Psy-Changeling Read-Along: Caressed by Ice (+Contest)

NSingh-Caressed by Ice

Psy-Changeling Readalong.2013Here it is! First of all, I want to apologize that this is so late. I seem to have my work schedule and my read-a-long schedule mixed up. The good news is that my paperwork for work was turned in a week early. *grin*

I hope you’re enjoying the read-a-long so far. And remember we are assuming you’ve read up to Caressed by Ice so there are spoilers.  But please no spoilers for any book that comes after.

With that out of the way let the fun begin! We can’t wait to hear from you!

– Courtney and Casey

NSingh-Caressed by IceAs an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

Here are the past discussions!

Slave to Sensation – the discussionBlaze of Memory – the discussion
Visions of Heat – the discussionBonds of Justice – the discussion
Caressed by Ice – the discussionPlay of Passion – the discussion
Wild Invitation – the discussionKiss of Snow – the discussion
Mine to Possess – the discussionTangle of Need – the discussion
Hostage to Pleasure – the discussionHeart of Obsidian – the discussion
Branded by Fire – the discussion

World/Society:

In Caressed by Ice we see that some things are changing on the PsyNet. There is even talk of rebellion. And the Ghost is popping up on the Council’s radar more and more. The Councilors are also becoming more polarized, with Nikita on one side and Shoshanna and Henry firmly on the other.

In the Changeling world SnowDancer and DarkRiver are becoming closer. They share information and make plans together. They are still two separate packs but they are becoming more and more powerful.

Main Characters:

Judd – Judd is a part of the Lauren family who dropped out of the Net to avoid rehabilitation. He was an Arrow in the PsyNet and his unique ability, that of a Tk-Cell, make his view on Silence different than that of Faith or Sascha.

“Silence had been invented for those like him–the brutal killers and the viciously insane…”

Judd was also on the team that helped rescue Brenna from Enrique. Judd does not want a relationship with Brenna and breaking Silence for him is not an option.

“That was why he was never going to do what Sascha had done and end Silence in his mind. It was the only thing keeping the world safe from what he was…the only thing keeping Brenna safe”

While looking for the person in the SnowDancer den who is trying to kill Brenna however, he finds he doesn’t have much choice.

Brenna – Brenna was kidnapped and tortured by Santano Enrique in Slave to Sensation. She has recovered but she’ll never be the same again both mentally and physically.

“Eyes that had once been dark brown were now a mix he’d never seen on any sentient being… Brenna’s pupils were pure black, but surrounding those does of night were bursts of arctic blue, vivid and spiking.

And now Brenna is starting to remember how she was kidnapped and that Enrique had help. Unfortunately for her, his helper is closer than she thought was possible and is now out to kill her. And it doesn’t help that Brenna no longer trusts herself or her mind. While hunting for the kidnapper, Brenna finds herself drawn closer to Judd.

“Oh yeah, she was definitely ready to tangle with Judd Lauren, Man of Ice…”

What she doesn’t know is that Judd can’t completely break Silence because of his Psy abilities. Doing so would put the whole den in danger.

Changeling Characters:

Dieter – A traitor to SnowDancer, he kidnapped Brenna and delivered her to Enrique for drugs. He was behind the attempts on Brenna’s life.

Psy Characters:

Walker – Part of the Lauren Family. He’s a telepath that taught some of the younger children in the PsyNet.

Ashaya Aleine – Scientist in charge of Protocol I.

The Ghost – An unknown rogue in the PsyNet who is determined to save his race.

Subplots:

The Ghost is introduced!!!

X-psy? What’s that?

Protocol I is introduced.

Henry and Shoshanna are turning into the bad guys.

How Silence came into being is finally revealed with talk of Mercury and the Arrows.

Hints for the Ghost:

Part of the Council’s superstructure.

Isn’t afraid to kill. Wants Silence to fall. Anti-Council.

No one knows who the Ghost is. Not even Judd who has met him/her before. Judd refers to the Ghost as male. True?

“I have no conscience, Judd. I’ve got so much blood staining these hands nothing will ever wash it away.” – The Ghost

Glossary of Terms

Vocabulary from the previous novels can be found on their discussion pages:

Protocol I – An initiative to make Silence a biological level instead of a process that is learned. Psy children would have an implant put in their brain so that breaking Silence would not be possible. Dissidents believe that it will turn the Psy into a hive mind by linking all the Psy minds together.

Discussion

What do you think about Judd and Brenna?
How about how the Lauren family fits into SnowDancer?
What do you think about the bad guy being a SnowDancer? Loved it? Hated it?
Do you think Silence could be a good thing?
What do you think about Kaleb?

Caressed of Ice Giveaway Winner

Last week we gave away a copy of Caressed of Ice to anyone who answered the question While the Psy Council is made up of several individuals, it becomes obvious that each member has their own unique personality. As a group that believes any emotion is a disease that needs to be destroyed, what emotions do you see the Councils members displaying? Everyone had some really fabulous ideas, and the winner is:

MARY who said: I actually have the audio book version of this one, and the narrator has a soft voice for Faith. When I listened to the book for the second (and this third) time, I kept in mind that she’s not soft. Faith is strong. She handles those visions, she left the compound which is the only place she had ever known, and she took on a jaguar. ;)

Giveaway

Thanks to Nalini Singh and the wonderful people at Penguin, I have a couple of every single novel in the Psy-Changeling series, and while some of them have been claimed, all of them haven’t. So this is what we’re going to do – we’ll be giving away all the books in one shot at the end of the Read-Along. That means you have 13 different chances to enter for any one of the Psy-Changeling novels. Join in on any of the discussions and you’ll automatically be entered to win.

To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: This is the first time we’ve seen the Ghost, without knowing anything more, who do you think he is? Not necessarily his name, but his role in the Psy Culture. Is he someone important, a former Arrow, or could he be a complete unknown that no one could have seen coming?  Don’t be afraid to answer any of the discussion questions above either!

The contest will stay open until July 1st, at which time we’ll determine the winners with help from this snazzy plug-in that Jackie has.

About Courtney 33 Articles
I teach Special Education and have three demented dogs. Between my students all day and my dogs all night my stress relief is reading. It is the only thing that keeps me from going crazy. Or should I say from going crazier? I read anything but I prefer fantasy, sci-fi and steampunk. I also love urban fantasy and historical romances. If it has dragons and magic, vampires and werewolves, crazy machines and corsets or aliens and spaceships then I’m happy. Mix in a Scotland laird or two every once in a while and I’m ecstatic!

14 Comments

  1. I think it’s someone we don’t expect, so far she always managed to surprise me ^^. perhaps teh first chaneling with spy power or something like that^^ i really don’t know

  2. Judd says he could “very well be” an Arrow, but he doesn’t know!

    Judd is my favorite… so awesome!

    Early in the book, Brenna tried to anchor herself, but found the way blocked. Was that the start of the mating bond? I think Judd’s reaction was he felt a pain (I’ll have to go back and find the section to find it for sure).

  3. Caressed by Ice is one of my favorite books in this series. Not only do we get to read more about the Snowdancer pack but we also get a sexy, dark and deadly Psy assasian character. Judd’s journey is facinating to me. I really enjoyed learning about the Aarow squad and all the training they go through. I have always felt that the Psy do not rid themselves of emotion through Silence, simply supress it. In CBI we learn about how that is done through things like dissonance. We also learn about some of the different Psy abilities that could benefit from Silence. I think that some form of Science could be good for some Psy with abilities that can turn bad. I think that if the Psy can find a way to do this but also allow themselves feel emotion it would be a better world.

    I loved Judd’s journey to reprogram himself in order to fully love Brenna. Also, I think Brenna is the perfect match for Judd, such a firecracker. Brenna’s own challenge in healing from her trauma and getting her brothers to see her as a woman not a girl is intriguing as well. The Lauren family gives a more insulated pack like Snowdancer an opportunity to interact with the Psy that they may not have otherwise had. In tern, the Lauren’s get a place to explore their own emotions and finally express the love they feel for each other. I did like the bad guy in this book, I thought that the scenes written through his eyes built the suspense.

    Re-reading this book after so long was great. I was bad and read this series out of order, so this book was my first introduction to Nalini’s Psy/Changling world. I was instantly addicted and finished the whole series faster then I would like. Now I can’t wait for the next installment. Would June get here already?! But, it was great to get back to the book that made me fall in love with this world in the first place.

  4. Ok, so I had so much to say I figured I’d break my posts up into two parts. The first about CBI is above, but I have been totally enthralled with the Ghost character from the start and wanted to write about that too.

    I think that Ghost is clearly someone with access to classified information, important in the Psy superstructure, and deadly. He has suffered some traumatic or cataclysmic event that has caused him to rebel against the Council. He does support the idea of Silence, but feels that the Council is corrupt and have to fall in order for Silence to survive. I think he is also a Cardinal in his abilities and has been highly trained to use those abilities.

    So obviously the Arrow squad comes to mind right away. Two members in particular, Aden and Vasic are defiantly in the running in my mind. They both seem to have rebel leanings and both have a shadowed past that could have driven them to become this mysterious rebel. However, the Arrow squad is fiercely loyal to each other, and I have trouble seeing one of them break off from that alliance, let alone taking an action that may hurt a large number of Psy.

    The front runner in my mind is Kaleb. I have thought this from the first and after reading all the books still feel that he is the most probable candidate. He has crazy strong abilities, is a Cardinal Tk and more. He can communicate with both the Net and Darkmind. And he has something that he is looking for from his past. His position in the Council would allow him access to the kind of information that the Ghost uses. Also, he is driven and dark and seems to fit the personality profile. I have to say, this could all be wishful thinking on my part. I love the idea of the Ghost having this double life as one of the most ruthless Council members but at heart being driven by this dark past trauma (hopefully involving the love of his life) and rebelling against Silence itself.

    I am so excited for the next book I can hardly stand it. The Ghost is by far my favorite mystery in the series and I can’t wait for Nalini to take us on a ride through his world. Thanks to LE for giving me a place to chat about these books and connect with other Nalini fans.

  5. Since I am behind. I am going to guess he is unknown at this point. But we will find out more soon and he will play an important part.

  6. I’m way behind in joining this discussion but up to the moment in the series.

    CbI is my absolute favorite book in the series though I love them all as a whole. Judd’s journey out of darkness is incredibly nuanced and apparent – from his “I know I am incapable of warm feelings” (a lie!), to the blinding realization that he will not survive without Brenna. Absolutely beautiful.

    As to the Ghost – I have my suspicions, as we all do. There are teeny-tiny little hints and clues, but the beauty of Nalini’s writing is that her two main suspects (as far a we’re concerned) have abilities alike enough to muddy the waters. (I will comment more on this in the future.)

    Getting back to CbI – This book gave us more information on the P/C world at large while delivering a very touching and engrossing personal story of two heavily damaged finding and healing one another.

    Love it.

  7. I am going to try to briefly tackle the discussion questions. Judd and Brennan are one of my, if not my absolute favorite couples in the series. At the start of the book they are both so broken, to the point that it seems like Judd feels like he is beyond repair or redemption. As for how the Laurens fit into snowdancer, I think it makes perfect sense for Hawke to use Judd the way he does is simply an extention of the way Judd views himself. I liked the fact that the villain came from within Snowdancer, because it served as a reminder that even Changelings are fallible and not just by giving into their beasts. As forsilence I tend to agree with Judd thinking that there are some aspects of silence that are beneficial, especially for arrows. My first impression of Kaleb is that he was not afraid to do whatever he needed to do to get what he wanted, to be honest initially he almost seems like a villain Lastly, I think Ghost is an arrow or someone like an arrow, I would almost count on him being someone we have already met. I have a strong suspicion of who it might be, but I am looking forward to seeing how the story plays out.

  8. I enjoyed the story of Judd and Brenna. I originally read the series out of order, reading Zach and Annie’s story first in the Magical Cat anthology, then the others as I got my hands on them and Mine to Possess last. Then re-read them in order. I enjoyed the way Judd and Brenna’s relationship developed, and feel that the way the Lauren family fits into SnowDancer makes sense. I would take longer for adults to be comfortable with touch and emotion and hardest for a soldier like Judd.

    I felt the same way about the bad guy, in the context of the story it made sense for him to be a wolf.

    I think Judd’s argument for the benefits of a type of silence or control on certain types of power makes sense, but that the extremism of the current Psy system doesn’t make sense. As we learn about the history of silence, it seems to be enforced with a desperation that has led to many abuses and rewards those who lack a moral compass.

    Kaleb is interesting, in that the more we see of him, the more complex he becomes.

    The ghost at this point is very undefined, but seems to have access to upper level information. Using only information available in the series this far, it is hard to know more. And it is an interesting question how Judd became involved with him. It seems he must have initiated the contact, but that would be possible for someone involved with the arrow squad or anyone in the upper levels of the ruling council hierarchy, so that doesn’t really help much.

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