Blaze of Memory, by Nalini Singh

>> Monday, May 21, 2012

TITLE: Blaze of Memory
AUTHOR: Nalini Singh

PAGES: 400

SETTING: Alternate reality version of future US
TYPE: Alternate reality romance
SERIES: #7 in the Psy/Changeling series

Nalini Singh returns to the Psy/Changeling world and its “breathtaking blend of passion, adventure, and the paranormal” as 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…
Blaze of Memory presents what to me is the ultimate terror, the fear of oneself. What if you suspected there was something in your brain, set to go off any minute, and that would turn you into a danger to all those you love?

The woman having to deal with that fear is Katya Haas, a Psy who, traumatised and amnesiac, has been left where Dev Santos could find her. Dev is the head of the Shine Foundation, which is an organisation that emerged way back when Silence was first introduced, and protects the Forgotten, the descendants of those Psy who decided not to accept Silence and leave the fold.

The Shine Foundation is not the Psy Council's favourite organisation, and on finding Katya, Dev is immediately suspicious. She's just the sort of trick the Council would use to destroy him and his work, and the little that Katya can remember seems to support this. But even more dangerous than having her near is letting her go, so Dev refuses to let her out of his sight. And as she slowly recovers from her ordeal, pesky feelings start to develop.

As you can see, it's quite a tricky situation to start a romance in. Dev really can't be sure Katya isn't about to be come a weapon against him at any minute, and even worse, Katya herself can't be sure, either. It's a desperate situation, and it was hard to see how Singh was going to deliver a HEA. But deliver it she did, and in a way that made sense. And I'd best not say anything else about that!

Singh also delivered a good romance. It wasn't my favourite in the series so far, but Dev and Katya fit well together, and she managed to make me believe they would be so drawn to each other as to take the chances they do to get together.

One of the great things about this series is the world-building, and the fact that things in this world are actually moving forward, towards a sort of climax. There wasn't a huge deal of forward momentum here, but I liked that it kind of filled in some blanks. I've always been interested in this series in knowing more about how things were when Silence was first introduced, and through details about the Shine Foundation and its inception, Singh satisfied a lot of my curiosity.



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