Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Published September 5th 2006 by Berkley Sensation
The only reason that it took me so long to read Slave of Sensation is the terrible cover and the cringe-worthy title. The book looks like something that is filled with paper-thin characters and a lot of insipid swooning. If this is your impression too, be assured: Slave of Sensation is a much better book than you’d think.
Sascha is a Psy – a race of beings that have no emotions, and make all of their decisions on pure intellect. They rule the world, because they have no capacity for hate or anxiety. But there is something different about Sascha; she feels. Her aberration becomes increasingly hard to hide when she is teamed up with Lucas, a changeling.
The focus of the story is the romance between Sascha and Lucas. Pairings between psy and changelings are unheard of. The psy have done away with sexual intercourse and messy personal relationships completely, while the changelings value pack and family above all. Their personalities clash, but through getting to know each other better, they fall in love. I thought Sascha was a fun character. Unlike many heroines who are supposed to be clever, she is actually competent at her job, and her bickering with Lucas was entertaining. Lucas sometimes falls into the typical alpha male caveman attitude, which made me lower the rating of this book, but in general Sascha holds her own.
For a book that revolves around a romantic pairing like Slave to Sensation, there is a lot of time spent on creating the world and a mystery sub-plot. While it was rather obvious who was killing changelings, the sub-plot was interesting and properly expanded upon. As a reader you feel like you really know and understand this Psy-Changeling world, rather than it just being a background for extra smooching.
Despite the cover and title, Slave to Sensation isn’t erotica, and I would call it sensual rather than sexual. It was a pleasant surprise, and kept me reading. The world is fascinating, and I’m looking forward to more Psy-Changeling stories (which hopefully don’t all feature overprotective men like Lucas).
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 everything she ever was…
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders 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.
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