Oh, Nalini Singh, you are so fond of horrendous gender roles and controlling alpha males controlling women and clichéd descriptions and the word “possessive” as the ultimate accolade for a man, and yet I can’t seem to quit you. Especially when I need something light to read on a plane, which is where I read this one.

In this book, the seventh in the Psy-Changeling series though all the ones I’ve read stand on their own, Singh is obsessed with the hero’s smell. This would make more sense if the heroine was a shapeshifter and had a wolf’s nose (I mean, when she shifts), but no, she’s a Psy. I don’t have the book with me, but from memory, Dev Santos smells like heat, cinnamon, steel, and an exotic wind of Asia, and also urgently male, unstoppably male, and relentlessly male. And a lot more things I forget. Many of them male.

Dev has the usual gem-colored or metallic eyes: Those eyes, the ones looking back at her, they were brown, but it was a brown unlike any she’d ever seen. There was gold in there. Flecks of amber. And bronze. So many colors.

There’s an accidentally hilarious line in there somewhere which I hope someone with the book will dig up and quote, but it goes something like, “His cock was harder than it had ever been. If she touched it, it would snap.” OW.

Dev Santos is a man who can control metal. Katya Haas is a telepathic amnesiac assassin sent to kill him. Together, they… hang out, fall in love, have sex, have more sex, angst, have more sex, and oh-yeah-that-assassin-thing-quick-get-in-an-action-sequence!

I wanted more assassinating and action and metal-controlling and worldbuilding, as those parts were really good. Though I enjoyed reading all the hanging out and angsting, and Dev (who is part Indian and speaks Hindi) is less of a jerk than most of Singh’s heroes. Unfortunately Katya does very little assassinating and spends most of the conclusion of the book dying from PsyNet deprivation (same as the heroine of some other Singh book, come to think of it.)

Not terribly good and surprisingly little happens for the first two-thirds, and yet I read the whole thing. If you haven’t yet encountered the evilly addictive Nalini Singh, this is a reasonable place to start.

Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changelings, Book 7)
Oh, Nalini Singh, you are so fond of horrendous gender roles and controlling alpha males controlling women and clichéd descriptions and the word “possessive” as the ultimate accolade for a man, and yet I can’t seem to quit you. Especially when I need something light to read on a plane, which is where I read this one.

In this book, the seventh in the Psy-Changeling series though all the ones I’ve read stand on their own, Singh is obsessed with the hero’s smell. This would make more sense if the heroine was a shapeshifter and had a wolf’s nose (I mean, when she shifts), but no, she’s a Psy. I don’t have the book with me, but from memory, Dev Santos smells like heat, cinnamon, steel, and an exotic wind of Asia, and also urgently male, unstoppably male, and relentlessly male. And a lot more things I forget. Many of them male.

Dev has the usual gem-colored or metallic eyes: Those eyes, the ones looking back at her, they were brown, but it was a brown unlike any she’d ever seen. There was gold in there. Flecks of amber. And bronze. So many colors.

There’s an accidentally hilarious line in there somewhere which I hope someone with the book will dig up and quote, but it goes something like, “His cock was harder than it had ever been. If she touched it, it would snap.” OW.

Dev Santos is a man who can control metal. Katya Haas is a telepathic amnesiac assassin sent to kill him. Together, they… hang out, fall in love, have sex, have more sex, angst, have more sex, and oh-yeah-that-assassin-thing-quick-get-in-an-action-sequence!

I wanted more assassinating and action and metal-controlling and worldbuilding, as those parts were really good. Though I enjoyed reading all the hanging out and angsting, and Dev (who is part Indian and speaks Hindi) is less of a jerk than most of Singh’s heroes. Unfortunately Katya does very little assassinating and spends most of the conclusion of the book dying from PsyNet deprivation (same as the heroine of some other Singh book, come to think of it.)

Not terribly good and surprisingly little happens for the first two-thirds, and yet I read the whole thing. If you haven’t yet encountered the evilly addictive Nalini Singh, this is a reasonable place to start.

Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changelings, Book 7)
This novel prompted the following conversation, held with [livejournal.com profile] oyceter via cellphone:

Oyce: The angels-make-vampires writer also wrote a book about shapeshifter condos!

Me: Did you say shapeshifter condoms?

Oyce: Yes! Shapeshifter condos!

Me: Are they specially designed?

Oyce: Well, shapeshifters have special needs.

Me: I guess they’d need different sizes…

Oyce: Yes, depending on what they shapeshift into. Like, leopards need lots of room.

Me: And of course they’d have to be extra-resilient.

Oyce: They do need to allow for wear and tear when they turn into animals.

Me: They’d have to expand and contract really fast without breaking. Especially if some of their penises become forked or something.

Oyce: Forked??? Penises??? What???

Me: Did you say “condoms?”

Oyce: ConDOS -- condominiums!

Regrettably, the special shapeshifter condoms condos are more of a plot device than the subject matter of this paranormal romance. The condos were my second-favorite part of the book. My favorite was that the heroine has extra-special eyes that look like the night sky with stars, and when she has an orgasm, the stars explode into multi-colored fireworks.

In a world in which Changeling shapeshifters have allowed Yosemite to overgrow much of California and the telepathic Psy deal with their nasty little tendency to become psychotic serial killers by suppressing all emotion, multiracial Psy Sascha, who must hide the fact that she has emotions or be forcibly brainwashed, becomes the liaison between Psy and Changeling in order to broker a land deal for condominiums. When she meets hot Changeling Lucas, condoms also become relevant. As there’s a serial killer on the loose, the plot is actually, “He’s a werewolf with a tragic past. She’s a telepath with a deadly secret. Together, they fight crime!”

As I mentioned in my review of Singh’s angels-make-vampires novel, I have terribly mixed feelings about her books.

I love the over the top wish-fulfillment fantasies (eyeball fireworks! Totally literal angel dust!), bizarre yet inventive and detailed worldbuilding, multiracial casts (though I wish she’d stop describing her heroines of color as “exotic”) and a compellingly beach-read style.

I hate the gender roles, in which men are turned on by dominating women, and women are turned on by being dominated. (I don’t mind this if it’s BDSM role-playing, though I prefer female-dominant. What I hate reading about is when this is portrayed as the way romance normally goes.) This means I don’t like Singh’s romances. This is a problem, as romance is central to the romance genre. In this novel, the hero keeps talking about “marking” the heroine so everyone will know she belongs to him. This would be gross enough as is, but since the book involves wolf shapeshifters, I kept thinking he was planning to pee on her. (It’s actually done by biting.)

And yet Singh’s books have that same addictive quality as Laurell Hamilton’s early novels, which had me running out to buy more even though they had too much sex and not enough action and I detested both of Anita’s love interests. (I gave up on Hamilton at around the point where I had to detest all 69 of Anita’s love interests.) I… oh, I confess it… will undoubtedly read more of the Psy/Changeling series, and even went online to find out the release date of the next angel/vampire book.

Slave to Sensation (The Psy-Changelings Series, Book 1) (Berkley Sensation)
This novel prompted the following conversation, held with [livejournal.com profile] oyceter via cellphone:

Oyce: The angels-make-vampires writer also wrote a book about shapeshifter condos!

Me: Did you say shapeshifter condoms?

Oyce: Yes! Shapeshifter condos!

Me: Are they specially designed?

Oyce: Well, shapeshifters have special needs.

Me: I guess they’d need different sizes…

Oyce: Yes, depending on what they shapeshift into. Like, leopards need lots of room.

Me: And of course they’d have to be extra-resilient.

Oyce: They do need to allow for wear and tear when they turn into animals.

Me: They’d have to expand and contract really fast without breaking. Especially if some of their penises become forked or something.

Oyce: Forked??? Penises??? What???

Me: Did you say “condoms?”

Oyce: ConDOS -- condominiums!

Regrettably, the special shapeshifter condoms condos are more of a plot device than the subject matter of this paranormal romance. The condos were my second-favorite part of the book. My favorite was that the heroine has extra-special eyes that look like the night sky with stars, and when she has an orgasm, the stars explode into multi-colored fireworks.

In a world in which Changeling shapeshifters have allowed Yosemite to overgrow much of California and the telepathic Psy deal with their nasty little tendency to become psychotic serial killers by suppressing all emotion, multiracial Psy Sascha, who must hide the fact that she has emotions or be forcibly brainwashed, becomes the liaison between Psy and Changeling in order to broker a land deal for condominiums. When she meets hot Changeling Lucas, condoms also become relevant. As there’s a serial killer on the loose, the plot is actually, “He’s a werewolf with a tragic past. She’s a telepath with a deadly secret. Together, they fight crime!”

As I mentioned in my review of Singh’s angels-make-vampires novel, I have terribly mixed feelings about her books.

I love the over the top wish-fulfillment fantasies (eyeball fireworks! Totally literal angel dust!), bizarre yet inventive and detailed worldbuilding, multiracial casts (though I wish she’d stop describing her heroines of color as “exotic”) and a compellingly beach-read style.

I hate the gender roles, in which men are turned on by dominating women, and women are turned on by being dominated. (I don’t mind this if it’s BDSM role-playing, though I prefer female-dominant. What I hate reading about is when this is portrayed as the way romance normally goes.) This means I don’t like Singh’s romances. This is a problem, as romance is central to the romance genre. In this novel, the hero keeps talking about “marking” the heroine so everyone will know she belongs to him. This would be gross enough as is, but since the book involves wolf shapeshifters, I kept thinking he was planning to pee on her. (It’s actually done by biting.)

And yet Singh’s books have that same addictive quality as Laurell Hamilton’s early novels, which had me running out to buy more even though they had too much sex and not enough action and I detested both of Anita’s love interests. (I gave up on Hamilton at around the point where I had to detest all 69 of Anita’s love interests.) I… oh, I confess it… will undoubtedly read more of the Psy/Changeling series, and even went online to find out the release date of the next angel/vampire book.

Slave to Sensation (The Psy-Changelings Series, Book 1) (Berkley Sensation)
I can't in all honesty call this a good book. It is, however, an incredibly entertaining one, infused with the Page-Turn Spell also notable in early Laurell Hamilton and Janet Evanovich. It's also supremely cracktastic and shamelessly wish-fullfilling, though unfortunately some of Singh's wish-fulfillment is my squick. But so it goes.

In a modern world much like ours except that not very nice angels have divided up and rule the world, and angels create vampires, white-haired and gold-skinned part-Moroccan (other parts unknown) Elena is a not-quite-human vampire hunter. When an angel creates a vampire, the vamp gets immortality but must be the angel's slave for a hundred years. If the vamps cut and run, Elena retrieves them.

But then Elena is hired by the alpha bastard to end all alpha bastards, gorgeously sexy archangel Raphael, to capture an archangel-vampire. Singh calls this creature a bloodborn, but I prefer anpire. Raphael threatens Elena, threatens Elena's best friend's infant daughter, mentally overrides her will, and generally is an overpowered asshole. But Elena, who is so tough herself that she scares most men, feels delightfully feminine in the presence of a man who is stronger than her. BAAAAAAAAAAAAARF.

I detested the equation of abuse and coercion with masculinity, and being weaker than men with femininity. I also detested Raphael. My single favorite moment of Elena-Raphael interaction was when she shot him in the wing.

The multiracial cast of supporting characters is fun, and I would have liked to spend more time with them. I also liked the crazily lush worldbuilding and the all-out idtasticness of it all. The angels' wings and everyone's eye colors and hair colors are described in the sort of detail I would have loved when I was tewlve, and kind of still do in certain moods. Angels exude glittering angel dust, which tastes great and gives you an orgasm when you eat it. It also explodes all over when angels orgasm, I kid you not!

ETA: The angel dust comes from the wings. Though it's not clear whether or not it comes exclusively from the wings. Normally I'm not big on cum descriptions (or on the word "cum") but in this one and very special case, I was very disappointed at the lack of one. I also, again very uncharacteristically, was sad at the lack of detailed description og Raphael's genitalia (except for his wings, which seemed to be some sort of secondary sex characteristic.)

Totally ridiculous and has some of the most politically objectionable gender dynamics I've come across in a while, and yet I would happily read more. What can I say? I'm still laughing at the fact that angels make vampires.

View on Amazon: Angels' Blood
I can't in all honesty call this a good book. It is, however, an incredibly entertaining one, infused with the Page-Turn Spell also notable in early Laurell Hamilton and Janet Evanovich. It's also supremely cracktastic and shamelessly wish-fullfilling, though unfortunately some of Singh's wish-fulfillment is my squick. But so it goes.

In a modern world much like ours except that not very nice angels have divided up and rule the world, and angels create vampires, white-haired and gold-skinned part-Moroccan (other parts unknown) Elena is a not-quite-human vampire hunter. When an angel creates a vampire, the vamp gets immortality but must be the angel's slave for a hundred years. If the vamps cut and run, Elena retrieves them.

But then Elena is hired by the alpha bastard to end all alpha bastards, gorgeously sexy archangel Raphael, to capture an archangel-vampire. Singh calls this creature a bloodborn, but I prefer anpire. Raphael threatens Elena, threatens Elena's best friend's infant daughter, mentally overrides her will, and generally is an overpowered asshole. But Elena, who is so tough herself that she scares most men, feels delightfully feminine in the presence of a man who is stronger than her. BAAAAAAAAAAAAARF.

I detested the equation of abuse and coercion with masculinity, and being weaker than men with femininity. I also detested Raphael. My single favorite moment of Elena-Raphael interaction was when she shot him in the wing.

The multiracial cast of supporting characters is fun, and I would have liked to spend more time with them. I also liked the crazily lush worldbuilding and the all-out idtasticness of it all. The angels' wings and everyone's eye colors and hair colors are described in the sort of detail I would have loved when I was tewlve, and kind of still do in certain moods. Angels exude glittering angel dust, which tastes great and gives you an orgasm when you eat it. It also explodes all over when angels orgasm, I kid you not!

ETA: The angel dust comes from the wings. Though it's not clear whether or not it comes exclusively from the wings. Normally I'm not big on cum descriptions (or on the word "cum") but in this one and very special case, I was very disappointed at the lack of one. I also, again very uncharacteristically, was sad at the lack of detailed description og Raphael's genitalia (except for his wings, which seemed to be some sort of secondary sex characteristic.)

Totally ridiculous and has some of the most politically objectionable gender dynamics I've come across in a while, and yet I would happily read more. What can I say? I'm still laughing at the fact that angels make vampires.

View on Amazon: Angels' Blood
rachelmanija: (Unicorn emotions)
( Jun. 25th, 2009 12:46 pm)
I just read a novel, Nalini Singh's Angel Blood, which features...

1. Angels who create vampires.

2. A vampangel. Or should that be a anpire?

Truly, the craze for vampires and angels cannot be taken any farther. But I'm just saying that because I know you, O Loyal Readers, will immediately comment with examples of God being a vampire or some such. (I am already aware of Vampirates, thank you. And also of Gundam Unicorn, which as far as I know is not also a vampire.)

But what I want to know is, has anyone written a unipire? It sucks blood through its horn!
rachelmanija: (Unicorn emotions)
( Jun. 25th, 2009 12:46 pm)
I just read a novel, Nalini Singh's Angel Blood, which features...

1. Angels who create vampires.

2. A vampangel. Or should that be a anpire?

Truly, the craze for vampires and angels cannot be taken any farther. But I'm just saying that because I know you, O Loyal Readers, will immediately comment with examples of God being a vampire or some such. (I am already aware of Vampirates, thank you. And also of Gundam Unicorn, which as far as I know is not also a vampire.)

But what I want to know is, has anyone written a unipire? It sucks blood through its horn!
.

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