Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense
Also by this author: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1), Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2), Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12)
Series: Psy-Changeling #7
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: My shelves
A woman without a past becomes the pawn of the man who controls her future...
Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she's dangerous. Charged with protecting his people's most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It's a task he's never hesitated to complete...until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might prove to be the enemy's most insidious weapon yet.
Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die...
This is my first time rereading this book, and I’d completely forgotten that it’s good?? I actually thought (erroneously) that I didn’t like this one! But I most certainly do, and I shouldn’t have doubted – Ms. Singh isn’t called the Alpha Author of Paranormal Romance for nothing. I think it’s no secret that I absolutely adore every facet of this series – and the books get better and better as the series goes on, especially with her amazing world-building skills and fluid writing style!
So far, we’ve explored only two changeling packs: the DarkRiver leopards and the SnowDancer wolves. We’ve had perspectives from Changelings from both packs, humans, and Psy. But in Blaze of Memory… we finally get a good look at the Shine Foundation, first mentioned in Mine to Possess (book four). The Shine Foundation takes care of children (and families) whose ancestors are Psy, who dropped out of the PsyNet when Silence was implemented all those years ago. (Check out my review of book 1 to get a better explanation of the Psy-Changeling world if you’re lost!)
Devraj “Dev” Santos is the director of the Shine Foundation, which means he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and a major political player. It’s a dangerous, stressful job with a heavy burden, but Dev truly loves his Shine kids, so of course he accepted the Director position. That he’s getting colder and colder with the harder decisions he has to make is something that concerns everyone but him, as he has the welcoming chill of metal to calm him – due to his power and influence towards machines.
“Just because you’re bigger doesn’t mean you have to be a bully.”
“Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean I’m going to let you get away with bullshit.”
Dev is fair and he’s strong, willing to do anything to protect his people, because he loves them. He was a dick in the beginning, but fortunately for him, he had his reasons and you can’t stay mad at Dev for long. He may be ruthless and cold, willing to do anything to do his job and protect the Forgotten, but he’s also understanding, gentle and a fierce protector towards not only the Forgotten… but also, eventually, Katya. He is both of those people, and that’s why I liked him. He’s not perfect, but he is lovely in his way.
Katya was a delightful surprise! We hadn’t really met her before, I didn’t know her going into the story, but she was a great heroine. She was damaged, fragile, and went through so much. But the fact that she came out the other side means that she’s also strong and brave. She’d been through so much and was still fighting for herself, and eventually, for Dev. But she was also terrified for Dev and the terrible danger. I loved watching her open up (although it was impossible for her not to, given her vulnerable state) and trust Dev and find herself again. Her trust and vulnerability made this one a beautiful story.
Katya’s vulnerability was never in question and really, she never had a choice but to give that to Dev, as she was dumped on his doorstep after five months of torture and sensory deprivation, with a bad case of amnesia. She didn’t know who she was, only knew that someone had programmed her mind for a specific purpose. They were both positive that she was meant to be a sleeper agent, but Dev didn’t have it in him to throw out a broken female. Instead, this forced-proximity prisoner-bodyguard situation meant they fell in love ? Which was a pretty good ending, in my opinion.
“I know I’m being a pain in the ass, Sascha darling, but humor me. I’m working on letting go -I promise our kid will be a wild savage exactly like Roman and Julian.”
I loved the peek we got into other Psy-Changeling characters, but admittedly found myself pulled more towards the side-plots that were going on than the main romance right in front of me. Singh does an amazing job of pulling on other characters to continue to evolve the story and move the plot forward, and I love that we still get to see all of our favorite characters! My favorite part was learning more about the Forgotten and how they evolved – it’s a fascinating history, and the letters were the perfect addition.
Although I have to admit… I didn’t find the chemistry between Katya and Dev to be as spicy and consuming as I’ve seen in past books from this series. It was more of a case of lust leading to a sense of caring that became love, which, fine, is how most romances work, but I guess I just missed the banter and the fighting-the-attraction that normally occurs with the changelings. It wasn’t the best book of the series, but Katya’s emotional journey did start to make up for that gap. Ming basically killed Ekaterina under Silence, and the true beauty, really, was watching Katya recreate herself and become reborn. While there wasn’t as much zing between Dev and Katya, there was obviously emotion (I did cry!) and I was genuinely happy and supportive of them by the end.
Blaze of Memory was the first book of the series that didn’t really further the overall story arc. I certainly don’t recommend skipping it, because A, it’s worth reading! and B, it’s a book that unveiled new knowledge and insight that will help the story move forward eventually, but just didn’t directly contribute to any immediate steps forward. If that makes sense :) But while the plot wasn’t super intense, it was an emotional journey, with the romance and with Katya discovering herself and was just a beautiful book ? (See my Review of book 1)
Series Reading Order
More reviews to come as I continue with my reread of the series!
Other books you may enjoy…
Have you read a book by Nalini Singh? Do you typically enjoy urban fantasy books? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!