Published by Berkley on August 9, 2022
FINAL DECISION: I loved this book. Although the emotional story between these two characters was more straightforward than others in this series, I adored Lei and Ivan and their relationship. The book didn’t go in the direction I expected so I sped through the pages and finished the last page satisfied and interested in the future.
THE STORY: Ivan Mercant has kept himself separate from his dangerous family and everyone else because he knows that his brain contains a monster that threatens others. But then he meets a changeling named Lei that changes him. But as quickly as she comes into his life, she is gone. Ivan searches unsuccessfully for her until he sees her in San Francisco. Soleil Bijoux Garcia is a healer who is alone. While on her quest to kill the DarkRiver alpha, she sees a stranger who seems familiar to her.
OPINION: I began reading this book intending to read it slowly over several days. Instead, I read it cover to cover in one rush. Singh gave new twists on the characters of the Psy assassin and the Changeling healer. I thought that the drama of their separation would be the center of the book, but instead, there is great gentleness between these two, and the real drama ends up being external factors.
I knew I would love this book once I realized that we had returned to DarkRiver. As much as I have enjoyed the expanding Psy-Changeling work, I admit that DarkRiver is a joy to see again. Appearances and updates on beloved characters increased my enjoyment of this book. The Psy-Changeling series always works best when it is grounded in the community of all the characters we have already met. Singh does community so well, and none of these appearances seem gratuitous, but each of these characters has a part to play in the world drama.
With these characters, I enjoyed that Singh did not plow the same storyline she has before with Psy and Changeling combinations. Ivan and Lei have different quirks, fears and challenges. Lei is a healer and reaches out, but she also has been deeply hurt by her past. Like many of the healers, she has a different type of strength but also great vulnerability. Her handling of Ivan is just about perfect. She’s not putting up with his BS in this book. In this relationship, she is not vulnerable and hurt but relatively intense and determined. I really adored Ivan because he is relatively vulnerable in this relationship. He needs care and tending and Lei is so wonderful in this regard. Just everything in their relationship worked for me.
WORTH MENTIONING: We get to learn more about the Architect.
CONNECTED BOOKS: STORM ECHO is the sixth book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. The romance is self-contained, but the overarching story goes throughout the Trinity series. Do yourself a favor and just start at the beginning of Trinity. This book is also book 21 in the Psy-Changeling series if you want to start at the real beginning.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.