Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #7
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Wild Invitation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Tangle of Need
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: November 3rd 2009
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of Obsidian, who creates a “breathtaking blend of passion, adventure, and the paranormal”*...A woman without a past becomes the pawn of a man who controls her future…Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she’s dangerous. Charged with protecting his people’s most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It’s a task he’s never hesitated to complete…until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might yet prove the enemy’s most insidious weapon.Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor, and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity itself. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die…“I wished I lived in the world Singh has created.”—*New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter
Devraj Santos is the director of Shine, an organization charged with finding the descendants of The Forgotten – Psy who refused Silence Protocol and left the PsyNet (the giant web of minds all Psy need to be connected to in order to live) when it was first implemented over 100 years ago. The Forgotten have intermarried with other species, which means their psychic gifts have grown and mutated. He takes is job very seriously, since finding the children means their continued survival. When those children are targeted, Dev will do anything he has to in order to protect them. Even if that means eliminating the one woman who makes him feel.
Katya Haas was Ashaya Ailene’s research assistant. When Ashaya defected from the PsyNet, Psy Councilor Ming LaBon took Katya. Everyone thought she’d perished in the explosion that took out Ashaya’s lab, but in truth for months Ming tortured Katya, breaking her completely and reprogramming her brain. If only she could remember what happened to her, or how she came to be on Dev’s doorstep.
Katya wakes up in Dev’s arms, with no memories of her past or how she got there. Her mind is fractured and she’s terrified, but Dev calms her. Even as she realizes he’s a threat, she can’t help but feel safe with him. Dev is suspicious of Katya and her motives, but he soon realizes she’s truly broken. Though he knows there’s a strong possibility she’s been sent to kill him – why would she be left alive otherwise? – he can’t walk away from her. Even though he knows he may have to eliminate her in order to save the innocent children he’s sworn to protect.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Dev and Katya, since they were on separate sides. As a Psy who was connected to the PsyNet, Katya presented a good amount of danger to Dev and his foundation. With Ming’s torture, she was even more of a security risk than others, since they had no way of knowing what hidden compulsions he’d planted, or if he had access to her mind any time he liked.
Katya’s growth throughout the book was tremendous and I found that I liked her quite a bit. She fought to retain her sense of self, even after months of torture at the hands of a madman. Her mind was no longer the safe haven it should have been, but she didn’t give up to the overwhelming despair and terror she felt upon first waking without her memory.
Dev mostly frustrated me. The way he blew hot and cold with Katya – one minute snuggling her and keeping her terror at bay, then turning on her and threatening to lock her in a cage the next – was hard to take at times. I understood his need to protect the children from his foundation, but he tended toward cruel, even after it became clear Katya was an innocent victim. However, I felt like he was redeemed during the last quarter of the book.
Which, speaking of, really got to me.The conflict was especially interesting. I cried so much during one chapter I had to put the book down and take a break. Even now I tear up thinking about it. I like that there wasn’t an easy resolution. I also like the direction the overall story progression is headed. The Psy are headed toward a civil war, and some factions are determined to take the other races with them.
Though Dev frustrated me, the world, conflict and overall story arc really pulled me in. Even when I was so angry I could spit, I couldn’t put it down.
3.75 out of 5