Reviewed: June 21, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy/Changeling, Book 4
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Length: 352 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
As children, the changeling Clay and human Talin belonged to each other in a way that went beyond friendship. Then their world was shattered by a horrible truth that led to the brutal execution of a man who desperately deserved it. That action, as deserved as it was, tore Clay and Talin apart, put Clay in a cage and sent Talin into foster care across the country. When Clay was finally released, it was with every intention of tracking his Tally down as he'd wordlessly promised even as he was dragged away from her.
When he tried he was told she was dead. A part of him never recovered.
Twenty years later Clay has a darkness in him that goes beyond the normal predatory nature of the leopard changelings of the DarkRiver pack. He rides the sharp edge of rogue, holding on by sheer human will alone, though as he's caught the scent of a ghost on the breeze for the past few months, he's starting to think he's losing even that. Until his ghost steps out of the shadows, fear in her eyes for the adult male who was once a boy who did everything but die for her, and nearly breaks him all over again.
Tormented by the damage inflicted on her as a child and riddled with guilt for the damage she's done to herself as an adult, Talin would never have let Clay know she was still alive if he wasn't the only one who could help her stop the ruthless slaughter of the human children being stolen from the streets. She still has nightmares of what he did to her foster father, still fears him with an irrational terror that belies an understanding of his actions. Despite all that, she still needs him with an intensity that makes that terror seem like nothing.
But Talin knows that the secrets she's kept and the lies she's told have put her and Clay on opposite paths, and she's sickeningly aware that even if he were willing, there's no time left for her to try to bridge the horrible distance between them. Finding the lost children and stopping their murderer has to be enough. Talin has nothing else.
As rich and well told as the preceding books in the Psy/Changeling series, Mine to Possess reaches deeper, finally bringing the human race onto the board of this deadly chess match between the emotionless Psy and the passionate changelings. I love this series for its amazing world building and complex, layered plots - plots that go much further than traditional paranormal romance. Each book adds to the tension as it expands the world, and each draws the reader deeper and deeper into a burgeoning war between the Psy Council and...well...everyone else...even as it offers up an amazingly powerful romantic plot between the male and female leads.
And speaking of those leads, I loved Clay and Talin's story. Their backstory was painful and traumatic, the years separating them causing so much damage, but their journey once they were reunited was powerful. It was nice having two emotional people as the focus from the beginning. I love Sasha and Faith, and Judd is one of my favorite characters in the whole series, but as a change, it was refreshing to have a character like Talin who didn't have Silence to break. Of course, she had her own issues...
If I'm honest, I was a little put off by her at first. Even knowing she's human, even accepting she's not going to be as strong as a changeling or as mentally powerful as a Psy, I was a disappointed in the choices she made and distressed by the pain she inflicted on Clay. Then I gave it some thought and put everything in perspective. She won't ever be my favorite of the female leads, and she didn't have the sort of active role in her own relationship that I admired Brenna so much for in the previous book, but I still think she was written with a near brilliant understanding of the sort of debilitating psychological damage inflicted on a child who suffered the sort of systematic abuse Talin survived. Her personality and her reactions seemed very believable in that context, and her evolution through her reconnection with Clay very organic to both the character and the previously established mythos concerning mate bonds.
Clay was hard to like at the very beginning, too. Understandably, he was less than pleased when Talin reveals some difficult truths to him, and he certainly doesn't handle it well. Sometimes he lashes out at Talin, sometimes he's too busy kicking his own ass, but all of that feeds in perfectly with the darkness in his nature and the tendency towards solitude he's had since he lost Talin the first time. He reminded me a little of Vaughn in the way he sort of herded his Tally back into his arms. It was reminiscent of, but considerably less subtle than, how Vaughn got Faith used to his touch.
In truth, it didn't take long for me to warm up to Clay, with appreciation for Talin coming a little deeper in, but the end result was very positive. Their romance, blended with the other plot threads, was ultimately satisfying in the end.
What really sets this series apart for me is the amazing number of cohesive subplots and the depth in those subplots: concerns over the Psy race's slow degradation, the megalomaniacal Council, the revolution that Ghost is stirring up, various other mysteries and suspense. Singh isn't just widening existing threads, but throwing in delectable new twists and turns with every book. It's a compelling and dastardly habit she has of keeping me slavering for the next in the series. By now I'm very happily addicted to this seductive, original series.
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