Book Critique – Echo of Silence (Psy-Changeling #2.5)
For review of all books in this series: Go here.
Stars: 3 / 5
My Recommendation: Another good novella that would give the readers a glimpse into the Psy-Changeling world, filled with Psy, Changeling and Humans, who are living together, ruled by Psy but the other two races making the playing field even. Of course there is romance, passion, war, friendship, loyalties and betrayals along the line.
Echo of Silence is the seventh novella in the long running Psy-Changeling Series by Nalini Singh, published in August of 2016, as part of Wild Embrace anthology. The primary plot revolves around Stefan Berg - a Tk-Psy working as station commander of Alaris Deep Sea Station - and Tazia "Tazi" Nerif - an engineer at the same station.
Psy-Changeling series focuses on three races living side-by-side on Earth - The icy Psy who rule the world struggling with fall of Silence; the Changelings with natural mental barriers to fight the Psy invasion; and the Humans having decided to level the playing field. The series takes the readers through the downfall of Psy, their drawbacks, why all three races are needed for survival of each other, and above all finding mates across races thus disintegrating the walls further.
In continuing with the series that intrigued when I picked it's spin-off, Psy-Changeling Trinity Series, here is my take on the next novella in the parent series. This time Nalini takes us back to the beginning of the series, by setting the plot in 2079 right after the events in the second book Visions of Heat.
In Shards of Hope, Nalini had concluded this arc of the Psy-Changeling series with a promise of four cute novellas along with one big plot of all the ensemble. We read and enjoyed the ensemble in Allegiance of Honor. Now on to the fun novellas that were published later in the same year as the big plot.
We heard about Stefan Berg first in Shield of Winter, but we came to know that he has a human mate in the previous book Allegiance of Honor. I was wondering if Nalini would tell his story, and so was a pleasant surprise when it was the first novella in this anthology.
Stefan Berg works as a station commander of Alaris Deep Sea Station, a Tk-Psy who had been trained hard but rejected. When Tazia Nerif joins his station, he cannot help but give in to the cracks happening with his Silence. But Tazia has her own past that she needs to connect to before she can take on Stefan.
It is a very small but sweet story of love between a Psy and a human, at a time when such mingling was frowned upon, when a Psy couldn’t break Silence, when a Human couldn’t bind to a Psy. A sort of forbidden love story that Stefan and Tazia get as a surprise for them, that they cherish and make the readers root for them through the falling of Silence.
No major surprises or battles other than what our lead characters face with each other with the plot. Simple, straight and very very charming with a bit of insight into the Psy world.
Like her other series', there is romance and passion in the plot with hidden humor that lightens the plot. She has very less of repeat paraphrasing and hardly any sub-plots or inconsequential details that she normally leaves though.
Another sweet little tale that gives the readers more insight into of this fantastic series. A good novella that would definitely intrigue the readers to pick up the series.
a. Several Psy Designations are mentioned in the series which this fandom detailed here.
b. Psy terms:
i. Honeycomb Protocol - The new PsyNet connected by Empaths to all Psy across the world; missing the critical human element; only three known Psy-Human bonds exist in the new net and rest all is disintegrating slowly unless humans join without coercion.
ii. The Consortium - headed by The Architect, formed of Psy, Human and Changeling power hungry people who want to take advantage of the fallen Silence at the cost of lives. The Architect plans to assassinate the top members of the Trinity Accord, including Silver Mercant.
iii. Trinity Accord - consists of Ruling Coalition; Devraj Santos; Bowen Knight; Lizbeth Shafer (head of a humanitarian group called Hope Light); Miane Leveque.
iv. United Earth Federation aka UEF
v. Emergency Response Network aka EmNet - The world-wide rapid response network as the first line in any critical situation; headed by Silver Mercant.
c. Various Psy:
i. 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 (representing all the Changelings)
ii. Empathic Collective - formed by 5 empaths including Sascha Duncan, Ivy Jane is President; Sahara Kyriakus as specialist; Alice Elridge as Consultant.
iii. Ex-Councilors: Ming LeBon; Shoshanna Scott
iv. Other Psy: Latham; Sione; Juniper; Gia Khan; Silver Mercant (Kaleb's sr. personal assistant, introduced in Caressed by Ice); Lenik (Kaleb's admin assistant); Samuel Rain; Keisha Bale; Tanique Gray (Faith's brother); Chang; Concetta; Teri; Dechen; Isaiah; Brigitte; Pax Marshall; Payal Rao; Ena Mercant
v. Psy Couples:
1) Clara Alvarez & her human mate Patrick
2) Gwen Jane & Carter Hirsch (Ivy Jane's parents)
vi. Kaleb has a vision for the square beneath his official buildings. A short story perhaps.
vii. Amara, Ashaya's twin, gets distracted by one of the males working in her lab in Tangle of Need.
viii. In Heart of Obsidian:
1) To avenge Sahara, Kaleb imprisons and tortures ex-Councilor Tatiana Rika-Smythe.
2) Nalini connected every knick-knack in Kaleb's home to a shared memory between him and Sahara except for one single piece of twisted metal. A short story for it?
ix. In Shield of Winter: Isaiah and Concetta seemed to bond, although Isaiah is injured in that plot.
x. Since Shards of Hope, a relationship is brewing between Anthony and Nikita.
d. Arrow Squad:
i. Aden Kai - Leader. Mated to his Commander Zaira Neve in Shards of Hope.
ii. Commanders: Vasic Zen (mated to Ivy Jane, an E-Psy, in Shield of Winter); Cristobel Rodriguez; Amin; Axl (sparks fly between him & Tamar, financial genius, in Shards of Hope)
iii. Members: Gutierrez; Suhana; Alejandro; Sione; Ella; Tavish; Mica; Nerida; Beatrice Gault; Yuri; Pip; Carolina;
iv. Other Couples:
1) Marjorie Kai & Naoshi Ayze (Aden's parents)
2) Abbot (Bonded with Jaya, an E-Psy)
3) Bond seems to be forming between Cristobel and Amin in Shards of Hope.
e. Forgotten Psy - Introduced in Caressed by Ice:
i. Devraj "Dev" Santos is their leader, marries Ekaterina "Katya" Haas, an M-Psy, in Blaze of Memory.
ii. Members: Rangi; Dr. Glen Herriford; Jonquil "Jon" Alexi Duchslaya (a 14 year old rescued from Psy Anchors imprisonment); Noor Hassan (rescued along with Jon. Keenan, Ashaya's son want to marry her); Aubry; Aryan; Tag & Tiara; Cruz; Maggie; Dr. Connor; Eva; William;
iii. In Heart of Obsidian, one of the female Forgotten assists the EmNet; who is mated to a DarkRiver male. Who is she?
i. 18th Century Territorial (Changeling) Wars - Adrian Kenner had help draft laws that ended the war.
ii. Bowen "Bo" Kinght - 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.
iii. Members: Sara; Lily (Bowen's adopted sister); Alice Eldridge (Introduced in Branded by Fire; Consultant to Empathic Coalition); Trooper Michel Benoit; Allie Livingston;
iv. 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.
v. Other Couples:
1) Max Shannon - Security Chief for Nikita Duncan, married to Sophia Russo, a J-Psy, in Bonds of Justice.
2) Father Xavier Perez - finds and marries Nina in Allegiance of Honor.
3) Lisette & Emil
4) Isaac & Jesse
g. Various Changelings:
i. DarkRiver Leopards (Territory: San Francisco)
1) 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.
2) Packmates - Kit & Rina Monaghan; Zara; Tara; Nico; Cory; Jason; Nicki; Aaron; Mia; Sarah; Lysa; Cian; Jamie; Meenakshi (Desi's mother); Barker; Joe; Keely; Owen; Monroe; Nicki; Sage and Grey (Mercy's remaining brothers); Anu; Issy; Behali; Bryan;
3) 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)).
4) Other Couples:
a) Emmet, mated to Ria Wembley, a human, in Whisper of Sin; have an infant daughter, Mialin Corrina, as of Allegiance of Honor.
b) 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.
c) Bastien Smith, Mercy's brother & financial genius, mated to Kirby Rosario, a Lynx Changeling, in Secrets at Midnight.
d) Desiree "Desi", a senior solider, is mentioned as mated in Allegiance of Honor. To whom?
ii. SnowDancer Wolves (Territory: California)
1) Hawke - Alpha. Mated to Sienna Lauren, an X-Psy, in Kiss of Snow.
2) 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; Felix; 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 pack); Heather; Dani
3) 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); Garnet "Jem"; Kenji Tanaka; Alexei; Mathias; Tomas;
4) More Stories:
a) Kenji and Jem are fighting sparks.
b) 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.
5) Other Couples:
a) Walker Lauren, a Tp-Psy, mated to Lara Knight, healer, in Texture of Intimacy, is pregnant as of Allegiance of Honor.
b) Tai, dating Evangeline, Indigo's sister, since Kiss of Snow.
c) Elias, his mate Yuki & daughter Sakura
d) Greg; D'Arn & his human mate Sing-Lui
e) Spencer & Ava Stone, their son Ben (wanting to mate with Marlee) & daughter Elodie.
f) Shamus Lopez & his mate Emma
g) Tarah & Abel - Indigo and Evie's parents
h) Melina and James - Grace's adopted parents
i) Aisha & Mack - Lara's parents
j) Riordan dating Noelle, Zach's, a DarkRiver Changeling, sister since Texture of Intimacy.
6) In Texture of Intimacy, Lara and her assistant Lucy are looking for a dedicated admin person.
7) In Shield of Winter, Hawke and Sienna's plan to eliminate Ming takes a little detour in the wake of fallen Silence.
iii. BlackSea Changeling Coalition aka Conclave - First mentioned in Kiss of Snow. Members: Miane Leveque (Leader, introduced in Tangle of Need); Malachi Rhys (Security Chief, Introduced in Tangle of Need); Emani Berg; Olivia Coletti & her daughter Persephone; Leila Savea; Costas; Andres; Dr. Night
1) Approx 21 BlackSea water changelings are missing; the hunt for them would no doubt slip and slide to several future plots by Nalini.
2) Malachi Rhys is evolving as the series is progressing. And now Malachi is getting added to my list of characters that I want to read more and more about - Hawke, Kaleb, Aden, Bowen
iv. BlackEdge Wolves in Moscow. First mentioned in Caressed by Ice. Selenka Durev (Alpha); Gregori
v. RainFire Leopards in Smokies. Introduced in Beat of Temptation. Remington "Remi" Denier (Alpha); Finn (Healer); Lark, Angel & Theo (Sentinels); Jojo (with markings of an alpha); Jasper;
vi. WindHaven Falcons. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Adam Garrett (Wing Leader); Naia (healer); Jacques (second to Adam)
vii. Rats Changelings. Introduced in Mine to Possess. Members - Teijan (Alpha); Suyi; Zane; Aneca;
viii. AzureSun Leopards in Brazil. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Isabella Garcia (Alpha. Grandmother of Mercy); Eduardo and Joaquin (Sentinels).
ix. IceRock Lynx Changelings in Calgary, Canada. Introduced in Secrets at Midnight. Members: Kiya Teague (Alpha);
x. PineWood Hyenas - First mentioned in Caressed by Ice. Members - Kevin; Mahal; Lou-Ann;
xi. Snake Changelings. First mentioned in Mine to Possess plot.
xii. Lynx Changelings. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members:
xiii. SilverBlade Leopards. Introduced in Branded by Fire. Members: Hamilton (A Sentinel)
xiv. WinterFire Leopards in North Dakota. First mentioned in Play of Passion.
xv. StoneWater Bears - First mentioned in Kiss of Snow.
xvi. WhiteSteppe Wolves in Siberia. First mentioned in Tangle of Need.
xvii. WaterSky Eagles in New York. Introduced in Shield of Winter.
xviii. SkyElm Ocelots in Texas. Introduced in Allegiance of Honor. Members: Monroe Halliston (Alpha);