Thursday, June 8, 2017

[Review]: "Silver Silence"

paranormal romance, romance novel covers, Royal Pick, Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley (June 13, 2017)
Series: Psy-Changeling, 16 / Psy-Changeling Trinity, 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal...

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed... 

Where to Buy*:
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Reviews of Singh's Previous Novels:

Rock Hard (#2) -- Kame + Pat
Rock Wedding (#4) -- TBQ

Slave to Sensation (#1) -- TBQ
Vision of Heat (#2) -- TBQ

My Review:

I’m going to do something a little different with today’s review. Partly because always doing the same thing all the time can lead to burnout and partly because I’m not sure how to properly review Silver Silence without spoilers and without basically squeeing at you nonstop about how fucking amazing it is.

Okay, realistically you’re still going to get a lot of the latter below anyway, but I’ll try my best to hold the squee down. No promises!

So, let’s get into my 8 Reasons* Why I Loved Silver Silence

*In no particular order

Fair warning: there’s going to be a shit ton of quotes below. I’m not at all sorry about that. But I promise I won’t share anything, quotes or thoughts, that spoil the story.

1) Silver Mercant is kickass. And I don’t necessarily mean kickass in a physical way, though she can hold her own there. She’s so damn strong and competent. She LITERALLY gets shit done (she runs the EmNet, Emergency Response Network, organizing and mobilizing help during disasters, terrorist attacks, etc. No matter the chaos, death, or terror, she walks into every single situation and whips everyone into shape. She can’t save everyone, and briefly beats herself up about any deaths that she was unable to prevent, but she gives it her all to get the survivors out and taken care of, and she does a damn fine job at it.

She still embraces Silence because without it her shields will fail and her other power (no spoilers on WHAT) will break through, and that cannot happen.

Even though she’s out of her element being around the bears, who love touch and joking and emotions and all the messy non-Silence things, she holds her own against them and learns how to give them some of what they need as changelings, even if she doesn’t have those same needs.

Because she was Silver Fucking Mercant, and she was as tough as any bear in StoneWater.  

Including its alpha.

2) Grandmother Mercant is also kickass. She may be more fully submerged into Silence, but she cares about her family fiercely and will do anything to keep them safe. Silver definitely takes after her Grandmother in many ways and I loved both of these strong women.

Valentin: "Are you asking me to kidnap your granddaughter?" 

Ena Mercant: "Let's call it an enforced move out of the field of danger."

3) Valentin is EVERYTHING a good hero should be. BRB, still swooning over him. He’s a strong, compassionate, and hella competent alpha but he’s NOT a pushy alpha to anyone, especially to Silver. He fucking WOOS her, is patient as hell with her, and does all these little things to take care of her during the course of the book. He is truly perfect and I love him and he had my ass swooning so many times through the book. I mean for goodness sake, he nicknames himself her teddy bear!

“What do you see, Starlight?” Valentin asked in his deep rumble of a voice that spoke of the animal that lived under his skin. 
Silver refused to react to the name he insisted on calling her. When she’d pointed out he was being discourteous by not using her actual name, he’d told her to call him her medvezhonok, her teddy bear, that he wouldn’t mind. It was difficult to have a rational conversation with a man who seemed impossible to insult or freeze out. 

Oh! And he is so in awe of Silver, her strength and determination, always calling her “Silver Fucking Mercant” and who doesn’t want a man that sees his partner that way, as an equal (as it should be!)?
Heroes who respect their heroine, most especially her strength and abilities, are the best.

“If I was yours,” she said, “how would you treat me?”  

“Like a fucking queen.” A slight pull on her hair, Valentin tugging her closer with his fisted grip. “I’d also probably drive you a little insane,” he said with a shrug. “Bears can be a bit hardheaded—that’s not just rumor. But I think your head can be just as hard, so we’ll be fine. I’d also touch you. A lot.”

4) The clan (and other supporting characters). I’m in love with the StoneWater clan. It was such a joy to explore their world, their clan relationships and dynamics and everything. The cubs playing and getting into mischief. The adults getting into their own mischief and tussles and everything, but also having such strong ties and love for one another. 

"A party? With a premature infant in the clan?"
"He's a bear. He'll like it." 

And Valentin caring for and interacting with his clanmates? SIR, STOP YOUR ADORABLE TAKE-CARE-ALPHANESS BECAUSE I CANNOT TAKE IT. I'd share an example, but it would take a few pages to give the full context so just trust me on this, okay? When he's with the cubs or giving his clanmates support, be prepared to fall for Valentin all over again! And he does this a lot.

Now the other alphas we know from the previous books (Lucas and Hawke) are much the same with their packs and I love them for it, too! But BEARS! Bears – and especially Valentin – are awesome and I’m in love. There’s definitely some things that are universal to the changelings in this world but there’s also things that differ from group to group, and I loved being able to explore that with the bears. Also, seeing the bears interacting with their enemies, the Russian wolf pack? I really hope there’s a wolf/bear story in the future, in the same vein as Mercy/Riley (cat/wolf).
I loved getting to see more of this complex world Singh has built over these 16 books (plus novellas). I still love all the previous couples and characters, don’t worry, but I was so excited to get to meet a new set of characters in another part of this world --- and I was not disappointed!

5) Plot. Plot. Plot. Because it’s Singh and you know she builds and adds to the overall plots, as well as providing smaller plots that only last for a particular book. But I won’t spoil anything, remember, so I’ll just say that we get a tiny look at more hidden psy abilities, shit’s moving forward with the Consortium and the rush against the clock to not only take down the deadly group but also rebuild all the fractures that Silence, etc., has created in the net and between the three races. There’s also things going down with Valentin and his pack, and with Silver. While perhaps not the most non-stop-action book of the series, it’s still has a good deal to offer alongside the romance, and it does help to move pieces forward.

6) The romance! I mean, I hit on it a bit already (swooning! Valentin!) but it’s worth repeating. I loved their romance. These two were perfect for each other, made one another stronger. 

“I win. He fainted when I pressed in my claws.”  

“I think not. He fainted after I stated the depth of his culpability.”  

They both looked at Erik. Throwing up his hands, the tall human backed off. “Hey, I am not getting in the middle of a lovers’ quarrel.” His grin was huge. “Though I am going to tell everyone I know that you have a scariness contest going on.”

And their romance gave me feels, too, as there’s certain areas where things get emotional (no spoilers!) and I was aching for both of them, worried.

“Silver Fucking Mercant, Ice Queen and my mate. Lyubov moya.” His voice shook on the words of love. “You will be that to me to my dying day."
[Lyubov moya = my love]

7) Valentin’s dirty talk and their chemistry. 

No explanation needed. Because hot damn. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

His tongue in her pussy made her scream, his fingers digging into her butt had her fighting him for control, his stubble rubbing against her breasts had her locking her legs so tight around him that he felt owned. "Fuck, I missed you."

This one might have the least amount of sex in it, but that was not an issue for me at all. See all the other things I loved PLUS the fact that we got some great buildup and teasing, as well as the fact that the sex we did get was hot and satisfying. So even if there's only two sex scenes in this entire book, I did not give a single fuck because I loved them both.

“I’m definitely going to play with your pretty hair now.” A hot breath against the back of her neck, a tug on her skull, as if he’d gently fisted his hand in the unbound strands. His body was a wall of primal power over her. “So soft. I want to hold it in my hands while I kiss you wet and deep.”  

Silver’s breath lost its rhythm.

8) Though it’s looooong overdue, we get a look at a gay couple! Valentin’s glasses-and-dimples clanmate, Pavel, and Silver’s empathic brother, Arwen, circle around each other here and I am 200000% here for their romance. I NEED THEIR ROMANCE. A FULL NOVEL PLEASE AND THANK YOU. 

I will be very disappointed if we DON’T get their story. Actually, I’ll be rage-angry if we don’t. Just sayin’.

"Color touched Arwen’s cheekbones. “Bears are the most irrational creatures I’ve ever met.”  
“But there is something about them.” His eyes flicked to where Yakov was ruffling his brother’s hair while Pavel tried to kick him. “He found my call code. I don’t know how. He sends me ridiculous messages.”  
“Do you reply?”  
“He’d think he’d won if I didn’t.”

I was actually just complaining about the lack of gender/sexuality diversity in this world recently. I love this series, love Singh’s writing, but I’ve got no qualms about calling that shit out (and I’m only sorry I didn’t do so before now). This many books in to a series and there’s no LGBTQIA+ presence in the world, on page, let alone a romance? That’s not right. Singh does a really great job at diversity in this world as far as POC characters everywhere, main and supporting, but that’s not enough. The world needs to be inclusive to ALL, and while I’m thrilled that we finally got this little bit, we had better get more in future books. Having two gay men in Silver Silence doesn’t make up for the lack of queer rep in this long running and very popular series. It does give me hope though, and it’s a step in the right direction.

I know, I know, 8 is kind of an odd number but it’s all I’ve got right now. Well, all I’ve got that is coherent and not just me rambling for another 5 pages.

I loved this book. No question about it.  But if I’m being picky, I do have two minor things to mention. 

First, I found the chapter cut offs were oddly placed. Like, the same scene would go from the end of X chapter to Y chapter and it just didn’t make sense to me to pause the scenes in some of these spots, kind of messed with the flow a bit. Enough that I noticed it in passing, but not enough to pull me out of the story or anything like that. It’s a minor thing, but I feel like the chapter endings/beginnings for larger scenes could have been smoothed out and cut in a different way. 

Second, and I have to be vague to avoid spoilers, but I wish there had been more page time between Valentin and Silver’s reunion and “The End”. It’s not that I didn’t believe in their mating bond and HEA – I did, I do! I just would have liked a bit more time with them together again before the book wrapped up.

Minor things, and obviously none of it ruined my reading experience in any way. But I must admit, I’m so in love with this series, find so much comfort in it, that at this point I’m also a bit biased and perhaps not as critical as I could be. Just something to keep in mind. It doesn’t mean that I can’t see some of the things others may point out in their critiques, it just means that it wasn’t enough to lessen my love of the book.

Okay, one more swoony quote. Because Valentin stole my heart a million times over:

"You're a goddess when you laugh." Hell, she was stunning no matter what, but when she laughed he felt as if he could conquer the world.

In short: You need this book. Hell, you need this entire series. I know, there are a lot of books and it’s daunting. But it’s so worth it (they’re fantastic in audio, too, so if your library has them online, go for it that way and you won’t be disappointed). This is easily my all-time favorite paranormal world and series and Singh has yet to disappoint me. Silver Silence made me a very, very happy reader, giving me the comfort of returning to a beloved, familiar world while also introducing me to new parts of this expansive world. I will never grow tired of exploring this world, of meeting new characters, of revisiting old ones. Never. So while I do recommend you start back at book 1 and read in order, you CAN easily jump in here because this book does branch off into a new series arc. Plus Singh, in all her books, does a good job of trying to balance “here’s a reminder of some of the basics of the world in case you’re new/forgot” while not slowing things down for those who are longtime fans already, meaning you still get the highlights of many things from the previous books.

Honestly, I just want to be adopted by one of the changeling groups. Preferably as a mate, because let's be real here. I’m not picky about which one – Lucas, Hawke, or Valentin’s. But after reading Silver Silence, I’m kind of leaning towards StoneWater. Because motherfucking bears.


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Nalini Singh; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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If you want to read more quotes that I highlighted, check out my Twitter!

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on June 29th for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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