Book Critique – Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity # 1)
For review of all books in this series: Go here.
Stars: 3.5 / 5
My Recommendation: A fitting opening to the spin-off series, making the readers wonder where else will Nalini Singh take her plot in this futuristic location filled with three different races - Psy, Changeling and Human - braving into a new world under Trinity Accord. Of course there is romance, passion, war, friendship, loyalties and betrayals tested along the line.
August 9th was National Book Lovers Day. Had been a busy day for me to post a review honoring that day. Here is one about a book from one of my favorite authors, a day late.
Silver Silence is the first book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity Series (16th book in Psy-Changeling Series) by Nalini Singh published in June of 2017. The central plot revolves around Silver Mercant - Director of the worldwide Emergency Response Network "EmNet" - and Valentin Mikhailovich "Mishka" Nikolaev - Alpha of the StoneWater Bears.
The plot is set in 2082 right after the events from the last book in the parent series, Allegiance of Honor. In Allegiance of Honor, the Architect plans to assassinate the top members of the Trinity Accord, including Silver Mercant. Nalini begins with that in this book.
We met Silver Mercant first in Caressed by Ice, the third book in the series, as Kaleb's Sr. Personal Assistant 10 years ago to the date this book was written. She has been growing ever since and now we finally get to read her story.
The three species - Psy, Humans and Changelings - are forging a bond between them under the Trinity Accord umbrella, to create a balanced world. Silver Mercant plays a very key role by taking up the directorship of EmNet as part of the new world. Someone attempts to take her life. Enter, Valentin Nikolaev, Alpha of StoneWater Bears, who gives her shelter and protection while Silver's family work on identifying the killer.
Silver and Valentin are thrown together under one roof, which creates a pull between them. Silver stuck with her Silence, and Valentin as stubborn as a bear he is, it is fun read to see how they both walk towards a middle ground and find each other. But more threats crop up that could create imbalance and chaos all around. How they work through that is the rest of the plot.
One of the readers - Lindsey Gurner - on Nalini Singh's facebook page had in fact recommended that I should read the parent series as well. And she is totally right. It makes far more sense once I read the parent series and re-read this. Several of the sub-plots and references seen in here get explained. And I did promise you all when I posted my review of this book first time around that I would be reading the parent series too. :) And so I did. :)
Every chapter opens with a quote or conversation from other characters from this series and the parent series or people from their past. Since the book is set in 2082, some of the quotes were from a near future of the current time we are living in, and some were as historic as our past is. She made some of the characters from our real past into Psy and Changeling creating an interesting twist.
The amount of scientific technology and medical advancement that Nalini Singh shows in the plot is far more futuristic than one can imagine. For instance, the technology she shows that can medically be used to control a Psy ability; bullets that fragment once discharged into a target to cause maximum damage. A world with such a technological advancement could be a better place, and yes, there would be equal harm also done if used in evil way.
Nalini's Psy-Changeling and Psy-Changeling Trinity Series have subtle differences that make them apart - the entire plot being divided into two parts (which she rarely did in earlier books); plot focusing solely around the lead characters as opposed to in her parent series where she had parallel sub-plots going along for other characters as well. Oh there are references of several characters, but no obvious sub-plot.
There is some repeat paraphrasing through the book, a bit drag in one or two chapters. However, in the end, this proved to be a fitting opening for the spin-off of Psy-Changeling Trinity series, making the readers wonder where else will Nalini Singh take her plot in this futuristic location filled with three different species trying to live in balance. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
1. Plot Reveals:
a. Valentin also trying to figure out why a bear clan was in Angola at one time.
b. Dewei Nguyen, was a Psy who had mated with the StoneWater Bear pre-Silence time. Pavel and Yakov are his identical twin great-grandsons.
c. Kaleb mentions about someone he has in mind for Silver's replacement as his aide, whom he wants her to interview.
d. Silver jokes that since she is residing in a changeling community for time being, she might have to join a human commune as well to keep up the political image of not showing partiality to any one race.
e. Alice Elridge, a human, when last seen before her cryonic suspension in 1975 was working on a book on The Mysterious E Designation. Now that Kaleb had found her and the Snow Dancers have successfully brought her back, has been assigned as a consultant to the Empathic Collective. I was wondering if she restarted her book or not. In one of the intro text at the opening of a chapter in this book, Nalini clarifies that she is indeed working on a reprint of that book.
f. Silver mentions that Valentin's father could be part of a Psy-experiment without his knowledge by the prior Psy Council, causing him to turn into a serial killer. She is looking for proof.
g. Mercant family has human genes in them courtesy of Ena's human great-grandfather.
h. After giving him an elaborate intro and path of life for the character so far, I was surprised to see that Nalini expunges Bo's role in this book. I am hoping he will come back again soon.
2. Psy terms:
a. For all Psy Designations mentioned in the series go here.
b. Honeycomb Protocol - PsyNet connected by Empaths to all Psy; to survive need humans to join without coercion; only three known Psy-Human bonds exist (Sophia & Max; Stefan & Tazia; Clara & Patrick)
c. The Consortium - headed by The Architect, formed of power hungry people from all three races who want the Accord to fail; plans to assassinate the top members of the Accord in Allegiance of Honor. Is believed to be a woman as of this plot.
d. HAPMA - Humans Against Psy Manipulation - rogue organization committing crimes on Humans to protect them from slavery to Psy. Members - David Fournier
e. Trinity Accord - Includes The Ruling Coalition; Devraj Santos; Bowen Knight; Lizbeth Shafer (head of a humanitarian group Hope Light); Miane Leveque.
f. United Earth Federation aka UEF
g. Emergency Response Network aka EmNet - world-wide rapid response network as the first line in any critical situation; headed by Silver Mercant.
3. Various Psy:
a. Ruling Coalition: Nikita Duncan; Kaleb Krychek (mated to Sahara Kyriakus, an F-Psy, in Heart of Obsidian); Anthony Kyriakus; Ivy Jane Zen; Aden Kai; Lucas Hunter (rep. all Changelings)
b. Empathic Collective - formed by 5 empaths incl. Sascha Duncan; Ivy Jane is President; Sahara Kyriakus as specialist; Alice Elridge as Consultant.
c. Ex-Councilors: Ming LeBon; Shoshanna Scott
d. Other Psy: Latham; Sione; Juniper; Gia Khan; Lenik (Kaleb's admin asst.); Samuel Rain; Keisha Bale; Tanique Gray (Faith's brother); Chang; Concetta; Teri; Dechen; Isaiah; Brigitte; Pax Marshall; Payal Rao; Ena Mercant (Silver's grandmother); Lillya; Arwen Mercant (Silver's brother; an E-Psy; Pavel shows interest in him); Dr. Edgard Bashir; Ivan Mercant;
e. Psy Couples: Clara Alvarez & her human mate Patrick; Gwen Jane & Carter Hirsch (Ivy Jane's parents); Isaiah & Concetta (E-Psys seemed to bond in Shield of Winter, Isaiah injured in that plot); Anthony & Nikita (a relationship brewing since Shards of Hope)
f. Amara, Ashaya's twin, gets distracted by one of the males working in her lab in Tangle of Need. However in this book it seems like Samuel Rain is interested in Amara. Was he the male in the lab that she was getting distracted by?
g. In Heart of Obsidian:
i. To avenge Sahara, Kaleb imprisons and tortures ex-Councilor Tatiana Rika-Smythe.
ii. Nalini connected every knick-knack in Kaleb's home to a shared memory between him & Sahara except for a single piece of twisted metal. A short story for it?
4. Arrow Squad:
a. Aden Kai - Leader. Mated to Zaira Neve in Shards of Hope.
b. Commanders: Vasic Zen (mated to Ivy Jane, an E-Psy, in Shield of Winter); Cristobel Rodriguez; Amin; Axl (interested in Tamar, financial genius, in Shards of Hope)
c. Members: Gutierrez; Suhana; Alejandro; Sione; Ella; Tavish; Mica; Nerida; Beatrice Gault; Yuri; Pip; Carolina;
d. Other Couples:
i. Stefan Berg married to Tazia Nerif in Echo of Silence.
ii. Marjorie Kai & Naoshi Ayze (Aden's parents); Abbot (Bonded to Jaya, an E-Psy); Cristobel and Amin (seems to bond in Shards of Hope)
5. Forgotten Psy - Introduced in Caressed by Ice:
a. Devraj "Dev" Santos - leader, marries Ekaterina "Katya" Haas, an M-Psy, in Blaze of Memory.
b. Members: Rangi; Dr. Glen Herriford; Jonquil "Jon" Alexi Duchslaya; Noor Hassan (Keenan, Ashaya's son want to marry her); Aubry; Aryan; Tag & Tiara; Cruz; Maggie; Dr. Connor; Eva; William;
c. In Heart of Obsidian, one of the female Forgotten assists the EmNet; who is mated to a DarkRiver male. Who is she?
a. 18th Century Territorial (Changeling) Wars - Adrian Kenner had help draft laws that ended the war. Been hearing about him since the first book. His middle name is "Bowen" per this book. Related to Bo Knight?
b. Bowen "Bo" Knight - Introduced in Branded by Fire. Human Alliance Security Chief; striving to make the Alliance a strong and powerful one along-side Psy and Changelings; 9 other men and women support him.
c. Members: Sara; Lily (Bowen's adopted sister); Alice Eldridge (Introduced in Branded by Fire); Trooper Michel Benoit; Allie Livingston; Neha (Bo's assistant); Niall; Giovanni Somme (heads the Alliance); Erik Jahnssen;
d. Other Couples: Father Xavier Perez & Nina; Lisette & Emil; Isaac & Jesse
e. In Tangle of Need, Bo and his top aides get The Human Alliance Implant planted in their brains. In Allegiance of Honor, they find a fatal flaw that could give them only few more months to live. In this book, Kaleb is challenged by Bo to find a cure for their chips in the brain without any return expectation & Ruling Coalition agrees to it.
f. vi. Stories:
i. Max Shannon - Security Chief for Nikita Duncan, married to Sophia Russo, a J-Psy, in Bonds of Justice.
a. DarkRiver Leopards (Territory: San Francisco)
i. Lucas Hunter - Alpha. Mated to Sascha Duncan, an E-Psy, in Slave to Sensation. In Kiss of Snow, they have a girl, Nadia "Naya" Shayla Hunter.
ii. Sentinels - Nathan "Nate" Ryder (mated to Tamsyn "Tammy" Mahaire, healer, have twin sons Roman and Julian, Story in Beat of Temptation); Vaughn D'Angelo (mated to Faith NightStar, an F-Psy, in Visions of Heat); Clay Bennett (mated to Talin "Tally" McKade, a human, in Mine to Possess); Dorian (mated to Ashaya Aliene, an M-Psy, in Hostage to Pleasure); Mercy Smith (mated to SnowDancer Lieutenant Riley Aedan Kincaid, in Branded by Fire, have triplets in Allegiance of Honor — two male wolf pups Acton "Ace" Lucas Smith-Kincaid and Michael "Micah" Hawke Smith-Kincaid; one female leopard cub, Isabella "Belle" Maeve Smith-Kincaid).
iii. Packmates - Kit & Rina Monaghan; Zara; Tara; Nico; Cory; Jason; Nicki; Aaron; Mia; Sarah; Lysa; Cian; Jamie; Barker; Joe; Keely; Owen; Monroe; Nicki; Sage and Grey (Mercy's remaining brothers); Anu; Issy; Behali; Bryan; Sonal
iv. Other Couples:
1) Harry & Meenakshi (Desiree's parents)
2) Emmet, mated to Ria Wembley, a human, in Whisper of Sin; have an infant daughter, Mialin Corrina, as of Allegiance of Honor.
3) Zachary "Zach" Quinn, mated to Angelica "Anne" Kildaire, a human, in Stroke of Enticement, have an infant boy Rowan Kaleb Quinn as of Allegiance of Honor.
4) Bastien Smith, Mercy's brother & financial genius, mated to Kirby Rosario, a Lynx Changeling, in Secrets at Midnight.
b. SnowDancer Wolves (Territory: California)
i. Hawke - Alpha. Mated to Sienna Lauren, an X-Psy, in Kiss of Snow.
ii. Lieutenants - Judd Lauren (an Arrow Psy, mated to Brenna Shane Kincaid, in Caressed by Ice); Riley Aedan Kincaid; Indigo Riviere (mated to Andrew "Drew" Liam Kincaid, a Tracker, in Play of Passion); Riaz Delgado (mated to Adria Morgan, a SnowDancer Sr. Soldier, in Tangle of Need); Cooper "Coop" Shaw (mated to Grace Burke in Declaration of Courtship); Kenji Tanaka & Garnet "Jem" Sheridan (mated to each other in Flirtation of Fate; Alexei; Mathias; Tomas;
iii. Packmates - Dalton; Lucy; Kieran (a human); Joshua; Brace; Sylvia; Maria & Lake; Riordan; Simran; Ines; Mariska; Sam Baker (a human); Mack; Nell; Shawnelle; Ivy; Becca; Pierce; Vivienne & Todd (Twins); Daniel; Margo; Vitoria; Sebastian; Paul; Elizabeth; Diego; Revel & Pia (siblings); Baker Family - Iain & Enid; son Nash; daughter Willow (Lynx family tied to the pack); Heather; Dani; Madison; Louisa; Steele Sheridan; Jasper Sheridan; Lorenzo; Emi; Eloise; Gavin; Greg
iv. Other Couples:
1) Walker Lauren, a Tp-Psy, mated to Lara Knight, healer, in Texture of Intimacy, is pregnant in Allegiance of Honor.
2) Felix Grady, a submissive, mated to Desiree "Dezi", a DarkRiver Leopard Dominant Sr. Soldier, in Partners in Persuasion.
3) Tai, dating Evangeline, Indigo's sister, since Kiss of Snow; Elias, his mate Yuki & daughter Sakura; D'Arn & his human mate Sing-Lui; Spencer & Ava Stone, their son Ben (wanting to mate with Marlee) & daughter Elodie; Shamus Lopez & his mate Emma; Tarah & Abel - Indigo and Evie's parents; Melina and James - Grace's adopted parents; Aisha & Mack - Lara's parents; Riordan dating Noelle, Zach's sister since Texture of Intimacy; Ruby Sheridan, Tex & their new born; Yejun & Sabrina; Shane & Athena
1) In Texture of Intimacy, Lara and her assistant Lucy are looking for a dedicated admin person.
2) Drew and Indigo are set to take over Alexei's sector in a month while Alexei to come back to the den as of Tangle of Need.
3) In Shield of Winter, Hawke and Sienna's plan to eliminate Ming is put on hold temporarily.
c. BlackSea Changeling Coalition - First mentioned in Kiss of Snow.
i. Miane Leveque - Leader, introduced in Tangle of Need.
ii. Packmates - Malachi Rhys (Security Chief, Introduced in Tangle of Need); Emani Berg; Olivia Coletti & her daughter Persephone; Leila Savea; Costas; Andres; Dr. Night
iii. Approx 21 BlackSea water changelings are missing since Shards of Hope, only one rescued so far, Persephone.
iv. Malachi Rhys is evolving and now he is getting added to my list of characters that I want to read more and more about - Hawke, Kaleb, Aden, Bowen
d. StoneWater Bears (Territory: Moscow) - First mentioned in Kiss of Snow.
i. Valentin "Valya" Mikhailovich Nikolaev - Alpha
ii. Seconds - Anastasia "Stasya" (Valya's sister); Pieter "Petya"; Pavel "Pasha" Mayakovskevich Stepyrev; Yakov "Yasha" Stepyrev; Zahaan "Zasha"; Taji; Inara
iii. Packmates - Valya's Grandmothers Caroline and Anzhela & mother Galina Evanova; Svetlana "Sveta" Valeria Kuznetsov (with a hidden empathic ability); Arkasha; Fitzpatrick Haydon William; Moonbeam; Zaarina Saarinen (Zahaan's mother); Devi; Jane; Marik; Jovan; Laine;
iv. Other Couples: Evanova "Nova" (healer & Valya's sister, mated to Alik "Chaos" - their Chef, have a child Dima); Janika "Nika" ( Valya's sister, mated to Phoenix, Bo's cousin); Leonid "Leo" Papov (mated to Moira, a human; have newborn Danil "Danusha"); Ilya & Oksana; Fariad & Irina; Sergey & Enja, their son Artem "Tyoma";
e. BlackEdge Wolves in Moscow. First mentioned in Caressed by Ice.
i. Selenka Durev - Alpha
ii. Members: Gregori; Margo Lucenko
f. RainFire Leopards in Smokies. Introduced in Beat of Temptation. Remington "Remi" Denier (Alpha); Finn (Healer); Lark, Angel & Theo (Sentinels); Jojo (future alpha); Jasper
g. WindHaven Falcons. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Adam Garrett (Wing Leader); Naia (healer); Jacques (second to Adam)
h. Rats Changelings. Introduced in Mine to Possess. Members - Teijan (Alpha); Suyi; Zane; Aneca
i. AzureSun Leopards in Brazil. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Isabella Garcia (Alpha. Grandmother of Mercy); Eduardo and Joaquin (Sentinels).
j. IceRock Lynx Changelings in Calgary. Introduced in Secrets at Midnight. Members: Kiya Teague (Alpha)
k. PineWood Hyenas - First mentioned in Caressed by Ice. Members - Kevin; Mahal; Lou-Ann
l. SilverBlade Leopards. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Hamilton (A Sentinel)
m. WinterFire Leopards in North Dakota. First mentioned in Play of Passion.
n. WhiteSteppe Wolves in Siberia. First mentioned in Tangle of Need.
o. WaterSky Eagles in New York. Introduced in Shield of Winter.
p. SkyElm Ocelots in Texas. Introduced in Allegiance of Honor.
8. Grammatical / Character / Plot / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:
a. On Pg. 232, Line 15, shouldn’t it be "…didn’t cause her…"
b. In Allegiance of Honor, Nalini has Kalen and Ivy find only three known Psy-Human bonds formed of love in the entire Honeycomb Protocol aka PsyNet. However, Nalini mentions in this book that Sophia Russo and Max Shannon are the only known Psy-Human pair. But Nalini has penned the novella #2.4 Echo of Silence around the Psy Stefan Berg and Human Tazia Nerif, which is another Psy-Human bond. The third one she had mentioned in Shield of Winter were Clara Alvarez & her human mate Patrick. So definitely there are definitely three Psy-Human bonds. Does she mean that only Sophia and Max's bond is known by everyone and the remaining two are kept under wraps? Or did she mis-quote?