I’ve been working my way (slowly) through some of the Salon.com best books of the summer (see http://tinyurl.com/2fohclh for that post). I started with Nalini Singh’s “Slave to Sensation,” the first novel in the Psy-Changeling series. To be fair, I don’t tend to be a huge fan of paranormal books. I just sort of poke my big toe into the paranormal pool from time to time. I tend to like stories about psychics or ghosts more than shapeshifters or vampires. I thought a critically recommended title might be a good place for me to start. I finished the book, and I’m still somewhat of two minds. Singh is undoubtedly a gifted writer, and there were times that I found myself really enjoying the book. But the “heavy lifting” that goes into building a fictional world (all of the details about the Psy-Net, the shapeshifters’ tribal structure, etc.) was too much for me at times–I found it to be a distraction from the emotions and the events of the story. That being said, the paranormal aspects of the story did add an interesting dimension that the standard romance doesn’t have. The animal nature of the shapeshifters winds up being a good metaphor for the animal side that still remains in human nature. I will probably try another book in this series. This is the first book in the series, so perhaps it’s just unusually heavy on the backstory.
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