Book: Visions of Heat
Author: Nalini Singh
Spoiler level: Low
Okay, here I am halfway through this book and I'm so into it.
Psy and Changeling: the rundown
For anybody who doesn't know the series, the world here is made up of three groups: the Psy, a race with highly developed intellectual and extra-sensory skills, and they can link via a kind of invisible web, and they're super into business and money, but have nearly stamped out their emotions. And then there are the animalistic Changelings, sensual, emotional, sometimes fierce shapeshifters who turn into various large cats and wolves and live a kind of idyllic existence apart from the Psy. Oh, and humans are around, too. BO-RING. They don't have a big part.
So why is it so fun and addictive to read about the Psys and Changelings? The Psy here is Faith NightStar, who lives in the middle of nowhere with guards and monitors, and has been groomed to use her rare psy foresight gift to make business predictions all day. She starts getting these awful dark visions, but if the Psy leaders find out, they'll likely confine/institutionalize her. So she seeks out Sascha, a woman who broke from the Psy race to be with a changeling and meets Vaughn, a jaguar changling. Rowrrr. Like, has anybody not read this besides me?
Anyway I've really been appreciating the whole Psy/Changeling contrast, and little exchanges like this one between Faith and Vaughn early on:
"I'm Psy. I don't feel fear." Pulling away, she angled her head to face him.His focus on her was so intense, she felt stripped bare. "Then what would you call it?""A physiological reaction to unknown stress factors."The slightest hint of a smile played about his lips. "So, what other physiological reactions did you experience?"She thought he might be laughing at her but had no way of judging the veracity of that conclusion.
One of the reasons I think these books are so satisfying is because the central romantic drama aligns with a central theme of the human experience: the intellect vs the emotion. It's an old battle, an old dance. And it just never gets boring!
The old Star Trek used to have this, according to some. Dr. McCoy (Bones) was emotion, Spock was intellect, and Kirk was the perfect joining of the two.
The human don't figure much, though they apparently have the better libraries. Perhaps to read about all the exciting Changeling on Psy action.