It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Nalini Singh. I love to read her books. The complexity of the worlds Singh creates transports me there every time I read them. Sure, the romances are satisfying, the heroes and heroines complicated and compelling. But the world! The world is why I read. It’s immediate, believable, and populated with enough good and bad to be really interesting. So it’s with a heavy heart that I say that I didn’t really love Kiss of Snow.
This tenth book in the Psy-Changeling series is the long-awaited union of the SnowDancer alpha, Hawke, and the young psy, Sienna. In several earlier novels, you could see this pairing a mile away, and see how much it tormented both characters, so it’s nice to finally see these two together. I’m not going to recap the characters or the plot – if you’re not reading this series, you do NOT want to start with this novel; you’ll be so far at sea with all the interwoven stories and established details, you may never know what’s going on. Instead, I’ll just tell you what worked for me and what was not quite what I would have liked.
One of the characteristics of Singh’s writing that usually makes it so evocative is how she weaves several storylines into an overall arc, making for a really rich story. Peppered throughout the romance are story threads from the bad guys’ perspective, from other good guys’ perspective, from the narrator’s perspective. All of these bits mesh and normally push the story arc forward.
However, in Kiss of Snow, the weaving is choppy and sometimes difficult to follow. It seemed to lack the smooth storytelling of Singh’s earlier novels. While reading, I felt like I was being pulled in too many directions. There’s the primary romance, a secondary romance, and many of the earlier romances in this book. There’s the uber bad guys, the other bad guys, another two or three factions of good guys. We have a birth, several severe wounds, and some deaths. Battles, fights, and more battles. Plotting, scheming, spies, traitors – all in one book. Normally this makes for a rocking good time in a novel. Unfortunately, in this novel, it made for a bit of a mess. All these elements seem like they’re just tossed in and shaken. We jerk from one thing to the next with little to no transition and sometimes very few details to help us understand what we’re reading.
I had the most difficulty with the primary romance between Hawke and Sienna. Their personal scenes were the most confusing for me – just as it felt like they were starting to know each other, something would happen, or the author would cut to another thread. As a result, I had a frustrating time getting into this couple’s romance. For example, at the end of the book for several paragraphs Singh makes what feels like an unnecessary mystery about Hawke’s name. And then she never really reveals it – we’re left guessing and it’s a little frustrating.
The upshot of my review is that I’m disappointed, but I still read it. Kiss of Snow is still a “B” book for me, but I expect a lot from Singh – particularly with the Psy-Changeling series. This book, while good, didn’t quite meet my expectations and former experience with this author.
Read other reviews and information on this series here.
Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.
Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.
Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…
A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…
Read an excerpt here (scroll down).
Other books in this series (in strict chronological order):
|“The Cannibal Princess”|
|“A Gift for Kit”|