Book Critique – Ocean Light (Psy-Changeling Trinity # 2)
Updated Review on 4/17/2020: I posted this review first on Aug 14 2019. However by then I hadnt read all the books in it's predecessor series. Now that I finished them, below is my updated review.
For review of all books in this series: Go here.
Stars: 3.5 / 5
My Recommendation: A very intriguing plot to continue the series, keeping readers on the edge and 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.
Ocean Light is the second book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity Series (17th book in the Psy-Changeling Series) by Nalini Singh published in June of 2018. The central plot revolves around Bowen "Bo" Adrian Knight - Security Chief of Human Alliance - and Kaia Luna - a BlackSea changeling. It is set in a BlackSea installation in the winter of 2083, two months after the events in the previous book, Silver Silence.
We were first introduced to Bo Knight in Branded by Fire, assumed as an antagonist and gradually grows into one of the protagonists in the role of the Security Chief of Human Alliance and making a mark in the world along-side the Psy and Changelings, thus creating an even playground.
So it came as a surprise when Nalini expunged his character in the previous book, Silver Silence, and killed him. As I guessed, she brings him back in this book, not from death but from a 2 month coma. I am glad she did, cause his was another story that I had been waiting to read for a while. Now we get to see his story.
Bowen "Bo" Knight wakes up in a BlackSea Changeling medical facility after a two-month coma to realize that he had been brought back to life with cutting edge technology. However the one person who was helping his doctor has extreme animosity towards him. Bo makes his purpose to unravel the mystery called Kaia Luna and make the best of the time he has left before the world goes hell for him.
Though Kaia evades him, his strong, fair and empathetic side speaks to her human self. While is playful side speaks to her other self. Nalini seamlessly created one person to appeal to bot sides of Kaia, yet did not make it an imbalanced relationship either. Kaia is a perfect complement to him in every way.
Kaia had faced so much loss by humans. It is only fitting to have her mate be a human. Contrarily Bo had faced a cruel Psy as a young teenager, and Nalini made his mate having some Psy-abilities. Each other facing their worst fears in the other only added more fuel to test their bond and love. In addition, she shows readers through her characters how to restore faith and balance; as well as to prove that there is both good and evil in any race.
Although I got irritated by one trait of both Kaia and Bowen. A secret that Kaia doesn’t share with Bo and keeps on dragging it out kind of ticked me off. That is where I also felt Nalini dragged the plot. However, once again as I debate with myself, I see the plus and minuses of this. Kaia had to find in her own way to get back to Bo and that is exactly what Nalini gave us.
I would be remiss, if I don’t mention about Adrian Bowen Kenner here. We met Adrian first in Mine to Possess, the fourth book in the parent series, 10 years ago since this book has been published first. He had been introduces to us as the peace negotiator of the 18th century changeling territorial wars and is referenced in several quotes, discussions and when talked about history.
In Silver Silence, Nalini provides his middle name as "Bowen" and I wondered if he was related to our Bo Knight in anyway. Again Nalini Singh proves my notion. Bo is indeed a direct descent of Adrian, who is his many times over great grandfather. Bo is indeed named after him proving the link further more. However, since we had heard so much about Adrian, I hope Nalini would create a story for him, although that would mean for her to add new characters and sub-plots. But, wouldn’t it be interesting to read his story as a prequel to both these series?
Same goes for another character mentioned, Adina Mercant, who perhaps was around the time Adrian Kenner was alive. In Silver Silence, we saw that Silver Mercant was a direct descendent. So much of her had been mentioned in so many books, I am curious if Nalini would come up a story for her too.
In Tangle of Need (11th book), Bo and his top aides get The Human Alliance Implant planted in their brains. In Allegiance of Honor (15th book), they find a fatal flaw that could give them only few more months to live. In Silver Silence (16th book) Bo challenges Kaleb and the Ruling Coalition to find a cure because it is the right thing to do, and they agree to do it. However, in this book, Nalini gives a closure to this sub-plot that had been dragging on since past 6 books. She gives Bo and his aide's a solution.
Another person I would like to mention is Malachai Rhys, the Security Chief for the BlackSea Water Changelings, whom we first met in the 10th book, Tangle of Need. Ever since his introduction, he has been growing slowly one book at a time. And I did mention before that I would like to see his story come soon too just like how I had craved stories of Hawke, Kaleb, Aden and Bowen.
In this book, he grows exponentially. What intrigued me was Nalini created Malachai the exact same as Bowen in every manner except that one was Human and one a Changeling. It makes a lot of sense in the fact that both have similar roles. His name also reminds me of Malachi Sullivan, the eldest of the Sullivan siblings from the novel Three Fates by Nora Roberts (My review of that book here). That book captured me a lot, and Malachi definitely left a lasting impression. Perhaps that is why my craving too.
Again, contrary to her parent series, she focuses the plot solely around Kaia and Bo, although we get glimpses of the characters from that series here and there. But no steady sub-plots for them. Looks like this will be the theme she would follow for this series.
While in the previous book, Silver Silence, Nalini Singh had opened every chapter with quotes from characters in this series and parent series that were told in years past, in this book, she opened them with actual conversations between various characters from the book. And each conversations tied to what would come for the reader in that chapter.
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, small bug-like muscle trainers that would clamp to one's skin and keep the muscles in motion; mechanical heart; below-the-waterline biospheres for people to live; smart-mesh to tie to neurons in human brain that can be laid directly on scalp; organic recycler; biodegradable shrouds; eco lights;
Favorite quote out of the book: Per the author, this is from private diaries of Adrian Kenner. However, I feel this would apply for any one in any walk of life and situation.
In every book of hers, be it this series of the others, Nalini always inserts communal scenes - family gatherings, clan celebrations, pack events - that make you want to live in that book, have a life similar to the characters have, and you cant help but fall in love with all her characters.
A fitting continuation for the spin-off series. I cant wait to pick up the next book in the series soon, wanting to see how Nalini connects all the missing dots and those inconsequential details she leaves all around her plot. A plot that keeps readers on the edge.
1. Plot Reveals:
a. What is the history behind Kaia being called as "Cookie"?
b. What is the fate of Heenali as one of Bo's Knight after knowing she had breached security for Hugo?
c. KJ was instrumental in working with Consortium to cause several BlackSea disappearances. At the end of the plot, he vanishes without any trace, even leaving his wife behind.
d. A friendship bond starts to form between Bo and Kaleb in the end.
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). In this book, Sahara thinks Friendship bonds also might help the PsyNet if not Love always.
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 Silver Silence.
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; Pippi;
e. Psy Couples: Clara Alvarez & her human mate Patrick; Gwen Jane & Carter Hirsch (Ivy Jane's parents); Isaiah & Concetta (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. Could it be Samuel Rain per Silver Silence, where he seemed interested in her?
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?
h. In Silver Silence:
i. Kaleb has someone in mind as Silver's replacement.
ii. Silver jokes about joining a human commune as well to keep up the political image of not showing partiality to any one race, now that she is mated to a Changeling.
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 (seem to have bonded in Shards of Hope); Axl (interested in Tamar 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)
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?
6. Humans - Human Alliance:
a. Giovanni Somme - official head of the Alliance; Bowen "Bo" Kinght - Security Chief;
b. Bowen's Knights (Total of 9 men & women) - Lily Knight (Bo's sister); Cassius Drake; Heenali Roy; Ajax; Zeb; Domenica Bianchi & 3 others not-named yet
c. Members: Sara; Alice Eldridge (Introduced in Branded by Fire); Trooper Michel Benoit; Allie Livingston; Neha (Bo's assistant); Niall; Erik Jahnssen;
d. Other Couples:
i. Max Shannon - Security Chief for Nikita Duncan, married to Sophia Russo, a J-Psy, in Bonds of Justice.
ii. Father Xavier Perez & Nina; Lisette & Emil; Isaac & Jesse; Leah & Jerad Knight (Bo's parents);
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.
1) In Allegiance of Honor, Kit (an alpha in the making) leaves the pack for his wild journey. In this book, he is seen to be working at a BlackSea location.
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; Charlie;
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 & Lucy are looking for a dedicated admin person.
2) Drew & Indigo are set to take over Alexei's sector in a month for Alexei to come back to 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. Members
i. Miane Leveque - Leader, introduced in Tangle of Need.
ii. Packmates - Malachi "Mal" Rhys (Security Chief, Introduced in Tangle of Need); Emani Berg; Olivia Coletti & her daughter Persephone; Leila Savea; Costas; Andres; Dr. Night; Attie's brothers (Edison - possible to mate Seraphina, Armand - possible to mate Tansy, and the identical triplets Teizo, Tevesi - possibly to mate Oleanna, and Taji); Scott Reineke; Jayson Greer; ; Alden; Bodie; Mary Ushijima; George; Naz; Loribeth; Bebe; Pania; Junji; Commander Geraldine Rhys (Mal's mother); Rick; Commander Griffin; Rani (healer);
iii. Other Couples: Dr. Atalina "Attie" Suzuki Kahananui & Dex, the Station Commander, they have a new born in this plot; Filipe & Carlotta; KJ & Lis (a human); Dr. Natia & Eijiro Kahunanui;
1) Approx 21 BlackSea water changelings were missing since Shards of Hope. In this book it is mentioned that some of the missing were found dead and others never traced. And three more went missing since the last rescue per this book.
2) Malachi Rhys has evolved exponentially in this book, and now I crave for his story just like Hawke, Kaleb, Aden, Bowen. Also he seems to be having a relationship with Miane, more than just as her Security Chief. Are they mates?
3) A database of all the packmates with their hidden tattoos is created, which is locked and can be accessed only by Miane, Malachai and an anonymous third person. Could that be Kaleb?
d. StoneWater Bears (Territory: Moscow) - First mentioned in Kiss of Snow.
i. Valentin "Valya" Mikhailovich Nikolaev - Alpha, mated to Silver Mercant, a TP-Psy, in Silver Silence.
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 Babushka Caroline and Anzhela & mother Galina Evanova; Svetlana "Sveta" Valeria Kuznetsov; 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, a cousin of Bo); Leonid "Leo" Papov (mated to Moira, a human; have newborn Danil "Danusha"); Ilya & Oksana; Fariad & Irina; Sergey & Enja, their son Artem "Tyoma";
1) In Silver Silence: Valentin trying to figure out why a bear clan was in Angola at one time; Silver finding proof of prior Psy Council's experiments on Changelings that caused Valentin's father to turn into a serial killer.
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.
q. Lion Changelings in African continent. First mentioned in this book.
8. Grammatical / Character / Plot / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:
a. On Pg. 142, Line 8 from bottom, it should be "…she used to sneak…"
b. On Pg. 144, Line 10 from bottom, it should be "…Such a paradoxical…"
c. On Pg. 387, Line 24, it should be "..Bridges aren't build over thin air…"