Reader Reaction – Shield of Winter

shield of winterI know it has only been a couple of days since Nalini Singh‘s Shield of Winter was released, but I am pretty sure everyone has dived in by now. I read this one about a month ago, since Nalini was kind enough to send me my very first ARC (advanced reader copy). I was actually going to do a giveaway for the ARC, but I got greedy and kept it (it has its own shelf). And thank god she did, because my hardcover copy is still in the mail. THAT might’ve gotten ugly. Very ugly. I do not wait well. So, without further ado…

“What did you think of Shield of Winter? Vasic has been an intriguing character right from the start, so did you think the story did him justice? How does Ivy rank among your Psy/Changeling heroines?”

 

This one packed a punch. There is a lot going on, but the tone is a bit different than other books. They are all intense, but the stakes in the last couple of books have risen significantly. And while I am notoriously fickle when it comes to the female leads, I loved Ivy. She never gave me a Psy vibe, no hiding behind a cold mask, even though she struggles just as much (or more) as any other of the Psy race does. One of the bonuses for me was because it was Vasic, there was of course more Aden. Following the amazing Heart of Obsidian wasn’t easy, but Nalini pulled it off. Again.

Thoughts? Feelings? Spoiler zone in the comments section, so beware if you haven’t finished it yet…or are still waiting for your copy (like me).

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20 thoughts on “Reader Reaction – Shield of Winter

  1. Emily says:

    You’re right, it’s hard to follow an act like Heart of Obsidian. I wasn’t sure what to expect because of that. On the one hand, it’s Vasic’s story, so I had high expectations for the romantic hero/heroine aspect of it, and on the other, I felt that there was no way that the plot could keep up with all the action and intensity of HoO. I was very pleased to be wrong about the plot; it was every bit as exciting and action packed for me. I loved Vasic and Ivy’s pillow talk. They were so obviously psy in their cheesiness, but it matched the characters so it was perfect, even if I felt embarrassed for them at times. I cried a few times over Vasic’s issue with the gauntlet, even though I was 99% sure he wouldn’t die. I hate that he lost his arm but, since he’s a Tk, he can compensate for it easily and that made it easier for me to accept. Hands down, my favorite scene is when Vasic had to explain his “slight technical glitch” to Judd. That was hilarious, and it was good to see how far Judd has come that he could laugh about it, too. Maybe a few books down the road, we’ll see laughter from Vasic, as well. And 20 books later, Kaleb will learn to laugh.

    • kaleigha says:

      Kaleb…laughing…interesting thought. And a bit scary. The gauntlet was just plain scary, and I found it hard when he lost his arm, too. But it was realistic, anyways…and better than the alternative.

      • Emily says:

        True. I can totally picture Kaleb laughing as he tortures someone who hurt Sahara. Maybe we don’t want to see that after all.

  2. Janhavi says:

    Dived in is an understatement, Nalini Singh’s books are among the few for which I plan my schedule around their release πŸ˜€

    I think it was very hard to follow Heart of Obsidian, and this doesn’t quite match that for me, HoO competes for favourite of the series status. But it was great nonetheless, I loved the plot and psynet stuff, and how it really felt like the long story arc is coming together to a grand finale. kiss of Snow wrapped up the psy-changeling war, and HoO and SoW are wrapping up a lot more long standing plot lines.

    Hmm, more later. ;D

  3. Lydia says:

    My hardback copy was due to arrive on the 3rd, but I figured it wouldn’t get here until late afternoon and I could not wait so midnight I got it on my kindle and of course stayed up to read it. I figure you can never have to many copies of a great book. Can’t pick between this one and Heart of Obsidian. Both were fantastic. What I liked about this one though was that we saw more of the changelings..and Ben….my absolute favorite little wolf. Do you have any idea who is next on the list? And I want to know how many babies Mercy is carrying, God, I love Nalini’s books.

    • kaleigha says:

      Next up is a Bastien novella, and then it is Aden’s turn. For a few stories now, I have been thinking Aden and Alice. Not sure why, but that is stuck in my head big time.

      • Janhavi says:

        I would love it if Aden was paired with Zaira. As for Alice, I believe Nalini has said that her story may come, but later, so I guess she is not with Aden anyway.

  4. Charry says:

    I really liked it but felt it wasn’t quite as good as her usual brilliance. There was something about the pace of the story. The relationship happened so fast. It was a little hard to buy that Vasic who was the iceman suddenly fell for this woman within such a short period of time. But I really loved them together. They make an awesome couple. Then after they kinda “found love” I felt the story drag just a bit somehow before kicking in hardcore and finishing strong. Ultimately Nalini Singh is awesome at writing. I just didn’t quite as obsessed with this one.

    I’m still kinda wondering about a story for Amara. I love her crazy disfunctional ways.

    • kaleigha says:

      Amara…that would be one heck of a story. There are a few male characters in other series who fall into her zone of bad but not evil, but I don’t recall a female lead of that type before. Could be interesting.

      • Charry says:

        I think her complete lack of understanding about emotion would be hilarious. In the previous book it was suggested that with the healing of the net she might heal too.

      • Janhavi says:

        Amara has been ruled out by Nalini, I forget where I saw this. But I really like seeing her growth in the books.

  5. alexandra says:

    Heart of Obsidian is my favorite in the series so I knew it would be difficult for Shield of Winter to live up to expectations. Nalini Singh packed a lot into one book, and while I had several issues with it and it’s not one of my top picks in the series the stories she writes, even when I don’t like them as much, surpass what I read from quite a few other authors.

    What I absolutely loved about it was seeing Vasic and Aden’s relationship – that scene where Aden discusses his childhood with Ivy during Vasic’s surgery is among my favorite in the series. Actually, one of my favorite things about this series are the friendship and family dynamics. Judd and Sienna, Walker and Judd, actually just Judd…

    Anyway, Arrows and E’s…for that alone Shield of Winter was a winner.

  6. Cassandra B. says:

    I enjoyed Shield of Winter and that it was a good edition to the series, but I don’t think it is one of my top favorites in the series. There were two things that bugged me.

    One, I felt that I missed something in the relationship. It seemed like Vasic went from mentally saying he had to stay away from Ivy (or at least looking only) to a full relationship. It almost felt like I missed an inner dialogue (maybe I did, but I don’t think so).

    I was also bothered by how long it took anyone to try to combat the infection on the PsyNet rather than trying to handle each individual. I will admit it didn’t occur to me before it happened in the book, but afterwards it seemed so obvious that it bugged me. The Psy depend on the PsyNet and spend time there, it seems illogical that they would not try something there earlier (I know the story rather hinged on the relatively late realization of attempting calm on the PsyNet rather than physical plane, but it will always bug me). Even handicapping for the lack of knowledge for E-Psy, it seems like something they would have tried.

    My favorite thing in the book was the various insights into the Arrows! I am excited for that to continue in Aden’s book. I am super curious about his heroine. I have heard lots of hopes for various changelings, but I think it will be difficult for Aden, as leader of the Arrows, to mate with a person who needs frequent interaction with her pack. I am sure Nalini could make pretty much anything work, but just from this gut feeling I think Aden will be matched up with a Psy or one of the Forgotten.

    On the Aden and Alice note, I believe Nalini has officially nixed that idea.

  7. pam says:

    So I’ve just finished reading SoW, and it’s difficult to say this because Vasic fascinated me in previous stories, but the book was just ‘good’ for me. I mean, Nalini Singh’s version of good is equal to other authors being amazing. But still, maybe I expected too much but the book didn’t hold a candle against HoO. Kaleb and Sahara just struggled so much as individuals and their love is so absolute that it conquered their personal demons because they needed to be together. On the other hand, Vasic and Ivy… maybe it’s because they just met and the way they fell for each other seemed too ‘easy’ compared to the other couples, or maybe it’s because I found Ivy to be too put-together and whole, with not really any personal struggle as she seems to be fully recovered from her medical ‘treatment’ by the time she met Vasic… or maybe I’m just too picky. But the book didn’t leave me with a sense of wrenching rightness in the couple the way Kaleb and Sahara, or Hawke and Sienna did.

    As for Aden, I don’t know why but I got a sense of fascination when Kaleb assigned Silver to work with him. Two highly competent people, both psy and seemingly silent, Aden with his painful childhood and his sense of responsibility for the Squad, and Silver although she has only been mentioned briefly, works for a man who the Arrows do not fully trust yet and comes from an ambitious family who expect her to do well. They have different goals and priorities, and romance shouldn’t be on the agenda… it would be an interesting pairing I think πŸ™‚

  8. charj says:

    The pace of Shield of Winter being different than the other books worked well for me. I wanted to know what the wedding attendees thought/felt about Vasic and Ivy getting married. Hopefully we’ll find out in a future book.

    I think Aden’s heroine will be one of The Forgotten, since he will be exchanging ideas on possible training protocols.

    As far as Amara, I don’t know if she would be functional enough to be in a romance; but i definitely want to know what’s happening with her.

    • kaleigha says:

      I really do hope we go back to the Forgotten…I know there are so, so many stories left to tell, but the one foray into the world left me wanting more.

  9. Vanessa says:

    I was weirdly let down by Vasic’s book, but I guess it’s really hard to top the intensity of HoO. Nalini took a different path with SoW, it’s much more lighthearted. And the romance is sweet and funny and not very in accord with Vasic’s previous image as a tortured hero. How does one go from ‘there was nothing left of the man he’s once been’-emo/suicidal-with-a-deathtrap-gauntlet to ‘Aden and I painted a room with zebra stripes once’ so quickly? (At least it felt that way!) Anyhow the plot was great as usual and I adore Kaleb all the more in this book. ‘Generously offering’ to give Silent Voices a separate corner of the net, cutting them off and solving the problem of dissent and rot in the Psynet all simultaneously? Kaleb, you genius you : >

    I’m really curious as to who Aden’s heroine will be – cant wait to find out!
    I do think it’ll be either Silver Mercant (Kaleb’s aide) or Keisha Bale (the M-Psy who faked death certificates for damaged Arrows in the Dinarides facility (aka Arrow Central Command?)

    Aden I think, will be a very interesting hero as he’s the first psy male we’ve seen who has already mostly breached Silence before finding his ‘mate’. In Shield of Winter we see open emotionalism from him when Vasic’s life is endangered due to the gauntlet, and he has clearly taken Vasic’s mate Ivy as his sister.

    It’s fair to suggest that he was never very conditioned into Silence. Someone deeply immersed in it never would have protected all his younger squad mates as a child and continue to lead and protect the Arrows as an adult.

    So far in this series the psy heros have always been the more unemotional of the pair. Their mates, whether changeling or psy have always been the one to bring them out of Silence (Judd, Kaleb, Vasic, Walker). I’d like to see the reverse happen for Aden’s story!

    For once, let it be the psy male who guides his mate out of the prison of Silence. Aden has already shown a deep capacity to love and protect (Vasic, the Arrows) in spite of a childhood that was meant to crush all capacity for softer emotion out of him. He’d be so good for a heroine who’s kinda like Sophia Russo (Bonds of Justice), strong but vulnerable and Silenced. I hope it’s Keisha Bale, they must have worked closely together to get the condemned Arrows out safely! And I can equally see Nalini pairing him with Silver, Kaleb’s enigmatic aide whose family has so far come through with assistance on every disaster the psy have suffered since HoO πŸ™‚

    • kaleigha says:

      I like the fact that Aden is the quiet one in the background, too. Usually underestimated by those who don’t know him, but completely trusted by those who do. I wonder, too, what secret abilities he does have, since they have been hinted at but not really explored, as yet. Love this whole world!

    • ywlovesg says:

      Totally agree with you about the reverse happening to Aden, which makes me rather sure Nalini will pair him up with Silver… Imagine the leader of Arrow pairing up with a female Psy from a very influential family. They’ll fit each other perfectly in terms of social status and perhaps personality too?

      To me I already imagine Silver to be a very very broken female but her family has totally reconditioned her to feel nothing, be total “Silent” when her real personality might have differed totally from that…

      Aden as a “field medic” could be the perfect person to bring her back to who she really is πŸ™‚

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