Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of ‘rehabilitation’ – the complete psychic erasure of her personality . . . Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murder of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.
Anyone who knows me well will know that my guilty pleasure is without a doubt Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels (otherwise known as ‘True Blood’ on television). So when I finished all the books in that series last year, I was desperate for something along similar lines to fill the gap. I tend to have about three novels on the go at the same time and usually I like one of them to be a little light-hearted but gripping fun. That is what Charlaine Harris is to me. I stumbled across Nalini Singh’s work whilst browsing other people’s blogs and found them to have excellent reviews. Unfortunately for me, Slave to Sensation just didn’t quite pull me in as much as I wanted it to. I wanted a good fantasy/supernatural story with a bit of romance, instead I got a romance with a bit of fantasy.
I loved the idea of the existence of the Psy – I thought it would be something a bit more original in terms of todays dark romance genre which tends to stick to just vampires and werewolves. The idea of a race being created who could not feel any kind of emotion and therefore cannot possibly commit any kind of crime was intriguing. However, I found it was used in a way just to add something to the romance of the book – between Sascha the Psy, and Lucas the changeling (shapeshifter). It was only there to add a bit of suspense, excitement to the relationship. It could have been explored in a lot more depth and become something entirely different. The relationship between Lucas and Sascha develops so quickly that it feels as though all the fun has been taken out of it. Almost within days of meeting each other they are having raunchy dreams about each other. It reads more like mills and boon than fantasy. I even found myself cringing in some places.
The novel did get better as the story went on but I did find myself losing interest pretty quickly. The relationships between Lucas and his leopard pack seem ridiculous when I was picturing it in my mind – them nuzzling each other and kissing each other as if they were lovers but were actually just pack-mates. I couldn’t take it seriously.
Despite this being a somewhat negative review I can’t say that Singh is a bad writer because she isn’t. She writes well within the romance genre but I feel that someone who appreciates romance on a mills and boon level would perhaps love this more than I did. To cut it short – this just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Needless to say, I feel no need to carry on with the rest of the series, which is a definite shame and leaves me still with a Sookie-sized hole in my ‘to read’ pile at the moment. Suggestions are welcome!