Slave to Sensation—Nalini Singh
He raised a brow. "I'm listening." And so was the panther inside him. Both man and beast found Sascha Duncan captivating in a way that neither could understand. Part of him wanted to stroke her...and part of him wanted to bite. (10)The second book in my VF Rewind was the third book for Vaginal Fantasy.
In a sort of alt history universe there exists the Psy. In the 1960s, in an effort to weed out incidences of extreme violence, the powers-that-be instituted Silence, an initiative to condition young Psy to not feel emotions. Now, over a century later, Silence is considered a huge success. "The Psy are known to be icily controlled, inhumanly practical, and impossible to push to violence." (1)
Which is quite an unfortunate situation for Sascha, a Psy who feels things all too deeply. She has trained herself not to show her emotions to other Psy, because she knows that if she's discovered to be different she'll basically be given a lobotomy. But Sascha can't ignore her feelings anymore when she starts working with Lucas Hunter, leader of the local Changeling panther pack. And as she can't hide her feelings anymore, her safety becomes more and more tenuous within the Psy society. Add in the complications of a serial killer who is targeting Changelings and is most likely Psy.
An interesting element was the PsyNet, which is like the Internet but for Psy people and connected via the brains. I don't know that I completely understood all of the development that Singh introduced with the PsyNet, because Sascha did some pretty intrusive, high-level stuff within it. I envisioned it as a kind of Mind Palace—or a Hive Mind Palace, as it were—and she was like a ninja, invading the secret rooms in the minds of other Psy. But that may be wrong...
One of the amusing things in this book to me was the dream steam. Sascha is attracted to Lucas, but because of her upbringing she doesn't really understand what that means or how to recognize it, so she resists it. Lucas is attracted to her as well and doesn't try much to resist it. But in Sascha's dreams, she lets go of her protective unemotional walls and they get pretty intimate. Really, though, Lucas is "dreaming" the same things, they experience the dreams together, so...that's interesting.
Of course, because he's a Changeling/animal, we get the possessiveness and ownership as soon as he thinks that she's his Mate. Which is my favourite, obvs. (Note: That was sarcasm. Possessiveness is not my favourite.) The ladies talked a bit about why this might be a common device during the Hangout.
I agree with Veronica about the chapter transitions and the villain; he was pretty creepy from the first moment we meet him, and was really one of the only tertiary people who didn't have an express purpose for being introduced. And I agree with Bonnie about the weirdness of the pack and all the kissing on the mouth, and Kiala's comment about Sascha kissing all of the other pack members once she and Lucas actually get together.
Apparently the series continues within the same world, but with different characters, ones who were secondary in this first installment. I might read the next one to see if it's worth continuing in the series because, while I wasn't sold on the series with this first book, it really only took me a few hours to read. So why not? Especially since Felicia said that the world gets more developed and the writing gets better.
Alright, two down!
To find more about VF Rewind, and about the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club itself, read this blog post.
Check out more of the Vag Fan ladies' thoughts on the book in the video below. I love how they talk about books and authors that I know are read by the group later. It kind of makes me feel like a time traveler...