Monday, September 04, 2006

Title: Slave to Sensation
Author: Nalini Singh
Published: 2006, Berkley
Paranormal Romance
Rating: 8.5/10

The Ja(y)nes at Dear Author can be happy to know that their viral blogging experiment worked. At least on me. After seeing this everywhere in blogland, I had to pick it up and give it a try. And OMG it was really good!

I was totally surprised because let me count the reasons I shouldn't have liked it:
1)Cheesy title and cover. Twin has been making fun of me all weekend. "Are you a slave to sensation??!!" And I said, "No, but I'm a slave to this book!" Because I could not put it down. Even after the weather turned all beautiful, all I wanted to do was finish it.
2)It's very paranormal-y. Not my favorite category.
3)It has A LOT of sex. And gratuitous sex generally bugs the hell out of me. I mean, if I want erotica, I'll read erotica, thank you very much. Explicit sex scenes in regular novels are just distracting to me. But it worked here because it actually helped move the story along.
4)Hero is a total alpha. Literally, he's the alpha of a pack of panther/humans. Not my favorite kind of hero.

But despite all these things, this book sucked me in and didn't let me go till the very end. The reason is because it is simply a very compelling story.

In this alternate reality, there are three species of humans--regular humans, changelings (people who can change forms into animals), and the Psy. The Psy are like regular humans except that they have special mental abilities, like telepathy or telekinesis. A couple hundred years before the start of the book, the Psy were having trouble with a rampant murder rate among their population. Their solution is to condition children from birth to have no emotions. They don't love, or hate, or feel jealousy, they don't have any feelings at all, even simple things like food preferences. They're just super-efficient robots.

Sascha Duncan is a Psy who believes that she is terribly flawed--though she has been through the normal conditioning, she does feel emotion. Emotions that keep getting more and more overwhelming. She has to hide this from the rest of the Psy because if they find out, they'll send her to this institution where her mind will be cleared and she'll be turned into a vegetable.

She meets Lucas Hunter, the alpha of one of the most powerful changeling packs. He's a panther and rrrowr. Yeah, he's sexy. He is investigating the death of several Changeling women, and suspects that a Psy is the culprit. Sascha agrees to help them. And she's introduced to the world of sensation and feeling. Not only does she fall in love with Lucas, she also begins to understand the support and affection given by a family--something that is alien to most Psy.

I just thought the premise of this was so interesting. The battle between hot-blooded emotion and cold reason. We all feel overwhelmed by emotions sometimes, but what would we be like without them? And what makes us human? Our emotions or our ability to overcome our emotions with intelligent logic? Maybe I'm overthinking this, as it is just a romance novel, but I was rather fascinated by the world that Singh creates.

One minor complaint which is also a spoiler: The identity of the bad guy was obvious. We knew it was a male Psy and we'd only been introduced to one character that fit that description. So duh, maybe it's him! But it did little to spoil the enjoyment.

So I loved this book. I loved seeing Sascha emerge from her cold little shell. The romance was very romantic--star-crossed lovers who don't end up dead at the end. ;) I thought it was really original and very different from anything I'd ever read before. There's a sequel due out in the spring. YAYY!


Anonymous said...

You just might've gotten me! LOL. Even with all the posts of this book all over blogland, I still wasn't as tempted to read this book as I am now. Dang...another book to add to the TBR pile. *shakes fist in your direction* :-P

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am so glad that you liked it since *cough* it was us that made you buy it ;). I loved the theme: emotions over not feelig at all. There was a great line in the book where Lucas begins to question whether it would be better to be emotionless. I thought that was a perfect contrast to Sascha's awakening.

Dev said...

I guess I need to go get this one too. I've seen a few reviews and everyone seems to be impressed with it ~ which is enough for me to go get it.

Mailyn said...

Great review! Everyone seems to like this so far. I must buy. LOL

Jennie said...

Devonna & DC--Get it! I think you'll like it. :)

Jane--Yes, thank you for bringing it to my (and everyone else in blogland's) attention! It's really not something I would have picked up for myself otherwise, but I so enjoyed it.

Mailyn--What's with the new name?! It's funny, I like it! ;)

Mailyn said...

LOL, Ames gave it to me over on one of her blogs and we joked that it should be like my I changed it. LOL.

~ames~ said...

Great review Jennie. I'm going to buy this book now, just because you said it was good. LOL

Hmm...maybe I'll just start coming to you whenever I need a rec.

Jennie said...

Ames-I've had pretty good luck lately with books. Yippee! Reading other people's book blogs really helps me with deciding what to read.

You should try this one. I hope you like it too. ;)

Kristie (J) said...

See - this book is driving me nuts. I check the Chapters web site and they say they have 4 copies, but when I went in to get it the sales clerk said - "oh it must be keyed in wrong somehow because we don't have any" Do you know how frustrating that is to see it's there but it's not there???

Jennie said...

Sorry Kristie! I had that same problem last weekend. I wanted to buy that Harlequin Historical about the gladiator and the lady at B&N was all, "the computer says we have one, but it just doesn't seem to be here." Rrgg.

And that is why I like to shop online. Except there's no instant gratification. And I'm a fan of instant gratification. ;)

Ruth said...

Thanks for the review! I've been searching for a good and steamy paranormal romance for awhile now. The last one I read was Take Me There by P.F. Kozak, and it definitely hooked me into reading more.