Desert Isle Keeper
If you’re a fan of urban fantasy or paranormal romance, I imagine you’re familiar with Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series. I discovered it back in 2006, and I’ve been a devoted fan ever since. Ocean Light is the seventeenth installment, and the second entry in a sort of second story arc called the Psy/Changeling Trinity series, and I leapt at the chance to review it.
Before I get into the meat of the review, I want to point out that Ocean Light is not a good point of entry to Ms. Singh’s intricately-built world. The world and the characters who inhabit it are quite complex, and jumping in here would result in a great deal of confusion and frustration. Instead, do yourself a huge favor and start way back at the very beginning with Slave to Sensation. I doubt you’ll regret it.
It’s also worth pointing out that it would be pretty near impossible to review Ocean Light without spoiling some things about the previous books in the series. So, if you aren’t caught up with the goings-on in the Psy/Changeling universe, you might want to hold off on reading this review until you are.
Ocean Light picks up not long after the events of Silver Silence. Bowen Knight, the head of a group who call themselves the Human Alliance, awakens from a sort of medically-induced coma. No one really expected him to recover from the gunshot wound he suffered a few months before, but Bowen is a fighter with lots of work left to do. Unfortunately, waking from the coma is not quite the joyous event you might expect it to be because there’s something terribly wrong with his brain. A chip he had implanted to protect him from the telepathic interference of the mentally gifted Psy has begun to break down, and there’s only one person with the medical expertise to fix it.
Changeling Kaia Luna doesn’t have much use for humanity. Both humans and Psy have caused her unspeakable heartache, and she’s not sure she can handle any more. So she spends her time deep beneath the sea, working as a chef in the settlement built to shelter those changelings who live as sea creatures. Her cousin and closest friend is the surgeon tasked with saving Bowen’s life, and Kaia is determined to keep her distance from the wildly attractive and charismatic human male.
Of course, Kaia isn’t able to stay away from Bowen, and in fact, it’s not long after he comes out of the coma before sparks begin to fly between the two of them. Both Kaia and Bowen have multiple reasons for not wishing to get involved, but the heat of their attraction soon becomes too great for them to ignore.
I absolutely adored the chemistry between Bowen and Kaia. Their banter is some of the best I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and the sexual tension between them is almost palpable. I loved the straightforward way they dealt with one another, too. I get really tired of all the miscommunication and foolish misunderstandings that fill so many of today’s romance novels, so it was super refreshing not to have to deal with that here. Kaia and Bowen are adults who know what they want both in and out of the bedroom, and they don’t play games in order to get it.
Whenever I read a Psy/Changeling novel, I look forward to being reunited with characters I love from previous books, and Ocean Light did not disappoint in that respect. Several of my favorite characters make appearances here, and it was wonderful to be able to check in on them. That’s one of the perks of series reading, for me.
Ms. Singh has managed to create the perfect balance of action and quiet time. Bowen and Kaia are given ample opportunity to get to know each other and allow their relationship to deepen, but it never gets boring. There are quite a few pretty intense action scenes that spice things up quite nicely.
I could go on and on extolling the virtues of Ms. Singh’s latest novel, but I’ll just urge you to read it for yourself instead. It was everything I was hoping it would be and more, and I can’t wait for other devoted fans of the author’s work to read it and love it as much as I did.