so distantly related. Aden and the Laurens or even other individuals that have tandem abilities. I'm also curious if we will ever find out about Sasha's and Sienna's fathers.

Denice's Unicorner said...

My take on the Aden/Zaira thing not being mentioned is twofold - a. Nalini had not found the connection previously and therefore could not write about it, or b. Until Aden touched Vasic's and Ivy's bond he had not realized how much he was connected to Zaira, emotionally, and therefore did not realized he did have another individual who was as important as Vasic. I'm going with the second one. :-D

As to the searchers not being able to teleport by face recognition, when Judd left the squad he, and the rest of the Laurens' family, changed their mental profile. There was no mention of changing their physical appearance. There is a discrepancy on how that ability works, but I'm not going to let that be a big deal. I do remember that somewhere it was said only a very few teleporters have the ability to find someone by their facial features. Vasic and Kaleb are two of them. So, yes, they should have been able to lock onto Zaira, at least, but couldn't. Again, not going to worry about it too much.

My favorite scenes - Zaira's desert rage storm after she was kept from killing Alejandro's bully
- her vulnerability in the valley, allowing the kids to start seeking comfort
- any scene with the Arrow kids in the valley.
- any scene with Jojo
Oh, who am I kidding! I LOVED this book!

Kathleen said...

I am not such a happy camper.

I loved all the same great scenes already mentioned by everyone above, but I wish the serial killer had been left out. I am tired of serial killers in this series, and Blake was truly nonessential to the plot.

I also feel that Zaira's childhood abuse was too excessive, like those memories of the child Zaira hanging from a meat hook, her back flayed to bone.

I would give the book 5 stars, if not for those two points. And excessive repetition.

But I just love the characters, and love that Singh always inserts old familiar faces into new stories, and I love how she writes children into the plots.

So I am eager to read book 15.

Anonymous said...

Loved the book better than the previous one. However, I did have the following issues

1) Too much repetition. Nalini's language is getting flowery and overwrought. Not every emotion has to be gut wrenching! Sometimes people can get mildly irritated! :)
2) Too much unnecessary violence. What is the point?
3) Side plots that were unnecessary and felt like padding. Blake could have done an evil deed, been captured and/or killed and Aden could have given the same eulogy. Point accomplished without wasting a reader's mind space, taking away from the larger story arc and in a few pages. In case Beatrice is the heroine of a future novel, she could have gotten a small mention here.

While i continue to enjoy the books, am getting fatigued by the writing style. A little toning down might help.

Anonymous said...

Weighing in on the "why couldn't Vasic/Kaleb teleport to Aden and Zaira issue?" it was explicitly stated in Heart of Obsidian that getting a facial lock has some psychic component to it and that it can be obstructed - "As the search for Sahara had thrown into dark focus, his ability to lock onto people wasn’t foolproof. If the individual in question didn’t know who she was, the attempt would fail. It was no coincidence the enemy Tk had found Sahara after she came out of the labyrinth.

A small number of telepaths in the Net—not necessarily the strongest, but the most intelligent—had figured out that weakness, too. If Kaleb had to guess, he’d say that was how the entire Lauren family, now part of the SnowDancer wolf pack, had ensured the success of their defection." (HoO chapter 15)
This quote is referencing why he can't simply teleport to Tatiana Rika-Smythe, when she both knows who she is and Kaleb knows what she looks like (remember that he had to use high powered binoculars to get a physical lock on the inside oh her house to teleport in). Considering this, I don't think it is inconsistent with the rules that Singh has established that the effects of the implant mimicked shielding enough that Vasic and Kaleb couldn't get teleport locks. I imagine if the look of someone - purely the visual image of their face - was all it took for a teleporter to lock on to them then there wouldn't be a differentiation between teleporters who can go to people and who can only go to images of physical locations.

azteclady said...

Anon at 10:52, I cannot thank you enough!

I admire Nalini's world builing skills so much, this one thing bugged me beyond belief for something relatively minor. Oh thank you!

I will edit my review of Shards of Hope to include this note.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:03

Loved the book better than the previous one. However, I did have the following issues

1) Too much repetition. Nalini's language is getting flowery and overwrought. Not every emotion has to be gut wrenching! Sometimes people can get mildly irritated! :)

I agree. While I still love usually Nalini's writing she definitely needs to tone it down. She's a master at using a combination of clinical and emotional prose, which is a brilliant reflection of the Psy (clinical) and Changelings (emotional), but lately every time a character feels something in their gut, I cringe. I still remember the confetti in her veins or whatever Ivy felt (more than once) in SoW. I believe the Rock Kiss series is self-pubbed and it shows. The flowery prose that took the place of an actual plot in those books seriously irked me.

Anonymous said...

Immediately after reading this book, I wanted to read it again it was so good. I did not want it to end, and the fact that we have to wait for another full year for the next one makes me want to pull my hair out. ;)

I am finding Silver Mercant to be more intriguing as the series progresses, so I hope she gets a book. I really, really loved how Nalini included the Arrow children and how she showed the changes affecting them. Really well done. I also wanted to hug them all and tell them everything would be all right. :)

The romance between Aden and Zaira was beautiful. I loved seeing the flashbacks to their pasts and their childhood, how that connection was forged in the beginning. I loved that there was a bit of the gender role reversal here and that it was Zaira this time who needed to understand that maintaining silence was not necessarily going to save her.

I also really, really loved how the relationships between Arrows was shown, how Aden related to and led everyone, and seeing what his relationships with various members of the squad were like.

Based on how Aden and Zaira acted and reacted to the children in the book, both Arrow and changeling, I actually think those two would make great parents. I hope they have kids one day.

Now for my wish list of characters getting their own books, which may or may not happen:

Amin and Cristabel.

Silver Mercant HAS to have a book!!!

Axl and Tamar…I don't think I'm the only one who thought something might be there…

Now, I have read previous comments and people have said that there won't be a book with Nikita and Anthony, but I HOPE that even if they don't get a book or novella of their own, we at least get to see glimpses of their relationship grow and develop as a small subplot in the series. Those two are so intriguing…

Of course, I want Remi to have a book now too.

Also, I found Sienna's speculation and future plans with the Arrow teens forming friendships with changeling and human teens to be very forward-thinking, something that is worthy of her position as Hawke's mate in the Pack. She's showing more and more leadership skills and potential, and the thought of what and who she'll become as she grows older is breathtaking. Seeing a glimpse of Sienna interacting with the Arrow teens also made be ask the question: Are we ever going to see her interact and perhaps help to coach the other X-psy in the Psynet??? This is something I'd like to see, because she can help her fellow X's; after all, she's a Cardinal and she's found happiness, and she is now able to manage and control her abilities to a large extent. I think the other X-psy could find hope in Sienna's presence if she also spoke to them.

I was wondering if, going back, we would be able to somehow figure out who the instigator and initiator of the Consortium is; at first, I thought it was Ming LeBon until we read those scenes from his POV…which were absolutely chilling and horrifying to read. I hope he dies soon. However, reading Ming's POV scenes seems to confirm that he is NOT the mind behind the Consortium.

I don't know at this point if the mind behind it is human, pay, or changeling. For some reason I am leaning toward Psy, but I can't pinpoint why exactly…maybe it's time for a reread. ;)

Anyway, loved the book, everything worked for me, and in terms of the series, I think it's right up there with Heart of Obsidian!!!!!

MikiS said...

I really enjoyed the relationship between Zaira and Aden - and the role-reversal mentioned earlier. Aden has always been the "nurturer" (if that word can be used of the pre-Fall Silent Arrows), so having that continue made sense. I liked that Nalini framed his hesitance in embracing emotion as duty to his Arrows - not as fear of being too dangerous to let loose.

Loved much of what the others have mentioned, so don't want to be repetitive. Who up there said they were making noises when listening to the bits with Nikita - I did the same thing! So glad I was at home when I did that.

I will say, I wish this book hadn't been touted as "the end of the story arc". I kept waiting for certain things to happen (like dealing with Ming) and getting frustrated with all the new characters. At that point, I was feeling like this was the first book of a new arc - introducing all sorts of new characters and the new bad guys - than the end of the last arc.

I listen to these in audiobooks, so I don't always remember the names of side characters. I completely forgot Finn, for example (I didn't actually enjoy the novella he was introduced in, so that's not one I revisit). So I'm hoping I'll keep track of all these folks. Might just have to actually READ them in my next re-read.

But my plan is to listen to it again, without all the expectations I had getting in the way the first time. I just wish the narrator wasn't so annoying. :) But I think Zaira, once she chose to let herself accept him, is the perfect heroine for him. Like Ivy needs Vasic, Aden needs Zaira to make sure he sometimes is the one being taken care of.

I think my favorite scene for pure emotion was the one with the little girl who asked for a hug, after seeing Zaira hug Aden. Brought tears to my eyes. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I am still dying to find out what the pupcubs turn out to be and how many. It was exciting their impact on the packs were mentioned but I want to meet them.... I read this ok the day it came out and I'm about to reread the entire series from first to last again I cannot wait to have a fuller picture of this world take shape in my mind.

Anonymous said...

1) Great book, Nalini! I loved the world-building, old (and new) characters, story arc, and the new direction of the Arrows.

2) Zaira is one kick ass psycho Psy chick

3) Aden's ability - WOW

4) Was really hoping for an Aden/Alice pair up. Alice is intrinsically linked to the Arrows. My theory is the Counsel wanted Alice to "disappear" and Zaid didn't want to kill her (probably because she was trying to help the Xs who would have all eventually been Arrows) so he put get into cryostasis. How cool to have her saved by the Arrows and end up with the leader of the Arrows 100 years later.

Anonymous said...

I loved this book, but something is bugging me right now. I can understand Aden not being affected by his psychic abilities when they were being intimate, but what about Zaira? Why weren't her psychic abilities going out of control like Judd and Vasic? Was it just because she was a telepath and not a telekinetic?

library addict said...


Yes. Her Tp powers apparently don't "do" anything destructive if/while she's out of control. At least not like Judd's Tk destroys furniture/cracks walls and Vasic's Tk causes him to travel.

What exactly makes her a combat telepath rather than someone like Marine who apparently could just communicate telepathically really clearly is something we haven't yet learned.

Here's a quote from Shield of Winter (chapter 47) which explains better:
A nod from Judd. “Right now, in the absence of any other instruction, your mind reverts to the most instinctive aspect of your ability. For most Tks, it’d be random destruction.” The other man shot him a quick, amused glance. “You’re unique, but the same principles apply.”

Denice's Unicorner said...

Telepath's biggest issues were reading minds, not manipulating materials like a TK. So she would not have the same problems as a TK-V or a TK-Cell. My thinking is that it would be voices in her had that would give her more problems, but due to the Arrow training, as well as Silence, she's got better control than most.

Kate said...

Going away on holiday I re-read the series so that I could download Shards of Hope, when it was released, whilst I was away, only to find we didn't have enough signal to download anything.....
Oh my goodness, it was worth the wait.
I loved that so many characters were included and it opened the series up to so much more.
Love Zaira, find Silver and Maine both intriguing, can't wait for the "pupcubs", oh I could go on and on, one question though, "Stephan"and the deep sea base?
I've obviously missed something.
There's only one problem....the wait for the next instalment.

Aja said...

Well that was AWESOME - heck, despite the fact that I'm sick and have a uni exam tomorrow, I stayed up til 1am reading this beauty. I adored Aden, he was sooooooooooooo lovely. The way he acted, his emotions coming through, his smiles - hot DAYAM.

Slightly too much of the "rage monster" stuff from Zaira, and it was a titch annoying to see her swinging back and forth between "Yes, I can be with Aden" and "No, I can't be with Aden".

Nonetheless, great plot development, Aden rocked my socks, and the scenes with the little Arrows and changelings were OMGSOCUTEIDIEEEEEEED... *ahem*

So, great job Nalini, 'twas a fun book and I'm so pleased I bought it :D

PS Any chance of some Jaya x Abbot snuggles...?

MikiS said...

I'm not sure if you're still monitoring this thread, but I had a thought....now that the PsyNet looks like a honeycomb, will the cardinal Psy's eyes change from a field of stars to a honeycomb too?

Anonymous said...

I love Nalini, I really do, and the pay changeling best of all (then guild hunter of course). But the psy political stuff bores me. It moves along at glacial speed, speaking of which, Mercy has been pregnant for around four years by m reckoning. Where are the pup cubs? People have raised whole families in the real world whilst waiting for Mercy to pop.
I know after so many books, with the main protagonists sharing so many attributes that speak to the values of the series as a whole (men: hot, protective, esp of mates and children women: brave, loyal, smart, beautiful). It makes it hard to distinguish them all from one another.

Best couple ever? Grace and Cole

Anonymous said...


I liked the book, but I wasn't blown away by it. I especially liked the beginning, with the escape and the new changeling pack around Remi, but for the first time in this series, I didn't finish the book as quickly as possible, but put it aside for more than a week before reading the last ten or so chapters of the book. Still, it is always a pleasure to read one ofNalini's books from the Psy/changeling series.

I have to agree with another poster that the sometimes overly flowery tone stood out to me. Hm.

Even though I love Aden, I still prefer books about changelings (HoO is the exception). I sincerely hope that the next one in the series is going to focus on Miane or maybe Remi (but that is probably still too early, with him only starting to build his pack??). A book about Miane and her bodyguard/lieutenant from this book would be interesting... ;-)
I am still hoping for a novella for Kenji. There is no use denying it, I simply have a soft spot for the wolves.


Anonymous said...

I hope the next book is going to focus on Miane or maybe even Remi. Still prefer the changeling books, with the exception op Heart of Obsidian, which is one of my favourites.

Anonymous said...


I really like the book!!! Aden was amazing, and so was Zaira! Their interaction with the changelling cubs and arrow children were heartwarming.

i have many fav parts. one of them is when Catalina came asking for a hug from Aden and Aden hugged her while she smiled and silently cried on his neck, and he walked with her while the others were watching and then the rest came asking the same and he told Zaira it was her who initiate the movement. that was so touching.

i also liked the part when Kaleb was surprised with Aden's ability. when he tried to mimic adens' and failed. that was actually very entertaining. (but no worries kaleb, u're still my fav! lol )

also the part between sascha and nikita. i really hope nikita will meet her grandkid sooner rather than later. and how can i forget nikita and anthony's moment.. nalini... can they have their own book please?????

there are still so many parts to mention! zaira kicking ass the shooter at the park, aden revealed his ability to the world, zaira sneeked in Maine's room, every single time jojo makes an appearance, olivia met her daughter and jumped into the sea, ivy asked the arrows telepahtically if they had her back when she starred down nikita, and a lot more!!

great book nikita! job very well done!!! cant wait for the next installment!

Anonymous said...

I would never think to tell a writer, any writer, that they need to tone their language down. Nalini wrote what felt right to her.

As for Mercy's pregnancy, you do realize our time is not the series time, right?

Eva said...

Wow, this book was very complex. I liked how they all worked together.
- Even with my (I know the most of you hate him.) favourite evil man Ming. No psychopath, but a well calculated evil man. Definitely.... Dont want to be the one who tried to manipulate him.

Adan and Zaira are a great couple. They complete themselves well. I loved their interactions and developments in the book.

Loved the hospital scene with Anthony and Nikita. ... Hm, seemed to me that Anthony is a bit more dominant than Nikita. I´m curious how these two will continue after this accident. And I would love to read about Nikitas first response when she holds her grandchild the first time.

The tidbit with Tamar and Axl`s was great. Hope there will come more of these two. Maybe Sienna can give them a helping hand?

Adrienne said...

I would love to read something about Silver.

lynique said...

I've loved the whole series from book one. Nobody, after all, buys 20 books in a series unless they are highly motivated by sheer entertainment. I have them all after HoO on my kindle and it was so darn convenient to buy Kaleb's story/Vasic's story/Aden's story and AoH all together and just dip into them at any point, knowing no matter where I start it will be terrific. Sometimes I only need to be entertained for the 25-minute el train ride downtown and it's perfect for that. I've read all the books so many times that it's like visiting an old friend for a bit.

To me, what makes it work so well is the humor. Fascinating mind boggling sci-fi, spicy romance, exciting adventures, yeah, it is all done with skill and finesse, but what makes it mesh together, what makes you love the characters is the humor. Even Ming the pitiless can be worth a laugh, such as when he arrogantly suggests a European Alliance and the response was like a child getting a pat on the head for remembering to wipe his feet before coming inside. Yeah, good idea, but if you want to stay at the grown-up table, everybody else, I wouldn't pay any attention to Ming's amusing little European Alliance. As others have pointed out, the scene where Kaleb tries to duplicate Aden's power and is unable to do so, is quietly hilarious. Zaira's "befuddlement" that the Arrow children seek her out and want to be around her. The irony of Memory being able to escape her tormentor by imitating Amara's sneaky behavior. And when Memory was able to help Pax, after he left them, Alexi says, "Has it struck you that an incredibly powerful man in the PsyNet is now in your control?" She pokes him. "No. and it's not going to strike you, either."

Just one little jewel after another throughout all the books and short stories. the only bad thing is the wait between books.