Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Berkley (November 3, 2009)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Main Characters: Devraj Santos and Katerina Haas a.k.a Katya
Book Origin: Personal Library
Nalini Singh returns to the Psy/Changeling world and its “breathtaking blend of passion, adventure, and the paranormal”* as a woman without a past becomes the pawn of a 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 yet prove the enemy’s most insidious weapon.
Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor, and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity itself. 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…
There hasn’t been one book by Nalini Singh that failed to give me sheer reading pleasure. And I’m almost afraid I’m jinxing myself with this statement but Nalini Singh is one of those rare authors on my shelves who have yet to write a book that is a letdown for me. If I thought I knew what to expect within the Psy/Changeling series she dishes out a story like Blaze Of Memory to prove me wrong. The different point of view I was presented with delivered an exquisite read with all I came to treasure within this series and then some.
Blaze Of Memory delves deeper in to the Psy past with The Forgotten and how Silence came to be. I always considered myself a changeling kinda gal until Devraj and Katerina a.k.a Katya. Until their story with its undeniable potent feelings shred the cold of Silence. It picked me up, took me in to an alternate world and three hundred and seventy three pages later I was oh so reluctant to leave. I was stunned that the Psy could rattle my emotions like that. It was a masterful entwining of the romance story, a Psy history lesson and new plotlines accelerating the overall story arc.
Dev and Katya are the beating heart of this story and the set up is something I will never get enough of; the impossible romance. Everything that Katya is should repel Dev but the instincts she awakens in him are his Achilles heel. From day one their constrained emotions are a flammable essence waiting for its first chance to fully ignite. Add the lush writing style of Singh and it feels like it only emphasizes on that blatant sensuality simmering between Dev and Katya. It is a heady mix of yearning for something that goes against everything you know and have been taught, and at the same time knowing that it will be the greatest thing you ever experienced. I couldn’t get enough of the romance or of the information that came to me at a steady pace. It worked together as it gradually succumbed me to the mesmerizing pull of this story.
Dev is Psy and director of the Shine foundation. His powers and position make him distant, shouldering the responsibility of many who depend on him and often he has to make tough decisions for the good of The Forgotten. Everything about him screams rigid control until Katya comes along and bares another side of him. The vigorous side, the humorous side and the side that feels so deep you wonder how he is able to hide it.
Katya is all Psy and conditioned by Silence. Her circumstances take her to the Shine foundation and to the doorstep of Dev. She is a woman where vulnerability is fused with strength, innocence is dallying with a smart attitude and where Silence is warring with the uncovered need to touch, feel, love and tease all the senses. Her psyche is as intriguing as her personality and she fueled this story with a wide range of sensations.
Dev and Katya are not right for each other, mostly due to matter outside their control, it’s forcing them to always keep the risks in mind. The intensity of their dialogues made me feel that maddening sense of desperation, at one hand romance was blossoming and at the other hand they knew it was never going to be. Nalini Singh created one hell of an obstacle where there was no way out for Katya and Dev. I could see no way out as I read the chapters and the consequences of that obstacle fully came to be in this story. It was emotion in its purest form, drama bled from the pages and I was in shock for a few moment as I reached that nerve wrecking but beautiful conclusion.
There's something else that I realized as I closed this book and that is that though the point of view is given from the Psy, and it made some things a little bit more understandable, it didn’t affect my overall sense of right and wrong in this world. It can happen when an author gives a perspective from, what I consider to be the evil doers, boundaries fade and things can get kind of confusion. Nothing of the sort happened in Blaze Of Memory, The Forgotten achieved a special place and became a more visible part of the Psy/Changeling world. But there is more that fleshes out this world like vividly drawn secondary characters, they speak to me, both newly introduced and recurring ones. Apparently there is a new pack on the horizon named RainFire with pack leader Remington. The nani of Dev was also a hoot to meet, but more of The Forgotten like Jack and Will, Tag and Tiara flavored this story. Not to mention we’ve got a plethora of Changeling with their mates and children adding to the plotline. Sasha, Lucas, Dorian, Ashaya, Noor, Keenan, Judd, I got to meet them all and through them I received small slivers of information that is casually mentioned but intrigue me nonetheless.
I love being in this world! Each character matters to me and when the romance, the tightly plotted scheming and overall story arc, along with the information seamlessly flows together, all of my hot buttons are pushed to experience an outstanding paranormal romance. Blaze Of Memory is unadulterated reading pleasure!
Something shifted between them the previous night – she could feel it deep within: a subtle tug, a bond barely formed.
But that wasn’t the change that distressed her.
Dev walked beside her, but gone was the man who kissed her with a passion that seared her soul. Only the director, hard, focused, unreadable remained.