Monday, June 15, 2020

SPOILER ZONE: Alpha Night


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

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22 comments :

library addict said...

I was lucky enough to get a digital ARC which I read a few times, but also I bought on release day so I could read the final version.

Selenka has been an intriguing character since she was first introduced so I was psyched to get her story. And Ethan was an instant favorite. Such a well-matched couple. I also enjoyed the “yes, we’re mated but I don’t even know you” aspect of the story. Ethan was so bewildered at the start. I adored their whole romance. *Yum*

Loved that Ethan owned up to his actions right away both with Selenka and Aden. I wish we’d had a scene from Aden’s POV, but I understand it was not truly needed for the story. Selenka’s dad as the bad guy was pretty obvious from the first scene he appeared in, but that’s a minor quibble. I know Blaise and co were peripherally part of the Coalition (via connection to Cray), but I liked that their motives were more personal.

I am super excited that the mystery about why only Ethan, Memory, and Nikita can see the scarabs in the PsyNet lends weight to my long-held theory that Nikita somehow has some E ability. Ever since she said/thought to herself “It tends to skip a generation.” Not quite the truth, but close enough that it would pass. when she and Anthony were discussing his family’s F genes and her family’s E genes in Play of Passion. I’ve thought she was part E despite the frequent reiteration in subsequent books that an E cannot cause harm without it rebounding on them. *Squee!* Wondering if Memory and Ethan are also distant relations of Nikita and Sascha (that would be such fun!) Can we also discuss why it is that so many characters are judgmental re: Nikita having killed people (it’s mentioned by a lot characters in their own books when thinking about Sascha and her mom), yet so many of the male characters get a free pass?

Do we think Margo is still doing security patrols at the apartment complex, or was she only their head of security temporarily while Silver was in residence? (since we know she was already a lieutenant in Silver Silence)

I am still ambivalent about Pax. I’m sure Nalini will write an interesting book for him when and if the time comes. There are just so many other characters I would love to see get books or novellas before him, including his twin.

This book confirmed that the Architect is a female Psy. I had hoped—when the character was first introduced—that they would be a human or changeling. Unless it is a character we haven’t previously “met” on page my short list of suspects is down to just Shoshanna. It could also be someone who has only been mentioned like Payal Rao or Kalani Chastain. But we know she has to be recognizable to most people (from the scene with Blake in Shards of Hope) and the other clues all fit Shoshanna. Still wondering who the other traders in BlackSea and the Human Alliance are.

(part 1 of 2)

library addict said...

(part 2 of 2)
Between Valentin’s seconds, Bowen’s knights, and now Selenka’s lieutenants (particularly Margo)—not to mention the folks in BlackSea—my list of who needs a book is getting much longer!

I am still of the mind that it needs to be Katya, Sienna, or one of the Arrows who ultimately does in Ming. It can even be a combination of them all. But it should NOT be Hawke. *stompsfoot*

And that ending! How is that going to work? Will the NetMind and DarkMind stay in the section with Kaleb. We know the NetMind at least can “visit” people in other networks so I don’t think they will be split between all the various sections. But how many splits will Kaleb and Aden make? How will they bring everyone back together afterwards? So many more questions now!

•Faith’s thought re: The Ghost becoming important to DarkRiver in Caressed by Ice. The Sahara connection obviously is huge, but I can’t help thinking there’s something more yet to be revealed.
•If/how Kaleb gets the NetMind and DarkMind to merge/healing the PsyNet. Yay for Memory helping so much but this still seems an open question to me.
•How will splitting the PsyNet affect the NetMind and DarkMind. Who will be in what sections? Can Kaleb, Aden, etc journey between the various split nets?
•Will we ever find out for sure that Nikita has some empathic ability (suspected since Play of Passion, but only alluded to on page so far.)
•Who is the Architect?
•Who are the traitors (in BS, HA, Forgotten, etc)? (some revealed in Ocean Light but not all)
•Did Judd finish the obstacle course in less tries than Cooper? (not a major question, I just want to know!)
•Was Mikhail a victim of Psy experimentation? What progress has Silver made with her investigation?
•Who are the other top tier members of the Consortium?
•Who will Kaleb hire to be his senior assistant since Lenik is not equipped to deal with him directly?
•Psy “cured”/honeycomb on psychic plane. Wish for some explanation as to how the physical rot in their brains would be reversed. Not sure this was fully covered, but it’s not a priority for me any longer.
•Name of Attie & Dex’s baby?
•Will we ever meet Lily’s doctor beau?
•More e-Sigmas? (somewhat addressed in Alpha Night, but still wondering)
•How the Ruling Coalition will deal with those suffering Scarab Syndrome such as Pax. They had “awaken” in large scale at the end of the Wolf Rain. Clear there is still no cure in Alpha Night so remains an open question.
•We know E-Psy Central are keeping careful track of how the E’s are doing in the honeycomb. So if the Architect disconnected from her E, shouldn’t Sahara know and realize she hasn’t linked to another? They were tracking everyone to ensure enough coverage. If the architect is Shoshana couldn’t Sahara at least casually mention this Kaleb which could lead to their discovery? Or will this info be lost in the cracks? Hmmmm…

Kelticat said...

Theory: Zaid was an E-sigma. An empath would have been handy to monitor silence for the twins. Sigma are more combat minded, which would have been handy for a soldier. An E could help with PTSD early. He could easily have been the empath that erased people's memories in order to protect Alice and her manuscript.
Next theory: Ethan is an E-sigma. No trauma around Ming and his lackeys, other than isolation and photosensitivity trauma. More combat minded like Memory. Can cleanse the Psynet with lasers(probably that combat training). Can sense and probably aid early scarab sufferers.
Next theory: been brewing in my brain for years. Walker is a paternal dominant. Like a maternal but he dads instead of moms. I also think that Alphas are uber-paternal/maternal Warrior dominant. Nurturing nature, will fight to protect, parental figure. Maternals have the organization, so I figure that paternals are more rare outside of Warrior paternals like Kenji.

Tyra said...

Theory: E is a designation that has not just subdesignations, but also subsubdesignation, too.
It was written formerly, that pre-Silence Es put themselves into categories. Like E-com (those in commercial, who had to pinpoint others emotion with precision). This is like the pure telepaths in Tp. And there were the E-med (those who worked in f.e. hospitals with those in coma).
If these are true subdesignations, then the "sigma" can be a subsubdesignation, that deals with instability. What Memory does is like and E-med, only she works with instabilites, while Ethan is an E-com, but he senses and can pinpoint instabilites.

Patricia Schlorke said...

When I read Ethan's talents (this is before I realized about his E capabilities), I thought his was similar to Judd's Tk-Cell designation only with moving light instead of body cells.

I love Margo for getting Ethan to read Wild Woman magazine and watching Hourglass Lives with her. I laughed so hard when Ethan, Margo, and Selenka were watching the saved episodes with the commentary by Selenka.

I think the Architect is Shoshanna Scott. We haven't heard from her since Henry was caught in Sienna's cold fire. After Kaleb imprisoned Tatiana in the bunker, the only other one could be was Shoshanna unless someone else that we don't know about is the Architect.

Ming...too many people want him out of the picture. I wonder if Ethan is going to help Hawke and SnowDancer with their pursuit of Ming. If the PsyNet gets broken up...that may take care of Ming unless he gets enough feedback from the portion of the Net he's in.

I would like to read more about Alice. Are her memories coming back? I wonder if Zaid and the Arrows put her into the cryochamber to save her life when Silence started sweeping the Psy.

Becky said...

The Architect tells us she's been "training for this all her life". That and all the throne and spider references make me wonder if Henry and Shoshanna Scott had a child.

Then again, the psychic similarities with Nikita are...interesting. It's also interesting that Nikita and the Architect, along with Memory and Ethan, are the only ones who can see the parasites. And that Ethan and the Architect alone can see the lightning.

I am a card carrying member of the Ming Lebon Needs to Die Club. I don't really care if his death is by tooth and claw, cold fire or photon laser.

It will be fascinating to see what the division does to the NetMind and the DarkMind.

On a lighter note, I would love to know Ena Mercant's reaction to Arwen's having to be bailed out of jail!

Mari said...

I absolutely loved Ethan and Selenka's story and as always can't wait for the next book.
I'm curious about Pax and his sister. Will we ever learn if he was set up for Naya's kidnapping or was it him? Definitely want to know more about Theo.. It would be interesting if she were the Architect but then I think Pax would know.

Someone also made a statement about whether or not Henry and Shoshanna had a child and I wondered that too.

Nikita is always fascinating to me and like Sahara am always interested about knowing anything between Nikita and Anthony. I have to say I laughed out loud (and snorted) when Memory said how are you Sasha's mother and Nikita replied "egg and sperm".. :)

Interested to see what splitting the Psy Net will do and how it will function. Not just in reference to the Psy but those Psy who have mated with a changeling as well.

Well another 12 months and we will get maybe some answers but definitely lots more questions. :) The countdown has begun to find out who is the next book about and for the book itself.

Thank you Nalini for my escape from all things crazy in this world.

Khemrajee Jagat Saidah Gilbert said...

@libraryaddict It is true that E Psy Central is tracking the empathic coverage but that's to make sure that empaths are distributed across the PsyNet as a whole, not that individual Psy are all connected to an empath. Remember that there were Psy who refused to connect to an empath when they were forming the Honeycomb but because there were empaths in their area, they weren't too disruptive to the new PsyNet. So a Psy here or there disconnecting may not be remarked upon especially since she did it in a period of chaos.

library addict said...

@Khemrajee Jagat Saidah Gilbert

I agree there's a possibility they might not know now, but Sahara at one point knew who was attached to every E so they could monitor how each individual E to ensure they weren't being overloaded. And they knew—specifically—each individual was who refused to join. So at one point they had a list of every Psy and which E they were in the Honeycomb with.

Kaleb looked down at the lists his people were sending in from around the world. “These individuals refuse to join in.” Sitting curled up in the chair on the other side of his desk, Sahara frowned at a datapad of her own. She was keeping track of how many connections an E at a particular Gradient could make before maxing out, as well as any other factor that altered the reach of a cluster. It wasn’t simple data collection and collation, but a record meant to ensure no E was placed under unnecessary stress, as well as a way to monitor the health of a very fluid network. The honeycomb altered constantly as new connections were made and others dropped. and a little later...“But I’m guessing they’re scattered throughout the Net.” Scanning the data, Kaleb nodded. “At this point at least.” (from chapter 57 of Shield of Winter).

I took it to mean they were continuing to keep track of everyone, just perhaps not on a daily basis. I just had the random thought Sahara could mention it casually to Kaleb and that it could eventually lead to them discovering the Architect's identity. But since Sahara never really knew Shoshanna she may not think her dropping from the Honeycomb is any big deal. It was just a thought.

~~~

The other thing to remember about the Architect is, much like the Ghost before that reveal, it is someone who most people in the world would recognize by sight, not just the psy, but humans and changelings too. Since Shoshanna was the face of The Council she's still #1 on my suspect list. It's possible Payal, Kalani, or someone we don't know too much about could fit the criteria, but it feels like she should be a character we already know rather than someone who hasn't ever even been mentioned.

So, for me, that rules out the possibility of Shoshanna and Henry having had a child who is somehow old enough to be the Architect.

Nashira Han said...

I think Ethan is in the wrong designation. I don't think he is a Tk. He is more like an X - an X subdesignation. Tk can't effect the Net with their strength - expect Kaleb breaking it into pieces, but that is more like using Tk on the net itself.
Sienna's power is like exciting and controlling atoms. Ethan is the same, only his power effects photons. And they can both (E, S) effect the Net itself.
Also, I think the Net is lacking in power, that is why it is so weak. It needs a Sienna-eruption.

Anonymous said...

I think most questions have been put forward by @library addict ! I am on my re-read and I came across an interesting snippet in Allegiance of Honor.
"The other was a SnowDancer wolf temporarily based in the region while he completed advanced technical training in an unusual specialty."

This is someone who is near the Ocelot pack that hired the mercenaries to kidnap Naya. I wonder who it is. Do we get to know in the later books so far ? I think we do not but just wondered if I had missed something.

I wonder what will happen to Sophia if the net is broken. I think she will still be part of the net I guess.

I worry about the NetMind and DarkMind - I think they will die and that is sad.

I wonder if the Dark Mind fully 'ate' Tatiana whom Kaleb left in that bunker. I hope with the devolving of the DarkMind she did not escape.

I want Alice to have a lovely story and not be so lost. It would be good if some of her memory also returns. Although since it is mentioned she had organic damage that may not happen.

So many threads ... so much fun ! :)

library addict said...

I should clarify I am fine with the Architect being someone other than Shoshanna. She's just the only character we've seen on page (not just Psy who have only been mentioned) that fits all of the clues we've been given thus far as far as I can tell from my multiple series rereads. There is the possibility it is someone who has been mentioned multiple times, but who we haven't actually "met" yet on page, like Kalini Chastain or Payal Reo. Although it is also possible it will be someone totally new, I don't think that is very probable (again, just my 2¢). So I believe the Architect is Shoshanna, but I am prepared to be wrong - LOL.

~~~

@Anonymous, I don't think we know who the particular SnowDancer is yet.

~~~

I am holding out hope that Kaleb & co will somehow save the PsyNet and the NetMind and DarkMind will merge back together. My current theory is the NetMind will bounce around all the mini-PsyNets that Kaleb and Aden create, the DarkMind may be relegated to one section, and Sophia's anchor point will still be a place they can merge together albeit only briefly. Psy will still be able to communicate via telepathy with one another. How far away the other person can be will depend upon their individual gradients, just as it always has. I think the "mini" sections will still be very large, so there won't be an issue with everyone getting enough biofeedback. They just won't be able to have access—temporarily—to the information in the other sections. And no meetings on the actual PsyNet with those from other sections.

It also makes me wonder, how the Ruling Coalition will meet in their secure Psy vault. If they divide the PsyNet up by location (since most people are anchored in the PsyNet based on their physical location) I would think Nikita and Kaleb won't be in the same section. However, Kaleb would probably make an exception for Sahara and himself and keep them in the same section with her father, so they may very well be. Anthony is also in California. So that's three.

I have never tried to narrow down where Arrow Valley is precisely. Does anyone have any guesses, even to which continent it is? I can see Kaleb wanting the Arrows in the same section, but could also easily make an argument that he will want each member of the Ruling Coalition in a separate section so they can more accurately keep an eye on everything. So maybe he will put Sahara in the section with her father and himself in another section since they can communicate telepathically no matter how far apart they are.

Seriously, this is such a great and unexpected twist! I can't wait to see where Nalini takes the series with it.

caraz said...

So in Wolf Rain it became clear that what Theo and Pax can do is pretty similar to what Noor and Keenan can do. Alpha Night made me wonder if Ethan has similar abilities to Jon. Both are described as having very noticeably beautiful voices and they have similar instincts -- like Ethan, Jon also had a difficult (although very different) childhood what with his involvement in street gangs, etc. but has a huge natural protective/caring instinct and the second he is in a family and pack that loves and accepts him he buys straight in, 100%.

I agree with others above that Nikita's viral talent stems from some kind of dark E variant as well. Very interested to see what other hidden gifts emerge!

Anonymous said...

@Becky The throne imagery is interesting. Until last week, I’d only read the series once (a couple years ago), keeping up with the new books coming out. After devouring Alpha Night, I decided to do a full reread, and I just finished Caressed by Ice, with the suspicions of Shoshanna in mind. In her last bit toward the end, the narrative described her intentions as:
“Shoshanna intended to become a queen in truth, to hold lives in the palm of her hand.”

Anonymous said...

I'm still most interested in learning about Nikita and Anthony, tbh!

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading the book. I don't quite get how Ethan is an empath. I know Ethan has light-TK abilities, but what is his empathic ability? He's a 9.5 - but at what? What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

I was very very mixed on this book. I liked the idea of Selenka. At first, ethan could go in any direction, but as the book progressed, their relationship/mating bond caused more questions. For example, how could the mating bond have static? Was it a partial bond? Silence could not muffle the bond like how it did for Judd nor was it straightforward like the other 2 arrows that have been mentioned. Ethan starts the book as practically emotionless or socipathic tendencies (from book). How can a person like THAT have such a high E rating. Also, wouldn't that also mean that Silence should not take at all if he was an E. Even if Memory, a distant relative, could use her E ability almost as a weapon/offensive manner (rainbows and puppies anyone?) without much.any training, Why would Ethan's E ability be so passive? Wouldn't he have been able to contribute of sorts into the Honeycomb? Should've he have had an affect on the Arrows he did interact? Ivy Jane never met him? The adoption of a dog explains why he's an E, but it's not great(?)

I do have to admit the chuckle over the "manual"

I thin there will be a sorta ensemble book like allegience of honor to deal with Ming. Too many people want him dead


I hope there will be another changeling book, preferably malachai ^_^ If I get to add in more requests, I would also want to see the Axl Tamar and the NIkita/Anthony stories in background.

thank youfor writing the book. it was enjoyabl

Cecekelly said...

I would like to see some interaction/bonding between Kaleb and Annie’s son Rowan Kaleb. I believe the Darkriver Cat who is married to Annie is named Zac. What about a scene where Kaleb is babysitting; or has to come help if The baby is ill or in some type of danger. It’s been shown that Kaleb is viciously loyal to those he considered to be family.

Val said...

@Anonymous Ethan had a block on his E abilities put there by Ming. That was the power that he thought was scarab. The block was failing and that was what was causing him problems. That block caused the static in their bond from the beginning. He had to learn E shields before he could actually access his E power. Remember when Memory had her block removed after it shattered. She was overwhelmed by the emotions around her. That's what was happening to Ethan.

library addict said...

The block was put there by Ming originally, but it was Ethan unwittingly maintaining it.

Ethan was taken at a very young age at a critical time. He'd instinctively killed his parents, etc when they tried to give him what amounts to an unauthorized rehabilitation that would have wiped his personality. He had no one to help him deal with his actions in self-defense. Then Ming is there and did block his E abilities plus never mentioned his main ability was empathic. His parents wouldn't have known as they weren't part of the Council infrastructure as Nikita had been. Most parents of empathic children were not told about the E ability (as Ivy's weren't). Add in all of the torture and Ming forcing Ethan to kill multiple times and it's understandable why Ethan worked to bury his reactions.

The blocks Ming had put on Ethan's mind dissipated as he grew up. But the internal shields Ethan build were all based on the same shielding he'd been taught by Ming. In effect he'd reinforced the shields subjugating/hiding his empathic abilities originally put there by Ming. That's why once he was free of Ming he had the ability to lower the shield himself. And as Val says, once he described what happened when he tried lowering the shield to Aden, they ran through the various tests mentioned and concluded he was suffering from Scarab Syndrome.

He is like Judd and has two high level abilities. The fact he's a 9.5 or higher E doesn't negate his 7.9 Tk.

The mating bond wasn't a partial bond. The bond just wasn't fully functioning due to the fact Ethan's empathic abilities at that point were being suppressed. His mind wasn't functioning in an integrated way since he was totally suppressing his empathic abilities behind his second set of internal shields so that caused the static Selenka felt on her end.

He wasn't actually sociopathic, but because he was suppressing his E abilities he was without feeling at the start so believed himself to be so, that’s why he describes himself as numb. But this set of shields was collapsing even before he met Selenka. He just (wrongly) attributed the effects to Scarab Syndrome.

Ivy knew there was something different about Ethan, but it apparently never occurred to her he could be an E given that he was an Arrow. There's a scene in chapter 8 where he remembers Ivy talking about how he'd been able to echo what people wanted to hear. He assumes what she picked up on was his madness because he believes himself to be a monster. So they don't have an actual conversation about it.

My theory is we will eventually learn Ethan's empathic abilities are part of some unofficial sub-designation (possibly the e-sigma one Alice talked about in her book or some other sub-designation since they weren't officially listed). I don't think his empathy is passive. I think it's at least partly offensive. Much more so than other Es. How much of this is unique to him because of (a) his secondary Tk ability, (b) the way he was treated under Ming, and (c) the possibly the NetMind played a role remains to be seem. When he uses his Tk ability to protect those under his care it doesn't rebound on his empathy just like Sascha was able to offensively attack when they tried to kidnap Naya.

library addict said...

@Cecekelly Have you read Rowan? (the newsletter short story from Aug 22, 2017)

If not it is on Nalini's website on the Psy/Changeling Free Short Stories page. It is also included in the Newsletter Exclusives: Volume I.

Just ignore me if you have already read it. It's just apropos to your wish.

Sarah said...

I still don't understand what Ethan's empathic ability is. Sasha, Ivy and co. are super warm and can help people heal emotionally. Sasha and Memory can send out rainbow goodness. Memory can also help evil or dysfunctional people act more normally.

What can Ethan do empathically?

Why are Sasha and Memory convinced that Ethan is a super strong empath? Maybe his ability to "see" scarabs is an empathic gift. As far as I can tell, his ability to kill the scarabs is related to his TK. Are there any other skills under the empathic umbrella that he has?

If he's e-sigma, whatever that may be, I feel like that should have been talked about in the book. Once Sasha said Ethan was an empath, she was practically shooed out of the room. I think I would have had a zillion more questions at that point, but he didn't get to ask any. It would have been good to see him go the empathic training ground and see what happens there. A bombshell with no resolution feels so unsatisfying.