Thursday, September 30, 2021

Review: Last Guard by Nalini Singh

Last Guard
(Psy-Changeling: Trinity #5)
Nalini Singh
Release: July 20, 2021
Goodreads Amazon
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to a world devastated by change in her award-winning Psy-Changeling Trinity series, where two people defined by their aloneness hold the fate of the Psy in their hands…

Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.

For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed "imperfect" by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel of the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an Anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.

To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful Anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet…or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.


Note: Because Last Guard is the fifth book in this new Trinity arc and the twentieth book in the Psy-Changeling universe as a whole I will try my best not to spoil previous books.

Y'all! Y'ALL. This book was so epic I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it even three reads later. If I wasn't already a diehard Nalini Singh fangirl, this book right here would have been the clincher. I can't stop thinking about the absolute wealth of awesome that Nalini gifted us in this book. 

We got a neurodivergent heroine and a disabled hero! Both main characters are anchors! There is a queer side romance! We get more Bears! And more Mercants! Y'all! We were ridiculously blessed by this book!

I just want to live rent free in Nalini Singh's head because it has to be both an awesome and scary place. One of the things I love about this series is that a character or a minor reference in a previous book can become a main character or major plot point later in the series. Case in point, we now have a book where both main characters are anchors which, correct me if I'm wrong, were last mentioned briefly in Tangle of Need (Book 11).

The plot of the overall story arc is advancing at a fast clip with each book and we're learning more and more about the PsyNet and the whole situation with the Scarabs is giving me anxiety. As much as I love the interconnecting plot that links these books together, I absolutely adore the characters in this series! And y'all! I would die for Payal. She is everything! She may have skyrocketed into first place in my ranking of my favorite heroines in this series. Sorry, Zaira and Memory! She is the classic case of don't judge a book by its cover and I loved learning about her hidden depths as she and Canto fell in love. Also, all of her interactions with a certain cardinal based in Russia were amazing!

Oh! And Canto! He is the classic grumpy, protective hero who will do anything to protect those he claims as his own. It doesn't hurt that he is also the one in charge of the Mercant's network of spies. I loved him so much! He is super protective but he knows when to stand back and let Payal take the lead. He's supportive and irascible and is basically the Psy version of the bears. And speaking of the bears, I loved Canto's interactions with them as part of their family thanks to Silver mating with Valentin. I could read a whole book of the bears working on breaking down Canto's walls.

I loved so much about this book but I'm going to end my raving ramble here. If you haven't read this series, I would urge you to go and pick up the first book! This series is one of my all-time favorites but this new Trinity arc has gifted me with some of my favorite books and characters and I can't wait to see where Nalini takes this series next!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  5 / 5 Stars!

Really Short Review: The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

The Extraordinaries
(The Extraordinaries)
TJ Klune
Release: July 14, 2020
Goodreads Amazon
Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune's YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick's best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer's Renegades in TJ Klune's YA debut.

Do you ever start a book that sounds like everything you love thrown together and then you just struggle reading it? This is what happened to me with The Extraordinaries. I wanted to love it so much because QUEER. SUPERHEROES! I think Teen Rose Red would have adored this because it is peak cheesy superhero comic book goodness but Adult Rose Red had issues.

I loved the fanfiction aspect of this book and I could get behind the humor and ADHD/anxiety rep. My problem was that I found the main character hard to take because he is a bit chaotic and whiny. And I struggled connecting with the book because of it. There was also a part of the book where Nick's actions felt a little out of character and it just dropped me out of the story. Also, the whole police force portion of this book felt pretty out of touch with current events and that made me super uncomfortable while reading.

I can't help but wonder if I would have enjoyed this book if I wasn't trying to read it while trying to teach online during a pandemic and trying to power through it when my brain wasn't in the right headspace for it. I know of several blogger and IRL friends who loved this so I might retry it in the future (maybe this next summer) on audio. 

Unfortunately, for now, this book wasn't for me.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  2.5 / 5 Stars

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