Shield of Winter (Psy-Changling #13)
Published: June 3, 2014 (Berkley)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Amanda
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Note: While this review is spoiler free, it does assume you’ve read previous books in in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Slave to Sensation.
Ivy Jane has been told all her life she’s flawed. As an Empath (Psy designation E) the protocol of Silence doesn’t work for her. At one point, her conditioning failed to the point she was forced into rehabilitation, her mind ripped open and reassembled. So when Vasic, a member of the Arrow squad, appears in the isolated North Dakota orchard where she lives with her parents and offers her a job helping to stave off the disease eating away at the PsyNet, she doesn’t believe she can do anything to help.
But she’s intrigued by the Arrow, by his total disregard for his own life and his fierce drive to protect the others in his charge. As they fight to save the Net, Ivy engages in a fight of another kind – the fight to save Vasic.
Picture a wall of glass, spiderwebbed with cracks. The exact amount of pressure in the perfect spot will send it crashing to the ground in a blink.
That’s Vasic’s Silence.
I don’t think anyone, not even Vasic, realized how close to the surface his emotions were. While he does resist Ivy’s touch at first, it doesn’t take long for him to crave it once he’s given in. He’s a little baffled by her need to take care of him, but he can’t bring himself to tell her he doesn’t need a blanket when he sleeps (his uniform plus his ability keeps his body temperature regulated) or that heating his protein drink for him because it’s cold outside is unnecessary. Because if he tells her, she’ll stop, and that’s the last thing he wants.
For her part, Ivy never pretends she’s Silent. It’s part of why her family unit chose the home location they did, keeping her out of the public eye and mostly sheltered from the Net, for fear of another rehabilitation order. Her passion and excitement at finding out that she’s not defective is tangible, and I loved learning along with her just what the Empaths are capable of.
While Vasic and Ivy spend a lot of time together, most of it is spent dealing with violent outbreaks or other issues relating to the disease (when Vasic’s not desperately trying to find a way to remove the gauntlet fused to his left arm). And telekinesis makes physical intimacy difficult. So it’s fitting that it takes a while (a LONG while) for them to finally get around to having sex. That side of Vasic and Ivy’s relationship is a gradual exploration of the pleasures of the human body, coupled with enough sexual tension to suffocate a camel. It was sweet, often sultry, and absolutely perfect for the characters involved.
Shield of Winter definitely ties up some major dangling strings, and it has the feel of a finite ending, like if the series stopped now, you’d be satisfied. But I hope it doesn’t. There are other stories out there to tell and more battles on the horizon for the Psy, the changelings, and even the humans. In the meantime, Shield of Winter will go on my favorites shelf.
Now, who do I have to bribe for Jem and Kenji’s story?
Sexual content: Graphic sex