Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Storm Echo by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #6, Psy-Changeling #21
Published by Berkley on July 26, 2022
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
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Silence has fallen. The Psy are free to feel emotion. Free to love. But Silence was never a prison for Ivan Mercant. The biggest threat to his future lies dormant in his brain—a psychic monster that wants only to feed. And now, the brutal leash he’s kept on that monster is slipping. He prepared for this day, for the end of Ivan Mercant . . . but that was before he met Lei.
As primal as she is human, this wild changeling brings color into his life, laughter to his soul. Then the dream shatters in a rain of blood, in silent bodies in the snow. Lei is gone. Vanished without a trace . . . until he meets strangely familiar eyes across a busy San Francisco street.
Soleil Bijoux Garcia is a healer who has lost everything. She exists in a world of desolate aloneness . . . till the day she finds herself face-to-face with a lethal stranger. The animal who is her other half knows this man, but her memories are tattered fragments. Sorrow and a need for vengeance are all that drive her. Her mission? To kill the alpha of the DarkRiver leopard pack.
A dark threat grows, the Psy Net continues to splinter, and two unlikely lovers meet again. I anticipate each new installment in this series with great excitement and Storm Echo was no exception.
Storm Echo is the #6 entry in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series which is a continuation of the original Psy-Changeling series. These read best in orde,r because the over-arcing series plot and returning characters continues and builds from past books.
Ivan Mercant is not himself and has his formidable grandmother who is the head of his house worried. He hasn’t been the same in over a year since he took a fighter training course in Texas, met a whimsical, joyful Changeling, rescued her after a horrific pack slaughter, and then never saw her again. He’s looked and put the Mercant intelligence service at work, but to no avail. Then in San Francisco, he spots her right as chaos breaks loose on that portion of the Psy Net and he discovers his deadly Psy gift provides him with abilities he didn’t know he had.
Soleil went through a traumatic time when her small, weak pack was destroyed. She has hazy memories of the time, but what she has discovered is that Lucas Hunter, the Dark River pack alpha ordered the slaughter so she is determined to make him pay for killing innocents (not that she puts her old alpha in that category). Only, Lei is a healer and when the moment comes, she finds herself helping to stabilize fallen Psy and curious about the man with cold blue eyes who stares back at her and gives her a strong sense of recognition. When it comes down to it, Lei would rather explore her cat’s strong attraction and need for Ivan Mercant than get revenge on Lucas Hunter- but, at the very least she will make the alpha account for killing her loved ones.
Storm Echo seemed to pull back from the global grand scale and focus on a couple and incidents close to them both in her Changeling world and his Psy world with bigger matters, like the Scarab Queen’s machinations, still there, but muted.
I’ve enjoyed seeing each Mercant cousin with their varied, powerful Psy gifts and horrific pasts get their turn at finding love. Ivan’s story involved living on the street, a mother addicted to Jax, and no idea who his father was while grappling with a unique ability to attach other Psy minds to his and drain them of energy until they’re husks. All his life, he has contained this gift, but now the containment walls are splintering, so he pushes away those he loves for the time he will be gone.
Lei was somewhat baffling to me at first and I was still a little hazy on how everything went down in her life after leaving Ivan at the training center until she shows up in San Francisco. There was an explanation in bits and pieces, but it never felt clear to me. It didn’t take her long, at least, to see that what she thought she knew about Lucas Hunter couldn’t have been more wrong.
Ivan and Lei were another amazing romance pair and I loved seeing open, sweet Lei draw out Ivan and teach him to love and enjoy life. She sticks to him and won’t let him push her away for her own good. I enjoyed seeing more of Ivan’s family particularly Ena and his E-Psy cousin jumping in when Ivan needs them.
Storm Echo had some exciting reveals from what Ivan’s strange Psy ability could do to big progress on the Queen of the Scarabs identity and that surprise connection at the very end that sets up an interesting situation for the next book.
For those coming new to the Psy Changeling world, I recommend readers start at the very beginning of the original series to get the full, deep, and rich wonders of the world and the characters. It is a paranormal romance series that urban fantasy fans can love on, too.
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