The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action” of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…
Today, the smoke has dissipated, the mirrors have shattered.
And the darkness at the heart of the Psy race is once more a vicious truth no one can ignore. For what happens to the murderers and the insane in this new world? What happens to the broken?
They still exist.
They still kill.
Shards of Hope is book 14 in Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series. It is the third book in a row about a powerful Psy. First we had Kaleb, then Vasic and now Aden. After the fall of Silence it became clear these powerful Psy weren’t as silent as they were supposed to be.
Jen: I’ve always been a Vasic girl. His story was the one I was most excited for. I think Aden rested in the periphery, for me. He was someone who I would love to read about but I wasn’t as excited for his story as I was for Vasic’s. Maybe it was because he was always so even-keeled? So quiet and not in the forefront of the story? He was like the man behind the men and we never really got much from him.
“Why did he persist in believing himself Silent? He cared. Aden had always cared. It was the biggest open secret in the squad. It was why they all fought so furiously for him and with him. Because Aden came back for his people. He’d come back for her.”
This book completely changed my opinion. In Vasic’s book it was impressed upon us that he was the heart of the Arrow’s. I think if he is the heart, then Aden is the soul and the most powerful driver of change in any of the races. He made a huge impression on me.
Angela: Yes! If I’m being honest I wasn’t overly excited about Aden, not like I was for Kaleb or Vasic, simply because he was so quietly in the background. I think we can see now why he was and what exactly his role in the squad actually is… their leader, the man who unites them and has their complete loyalty. He is the one who has brought the Arrows through the fall of Silence and is working hard to give them the things they need to keep sane. His hopes and dreams for them are so big and yet, to the humans and changelings so ordinary.
When I was a child, my parents told me to be invisible, so invisible that no one would ever consider me a threat, so invisible that I would be forgotten.
Now we know why and how Aden managed to displace as the leader of the Arrows. He was considered a no body, with abilities that didn’t range high enough on the scale to be someone to be wary of. Ming completely overlooked him until it was too late and Aden had become the true force behind the most terrifying group of Psy in the world.
Jen: Shards of Hope started slow for me and I think Zaira is the reason. She is not like any other female we have read about. Think Nikita Duncan. That is who I would liken her to. She was cold and very standoffish. She was the one taking care of all the Arrows who had no chance of survival outside of Silence. Everyone, outside of the Arrows, thought her dead but she was really deep in hiding. All that time, Aden made sure to check up on her emotions and well-being. If Zaira had feelings for anyone I suppose it would be Aden?
Angela: Even before I started I wondered how this pairing would work. Zaira is so distant and holds herself apart from everyone, I was skeptical about how Aden would break the ice. I don’t think I ever came to really love her as Aden’s love interest, but she grew on me as she melted toward the end. I did love seeing her work to accept her anger at the past and slowly allow herself to soften and accept Aden’s love.
Aden and Zaira
Jen: Hmmm….maybe? I can’t say I was/am in love with the pairing. I don’t know what Zaira has to offer Aden. I don’t think it is a bad pairing- politically wise. Zaira is a strong, kick-a$$ female who would do anything to protect Aden. But love him? Show him the happiness in life? I don’t know. I didn’t hate it and by the end I was happy with how Aden felt for her but it took me a long while to warm up to them. There is a scene toward the end of this book that made me tear up though. When they finally open up to each other, it is wonderful.
“If you’re mad, then I will walk with you into the darkness,” Aden said, his grip tightening on the side of her face. “Don’t you choose to leave me, Zaira. Don’t you do that.”
Also, at first, while I was a little scared of Zaira’s possessiveness of Aden, once she toned it down a bit, I came to love it. She was fierce in her devotion of him.
Angela: As I read I was reminded a bit of the romance between Jason and Neha from this author’s Guild Hunter series. If you remember, their romance was quiet and subdued. Aden and Zaira were exactly like that to me, and as I didn’t expect them to be overly passionate, or rather passionate in a quieter way, I wasn’t disappointed. What got to me was the backstory of these two and how devoted to her Aden has always been. I adored those glimpses into how he managed to connect to the damaged, traumatized young girl who was first brought to the Arrow training center.
You’ll never be alone again. I will always be there for you.
He’d made that promise to the suspicious, ferocious girl she’d been. Tonight, on this desolate landscape under an unfriendly sky, he made it again to the strong, determined, just as ferocious woman she’d become. “I will never leave you. No matter what.”
Like you I was a little alarmed at just how possessive Zaira was of Aden. I kind of wondered how they would get over this, or if Aden planned on making sure he was standing in the way of her in case she ever attacked anyone in the future. But by the end I did come to get why she was so jealous of his time and attention.
Jen: Everyone else was awesome. Kaleb and Sahara are so sweet I wanted to reread their book. We get an update on Mercy which I was hoping for. Nikita and Anthony- I still see something there but Ms. Singh would have to pull off quite the trick to manage that. Vasic and Ivy are still awesome. Hawke and Sienna make me sigh. Everyone was perfect and I love how they all were worked into the story. And a new Pack? Tell me more….
Angela: I CAN NOT WAIT until Mercy has those babies. There, I said it. Every book I look forward to seeing how she is getting along with her pregnancy. Please let the pupcubs be born soon.
I think the biggest surprise for me with the secondary characters in this installment was Nikita and Anthony. What in the world is going on there? I need to know. As far as the new pack, yes please. Just yes. I would also love to see more of BlackSea in the future.
Jen: This was my favorite part. I thought the last 20%ish of the book was explosive. I want to know more about this secretive group who captured Aden and Zaira and caused so much havoc. Who is behind them and how can they be brought down? It was fantastic to see Aden bring this all together. And his Psy power? The man who had been overlooked for so long and thought to be used only for his leadership? WOW. I was blown away.
“My job is to make sure no one is left behind.” Aden would never abandon any of his men or women in the dark.
“It was,” said the woman who was perhaps the most perfect Arrow he had. “Now your job is to forge a new path.”
Angela: I am always in awe of this author when I pick up a new release in either of her series simply because her story arcs are so intricate and complicated. Just when you think things might be winding down or there is an ending in sight, nope. Plot twists abound, new characters are introduced and everything you thought you knew changes into something else. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this all started with a Changeling leopard pack leader falling in love with a Psy woman. Everything is just so BIG now.
I was kind of shocked when I found out what exactly Aden’s true power was and how he uses it. It really has opened up so many doors for the future. It explains so much about his rise to leadership. I too can’t wait to see what exactly is going on with the secret group that is creating so much havoc, who the traitors are and how they will pop up in future books.
Jen: I ended up loving this book. I started it not expecting much and that is how it ran for me, up until about 30%. I was slightly disappointed and then it took off. I love where Ms. Singh is going with the series even if I can’t predict what will be next. J Speaking of next, WHO will be next? This I really want to know! Final grade- B+
He would take her exactly as she was, because one thing was true, would always be true: “I’m yours.” It was his turn to stop her words. “Just stay with me,” he said. “In any way you want.”
Angela: It took me a bit to really get into this book, only because the romance started slower for me and so much happens in the second half. But with Nalini Singh you just can’t complain. She always delivers, maybe not what you expect, but she does always deliver an awesome story in the end. I am so looking forward to seeing who will be in the next installment. So many Changelings were introduced and yet, there are more Psy, I have no idea, but I do know I can’t wait to find out. Final Grade- B+
“But now, I have a moment when I can simply be Aden and there is no one I’d rather be with in this moment than you.”