Thursday, July 15, 2021

ARC Review: Last Guard by Nalini Singh

Last Guard

Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity (Book 5)
Publication: Berkley (July 20, 2021)

Description: 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 for 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.

My Thoughts: Canto Mercant and Payal Rao meet when they are young children in a boarding school that their parents sent them to because they are defective Psy. When Payal kills a teacher who is going to kill Canto, they are separated.

Canto is taken to his mother's family where he is loved and supported and where he becomes a surveillance expert and a valuable member of the Mercant family. Payal Rao is taken back to her family where she has to deal with a psychopath for an older brother and a father who thinks betrayal is a perfectly acceptable way of life. Payal learns to hide her broken pieces and some have compared her to a robot.

Canto has spent years looking for the girl who saved his life. It isn't until he forms an association of anchors that the two of them are reunited. The anchors are an almost forgotten designation of Psy but a very important one since they are the ones who hold the PsyNet together. They are almost in crisis mode because of the attacks on the PsyNet and because their designation doesn't manifest when they are infants and many with the designation are disposed of by the Psy because they come with physical or mental problems. Canto is paralyzed and in a powered chair and Payal has brain tumors that can only be controlled with a drug her father doles out to her as a way of keeping her under control. 

Reuniting gives them an opportunity to fall in love but it isn't easy for either of them. Payal especially has learned that trust is a weakness that will surely be exploited. Canto can love but he has major fears about losing control. 

This was an excellent story with a lot of emotional impact as we watch two damaged people fall in love and grow stronger for it. The story also advances the plot thread that runs through this series: preserving the PsyNet against a hidden enemy.

Fans of the series will be glad to meet Canto and Payal and will also be glad to see some characters from earlier books in the series. I love that Canto is so easy with the bears who are a great group of changelings. 

Favorite Quote:
He nodded. "They were brilliant, our psychic forefathers. Why did we forget?"

"Because our people like to forget things. Apparently, we believe ignoring and forgetting is as good as actually fixing problems."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Not a genre I read usually. I enjoyed your review. Thanks.


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