Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh


Paranormal RomanceParanormal MysteryParanormalShards of Hope by Nalini SinghAlthough judged a mid level Psy talent as a child, Aden had the leadership qualities and loyalty to become the leader of the Arrows. He watched as Vasic, his second in command and best friend, found love and happiness. Aden would like that for himself, but knows only one woman is for him.

Zaira has a streak of rage and madness within her. Her parents locked her up as a child and tortured her to make her a better, stronger Psy. Instead, when she was seven, she escaped their cage and killed them. She was almost put in Rehabilitation, but her power and strength instead became an asset for the Arrows. She has always supported Aden. She looks at the this new world, especially the children, and wants to help. The insane rage she keeps bottled inside herself prevents her from joining, but she refuses to let any child suffer like she did.

For around 100 years the Psy lived under the protocol of Silence. It was first enacted to contain the psychopaths and killers that could kill and maim with their minds. After Silence was put in place, the psychically strongest and most dangerous were recruited as children into the elite Arrow Squad. Through strict training and torture techniques, they became enforcers to maintain the Psy race and keep crime in check. Power hungry cardinal Psy leaders twisted the Arrows into personal killing machines.

Now that Silence has been revoked, the Arrows have a new mission. They are still the refuge for strong and dangerous Psy. They still have to watch for the psychopaths that occur more frequently in the Psy race than in the Changlings or the Humans. Now they also protect the Empath Psy and are leaders for the Psy race to once again learn to deal with and use their emotions.

Aden and Zaira are kidnapped and have brain implants inserted to block their Psy powers. The kidnappers want Aden as the leader of the Arrows. They took Zaira as the tool to control Aden. They will hurt her if he doesn’t cooperate. Although Aden and Zaira are able to escape, they don’t have their mental Psy abilities. Fortunately, RainFire, a Changeling pack in the Smoky Mountains in eastern America, finds them and shelters them until they are able to return to the Arrows. While with the pack, Aden and Zaira get a glimpse of the loyalty and family life always present with Changlings. They see how they want their Arrows and all Psy to move back into a world of emotion and protectedness.

The corrupt political power of the Psy has been disbanded. The madness that sparked riots in groups of infected Psy has been neutralized with the fall of Silence. Now a new threat appears. Someone is trying to turn the three races against each other. The kidnapping is only one part of a larger political and economical agenda. The menace is insidious and could fracture the new connections that are starting to unite the Humans, Changlings, and Psy races. The Arrows are one of the few groups strong enough prevent the new agenda from being slipped in. But they can only do it if the races start communicating and trusting each other now.

Shards of Hope continues Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changling series of an alternative future earth. The writing is average, not as gripping as other novels in the series.

The reader does get caught up in Zaira’s story as well as Aden’s. She is certain her Rage makes her a psychopath. Aden doesn’t believe it. But Zaira is the one who watches the children – and watches out for them. Her scarred childhood gives her an empathy she doesn’t recognize and would never have come to realization without the fall of Silence. It is refreshing as Zaira observes children and families and understand what the children need. She and Aden work together to form “family units” within the Arrows so the new psychically strong children will learn differently, without fear, as they grow into future Arrows themselves.

While Shards of Hope could be the first book for someone to meet Singh’s Psy-Changlings, I don’t recommend it. There is too much back story that makes the reader fully appreciate that story. Every couple from the earlier novels in the series have some mention in Shards of Hope. That alone will please the devoted readers to this book. The political background doesn’t make as much sense without having read the earlier books in Singh’s series, either.

It is delightful to see Aden get his own story and romance. He has been a strong back ground character in earlier books that deserves his chance at prominence and happiness. While perhaps not the best in the series, Shards of Hope is still a captivating novel for old and new fans of Singh’s series.

Notice:  Explicit sexual content, Graphic violence, Strong language

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