Desert Isle Keeper
Visions of Heat
This author just moved to the top of my auto-buy list. I loved Slave to Sensation, but had that fear in the back of my mind that maybe it was a one shot deal. Wrong! I’m happy to say I loved Visions of Heat, and from the looks of the teaser in the back, I can’t wait for the next one.
The Psy race developed with incredible psychic talents, each with their own specialty. They created the PsyNet, an intermingling of their minds to support each other and network their minds for information sharing. Gradually the PsyNet moved into a watchdog role and alternatively, a librarian role. Because their minds depend on the support of the PsyNet, to disconnect from it means death.
Each Psy designation has its own letter to indicate the talent that particular Psy carries. The Psy share the Earth with the Changelings – shapeshifters who live in clans depending on their species – and humans. In order to stop what the Psy believed was an alarming amount of serial killers and insanity in their population, they instituted a program called the Silence Protocol. At first it was designed to wipe out anger and aggression, but the Psy soon realized that those emotions could not be separated from others, and gradually all emotion was trained out of them, starting when they were small children. Most of the Psy believe the Silence is a success, however, their success is starting to fracture at the seams.
Faith Nightstar is a Cardinal F-Psy. The Cardinal is the most powerful designation in terms of talent. Faith is a Forecaster and can see future events. Because the F-Psy are so valuable in the business world the Psy pride themselves on, they are kept isolated from the “contamination” of others, having very little contact with people, except for the electronic reminders from their employees about when to sleep and eat. Faith’s predictions are extremely accurate, and she has made millions for the Nightstar Clan. In the time before the Silence, when the F-Psy could still see catastrophes and deaths, only a small percentage of them went insane because of the overwhelming nature of their visions. However, since the Silence, at some point in their lives, most F-Psy end up insane, locked in their minds, never to have contact with the outside world again.
Faith is beginning to wonder if her time has come. Lately her visions have been filled with darkness and blood. When her father informs her that her sister was murdered, Faith starts to believe that she saw the killer in her mind. Since no F-Psy has visions of death and murder any longer, she believes the only one who can help is Sascha, the Psy who left the PsyNet (and heroine of Slave to Sensation. Faith, in a move of unprecedented nature for an F-Psy, sneaks out of her compound to find the Changeling clan where Sascha lives.
Vaughn D’Angelo, a jaguar Changeling adopted by the DarkRiver leopard clan, discovered Faith’s compound and wonders why a Psy – who are city dwellers who never venture into nature – chose to live in the forest. When he sees Faith scale the fence of her compound and head into DarkRiver territory, he wonders what she can possibly be thinking. As a Sentinel, or protector of the clan, he follows her to protect the safety of his clan. Once he arranges the meeting between Faith and Sascha, he can’t seem to keep his mind – or hands – off Faith. This causes serious problems for her because she has literally never been touched and Silence training associates touch with pain, which causes her mind to shut down. She feels drawn to him in a way she can’t understand, and wants to spend more time with him. Even as a part of her recognizes that she is feeling, she tries to cope with his overwhelming presence and still protect herself from the Psy Council.
The Psy Council, a group of powerful Cardinals who “rule” the Psy, are completely amoral, and most of them stopped at nothing in order to obtain their seats on the Council. They have set their sights on Faith, and to be noticed by the Council is never a good thing. Amongst the maneuvering by the Council, Faith, Vaughn and the DarkRiver clan attempt to locate the vicious killer.
Vaughn is a completely alpha male. I loved his character. Because of a traumatic event in his childhood, his jaguar is much closer to the surface and he fears hurting Faith. It’s almost excruciating what he goes through to keep himself under control for her. Because she is unable to handle touch, it creates an interesting situation for both of them. Faith has to break her childhood mental conditioning, while maintaining her mental protections against the Council and the killer. She’s much stronger than she believes.
Sascha and Lucas, and others from Slave to Sensation are very much a part of this book, but they never detract from Faith and Vaughn’s characters and struggle. The Psy and Changeling storyline continues to evolve over the course of this book, and it should be very interesting to see what develops down the line in the next books. I’m an impatient person, so the wait for the next book will be excruciating!