Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity)- Nalini Singh
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Rating (out of 5):
Warning! Spoilers Ahead!
Synopsis: Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that's exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.
Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence--her mind clear of all emotion--Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That's what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious...and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.
Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...
Silver Mercant has gone from being Kaleb Krychek's assistant to the director of EmNet, the new worldwide emergency response network that coordinates human, changeling, and Psy resources when emergencies occur. With the fall of Silence and the new attempts to unite the three races, Silver is one of the key players in the new Trinity Alliance. Her new high profile has gained her both enemies and allies- including Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bear clan. After saving her life from an attempted poisoning, Valentin is determined to keep Silver close where he can protect her- and maybe convince her to leave Silence behind and learn to play with a certain alpha bear. But Silver believes she is one of those Psy Silence was originally designed to save. Can Valentin change her mind before assassins or her own powers kill her?
Silver Silence begins Part 2 of Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling world, a transition that began in Allegiance of Honor. Fans will remember Silver as Kaleb Krychek's assistant and I for one was beyond thrilled when I first heard she would be getting her own book. Her persistent suitor is Valentin Nikolaev- not only a new character but our first introduction to bear changelings. Valentin is everything we expect in a powerful predatory changeling alpha: stubborn, smart, stubborn, sneaky, and stubborn. He also has a great sense of humor and a seemingly limitless amount of patience and love, even for those who claim to reject him. We can see early on that Silver isn't as Silent as she thinks she is, and watching her take cautious steps into the world of emotion is a delightful journey. Being dropped into a clan of bears means some of her relaxation of Silence is almost a self-defense mechanism of its own, and once she starts down that path Valentin is only too happy to keep encouraging her. Silver's strength comes not (only) from her psychic abilities. She is an organized, efficient, take-no-attitude woman who uses grey silk suits as armor and can bluff so well you'd never want to play poker against her. She's learned from Ena that sometimes what people think you can/will do is even more powerful than what you actually can/will do- a lesson she puts to good use as new enemies threaten not only her life, but the delicate trust the Trinity Alliance is forging between the races.
Valentin may be all bear but he works on being "sneaky like a cat" in order to get Silver. Family and clan is everything to Valentin, meaning he and Silver already start with some things in common. Even during the height of Silence the Mercant family was a tightly knit unit. When Silver is poisoned and the culprit seems to be one of the family both she and her grandmother Ena, the Mercant family 'alpha', are rocked by the idea one of their own could betray them. Ena is a great, strong, scary woman (possibly even a level above Nikita Duncan) and I enjoyed how she, Valentin, and Kaleb interact with each other.
While Kaleb and a few other familiar faces cameo here, nearly all the characters in Silver Silence are new. Secondary characters like Nova, Ena and Arwen enrich the book while giving us no hints about who the next book will focus on (I'd say Arwen, but by the end it's pretty obvious he's hooked on a bear as well). I'm hoping we get to meet more Mercant family and maybe follow some of them as main characters in the future. Trouble in Valentin's family and in the StoneWater clan as a whole mean there's plenty going on and the antagonists aren't only against Silver.
While Silver Silence begins to explore the new world of Trinity and how three very different races of people can begin to trust each other again, it is, at heart, a story about family, love, and hope. Love of and loyalty to family drive virtually every decision by both the Mercants, the StoneWater clan, and many of the enemies they face. How do Psy learn to reconnect not only with their own emotions, but with others? When nearly every family of humans or changelings knows at least one person who was harmed by a Psy, how can they begin to trust Psy? How do you begin to see individuals instead of painting an entire race with one brush? Even Silver doesn't realize how connected the three races are until the very end, when with one lovely twist Singh gives us something that should have been so obvious you won't believe you didn't think of it yourself.
Just when you think Nalini Singh can't possibly top her last book, she goes and writes Silver Silence. While newcomers could start here and not feel lost, having read at least Allegiance of Honor will make Silver Silence even better. An awesome beginning to the next chapter in Singh's Psy-Changeling world, Silver Silence is a fast-paced, three-dimensional must read full of passion, mystery, love and, above all: hope. Valentin and Silver's story remind us that no matter what is happening in the world around us, we should never stop believing that love and hope can make a difference.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.