Review: Visions of Heat

Review: Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.

Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...

Book Two in the Psy/Changeling Series

Faith Nightstar is a billion dollar asset. As a Cardinal F-Psy, Faith has the rare gift of foresight and the most powerful known to date in the race making her very valuable to her PsyClan - a familial grouping of Psy that align themselves together for business purposes. Since she was three years of age, Faith has been forecasting and her predictions almost always come to fruition unless purposefully diverted.

Due to the fact that F-Psy have the highest rate of insanity, even with the implementation of Silence, they are kept in complete isolation and are rarely seen in public. In addition, their conditioning to Silence is one of the most intense within the Psy for they need complete and total lack of emotion to generate their forecasts of business trends and therefore the further growth in power for their race. Although at twenty-four, much earlier then her predicted collapse at fifty years, Faith is beginning to feel the deterioration of her mind. In the last few months she's been receiving dark and evil visions and awakening from night terrors so intense that she's soaked in sweat. While her home in Tahoe, California is monitored by M-Psy (medical designation), Faith has taken to sleeping in her bed rather then the red chair where she forecasts and which also monitors her every physical move and condition. If the M-Psy were to know of her night sweats, they would be performing a physical exam with no questions asked.

When Faith is contacted by her father and informed that her half-sister, Marine, has been murdered by strangulation, Faith knows now that the dark visions she's been experiencing was the foresight of the murder. Wanting answers from someone who will not report her to the center for reconditioning, Faith decides that she's going to seek out Sascha Duncan, the Psy that cut her link from the Net. Although there is a ban on any Psy making contact with the defective Sascha Duncan, Faith feels that Sascha can give her the answers and possibly even the knowledge on how to block these dark visions.

Vaughn D'Angelo is a jaguar and a sentinel of the DarkRiver leopard pack. Although he's a jaguar and more solitary then his leopard cousins, they adopted him on that long ago day when he was ten years old, broken and alone. Abandoned by his parents, Vaughn tried everything he could to save his then seven year old sister but she died in mere days of a broken heart. Surviving in his leopard form, Vaughn aimlessly wonders into DarkRiver territory. Due to the fact that he saw so much heartache and terror in his jaguar form, it took a long time until he was ready to shift into his human half. For that, Vaughn is closer to his beast then most making him very dangerous.

When curiosity brings his cat to the edges of Tahoe, he's immediately intrigued by a house that's surround by fences, surveillance, and Psy guards. He doesn't have to wait long to glimpse whomever is inside because soon a smallish woman with long flaming red hair agilely picks her way across the lawn and over the fence without tripping any alarm. But when he realizes that the female Psy is heading straight into DarkRiver territory, his protective instincts flare and he soon stops her in her tracks demanding her purpose as only a highly feral jaguar can do.

As a known loner and with every intention of maintaining his distance, no one is more surprised then Vaughn when Faith arouses his possessive instincts. He can't stop himself from breathing in her scent and touching her at every opportunity. While Faith warns him profusely that his intimate actions will undoubtedly cause her to go into seizures, (for she's seen actual recordings of these types of affects on other F-Psy) Vaughn is governed by the pure instinct that his Psy needs to be able to handle his touch. He senses a back bone of steele within Faith and that her physical reactions to him of unconsciousness is only her brain convincing her of this fact and that in truth she can withstand his possessive male onslaught. And sure enough, with each subtle caress, Faith grows stronger against her body's trained reactions.

What Faith learns and comes to believe from Sascha is that her race, while proclaiming that Silence has guaranteed the lack of violence, the Council is actually hiding the real truth: That Psy killers are not only abundant, but essential to the maintenance of the PsyNet - the psychic plain that all Psy connect with for necessary biofeedback and communication. Without these killers, the violence they contain and excert would bleed directly into the Net and cause many Psy to go insane.

In addition, Faith learns that previous to the implementation of Silence, F-Psy not only predicted commerce but they also predicted and provided the knowledge for the prevention of possible murders and natural disasters. With Silence having directed Faith's gift so efficiently towards business trends, she was never properly trained on how to block the dark visions she's forecasting now for with her total lack of emotion, they never should have found her to begin with.

With the death of Council Member Enrique, the Council is looking at candidates for his replacement and Faith is approached for the position. Having an F-Psy member would not only grant the Council nearly unlimited power, but F-Psy are also known to be adept communicators with the NetMind - a sentient being that organizes the immense data of the PsyNet and monitors all Psy. When controlled by the Council, the NetMind can seek out rebels within the Psy and report other findings for their benefit.

Faith needs to make a life changing decision. Not only is the Council making it's demands but if she defects from the Psy the Nightstar PsyClan will loose countless jobs and untold millions without her forecasts. She can either move into an incredible political position that can give her the tools to possibly help her race or she can cut her link to the PsyNet and belong exclusively to the jaguar that has stolen her heart.

Having already mated to Faith, Vaughn senses and rages at her indecision. Changelings only mate once and he could potentially be tied to a woman that may never accept the mating bond. Vaughn is not willing to let his Psy go without a fight but when powers greater than him pull hard on Faith, he may have to accept that he'll end up sleeping with the enemy. For if Faith chooses to stay with her race and become Council, Vaughn won't hesitate to come when she calls.

Out of the entire Psy/Changeling series 'Visions of Heat' is my least favorite for reasons that are difficult to pinpoint. I think that it really may come down to the fact that I didn't really connect with either the hero or heroine. Vaughn was supposed to be a solitary closed off male but then Faith comes along and before he even knows her, he's already pushing her hard to acknowledge his possession. This can be contributed to the fact that the mating is done on such a basic and primal level that it really just changes these males at a drop of a hat in some respects. Although with Lucas and his mating to Sascha, I didn't feel that he did a complete one-eighty with his personality.

Faith, in my opinion, was a weak heroine and I didn't really understand where her emotion came from. She based her entire thought process on the warnings from others rather than experiencing her own mistakes. Faith believed so strongly in what she's been told that she actually convinces her body to go into seizures when Vaughn touches her. With regards to emotion, Faith was a perfect Psy right up until the dark visions and that's when she starts questioning her life and her race. I also didn't think that she deliberated long or hard about giving up her life with the Psy and mating with Vaughn but rather she simply had a knowing, all of which led me to feel that her choices and her personality were inconsistent.

In contrast, I think that 'Visions of Heat' is integral to the Psy/Changeling series. The Council and it's members motivations were given more light and we're also given a more in depth look and understanding of the PsyNet. I really enjoyed learning about the sentient being that is the NetMind and how it has emotions. The way it communicates with Faith is beyond interesting. 'Visions of Heat' also unveils a new Psy - the Arrow Psy which are highly combative and lethal. They're also supposedly under the Council's thumb. And lastly there is Kaleb Krycheck. Who is he? Is he good or evil? Even as far as book six, Kaleb's motivations are still unknown but Nalini gives us access to his POV which must be for a reason, right?


B

15 comments:

Patti said...

Okay, I'm convinced! I'm going to start the first Psy book this weekend!

Cecile said...

Okay... one more nail in the coffin of getting these damn books!! Thanks for the honesty, you know I always apprecite that!!! Great review!!!!

I hope you have a wonderful!!
And... FYI... Deeper is OMG... it is deep!!!

Mandi said...

I want more Kaleb:)

MsMoonlight said...

Hi VFG!! I love your reviews, you spill all your thoughts out honestly of all aspects of the books you review and I really like that. I haven't read any of these books or even this author yet, but I hear the author is good and many people like her stuff. This series...I am not sure its for me, but I might try it and be surprised. Thanks for the great review.

MsM

PS Have a great weekend!

:o)

Lea said...

Hi VFG:

I have this one on the shelf too! lol

Another lovely, thought provoking review. I appreciate your honesty with respect to this read given you love Ms. Singh's work so much.

I went hunting this morning and actually have the first 3 of the series in the stacks. I will get to them eventually.


Have an awesome weekend VFG.

((hugs))
L

Blodeuedd said...

I do have a hard time with books where i like no one. I can sometimes not even finish them. But cos it's Singh I would sure love to try :)

great review VFG

Leontine said...

Hi VFG,
After a long day with family I'm back and checking up on all my favorite blogs and saw you had yourself a new Singh review up YAY I really need to re-read this series as well because I can vaguely remember this one.You've dished it all out in your review and I've enjoyed it from start to finish :D

Pelehini aka Lisa said...

Hey VFG-I'm thinking a re-read might be in order for me too! I just finished BBF. I loved the interaction between Mercy and Riley. It lived up to every expectation I had. Now the many months to wait for the next one. Great review-I loved Vaughn's character a lot!

:)Lisa

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi VFG!

I love your reviews. Though you might love the series, you're not afraid to point out when something doesn't connect for you.

I'm going to have to find this series!

Dottie :)

Barbara said...

OMG, I missed this one!! Hold on I'm off to read it...

Barbara said...

Well, it may not be your favorite but it still got a B! But I doubt you could ever give Nalini anything less ;)

The blurb sounds really promising, too. But, like you, I'm not a fan of weak heroines. I don't want them overbearing, but I don't want them to be pushovers or easily manipulated either.

Great review, VFG!

Tracy said...

How funny, a friend of mine and I were just discussing this book this morning and she was saying it was her least fav in the series as well. For me it's CbI so I'm thinking I need to re-read the series and check it all out. :) Good review!

VampFanGirl said...

LOL Patti! I read your STS review and I'm super happy that you loved it. YAY!!

;) VFG

Hey Cecile!

Oh yes, you definitely must get these books. ;)

'Deeper' is Deep?! WOOTT!!! Can't wait to dive in!!

;) VFG

Oh me too Mandi!!!

Hey MsM!

Thanks for your wonderful comment *blushing* I do try to give you guys my honest thoughts cause truly, why else would I put all the time in? ;)

Yeah, Singh might not be steamy enough for you but I can guarantee that her plots and pacing are incredible. She's worth a try.

;) VFG

Oooo Lea, you have this one?? You could easly start the series with book two.

Ack! You have the first three!! Wait till you read my review on 'Caressed by Ice'. It's one of the BEST!!

;) VFG

Hi Blodeuedd,

Yeah, it's hard to get "in" a story when you don't particulary connect with the H/h. But despite that, I do believe that the installment was integral to the series. And other people might feel differently too. Other could very well connect with Vaughn and Faith.

;) VFG

Leontine!! What's up girl?!

That's funny that you vaguely remember VOH because despite the fact that this read was my third re-read, I always forget what goes down in VOH. Weird huh? I chaulk it up to my inability to connect with the characters.

((hugs))VFG

Hey Lisa!

Oh me too! BBF blew all my expectations out the window. And there isn't too many months until the next. I'm still in awe that we get three full length novels from Singh this year. Love it!

;) VFG

Hey Dottie!

*blushing* Thanks for your wonderfully kind words about my reviews. (((hugs)))

You're definitely need to get your hands on this series!!

;) VFG

Barbara! Thanks! Yeah, I'm not a big fan of pushover heroines either.

And seriously, this is the only Singh novel that I've read that deserved anything lower than an A.

((hugs)) VFG

Hi Tracy!

No way! CBI was your least fave?! Wow, it's usually loved by all. That's what I love about blogging, everyone is different.

;) VFG

Holly said...

This is my least favorite of the series, too. For all the reasons you mentioned. I just didn't connect with either main character.

I do agree that this book is integral to the rest of the series, however. Good review. :)

VampFanGirl said...

Hi Holly!

I know right, and it's not that I didn't like Vaughn and Faith I just didn't feel the intense emotion or sexual tension that Singh has become known for in my mind.

Thanks for reading the review!

;) VFG

 
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