Monday, May 20, 2013

HEART OF OBSIDIAN Excerpt & Spoiler Zone

As promised, you're about to read the first two chapters of Heart of Obsidian. But, before you do, I have some other info for you, so have a quick read before you jump to the excerpt.(Edited with updated links).

♥ This excerpt consists of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, so you can read it without spoiling later sections of the book.

If you're viewing this on Goodreads or on another feed, some of the formatting may be lost - please click through to the main blog to read.

♥ If you're here looking for my USA/London book tour info, follow this link.

♥ For those of you on Twitter, there will be a fun chat happening Thursday. The Ghost is hijacking my Twitter profile from 9-10pm EDT, Thursday 23rd May for a Q&A. The hashtag is #penguinromance. If you're not on Twitter, don't worry. I'll post a link where you can follow along.

♥ Jane at Dear Author has reread the entire series and done a post all about the Arrow Squad, so make sure to swing by and read!

♥ The Heart of Obsidian Mega Contest is now open!

♥ The COMMENTS thread of this blog post will function as the Spoiler Zone for Heart of Obsidian. It should be safe enough now if you want to join in the discussion about the excerpt, but once the book releases, it will become much more spoilery.

As always, have fun in the comments, and please be respectful of one another's opinions.

♥ And one final tidbit: You'll see one particular mystery remains unanswered in this excerpt. The answer comes just a few pages later in the book, so resist the urge to peek ahead when you get it!

Excerpt begins below the banner. Click away if you don't want to read it! 



Advance Excerpt from HEART OF OBSIDIAN 
by Nalini Singh


Chapter 1

Kaleb Krychek, cardinal telekinetic and a man no one wanted to meet alone on a dark night, had been searching for his quarry for seven years, three weeks, and two days. Even while he slept, his mind had continued to hunt through the sprawling psychic network that was the heartbeat and the cage of the Psy race. Not for a day, not for a second, had he forgotten his search, forgotten what they’d taken from him.

Everyone involved would pay. He’d make certain of it.

Right now, however, he had different priorities, his search complete, his target huddled in a corner of a small, windowless room in his isolated home on the outskirts of Moscow. Crouching down in front of her, he held out a glass of water. “Drink.”

Her response was to crush herself impossibly further into the corner and tighten her arms around the knees she hugged to her chest. She’d spent the hour since he’d retrieved her from her prison rocking to and fro in brittle silence. Her hair was a tangled rats’ nest around her face, her upper arms bearing both fresh scratches and marks of older gouges.

She was still a bare five feet, two inches . . . or so he judged. She’d been in a huddled position pre-teleport, had only curled further into her shell in the past sixty minutes. Her eyes—a blue so deep they were midnight—refused to meet his, skittering away if he entered her line of sight.

Now she ducked her head, the matted waist-length strands that should’ve been a rich black interwoven with unexpected strands of red-gold, dull and greasy around her down-bent face. That face was all bone under pallid skin of palest brown, the nails on her hands gnawed to the quick yet embedded with dried blood that said she’d used the stubs to viciously scratch either her own skin or another’s, perhaps both.

At last, he understood why the NetMind and DarkMind, the twin entities that knew every corner of the vast psychic network that connected all Psy on the planet but for the renegades, had been unable to find her—regardless of how many times he’d made the request or how much information he’d given them in an effort to narrow the scope of the search. Kaleb had been inside her mind during retrieval, had needed to be to complete the teleport, and even then, he wouldn’t have known it was her if he hadn’t had incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. The person she’d been was gone.

Whether what remained was anything more than a broken shell was yet an unanswered question.

“Drink or I’ll leave you to wallow in your filth.”

He used words that would’ve once caused her to react—but he didn’t know if that part of her existed any longer. The file he’d so meticulously put together over the years, the file he’d studied until he could recite the contents in his sleep, was going to be useless. She was no longer that girl with her hair brushed straight and shiny and midnight eyes that seemed to see far beyond the skin.

“Perhaps you enjoy smelling like something from the garbage.”

The rocking increased.

Logic said he needed to get a Psy-Med specialist in here as fast as possible. But Kaleb knew he wasn’t going to do that. He trusted very, very few people and he trusted no one when it came to her. Since his current approach wasn’t bearing the results he wanted, he shifted focus with the ease of a man who had no emotional attachment to a decision.

“Your lips are cracked and it’s clear you haven’t had enough fluids for at least twenty-four hours.” In the split second that he’d teleported into the white-on-white room where she’d been held, the overhead light cutting in its torturous brightness, he’d seen the bottles thrown at the wall, the liquid soaked into the floor.

His initial assumption had been that the painful brightness was a normal part of her existence, but it may have been a punishment, her captors attempting to break her will. That it wasn’t already  broken. . . yes, it said something about the woman who refused to interact with him on any level.

“If you wanted to kill yourself,” he said, watching for even the most minor response to the brutal words, “there are easier ways than dying of thirst. Or aren’t you intelligent enough to work that out?”

The rocking accelerated further.

“I can as easily pin you to the wall and force the water down your throat. I won’t even need to touch you.”

She hissed at him, dark blue orbs glinting behind the tangled mass of her hair.

He didn’t move, didn’t betray any reaction to the fact that she’d responded in some fashion at last, even if it was nonverbal. “Drink it. I won’t ask again.”

Still she resisted. Unexpected. Her mind might be broken, but it wasn’t—had never been—unintelligent. No, her intellect was so piercing, her teachers had struggled to keep up with her. She had to be aware that refusing him wasn’t an option. The power of a cardinal telekinetic was vast. He could crack every bone in her body with a fleeting thought, crush those bones into dust if he so chose. Even if she no longer understood that, she’d experienced his strength when he teleported her from her cell and to his home; she had to comprehend her precarious situation.

Her eyes flicked to the glass in his hand, teeth biting down on her badly cracked lower lip. Yet she didn’t reach for the water she so patently needed. Why?

He took a moment to think, consider the circumstances in which he’d found her. “It’s not drugged,” he said, talking to a face that held no recognition, no sign that she remembered their final blood-soaked encounter, an encounter where she’d screamed for so long and in such agony she’d caused damage to her throat that would’ve needed medical attention to repair.

“Infused with the minerals and vitamins that you need,” he continued, “but not drugged. You’re no use to me in a coma.” Holding her gaze when it finally connected with his, he took a healthy swallow of the water, then held out the glass.

It was snatched from him a second later. He’d teleported in another full glass from the kitchen before she finished the first. She emptied them both. Getting rid of the glass with a negligible use of his telekinesis, he rose from his crouched position in front of her. “Do you want to eat first or shower?”

She stared up at him, eyes narrowed.

“Fine, I’ll make the decision for you.” He brought in a plate of fresh, uncut fruit, as well as a thick slice of bread spread with butter and honey. It wasn’t the kind of food he ate—like most Psy, he lived on nutrition bars, for Silence thrived in the absence of sensation, and taste was a powerful one.

His guest’s Silence, however, had been shattered a lifetime ago. Sensation might well be the key to bringing her back from the mental wasteland where she’d retreated, her personality and abilities entombed. Teleporting in a knife, he sliced the bread into four smaller pieces, then, going down on his haunches, held the plate out to her. She stared for over a minute before selecting a piece not in the quick jab he’d expected, but with measured deliberation.

So, her captors hadn’t starved her. She’d chosen not to eat.

It took no effort to reach out with his mind, set the water to boil in the kitchen, prepare a mug of tea just hot enough that she could sip it. He dumped three teaspoons of sugar in the mug before bringing it in for her. This time, she didn’t hesitate, cuddling the mug to her chest.

Heat.

Realizing she was cold, he adjusted the thermostat to further warm up the already warm room. She didn’t react except to take another quarter of the bread. As she ate with slow neatness, he had the sense he was being evaluated. It would’ve been easy to jump to the conclusion that she wasn’t as broken as she appeared, that this was all a clever act, but the fleeting moments he’d spent in her mind told a far different story.

She’d been splintered from the inside out.

The intelligence that judged him at this instant was more akin to the primal hindbrain that existed within every civilized being, the part that knew how to identify predator from prey, danger from safety. It wasn’t the level of function he needed from her, but it was better than total catatonia or actual physical brain damage.

Her brain was fine. It was her mind that was broken.

Picking up an apple, he went to cut it, but her eyes flicked left to the grapes. He didn’t say a word, simply put down the apple and turned the plate so the grapes were close to her hand. She ate four, took a sip of tea, and stopped.

Half a slice of bread, four grapes, two glasses of water, and a sip of tea.

It was a better result than he might have initially predicted.

“I’ll leave this here for you,” he said, rising to put the plate on the small table on the far side of the bed. “If you want more, or something different, you’ll have to get it from the kitchen yourself.”

That got her attention.

The subtle rocking that had restarted when he rose to his feet stopped, and he knew she was listening. He had read Psy-Med Journals in preparation for the eventuality that she was broken when he found her, had even sat in remotely on countless lectures on the subject, but where the specialists recommended quiet, calm, gentle interaction, he knew the primitive mind behind those eyes of midnight blue would see right through such an act.

He was the monster that stalked nightmare, and they both knew it.

“You can move around the house as you please,” he told her, calculating how many years it had been since she’d been allowed any kind of freedom. The entire span of her captivity? If so, in this he could understand the impact on her psyche better than any stranger with psycho-medical training.

“The reason this room has no windows,” he said, answering the question she hadn’t asked, but that had to be at the surface of her consciousness, “was to negate the possibility of panic on your part at being removed from a closed environment.”

Her shoulders stiffened. Perhaps, he thought, there was more than an animal mind present within the fragile shell of her body. Perhaps. “If you prefer another room, choose it. For now, the bathroom is through there.” He pointed to the door on the other side of the bed, having deliberately chosen the smallest suite in the house for the same reason he’d given for the lack of windows.

He’d built the suite for her, for this exact possibility.

It was impossible to predict how she might react to the wide-open vista that encircled the house. He had no neighbors within screaming distance . . . further. The one side not bounded by grassy fields housed the terrace—and it was flush up against a jagged gorge. A terrace, he realized all at once, that had no railings, and could be reached by any number of rooms in the house, including the bedroom across from this one.

He was already retrieving the supplies to fix that oversight as he spoke. “If you wish to continue to smell like a pigsty, that’s your choice. However, when I get sick of the stink, I’ll simply teleport you into the shower, clothes and all, and turn on the water while pouring liquid soap over your head.”

The rocking had stopped totally by now.

“There are civilian clothes for you in the closet.” Not every piece would fit her emaciated frame, but she’d have enough for the time being. “If you’re attached to your institutional uniform”—a white smock, white pants, both filthy—“there’s a clean set in the dresser.” He’d sourced it a few minutes ago from a medical facility that would never notice the lack.

The woman in the corner remained mutinously silent.

Turning, he walked to the door, his fingers playing over the tiny platinum star in his pocket. “It’s after midnight. Sleep if you wish—if not, the house is yours to explore. I’ll be on the terrace.” He left without further words. This chess game was the most important of his life, each move as critical as the next. Those who’d held her captive had treated her as one might a dumb animal, but she was not that. No, she was far more gifted a prize. One he would do nothing to jeopardize.

As he would make no final decisions.

Not yet. Not until he knew how much of her they’d broken.

Kaleb could’ve built the barrier between the terrace and the gorge using his telekinetic abilities, but he stripped, changed into thin black sweatpants designed to keep the body cool and took on the task manually. As a Tk, energy was his lifeblood, but right now, he had an excess of it—not on the psychic plane, but on the physical.

Had he been human or changeling, the sudden spike in his energy levels might’ve been put down to excitement in achieving the goal that had been his driving force for seven years, in having her in his home and within reach. But he wasn’t a member of the emotional races. He was Psy and he was Silent, his emotions conditioned out of him when he’d been a child. His path to that Silence had been erratic at times, but the end result was the development of a coolly rational mind that held no shadow of fear or hope, anguish or excitement.

He had once had a large structural flaw in his conditioning, a bone-deep fracture in his Silence, but that had been in another life. The fracture had sealed to adamantine hardness, the weak spot morphing into the strongest part of his Silence, but he knew that behind the stone, the fault remained.

The day it no longer did . . . it was better for the world if that didn’t come to pass.

Wiping the sweat off his brow with his forearm, he turned up the voltage on the outdoor lights and began to drill in the screws that would ensure the metal barrier he was putting in place wouldn’t collapse even in a major earth tremor. He hadn’t searched so long for his quarry to lose her through a lack of preparation.

Even as he concentrated on the task, he kept an ear open for his guest. Some would say “prisoner” was the more apt term, but the words didn’t matter. Only the fact that she was in his grasp.

CRASH!

Drill abandoned, he’d teleported into her room before he consciously processed the violence of sound.



Chapter 2


The dresser mirror against the wall opposite the bathroom door lay smashed, shards of glass on the carpet, on the bed, on her as she sat hunched in the center of that bed. A smeared streak of wet red sliced her cheek from where a splinter had flown directly at her, but she appeared otherwise uninjured.

Not far from the mirror lay the broken pieces of the mug she’d used to shatter the glass, the spilled tea a rusty stain on the dresser itself and on the pale rug that covered the polished wood of the floor.

Kaleb didn’t ask for the reason behind her behavior. “Stay still.” Gathering up the larger fragments of glass, he teleported them out into the waste receptacle. He knew a teleporter who could take blood itself out of carpet, but Kaleb’s ability worked on a larger scale. He could cause an earthquake that would devour a city, rip an airjet out of the sky with his mind, even create a tidal wave—what he could not do was pick up every tiny sliver of glass.

“You can’t stay in this room,” he said. “Not until it’s been cleaned.”

She shifted to press her back against the headboard in silent rebellion. Since forcing her compliance would run counter to his intention to win her trust, he reworked the situation, came up with another viable solution. “Hold on.”

His guest let out a surprised gasp, grabbing at the sheets as the entire bed lifted a foot off the floor. Holding it and the other furniture aloft, Kaleb used his Tk to roll up the thick rug that ran the entire length of the room and covered ninety percent of the floor. There appeared to be no shards on the floor itself, but he walked around the room to make certain before returning to his position by the door, the rolled-up rug at his feet.

Gauging the impact of the stains caused by the tea, he accessed a visual file he made certain to keep up-to-date and, using the image as a lock, teleported the rug straight into the incinerator of the region’s central waste processing and recycling plant.

Neither his DNA nor hers could be permitted to fall into the wrong hands.

He had her lifted off the sheets and the bedding rolled up and in the same incinerator before she realized what was happening. Placing her back on the now-stripped bed, he brought in a spare rug from the storage space under the house and rolled it out. “Try not to damage this one,” he said as he resettled the bed. “It’s hand-knotted silk.”

A vivid blue swirled with cream and a hint of indigo, he’d bought it five years ago, when his companies first started turning profits that went well beyond what even the most conservative individual would consider a healthy safety margin. “Is there anything else you’d like to destroy? Do it now so I can catch the shrapnel.”

The woman on the bed stared at him, before doing something he hadn’t anticipated. She picked up the small vase on the bedside table and threw it at something above his head. He ducked, turning just in time to stop the projectile from impacting with the tiny sensor light that gave away the position of the fire alarm.

As the vase hovered in front of the blinking red light, he began to comprehend the very rational reason behind her apparently irrational act. “It’s not a camera. And the mirror was just a mirror.” Even as he spoke, he understood that she wasn’t going to believe him. The alarm would be in pieces the instant he walked out the door, even if she had to use every projectile in the room to smash it.

Returning the vase to the table, he reached up to remove the alarm from the wall, his height—unlike hers—more than sufficient for the task. The removal wouldn’t compromise her safety; he’d make certain of that fact. Task complete, he got rid of the device and once more faced the woman who hadn’t taken her eyes off him since he appeared in the bedroom. “Anything else?”

Her gaze went to the recessed ceiling light.

“I take that out,” he said, “and you’ll be in the dark.”

No change in her focus.

Since the battle wasn’t a crucial one in this war, he ’ported in a small table lamp from another part of the house. “Go over that.”

She took her time doing so, but when she turned it on rather than attempt to destroy it, he judged her satisfied that it wasn’t rigged with surveillance equipment. Dismantling the ceiling light, he scanned the room for anything else that might read as suspicious to her mind. Nothing stood out, and, given the areas on which she’d focused, it was likely she’d already checked the walls and visually examined the ceiling.

Categorically not a mind functioning on the animal level alone, regardless of what he’d seen of her twisted mental pathways.

Walking into the bathroom on that thought, he removed both the light and a ceiling-mounted heat lamp, replacing them with a tall, freestanding waterproof lamp she could take apart if necessary. The mirror went, too, and he removed the fine grille on the airflow system so she could see there was nothing beyond but a silent fan meant to mitigate condensation.

By the time he returned to the terrace, his skin had cooled, but it heated up quickly enough, even in the light breeze coming off the trees on the other side of the gorge. With each screw he drilled into place, he considered the room where she’d been held, the probable response of her captors when they’d lost the feed from her cell to sudden static. It would’ve lasted mere seconds, left them staring at the image of an empty room after it cleared.

The static was a useful tool he’d discovered as a teen while experimenting with his abilities. The sheer strength of his telekinesis meant he put out a low-level “hum” that wasn’t discernible to humanoid ears, but that made animals uneasy and messed with technology. He had it under control now, of course. The only time he permitted the hum to escape his shields was when he needed to obfuscate his presence in front of a camera or to otherwise disrupt technological surveillance. It was an aspect of his abilities known to only one other living individual aside from Kaleb.

Nevertheless, given the speed of the teleport, his guest’s captors would suspect the involvement of a high-level Tk, and there were very few of them in the pool, but no one would know it had been Kaleb. Not until he was ready.

And then they would beg for mercy.

Even the most powerful, most Silent begged in the end, the conditioning cracking in the face of a scrabbling panic that blinded them to the fact Kaleb had no mercy in him.

The final screw in place, he packed up his equipment and teleported it away. It was odd to see the terrace surrounded by metal railings—they allowed a view out from between the bars, but no entry to the black maw of the gorge. Not even his guest was thin enough to fit in the spaces between the bars.

Sir.

The polite telepathic knock belonged to Silver, his aide and a member of the quietly influential Mercant family.

He opened the telepathic channel. What is it? He didn’t remind her that he’d asked not to be disturbed—Silver wouldn’t be going against his express orders unless it was necessary.

There’s been an attack against a small think tank in Khartoum. The think tank had just announced the parameters of its next research project: the benefits to Psy of greater political cooperation and social interaction with humans and changelings.

So, he thought, the next volley had been shot in the civil war that loomed over the PsyNet. How many dead?

All ten of those in the building at the time. A poisonous gas introduced into their air supply.

Has Pure Psy claimed responsibility? The radical pro-Silence group had gone quiet in the aftermath of its decisive defeat in the California region at the hands of a force comprised of the SnowDancer wolves and the DarkRiver leopards, as well as Psy who looked to the two Councilors in the area—Nikita Duncan and Anthony Kyriakus—for guidance. The humans, too, had joined in the resistance to Pure Psy’s attempt to seize control of the greater San Francisco and Sierra Nevada region, leading to an alliance that crossed racial boundaries Pure Psy wanted to maintain at all costs.

Such a motive seemed to run counter to the group’s avowed focus on the PsyNet, but underlying Pure Psy’s outwardly “rational” rhetoric was the belief that the Psy were superior to the other races, that if their people would only seal the cracks that had begun to appear in the foundations of the Silence Protocol, they would once again be the most powerful race on the planet.

Any attempt to better integrate the Psy populace with the humans and changelings was thus seen not only as an attack against the Protocol, but as a threat to the genetic superiority of the Psy race. It was an unsound premise. Kaleb knew the Psy were as flawed as the humans or changelings—he’d come of age in rooms ripe with the scent of congealing blood, screams echoing in his ears; he knew the dark underbelly of their race had simply been buried, not erased.

Confirmed, Silver said after a short delay. Pure Psy has taken responsibility for the poisoning, and the claim was public. She sent him a visual, her telepathy strong enough that it was crisp, clear.

The side of the building owned by the think tank had been emblazoned with the image of a star with the letter P at the center. The P was white, the area around it black. Below were the words Absolution in Purity, JOIN US.



This is new, he said to Silver.

Yes. It’s the first appearance of this decal.

A decal. That explained how the Pure Psy operatives had been able to put it up so fast. He wondered if the religious undertone was intentional. Vasquez, the faceless man at the head of Pure Psy since Councilor Henry Scott’s demise, might be a fanatic, but he was a smart fanatic, as evidenced by the fact that no one had been able to dig up any verifiable details about his physical appearance. Now, even as he decried those whose Silence was fractured, who believed emotion was not the enemy of the Psy race, he used an emotive call to arms.

Clever.

Or psychotic.

Why hasn’t this news hit the Net? Kaleb might have been distracted over the past few hours, but his mind continued to scan the pathways of the Net, and he’d heard nothing of what was a significant act of aggression.

Bad timing, answered Silver’s mental voice. Pure Psy operatives must’ve finished putting up the decal seconds before an Enforcement vehicle cruised down the street and spotted it. The officers became suspicious, checked the building, and discovered the bodies.

As a result, the external processing is being completed while the city sleeps, the decal removed. The only reason I have the data is because of a cousin high in Enforcement Command in the country—they’ve managed to black out the incident as far as the media are concerned.

The failure to gain Netwide exposure would only incite Pure Psy to further acts of lethal violence. Is your contact any closer to infiltrating the inner circle? While Pure Psy was doing an excellent job of creating the instability he needed for his current endgame, the group was a rogue element. Kaleb preferred iron control in all things.

No. Vasquez is very, very careful.

Continue to monitor the situation in Khartoum. Keep me updated.

Yes, sir.

Hearing a tiny sound at his back as he closed the telepathic link, he walked to the railing instead of turning, his eyes on the impenetrable depths of the gorge.

The lights went off a second later, leaving the terrace lit only by the stars, the moon at full dark tonight.

Bare feet padding on the wood of the terrace, a whisper of scent, clean and fresh, a flutter of green as she came to stand beside him—though she left a good three meters of distance between them. Dressed in a green T-shirt and soft gray pajama pants, she’d clearly washed her hair, but it hung tangled and knotted around her face, hiding her profile from him as she closed her fingers around the bars, squeezing the cold of the metal so hard her skin turned ghostly white.

“It’s only a prison,” he said, “so long as you aren’t in control of your mind.” If he dropped the shields in which he’d encased her, she became vulnerable to even the weakest of their brethren, her mind shorn of its protective coating. “Rebuild your shields and I’ll set you free.”

It was a lie.

He would never let her go.

Copyright © 2013 by Nalini Singh
OUT JUNE 4th!!
 E-book: Kindle, ITunes, Nook 

International Editions
June 6th (UK Hardcover/E-book, Commonwealth E-book) 
 June 11th (Aus/NZ Print Edition)
June 13th (German)

200 comments:

lalalande said...

OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDD!!!
Hyperventilating and squeeing at the same time!
*Ignores co-workers*

Thank you Nalini !!!

Peta Stuart said...

Wow - worth the wait. I hope the e book comes out worldwide on the 4th and us poor Aussies don't have to wait the extra week. I don't think I'll cope with more waiting

Mary Ann said...

Thank you Nalini! It's my favorite bad boy Kaleb! Can't wait to get the book. I've already spread the word that nothing gets done until the book is read. I guess being unemployed DOES have advantages!

sharon said...

Now this is a reveal! Thank you. Is it release day yet?Is it?!?!

Ayaba said...

Thanks Nalini for the excerpt. June 4 can't come early enough at this point

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant! I can't wait for the book. Although it ruins my theory that the heroine is Siennas mum who wasn't really dead!

Lege Artis said...

Thank you, Nalini! June 4th can't come fast enough!

Lyn said...

Thanks Nalini!
its a great teaser..now I'll be counting down the days! :p

Lexi said...

YES!!! I'm so glad I was right on one point, it is about Kaleb!!! Can't wait to find out who the female protagonist is!!! Thanks for the small spoiler!

Lexi,

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! the very first word and bam! instant gratification! thanks nalini!

p.s. yay los angeles tour stop!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much!

Benedicte Denmark said...

This is an appetizer in the most tempting form. I look forward to the rest of the book. Can hardly wait.....

Ann-Catrin Sköld said...

Oooooooooo!

Wow! Just...WOW!!
Trying to keep quiet at work while reading the excerpt was NOT easy.:)

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God! Thank you so much!!! I can't wait to read this book

Anonymous said...

*trying not to scream and bounce in my chair but failing miserably* thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you !!!!! but, wait?! who's the girl?!?!?!

Elle said...

Thank you so much! So excited! But whose the girl?! I need a name!

Anonymous said...

Now I'm late for work!

Rahz said...

You had me at Heart Of Obsidian lol :) trying not to jump up and down in chair.

Davina Shadows said...



omfg
it's so awesome
and gives a lot of informations but still so excited how may be the heroine
still hope it's not Sahara even if I don't know why

can't wait for the 4th of June <3
you are an adorabele, awesome writer Nalini thx a lot

Anonymous said...

wow just awesome. Cant wait for the whole book and i noticed tat u didnt reveal whether she is a changeling or Psy but i have a wild notion tat she might have both changeling and Psy powers.......

i dont know i will concentrate on anything till i finish of the book....

Mahalakshmi.

Diane b said...

Now that is a teaser! Now to wait patiently! Gah!!!

Anonymous said...

It has left me even more curious now! I though it would be about Alice and Aden! But i like Kaleb so it's a treat!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nalini! Have always been curious about Kaleb.

Ina said...

Thank you so much, Nalini!!!!
I'll count the days until June 4!!!!
Ina

TJ Wells said...

WOW! I am so excited :) but there are still so many questions left to be answered! Someone mentioned they thought the girl was going to be Kristine- Sienna's mum and I kinda thought that too. But now...? Can't wait till June. Thanks Nalini- ur a champ! :)

Rochan said...

thanks you so much! I can hardly wait!

midnight rainbow said...

Ha!! I knew this one would be kalebs story. Thank you for the preview. Can't wait for the release date. You're close to Australia, ever going to tour here?!

Garyllene said...

I doubt that the ' she' is Kristin.

' She was still a bare five feet, two inches . . . or so he judged. '(Kaleb)

From this sentence, I think the girl is still growing up 7 years ago, when she disappeared, maybe 16 or 17.
I always thought Kristin was a full grown up ( since she was older than Judd) so that cannot be her. I don't know why, but I really think 'she' is actually Sahara. I would be very disappointed if its not her.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. That tease was soooooo goooooddd!!!! Can't wait for this book. So how soon are we going to get the next psy-changeling book? Who's it going to be about? Questioins, questions. You are a fabulous author Nalini. So happy my friend found you and then introduced you to me. I wish you continued success.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this!! I can't wait for Kaleb's story. I had hoped his heroine would be Alice but the eyes don't match, so now I'm hoping for Sahara. :D In Faith/Vaughn's book it was said that Sahara had been missing for 5 years, right? And it could have been two years since their book, right? So that makes 7 - and what do you know.. Kaleb has been searching for his heroine for 7 years. Here's to hoping! :D

bookeateer said...

Dear Nalini: you are one of my favorite writers by the quality of your stories and the attention and respect you give to your readers... thank you for these wonderful two chapters... I have to confess that I am in love with Kaleb (sorry Hawke was nice while it lasted)

Fiona Mackintosh said...

I actually just did the victory dance of joy. Go Kaleb. Go Kaleb :p ... heading over to read the post about the Arrow Squad ... Although I just re-read every book in the series in prep for this one coming out, it never hurts to get another reader's perspective :) ... now if I could just figure out who his HEA is :p

Anonymous said...

But if Sahara is part of the nightstar clan shouldn't her hair be red? Not black?

Arashi said...

When I clicked on the link I coulnd't breathe for few second then here I was grinning like an idiot... :D

I was expecting this story to be Kaleb's...so you really made my day, can't wait for the 4th June!!!

In the meantime, re-reading the Psy-Changeling series...

Showanda said...

OMG!! I think I should have waited because now June 4th is way to long to wait. I loved it and read it way to fast. I was still scrolling looking for more. I will be at the book store when they open. :D

KB/KT Grant said...

Kaleb is still mine though ;P

H Brady said...

Fantastic excerpt... BUT what if more of Kaleb is being revealed AND his 'guest' is the main story with someone else. That would be a true teaser!!

Terri said...

Whhhheeeew... totally worth the wait, and it's TOTALLY going to kill me, waiting for the rest! You're one author in a billion, Nalini, to do this for your readership, and we love you for it! I KNEW it would be Kaleb... but you're definitely the mistress of keeping everybody on edge! Simply can't wait. :)

Anonymous said...

Wheeeee!! Kaleb and Alice!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!!!

Benevolent Goddess said...

Ok, you win. I can handle the wait now. You've made him very human and very angry without letting him know just how angry and human he is. Well done. Also, nice deck building. It's nice to know he's handy.

Anonymous said...

Loved it! I think the "she" is Sahara NightStar. Her eye color and red highlights in her hair would be further clues that she is a cousin of Faith's.

It can't be Alice. She's is in the SnowDancer infirmary and they wouldn't have been abusing and torturing her as this girl clearly was. The physical descriptions don't match either. Alice also has shorn, short hair and this girl's hair is down to her waist and matted and filthy. SD wouldn't treat Alice that way.

Anonymous said...

It's really unlikely that it is Kristine. Kristine killed herself when Sienna was around 15. Sienna is now 20 so Kristine would have been "missing" for about 5 years. Kaleb has been searching for 7 years.

Karen Alexander said...

Excellent excerpt!! Very excited for the release. Thank you Nalini!!

I have a guess on who "she" is but I'm probably completely wrong. Gonna go do some research now :D

Anonymous said...

Yay, I was right. It's Kaleb. Now who's his heroine...?

fishgirl182 said...

yes! i love kaleb. who is this mystery woman? can't wait to read the rest and see you in l.a. soon, nalini. :)

Catherine Herrera said...

I think I should re-read one of the earlier books to jog my mind when Kaleb was first mentioned - because I seem to recall a passage about him being involved in the disappearance of swan changeling..so I thought whoever he would be paired with in the future, it would not be Psy...however it seems to be going that way from hints in the chapters :-)

I'm glad I can put some of my wild speculations to rest...thanks heaps for putting this out...

Anonymous said...

~Anonymous said...
wow just awesome. Cant wait for the whole book and i noticed tat u didnt reveal whether she is a changeling or Psy but i have a wild notion tat she might have both changeling and Psy powers.......~

The chapter did specify what species the heroine is. She is Psy. "His guest's silence, however, had been shattered a lifetime ago. Sensation might well be the key to bringing her back from the mental wasteland where she'd retreated, her personality and abilities entomed."

My theory is also Sahara Nightstar. Although the hair is not pure red, there is red in her haid. Kaleb describes the color as "rich black interwoven with unexpected strands of red-gold."

Phenomenal beginning. Kaleb is going to be well worth the near twelve year wait for his story. Such an amazing character.

Anonymous said...

Now i'm late for work but so worth it!!!!

Nanik said...

Oh, thank you!! I am sooooo delighted with this two chapters!!

I feel like a kid who just got his Christmas gift :) But I still have to wait for the release date!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's been a 12 year wait for Kaleb's story. The first book, Slave to Sensation, was out in 2006. Remember, Nalini was publishing 2 per year for awhile there and the first book Kaleb is even mentioned is #2, so maybe more like a 5 year wait. Still plenty long enough! So excited to read his story.

Yvette Brooks said...

That was GREAT!!! I can't wait until this book comes out!!! ^_^

Raelene said...

I am so ready for this book to come out! I am getting goose bumps just thinking about reading it.

Carmella said...

Omg!!! OK is Kalab the "ghost"?.... because of his control over the net my and the dark mind I am thinking he is the ghost. And I too thought the unknown lady was Kristin because of the description of the woman's hair. Considering how PSY hid Alice away and I don't think it was ever written that the Laurn family knows the details of Kristin's suicide.

Anonymous said...

Thank You, Nalini. Now I will impatiently wait for June 4. I have been sure that Kaleb would open this book, because of the ending of Tangle of Need. I was sure you wouldn't leave us hanging too long. I've assumed he was hunting for a Psy, since he was hunting on the net and asking the Netmind and Darkmind. I think that Kristin's suicide has been well enough described that we can assume she is dead.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought Kristin committed suicide by jumping off a bridge and when she jumped she was saying that she was finally free. I could be mistaken. I'm finally convinced the heroine must be Sahara after I re-read the chapters with the comment in the last full paragraph "she became vulnerable to even the weakest of their brethren". Psy to Psy being brethren. Absolutely cannot wait for the book. Thank you Nalini for giving us a little glimpse into this much awaited book.

Anonymous said...

Carmella I have believed for a long while that Kaleb is Ghost. The scene where Kaleb is describing the fracture that is deeply hidden in his conditioning is very telling for me...

~He had once had a large structural flaw in his conditioning, a bone-deep fracture in his Silence, but that had been in another life. The fracture had sealed to adamantine hardness, the weak spot morphing into the strongest part of his Silence, but he knew that behind the stone, the fault remained.
The day it no longer did . . . it was better for the world if that didn’t come to pass.~

This passage reminded me so much of the one fro Visions of Heat, describing the moment Faith sensed the crack made from the Ghost in the Psy Net.

~But there were cracks in the shield. She touched a finger to one crack, and knew that was Judd. The one next to it, Walker. And not far from them, Sascha. So many fine, fine cracks. The most isolated one, the newest . . . no, this was the very first, but it was hidden, hidden deep. And it was male, powerful, so very powerful. “Oh,” she whispered, realizing who it was she touched. “The Ghost.”
When the most notorious rebel in the Net broke his Silence, the shield would well and truly shatter.~

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ms Singh! For the sneak peak! Can't wait for the rest of the story. You're a wonderful writer! I'm rereading the series to see what clues are out there so I can see if I can figure out who the herione is. Plus it will keep me busy until the book comes out. Thanks again Ms Singh!

Anonymous said...

wow ... what an amazing start to this story!!! I honestly haven't been so riveted in quite a while!!!
Thanks Nalini for this early look at what is promising to be a great book!!!
I can't wait to read the whole book ... any chance I can bribe you for an early copy???

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm glad it's Kaleb and can't wait to read the book but I won't be able to get it yet because I don't care for hard covers and both it and the e-book are going to be too expensive for me right now :(

Susan said...

Wow!! That is gripping! I can't wait!! Thank-you :D

AJ said...

Yes! I'm so glad that it is Kaleb's book! Now, if I could just find out who the heroine is :) Can't wait for June 4th - too far away especially now that my appetite has been so whetted!

@ Anonymous: try your local library - mine has all of Nalini's books! That way you won't have to wait for the paperback. I'll be getting the ebook because I am not patient enough to wait my turn for the library's copy - lol

Sel said...

Definitely looking forward to this one! I really enjoyed the process of Judd's Silence coming down, although his was more emotionally-based due to his exposure to Snow Dancer. So the prospect of Kaleb's Silence coming down is fascinating.

This will certainly be interesting - I'm guessing the book will be Psy vs. Psy at all levels: relational, emotional, political...

Thanks so much for the sneak preview!

Anonymous said...

Wooot Wooot!!!!! I'm soooo happy this is Kaleb's story :D I too still say the 'she' is Sahara. Oh lawd! Oh lawd! June 4th is too far away!!!

Erin S. Burns said...

Almost ridiculously excited. Have to reread the series this weekend in preparation.

azteclady said...

I wonder if there is a way to use the "more" blog function to hide the excerpt from those who don't want to read it (all one or two of them, but still). Right now, there's not "click through to see it", it's all in the main blog page.

Always V said...

♥ O ♥ M ♥ G ♥

♥ K ♥ A ♥ L ♥ E ♥ B ♥

Whoever HIS GUEST IS ♥

I'm falling in love with her

totally.

She'll UNSILENT KALEB ♥

♥ SWEET ♥ Umm ~ yup ~ PERFECT ♥


Ah ~ man ~ can't wait for

HER CAPTORS TO BEG !!!

♥ KALEB ♥ has no mercy ♥

This story will be a MASTERPIECE ♥

No doubt whatsoever!

Dot said...

Thanks again Nalini, you do help to make the world a better place by writing such wonderful stories that we can find hope in and by being so generous.

Alright, I admit it. You’ve completely spoiled me and I LOVE it!! The two chapters are terrific and I am already emotionally attached. What an opener and what a story this will be. I just have one question. Are you going to give your legions of fans an excuse to miss work on the 4th or whatever day HOO comes out in an area? Hey, maybe we ought to call it Kaleb’s Day and declare it a national holiday. :D

BTW I too think the heroine is Sahara.

Nae said...

Squeee!!
This is so exciting. I can't stand the wait!

Anonymous said...

I thought Dingy mentioned in an interview that Ghost's story would be the last in the story arc. So that would mean that Kaleb can't be Ghost. I'm not sure if it's Sahara but part of me is hoping it's someone completely new. Anyways, thanks for the excerpt and can't wait for June 4th!

Ena Ybanez said...

OMG!!! *joins fellow fans in hyperventilating* Thanks for this excerpt. Just what I needed to brighten a dismal day. Looking forward to June 4 :) I <3 Kaleb :)

Anonymous said...

I agree about checking your library, but would suggest you check now. Our library adds them to the catalog when they order, and then lets you enter a hold request. There are already 14 on the book now and 5 copies on order, so people will be waiting.

I loved the first two chapters, but there are still lots of unanswered questions. Also, I think there may be more than one story line, and couple in the book. Just like with Kiss of Snow where Walker and Lara were included.

I'm curious about Riley and Mercy, and the 'pupcubs'. Wondering why Faith was so very amused?

Kathy Dennis said...

I don't care what I am reading when this releases, I will stop immediately!! I am so excited to read this book.

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT! I was totally convinced that Alice would be Kalebs heroine. Any chance this mystery woman is not his mate but someone from his childhood, a sister maybe? His only surviving relative? I too think he is the Ghost. And he brings an end to the psy net not the books...hopefully, right? AHHHHHH, I can't handle the wait..need answers!!!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!!! I can't wait for more!!

Surwat said...

You started with my favourite word KALEB.....I've been obsessed by him from the start

Can't wait to read the rest

Dianne R said...

This is AWESOME. And wonderful. And brilliant. And WOW thank you so much. 3 weeks is too far away! I don't know how I'll be able to cope with the wait

Anonymous said...

Great chapters, looking forward to the book. :D

Kimbellie said...

can't wait to get this either in my hands or on kindle....i'm so excited about this one

Stephanie.P said...

and?

AND?????

WHO IS SHE????

*reaches out and shakes computer screen frantically*

ARGH! I shouldn't have read that. I really shouldn't have read that. I wasn't going to read that. I almost made it 24 hours, but I had a moment of weakness. Why do I do this to myself every time.... *bangs head on desk repeeatedly*

*goes back and reads it again*

I really need a tardis...

Anonymous said...

The guest could still be sienna's mother because the last Kaleb saw of her she was bloody and screaming (maby she survived the fall and was captured by the councle for experiments )

Brenda said...

Yes! I just knew this was going to be Kaleb's story! June 4th can't get here fast enough for me. :)

Now I can't wait to see if I'm right about his heroine.

The moment I get my copy I will put aside whatever I'm reading so I can see what my favorite bad boy is up to. ;)

azteclady said...

I sincerely doubt it could be Kristine Lauren/Sienna's mother--please remember that Kaleb is 27 in Hostage to Pleasure, and it's only a couple of years since then, so he's barely 30.

At the time of their defection, Sienna was 16. We know Psy aren't considered adult until they are 20, it's unlikely Kristine would enter a reproductive agreement before then--or even too son after that--so Kristine would be at least 40, if not older at this point in time.

Somehow, and forgive me for sounding ageist, I don't think that a woman ten years his senior would be Kaleb's weakness--his need to protect her seems too intense.

Angel said...

Thank you Nalini for this peek into HEART OF OBSIDIAN- what a fascinating book it is going to be and I cannot wait to read it! The net is buzzing, who is The Ghost- Kaleb, Vasic, Zaid. It was interesting to watch the walls of Judd's silence fall. I cannot imagine how painful it will be for Kaleb when it happens, for his silence is very strong. I am assuming the women he has "kidnaped" is a new character, however, time will tell! Looking forward to the chat with the Ghost on Thursday! :) Thank you for your generosity of spirit and the wonderful worlds you create for us. I cannot wait to see Kaleb working with Vasic and Judd! What a trio that will be... time to take Ming down! :)

Angel said...

Good one! ". I had hoped his heroine would be Alice but the eyes don't match, so now I'm hoping for Sahara. :D In Faith/Vaughn's book it was said that Sahara had been missing for 5 years, right? And it could have been two years since their book, right? So that makes 7 - and what do you know.. Kaleb has been searching for his heroine for 7 years. " I too had been hoping it was going to be Alice , however, after reading the excerpt I realized it could not be. However, Sahara, now that is interesting,hmmm, 14 more days and we will know!

Novemberbeetle said...

Oh, what a wonderful spoiler!
But this makes me believe that Zaid might be the Ghost and there's (hopefully) a book with him and Alice in the future ;P

Anonymous said...

Thanks AJ I might do that and I don't blame you for not being patient when it comes to Nalini's books. lol

Anonymous said...

I keep asking myself why Kristine would be considered as Kaleb's heroine. Not only was she older than Kaleb but she had two children and her life was pretty normal for a psy. She was a Lauren and that was what made her that little bit different than most psy as it seems all the Lauren siblings and children have always had factures in their silence and so they were never totally silent. Plus Kristine's silence didn't shatter, her inability to cope with her telepathic abilities drove her to suicide. People just don't want to accept that Sienna's mother is dead.

HCABM said...

Hi Nalini, Naptime on June 3rd, because I will be reading at 12am June 4th, Hopefully no true emergencies will arise.

I love the excerpt but I was expecting Kaleb. I cant wait to get his back story though, this should be one hell of a ride.
Take Care
Harriet

Anonymous said...

I think Sahara is the most logical choice given the heroine appears to be psy (reference to her silence being shattered, as commented earlier).
Page 87 of Visions of Heat - Sahara was 16 when she disappeared 5 years ago. Faith also describes her maternal aunt in a care facility as having scratched herself, torn clothing and matted hair. Sounds familiar...

azteclady said...

Sahara fits, except that I can't remember...was she a cardinal? Because the excerpt makes clear reference to blue eyes.

Must re-read Hostage to Pleasure, make sure.

syaffolee said...

Wow. That's a fantastic excerpt. I'm pretty much obsessed with the theories on the PsyNet and the Ghost so I can't wait until the book comes out.

@azteclady According to Visions of Heat, while the NightStar clan is known to produce one or two F cardinals and around ten lower Gradient F-psy each generation, Faith is also considered the most powerful F-psy in her generation. So I don't think Sahara is a cardinal even though it has never been explicitly stated what her gradient was.

azteclady said...

syaffolee: thank you, that's most excellent news!

Anonymous said...

Addition to my comment posted above at 12:02pm - I don't mean that I think the heroine is Faith's aunt, just that the similarity of her symptoms to the presentation of the heroine could be a sign of how insanity manifests in the family/designation or indicative of the "care" provided in a similar type of facility. Was Sahara's designation ever stated?

syaffolee said...

Was Sahara's designation ever stated?

No, but in my interpretation, it's strongly implied that she's an F-psy because her name was brought up when Faith, Vaughn, and Sasha were speculating about vanished F-psy being held captive.

Anonymous said...

I am so looking forward to this book! Every book of yours that I've read has been amazing, and this will be no different. I love that it's about Kaleb (I'm guessing he's the Ghost!!!) and I'm going to take a wild guess and presume that it's Sahara NightStar, after all, there is a higher rate of redheads born in that clan :)
Can't wait to read this book!

Anonymous said...

"She was no longer that girl with her hair brushed straight and shiny and midnight eyes that seemed to see far beyond the skin."

Sienna's mother could by hardly called girl, I think, she was about 35 when she died. Also think she died 4-5 years ago. I believe Sahara is that girl, of course now she is a women
(sorry for my english)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the first 2 chapters Nalini. Now I don't know what I am going to do for the remaining 13 days until book release.

For those who think the girl is Sahara Nightstar, my question is why would Kaleb be so concerned with finding her for 7 years and seem protective of her in his quest for vengence against her captors? I think that the girl is perhaps someone new, definitely Psy although she eats normal food. Maybe related to him? My theory is that the girl will eventually hook up with someone else. I don't think Kaleb is/would be capable of that level of intimacy given he is a double cardinal and probably the most silent of them all. Remember in Tangle of Need it said he was holding the house he lived in for someone else. Maybe he was her legal guardian or perhaps related to her somehow. We know so little of Kaleb's parents and potential half siblings. Well in less than a fortnight, all will be revealed!!

Sue said...

Ohhhhhhh my Lord - I think I'm in love with Kaleb!!
I can't wait - June 4th can't come soon enough. Kindle already primed and ready to go. Thanks Nalini - you're a star! Sue Wellby
BST 15:10 United Kingdom

Anonymous said...

Could the mystery woman be a 'sister'? Kaleb could have feelings for a sister or half/sister. Just a thought.

Eithné O'Hanlon said...

so so mean! lol! Can't wait!

IvyT said...

Thank-you Nalini!

Reading the other comments has me wondering if something is wrong with me. I'm not sure that Kaleb's motives are completely altruistic. I get the feeling whoever his guest is, she was once his and Enrique's prey. Probably during one of the gaps in his education (mentioned by Nakita).

Also, he seems possessive to me, not protective. Like his game was interrupted when She was taken.

I'm hoping Kaleb'silence won't be broken, as Judd said, and William (Blaze of Memory) proved, silence is necessary for some Psy - especially a dual Cardinal capable of creating continent-shattering earthquakes.

I thought Zaid would be very old. As a founder of Arrows, say age 25 about 100 years prior. He'd be nearing end of life (I think it was mentioned somewhere that life expectancy was 130).

Anonymous said...

I think, Kaleb want to use Sahara for something, she has probably some special ability.Something with Net I guess. And he want vengeance because someone dare put his hand on Kalebs property.

Anonymous said...

OMG, THANK YOU!!! I'm so frigging hyped it's insane. So happy too this is coming out same day I'll turn in my term paper, so I'll be free to eat that baby whole first thing!! :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the preview.....it will make the next few weeks drag now that we have a small taste.
I wanted a book about Kaleb so bad but was worried he was going to stay 'bad' and I was going to end up hating him for doing something awful. I hope he can come out of the darkness with a wonderful mate. Happy reading everyone!!!!!

Lege Artis said...

@IvyT- I understand what you're trying to say. I would maybe even agree with you on certain level hadn't I read in Lady Lioness's review that started all, this part:

I know there are some die-hard Kaleb fangirls out there and you are going to be very happy. Nalini took a cryptic blank-slate-could-go-either-way character and turned him into a fascinatingly complex man. And, dayum, he's also scorchingly hot. There was one bit on page 131 that had me cranking up the AC.

I think that makes it pretty clear he is one of the good guys. ;)

Taira said...

Many thanks for the preview. I really hoped Heart of Obsidian' would be Kaleb's story. An isn't the title really fitting for him?
But now that his 'guest' seems to be a Psy, whether it is Sahara or an unknown woman, I am irritated with the German cover for the book. Isn't there an eagle of the back of the guy?
The German covers where really fitting so far. And now I begin to wonder, why ... hmmm ...
Na! The mistery will be soon revealed. But now, I kind of really hate the wate! Thanks! ;-)

AJ said...

@Taira I too am confused by the German book cover! I hope reading HoO makes the meaning behind it clear.

So looking forward to this book! Thanks for the excerpt Nalini!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Nalini! You never disappoint, I'm so looking forward to this book about Kaleb! What's better than a complex, haunted character struggling with his emotions and his destiny? Can't wait, though the wait will be a little painful... ;)

PS. Every time I introduce someone to your writing, they understand why you're my favorite! Thank you for being so wonderful! :)

PSS. The heroine is definitely NOT Sienna's mom! I'm content to wait anxiously to find out! (restlessly twitching my fingers and tapping my feet...)

Juli W said...

this will be a wonderful late birthday present to myself! Kaleb's story! WOOHOO!!!!

Mikaela said...

*died* I have a HUGE crush on Kaleb! =0) Have since we met! It's so great to see him again!...I didn't read the previous book yet...*headhanginginshame*

Anonymous said...

* dance of joy * Love the excerpt! Thank you for posting it!

The main recurring thought I had while reading this was -- she has a broken mind, and we know of two little children in Darkriver who together can heal a broken mind. Will they be involved here against the better judgment of the adults in Darkriver who have vowed to let them enjoy their childhood?

Question: one other person knows of Kaleb's ability to create that static field that disrupts technology. Any guesses as to who it is? And will they eventually see the recording and recognize it?

- JB

Debby Parker said...

few tihngs.
*I believe she is Psy because of a few lines
*I think she was not yet over 18 because she didnt grow taller while she was gone, thats a big clue
*I think he will either bring in Sasha or the two kids at some point or somehow they will get involved. and although Snow Dancer might not want to get involved, all he has to do is threaten to unleash an earthquake at the city or state and they would have to cave to at least talk to him. Thats a big waepon he has and he obviously would have no issue threatening itn if she is concerned.
*I question if its a nightstar because it has been hinted that the nightstar is being held by one of the council as their own private future teller. So i think she might be a seperate book. Unless kaleb is about to wipe out Tatiania.
*she might be a psy/swan mix. that would explain why he is so paranoid about anyone getting their DNA. something is up with both their DNA. plus I have always wondered why his house has a cliff only a bird could utalize or a teleporter when its not his house.

Rosenkreuz said...

I am so stoke!!! I almost fell off my chair in excitement when I read the 1st chapter and read Kaleb's name. Afterwards my family just thought I've either gone mad or won some sort of lottery when I started doing a funny dance!! This is just so incredibly Awesome!! I think I'm gonna have a stroke before the book comes out...but before that, I just want to give my thanks to my favorite author..Kudos Nalini!!

Shadow said...

nalini is my favourite author, EVER, for so many reasons, but this...this... just wow!

<3 kaleb and love this exerpt with his heroine. she sounds like she'll be a real, feisty little warrior when she finally trusts enough to open up to him. i can't wait!!!

thank you so much for bringing kaleb's story to light.

Anonymous said...

AHHHHHH! I can't WAIT UNTIL THIS IS RELEASED!!! WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME??? I have been looking forward to this book for AGES and I know that it won't disappoint because you are just awesome.
Why can't the book be released now?
*goes cry in a corner, too many feels*

Anonymous said...

I still think Sahara is the most logical choice - my theory would be that Sahara was having 'dark' visions and stumbled across Enrique and Kaleb - hence the blood soaked room, which is why they cannot have their DNA traced. Maybe one of the changelings is still missing and Kaleb needs Sahara's foresight to locate.
I believe Kaleb is definitely capable of breaking silence, remember Judd is just under cardinal level in both Tk/Tp and the Ghost once told Judd 'You could have ruled' and Judd still broke it. I don't think power level is related to likelyhood or breaking silence (think Sascha/Faith/Sienna/Ashaya). That, and the quote from Faith about the cracks in PsyNet and her touching the powerful crack and saying oh, the Ghost.
Although, there are still unanswered questions, and yes, Kaleb said he was the caretaker of the home and something about there being no rails as it was built for a being with flight - either wings or Tk. The missing Swan? Or judging by the German cover some sought of bird of prey (falcon/hawk/eagle???). Would love to see Sascha help with rebuilding the shields, and Judd, please more Judd, if Kaleb can trust them...
Can't wait for the twists and turns!!! Thanks, Belinda

helen gittings said...

Wow thanks Nalini, I can't wait, but I also think its Sahara nightstar as in one of the earlier books, can't remember which one though, he had to pull his sleeve down to hide a star tattoo or marking I'm sure of it.
Go Nalini, you rule girl xxx

Selena said...

I'm confused! :( I must've have missed something..what happened to Henry??

Judy said...

Selena, what happened to Henry is that Vasic killed him.

I have the first hold on this for my local library, and I have the date it comes out in paperback marked on my calendar. Some things are just too good for e-books.

Nixx H said...

OMG!!!! Cannot wait!!! I love Kaleb and I've suspected that he is the Ghost from nearly the beginning, so hopefully we'll get an answer to that question in the book. Also cannot wait to find out who our heroine is. A lot of theories going around, but I don't care who it is, as long as June 4th gets here asap!!! Keep the great books coming, Nalini!!!

Anonymous said...

If our heroine is Sahara Nightstar then Kaleb may not even need to force Darkriver to help heal her. Faith will almost certainly want to help her cousin, and the Pack won't say no to helping family. Kaleb would owe Darkriver and Anthony Kyriakis would owe Kaleb for finding Sahara, and Kaleb would end up being aligned with the good guys...

Oh,it is so much fun to speculate!

-JB

Anonymous said...

I have been suspecting that Kaden was the Ghost for some time now. He's such a fascinating character. Can't get enough of these Arrows! Keep 'em coming, Nalini! 12 more days!!! I'm actually thinking of asking my employer if I can take the 4th off...

AJ said...

@ Debby Parker & Anonymous: I'm not sure the kids will make an appearance. Kaleb doesn't know about them or their powers, so he has no reason to go to DarkRiver to get that type of help for her.

Anonymous said...

I just pre-ordered this AMAZING book!!!!!!!!!!!!
SOOOOOOO excited to read it!
I've beeen waiting so long for the Kaleb story and soon i'll be holding the book!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this Nalini!

I am going with the girl being swan/psy from when he was Enrique's student. I cannot wait for this to be out in Australia!!! I suspect there is going to be another re-read of the whole series (again) in the next few weeks...

Azeliel said...

The thought of reading Kaleb's whole story is making me restless.*Sigh* This is why I avoided reading this spoiler for a few days but the temptation is too much to bear and quite frankly I'm very much happy that I decided to read this.

Although I'm a bit devastated not knowing who the girl is but at the same time I'm quite grateful it hasn't been revealed yet because I'm not ready to give up Kaleb but if the woman is deserving I might share him to her. *evil laugh* IF she can pass my tests.

Alice said...

I keep seeing references to a swan, but can't remember anything from the books about one. Also, while I do remember references to Kaleb standing on the cliff, I took it to be a reference to it being safe from attack or spying. I don't see how she could be part changling, since psy don't normally interact with changlings on that level or Nikita's deal with Dark River and Sasha's leaving the net wouldn't have been such a big deal. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

I was convinced that the ghost was Kaleb, but upon review, it just seems so straight forward. And Nalini has kept us guessing thru this whole series for it to be so predictable. Having said that, I do hope its him, because I have loved him since we met him. Don't we all love the strong silent bad boy? ;)

Also, has anyone else ever considered the possibility of Nikita having another child? Sascha herself thinks that its strange that she never did. With her light brown skin, and mostly black hair, this 'guest' of Kaleb's could share Nikita's DNA. I'm not completely positive about this, but I so think that it would be quite a twist for Nikita to have a secret child somewhere.

Cassandra B said...

Alice -- I believe the swan changeling is from an earlier book (maybe Visions of Heat or the next) when Nikita is reviewing Kaleb's training record and the information she gathered on him. Apparently a swan changeling went missing near one of Kaleb's trainings with Enrique.

I am a little surprised by some of the comments because this is still romance. While I believe this book may have some dark elements and flawed characters, a male lead (which Kaleb is now) is not going to be completely evil and there is going to be romantic element. I too think She must be Sahara, a completely new character seems unlikely.

According to last night's Ghost chat (Berkely announced on its feed), the Ghost's identity will be revealed in HoO!

Anonymous said...

I can write a dissertation on this, so be warned.

I'm still thinking the Ghost is Kaleb, but my hesitation is the same one already expressed here - he seems too obvious. On the other hand...

Several people have commented after the Ghost's Twitter appearance that he can't be Kaleb because the Ghost said he doesn't have a tattoo. Where does it say Kaleb has a tattoo? In Mine to Possess (Ch. 43), it says Kaleb has a "mark branded onto his forearm". It's called "a mark" in other places, and I took it to mean it had literally been branded into is skin. Frankly, I don't think the people who had him as a child would have done anything as benign as a tattoo. Still, did I miss something somewhere? I promise to make the supreme sacrifice and re-read!

Also noticed, while searching for the reference about the mark, in Hostage to Pleasure (Ch 8), Kaleb thinks that he "had crossed too many lines in the last two decades to balk at one more." That jumped out because of the Ghost's Twitter comment that his campaign's been going on for more than twenty years. Hmmm…

The primary reason I think Kaleb is the Ghost comes from Kiss of Snow (Ch 49). The Ghost is aware that Judd knows who he is, then thinks "Even Father Xavier Perez, the third part of their curious triumvirate, had never made the connection." Given Xavier's history and that he is a human priest, the only ways I can figure that he could know the Ghost's identity would be if (A) he recognized the Ghost as one of the Psy who attacked his village or (B) the Ghost is someone with a high enough profile to be generally recognizable to the public. Since it seems unlikely the attacking Psy (not necessarily Arrows) stopped to introduce themselves, I'm going with (B). That means either a business leader (don't remember any except Anthony and Zie Zen) or a Councilor (Anthony again, or Kaleb). Since Anthony received an email from the Ghost in one of the earlier books, that leaves Kaleb. Again, did I miss anyone?

Those Twitter comments about having a single male relative but no family were interesting. Kaleb is the "unexpected cardinal Tk born of two low-gradient Tps (Visions of Heat), which is suspect. It seems more likely that the birth parents of record were just a front to conceal the fact that someone more powerful had an offspring, or that they were duped and someone played with their “genetic material” in the lab. There has to be some reason Kaleb has nothing to do with them, unless they’re dead and had no other relations. Too much emphasis has been placed on the sanctity of blood in the Net. Sophia’s parents abandoned her, but she was “broken”. Someone of Kaleb’s power would, I’d think, be an asset the family would cling to. Certainly the Council could have taken him, but still…

Anyway, my view is that Sahara Nightstar is Kaleb’s guest. Sahara is powerful but not a cardinal, and she wasn’t necessarily a redhead. Anthony doesn’t have red hair either. If she is Sahara, it’ll be interesting to see Anthony’s reaction. He won’t be happy that someone filched and mistreated one of his F-Psy, and he really won’t be happy if he has a “mole” in the Psy-clan that sold her out. As for her keeper in the net, the most likely candidate seems to be Ming, because he’s done this kind of thing before, or Shoshanna, because Henry once wondered if she had a “pet” F-Psy (hint, hint).

Anonymous said...

http://i78.servimg.com/u/f78/15/84/42/96/lovele11.jpg

I have just found. I do not know if it's true.

Anonymous said...

THE LINK IS A BIG SPOILER!!!

Cally said...

Oh no! I couldn't resist and followed that link! It is a big spoiler! Well, it "spoilered" me to the extent that I could understand with my elementary German!

fay said...

i think kaleb,for the past 7yrs of looking for her and hateing those who took her,dosen`t understand his feelings,cause he shouldn`t feel,but i think he dose and it her her for 7yrs,he loves her but don`t under stand what that is.i can think of a couple different women that fit the part but it mind boggeling.
nilini i can`t wait to read the rest and see just who he LOVES,and don`t know it.
faith
exciting

AJ said...

Wow! That spoiler was hard to get! I had to use Google to translate since my German is non-existent. It came out weird, but I got the gist of it.

So can't wait for June 4th!

Anonymous said...

I speak German (and don't mind spoilers), so thank you to whoever posted the link. It looks legit--from a German book catalog, announcing upcoming books along with their descriptions.
It names the heroine, and it says that Kaleb's reason for freeing her wasn't exclusively political. It builds on that statement by saying that, even though the heroine can't remember her past clearly, Kaleb seems familiar to her. So, I'm saying *huge hint here that there is some previous connection at work between the two of them. Which was actually made clear by the official 2-chapter excerpt as well.
Well then, mystery solved at last, re: the main characters in HoO.
And another thing: Is anyone still doubting, at this point, the Ghost's identity? Really?
~Adnana

Anonymous said...

Ok...here's my final thoughts on the Ghost before this book comes out. I don't think the Ghost is Kaleb. I think the Ghost is either Aden or Vasic and I'm leaning at the moment to it being Vasic. I think the next book will be Aden and Alice. Now this of course could be interchangeable but this is my thoughts until the book comes out next week and we know for sure. :)

M.

Cally said...

Thanks Adnana for the run down on the description from the German catalogue! I gathered as much, but my German's a bit rusty, so I wasn't sure I got all the nuances. As for the Ghost, as far as I can see, there was only ever one person properly in the running, and all the clues so far add up to him. So I doubt Nalini would suddenly pop someone completely random out. Anyhow, we'll find out soon enough. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

I mentioned earlier that my original theory was the heroine was Kristine Lauren. This was more wishful thinking on my part as I just hoped she wasn't really dead, still hoping that she isn't but I think she is properly dead. :-( (Ms Singh if your reading this please prove me wrong and make her alive lol) she would def be too old to be Kalebs heroine but would love her to be alive!
I can't wait to read this book I'm starting to dream about it! I also hope we see Nikita in it I love her!

Anonymous said...

I think it is the lady who was doing the thesis on the one group like Sienna is. She is the only one recently revived and recently introduced. Can't wait for June 4th!!

Anonymous said...

The German Amazon site shows the back cover of the book which confirms the heroine is Faith Kyriakus of the Nightstar clan, so the above link with the excerpt of a German book catalog is probably entirely accurate.

Cassandra B said...

I think perhaps you simply mistyped, but the heroine of HoO is not Faith. I am sure anyone reading this can figure out who it is as the second part of the name is correct.

Anonymous said...

How can faith be the heroine she already had her own book in vision of heat and is mated to vaughn unlesss i misssed something

AJ said...

Just checked the German site to read the back cover. SO exciting! I am having a hard time waiting until the release date. Thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

I think the ghost is marshall the previous council leader because they said he was the first rebel and caleb is only about 28 if that but I'm glad he has his story but I cannot guess who the woman is she may be a new character.But it could be Sahara but I think Judd's sister maybe to old.

syaffolee said...

Where was it written that Marshall was the first rebel? It's my understanding that Marshall is dead after the Ghost bombed his house. Both Nikita and Shoshanna (sworn enemies) confirmed Marshall's death. Both of them saw his remains being tested for DNA in Mine to Possess.

Anonymous said...

It was a mistype. The back of the German cover does indicate the heroine is Sahara Kyriakus.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about Kaleb: was he an Arrow? If not, (I don't remember him being called a former Arrow like Ming), why not? It doesn't make sense that Judd would be co-opted by the squad, but Kaleb wouldn't. Will we get the answer in HoO?

Cassandra B said...

It is never stated that Kaleb is an Arrow, but he was taken in for training at a very young age (not Arrow training as far as we know). And I believe it is in BoJ when the Arrows are thinking of switching to Kaleb's leadership, he teleports a package to an Arrow facility in which the text states only Arrows know about. In the text the only is italized to emphasize the importance (read that part yesterday, so memory is fresh). So, while Kaleb is likely not an Arrow (or at least a regular one), it does seem he has some personal history and knowledge of the squad.

Anonymous said...

@ Cassandra B: Thanks for the info! Interesting. His history is going to be just fascinating.

geek-a-dee said...

I have been waiting for Kaleb's story since he was introduced! I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about this. Can't wait to get my hands on this book. Thank you Nalini Singh!!!

AJ said...

No, Kaleb was not an Arrow. He was slated to be, but Santano Enrique decided to make him his protégé. I just came across that info while re-reading the series.

Anonymous said...

Ok I know a lot of us out there are thinking (or hoping) that Kaleb is the Ghost. But I highly recommend that everyone re read Tangle of Need. There a lot of conversations involving or about Vasic that has me leaning towards him being the Ghost. I do not think that it is Aden- On pg 414 he and Judd are having a conversation before he 'ports away and then the Ghost shows up. I think the most telling moment is when Judd contemplates killing the Ghost as a n act of mercy and of friendship, even though the Ghost doesn't recognize friendship. But Judd goes on the say "will i have the strength to execute a man who is a mirror of who I might've been in another life?"

Vasic knows that he will never be able to have a life like Judd- thats why he killed Henry without Aden's help, because he thinks that Aden has chance whereas he does not. As we already know about Kaleb, he does not want to die like the Ghost does. Especially now that he is going to have his own love story.

Cassandra B said...

There is no implication that the Ghost wishes to die. Judd's speculation is more worry that he will be forced to kill the Ghost if he does something out-of-bounds. I do think Kaleb is the Ghost, but I am fine with the other candidates. As the Ghost does not express suidical thoughts, however, Kaleb cannot be eliminated on this instance.

Anonymous said...

The description for this book that we received states "A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred." From that opening sentence we could assume that Kaleb is the Ghost.

Although I did think the same about Vasic when I read ToN (Anonymous comment above). Also there was something similar to how the ghost spoke in his chat and how Vasic thinks

Having said all this, I do slightly lean more towards Kaleb as the Ghost. But I have no doubt that whoever it is, the way that it is revealed will blow all of our minds

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I am fascinated by the idea of Vasic & Mariska... because as a submissive part of SnowDancer she would know how to help him heal his hurts, plus he would be part of a large family. Not sure how Hawke would take to having another Psy member of the pack...

Also, I think Aden will bond with a Psy since he is so connected with the Psy world. I don't see him pulling a Sophia thing.

Anonymous said...

This e.e. cummings poem is perfect for Kaleb and Sahara:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179622

Elaine Normandy said...

Up at 4:00 am so I could start reading at 5:30 am. I finished at 9:30 am. It more than met my very high expectations, with a satisfactory end to the main story arc.

neia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
neia said...

**SPOILER**(-ish) I just finished it...WOW!! I loved it. I was really emotionally invested in Hawke and Sienna's story, and I honestly couldn't imagine being so caught up in Kaleb's story. I'm so glad I was wrong. I LOVED it!! Really, truly adored both of them. And the thing with the train!!! He saved Annie!!! The second I read the part about the bullet train, that was it for me. Kaleb had a good chunk of my heart. And Sahara is an amazing character. She was so strong on her own as well as for Kaleb. I'm already going back to read it to catch the things I missed. Thank you for another wonderful book.

Cally said...

That cummings poem is lovely. And indeed perfect for Kaleb and Sahara! Thank you!

library addict said...

***spoilers**

Loved it. It has managed to replace Caressed by Ice as my favorite of the series (though I still adore Judd & Brenna).

Kaleb has intrigued me from the time he was introduced (back before I read the series and was just discussing it with reading friends who were). Sahara was perfect for him. And I loved the scene when it is revealed who the Ghost is. Even though the book could be described as dark, there was still a lot of humor in it.

I tried to read it slowly so I could savor it, but still finished it in one day.

Well done! And I can't wait to see where you take the series now.

Juliana Chen said...

Ouch such a tease..
*just ignoring my work*
Maden me really itchy to read the rest..
You are such a great author Nalini..
Thank You...
*bunch of hugs and kisses*

pinkpumpkinpalace said...

i have this on pre-order with amazon uk and it is telling me that the book version will not be out until Dec 7th! how come??? amazing start to the story and i have been waiting for this story since it became clear he was looking for someone!! brilliant and ma hooked already! Want the book!!!!

cate nugent said...

@Pinkpumpkinpalace - That's the PB release. Hardback & Kindle release on 6th June - I know - I've booked tmw off, because I'm expecting my just after midnight delivery to keep me up into the wee small hours :) !

Anonymous said...

One of the best books in the series! And what a massive advancement in the Psy plot. Thought yeah, all this breathless waiting...to find out that the Ghost is who we all thought he was. Yay? Book: A+. Marketing: Very much a fail. And it's not a spoiler who the hero is if it's revealed in Chapter 1, Page 1.....

Cassandra B said...

I too loved the book. In the lead-up to the book I was frustrated by the marketing because I simply can't go into a book without an idea of what is going to happen. With the spoilers that leaked in the last few weeks, I figured out most of the surprises. So while I enjoyed the book, I was perhaps not WOWed like someone who went in basically blind would be. I am okay with that because that is who I am, but I do understand the marketing strategy and it likely helped some people enjoy the book more. That people were still guessing about the Ghost and the main characters until release day shows it worked. The only problem I ever had personally with the marketing was the big countdowns for the cover and the blurb. I felt like it raised false expectations, but the book delivered -- so who cares now?

Anonymous said...

Nalini, what a wonderful book and love story. It was different from most of your other books as Kaleb is so dark. But Sahara does a great job of bringing a little light to him. Very romantic story. Loved the movement in the main story arch. Well done and a great read!! Sorry I won't get to see you on this tour.

Anonymous said...

Loved HoO! What would be great as a short story are certain people’s perspectives of Sahara and Kaleb’s bond visible on the net. The Cats (Or Wolves), the Forgotten, Sahara’s Clan, Nikita. Or even a random Psy. It was the only thing in HoO that I would change, it was that perfect.

Kitty said...

-To Anonymous reviewer-
You mean when they hear about the bond? I’d love to see when Hawke and Lucas first hear about it. Faith and her mate too. The Forgotten’s reaction would be awesome. I want to see Dev and Katya again, and Max and Sophia. Seeing Nikita and Anthony’s would be insightful to their character since we don’t know much about them.

I’d PAY to see Judd’s reaction ;P

Bonds of Justice, Blaze of Memory and Caressed by Ice are my favourite books in this series <3

Anonymous said...

Different anonymous commenter, but:

Okay, I have to agree with Kitty: I'd pay to see Judd's reaction.

Actually, I'd also pay to see *Silver's* reaction. Or, come to think of it, I'd pay for a short story about Silver. Or, hey, a whole book about Silver. Am I alone in this?

Kitty said...

Wow! I didn't even think about Silver!

A short story about her and her family's reaction would be so interesting considering their loyalty is to Kaleb! Would they still stand by him? Damn, I’m so curious now!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one wondering why there isn’t more traffic here? I thought heaps of people would be talking about the book now its out!

-And I agree with the above! I hope Nalini or Ashwini see our comments and maybe a short story or a deleted scene will come out! The next book will probably have something in it about them, but I can’t wait another year!

syaffolee said...

Yay! Other Silver fans! I've always wanted to hear more about her ever since she was first mentioned in Caressed by Ice.

I think Silver and her family would continue to stand by Kaleb as long as he doesn't sell them out. And it's unlikely Kaleb will sell them out as loyalty is important to him, too. I think it was mentioned somewhere that her family remained loyal to one employer even when they went down financially.

Kitty said...

I agree with you. But what would they see emotion as? Betrayal? Betrayal to Silence, and therefore them. That is, if their Silence is flawless.

syaffolee said...

I doubt the Mercant family sees emotion itself as a betrayal. Their loyalty isn't to Silence. Their loyalty is first to their family and then whoever they work for. As long as they have respect for Kaleb, they will keep his secrets (ToN, p 144). I suspect that if the Mercant family respected someone and then later found out they broke conditioning, they'd keep the secret and stay loyal. If they were loyal to Silence instead, they would have been one of the first to jump ship and join Pure Psy when they got the invitation.

Anonymous said...

If their Silence is absolute, they might.

They might not have joined Pure Psy because their loyalty to Kaleb came first.

Kitty said...

-Continuing on from Anonymous
So because they thought Kaleb was Silent, they didn’t see the need to support Pure Psy?

lele 2013 said...

I loved the book as I love the other 11 and the short stories! My favorite book is still riley and mercy's but this is def. top 5... of course he's the ghost we all knew it for awhile and the first psy psy couple... maybe more to come aden and silver would be a odd but awesome match up... earned loyalty both ways... But what i can't wait for is the pupcubs!!! I'm as excited as riley and mercy! Love the world and the story telling Nalini!

Dianne said...

OMG I got impatient and bought the e-book and I do not regret it one bit. I had a suspicion and it turned out true! So glad. I thought maybe I was just clutching at straws but my dream came true. Absolutely loved the book. And I absolutely love Kaleb. Nalini did his character justice and the ending of the book sets the next one up for so brilliant storytelling.

I love reading about the Arrows and I look forward to reading more on them in the future

Anonymous said...

My favourite non-kaleb/sahara moment was when Judd and the ghost talk about visiting the priests long lost love to check her out brilliant moment of friendship right there!!

Nina Ee said...

Just finished it. So awesome! Nalini please write faster because I can't wait to find out what happens next.
This book was really different from the others in the series because it was so completely focused on Kaleb and Sahara. And I understand why because it was all about them rediscovering each other and their own internal conflicts. But I did miss the packs and the action that is characteristic of the series. So yes I agree with the earlier comments about short stories and deleted scenes. Please can we have some!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! It was great. I wasn't much of a Kaleb fan before but now I think he's up there with my other favourites Lucas, Drew, Judd, Dorien, Reily, Hawke. His devotion to Sahara was just beautiful. And the story arc really moved forward. I'm really looking forward to how the psy go forward now that people can show emotion without fear of rehabilitation. Are we going to see the other E-psy in the net wake up to their gifts? How will the younger generation be trained now, as most psy don't understand emotion? Nalini, I hope you start giving us some hints on the next book soon.

Anonymous said...

Just finished this book and WOW! It exceeded my expectations. The story was so touching!
Can't wait for the next book to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see other Silver fans out there. I thought she was really wonderful and proved her worth in this book: I loved how she and her family helped provide information to Kaleb about Pure Psy; I loved how she coordinated rescue and help efforts in the major incident involving Geneva; she kept her cool and did her part to help save innocent lives.

About Silver and the Mercant family: from what we've seen in the books so far, I think that the Mercants will continue to support Kaleb. Yes, it's true that they are a Silent family; but I think they were Silent in the way Katya was silent; they don't have any apparent cracks in their conditioning BUT they are not sadistic or sociopathic--hence the family loyalty and the respect given to those who earn their loyalty. Given these characteristics, I do not believe they will turn on Kaleb; rather, I think they will use their power, money, and influence to help enforce the changes Kaleb wants to make within the Psynet.

As for the rest of the events in the book--I CANNOT wait for the next book in this series just so I can read about the repercussions. I would have loved to have seen Hawke and Sienna's reactions as well as Lucas and Sascha's; and like a previous poster stated, I would have PAID to see Judd's reaction.

I think Ming LeBon will do his absolute best to wrest control of the Psynet away from Kaleb; unlike the Mercant family, and unlike Kaleb, he is not only sociopathic, he is evil. Plain and simple. For him, the fall of Silence means a great loss of political power and control. Here's hoping he dies in the next book.

Also, does anyone else not think that Shoshanna Scott has been suspiciously quiet???? I know it said in HoO that Kaleb had "an extremely reliable spy" in her employ, but still...she was such an avid supporter of Silence that I can't believe she'll just let this go. Maybe she and Ming are going to become allies????

And the Arrows...oh, the Arrows. I absolutely ADORED Vasic and Aden in this book. I know we didn't get to see too much of them this time around, but the few times they made appearances in the book, I was spellbound by their presence. When are these two going to have HEA's of their own???? Vasic needs someone, darn it!!! And I'm DYING to know what it is exactly that Aden can do...what are his abilities, and what level is he on the gradient??? He is so mysterious...and I'm hoping one day that Aden will get to see Walker Lauren again. When that happens, I think that scene will be one of the most profound in any book Nalini has written to date.

Okay. Long post. I'll stop now...

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. God. How much do we all love Kaleb?!?!?! He's pretty much had me intrigued thru the whole series, and he was the perfect mix of bad boy and tortured soul.

I love the idea of him and Sahara having known each other since childhood, which most of us had already predicted but i thought that it was very well done. Omg, did anyone else tear up when we finally got the full memory of their last moment together? I'm getting emotional just thinking about it

Also I appreciated the subtle humor of Kaleb- its obviously something that only Sahara (at this point in time anyway) will see. And yes I agree with everyone else- I cannot wait until we see everyone else's reactions, although the cats really already know. Judd's will be awesome and I'm also really interested in seeing Anthony's- As head of the Nightstar clan I don't think he's going to be happy, especially when he obviously doesn't trust Kaleb. This book has totally kicked Kiss of Snow from being my fav in the series.

Anonymous said...

I did love this book but not more than Kiss of Snow or Slave to Sensation. Kaleb has been one of my favorites but not the only one. Although alot of people don't like Nikita she is one of my favorites also.

Hawke already knew who the Ghost was because Judd told him and I think by extension Lucas did as well.

I think as most people knew after reading Tangle of Need that Kaleb's lady love would be Sahara.

I can't wait to see what happens in the remaining books post the fall of Silence.

As usual, Nalini did a fantastic job writing this book. There is no one like her that builds such a complete world form multiple points of view. She does it flawlessly.

Thank you Nalini.

Anonymous said...

I loved this book. Made me want to see more of the Arrows. I would love to see Mariska and Vasic together. She cold fix his gauntlet and then help heal his spirit. Was she the tech at the station? Something to think about...Pretty please? Vasic or Adian next?

Anonymous said...

I was waiting all through this book to find a reason to like Kaleb, felt sorry for him, he does sexy but he still creeps me out. Too powerful (for that matter so is Sahara), too cold to everyone BUT Sahara. If he doesn't have any conscience and can't "grow" one then I am baffled as to how he is going to be much help in "fixing the rot" in the psynet. Why does he even care? Why would the arrows let him lead? The dark side of the net likes him way too much....

emilye said...

Nalini,Nalini, Nalini! Girl, you hit it out of the park with this one! Kaleb's relentless pursuit had a goal, and as Sahara ever worth it!
Love, love, love the deviceof revealing K as S recovered her memories. As he let her/us in and he is as vast as a ocean, he proved to be amazing. and his caveats - no harm to children or defenseless women could be seen as reasonable. I knew he'd saved Annie, so the bullet train memento waas fun to see. but best of all was the truth that power and predation are not the same in his universe - I want one just like him, yum.
Changed my mind about Vasic with Alice - now I vote for Aden+Alice from the perspective of the beginning and the ending of the Arrows as defined by Silence. Someone floated Vasic+Mariska, that would be interesting. Does Lucy get Alexsi? Will we learn more about the Tiger changeling from/in Denver? How about the Forgotten tracker and her changeling partner?
You have sooooo many toys to play with, can't wait to see where you take us next!

Emma said...

Ye gods. To be fair, I saw some of that coming. And some of it I was utterly wrong about so now I have to rethink where all this is going. I didn't think we'd see a total collapse for at least another book.
But no Alice. :( I want to know everything about her. (It's getting kind of ridiculous.)

Anonymous said...

In reply to a previous anonymous commenter's post about Kaleb:

I can sort of see how you would find him creepy. He has said in his own words that he has no empathy, that his ability to feel empathy has been cut off. And, perhaps to an extent, that's even true. After all, he was raised by Santano Enrique, and with that kind of upbringing, it is a *miracle* that Kaleb is not an exact carbon copy of the man who brought him up.

The name of that miracle is *Sahara.*

Because their relationship started when they were both children, her love, empathy, and caring for him taught him a different moral compass than the one Santano was trying, and in large part succeeding, in instilling. The fact that Kaleb has any sort of moral compass *at all* is due in its *entirety* to Sahara's influence.

So OF COURSE he is cold to everyone else. OF COURSE his loyalty is to the ONE PERSON who saw Santano for what he was, to the one person who saw that Kaleb was hurt, to the one person who CARED that he was hurt. NOBODY else noticed or cared that Kaleb, a helpless child despite his power, was in the mercy of a murderous sociopath.

Nobody but Sahara.

But if you read the first two chapters of HoO very carefully, you can read between the lines: he *thinks* he is absolutely Silent--but he's not. He's excited that Sahara is finally in his grasp. And beneath the shell of his Silence, lies a turbulent storm of emotion--rage--born of years of torture during childhood, born of years of searching, wondering, worrying, for the one person in the world he loves, who has been taken from him. He is *lying* to himself about his absolute Silence. The truth, when you read carefully, is that his Silence is infinitely more complex than one can see at first glance.

As for the conscience issue: we see that, yes, he was originally planning to destroy the Psynet if Sahara was proven dead--but he did later write in that algorithm to spare the children in the Psynet. So even before he learned Sahara was alive, he had a some small glimmer of a conscience--thanks in large part to Judd and Xavier's influence. And now that Sahara is with him, she will fight to keep him from doing the untenable.

And, from my standpoint, I can't blame him for wanting to destroy a people and a system that allowed sociopaths like Santano Enrique to come to power, and allowed children like Kaleb and the other Arrow children to be *tortured* with the excuse that this brutality will help them learn so-called control.

You asked why he even cares??? Because he knows that in order to *stop* things like this from reoccurring over and over and over again, Silence must fall. Because the Psynet is a psychic construct, it reflects what happens in the physical world, just as what happens to the people of the Psy race in the physical world will be reflected in the Psynet. Because Silence was so divisive and forced the Psynet into a *split* personality of the Netmind and Darkmind, it proved that Silence was rotten at the core. This rot has built and built and built over time, and now it has reached critical levels. The psy race needs the biofeedback from being in a psychic network in order to live. The next biofeedback they get could carry a "potentially lethal payload" for millions of people. So the Fall of Silence accomplishes two things: it destroys the current power structure that allowed Kaleb to be tortured by a sociopath, basically giving Kaleb his revenge; and it will hopefully start to forestall the rot eating away at the very fabric of the Psynet, hopefully one day reversing it.

The big motivators for Kaleb are as follows: Rage, hatred and a need for revenge against those who wronged him and Sahara, and a deep, abiding love and loyalty to the one person who showed him any kind of empathy at all in his lifetime. The one other thing that kept him going in his search for her was hope: he never have up on her.

And that is why Kaleb is my favorite hero. He never gave up hope that he would find Sahara.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh this book was worth the wait! I must admit Kaleb was someone I never paid much attention to in the other books but I wish I had. He made me want to hug him so tight. I loved how he and Sahara first met - this sweet little girl and a teenage boy who only wanted someone to just accept him, to be his friend. I could understand why he never wanted to give up on her, on searching for her. She was the only one who truly 'saw' him.

One thing I must say the strength of his power is SCARY! Sahara isn't far behind and her power is still growing! WOW imagine both of them together! The earth moves, literally!

Ms Singh you have done it again. Fantastic story. Can't wait for more books. As someone said earlier, please, please, please write faster :D

Tasha

Nina Ee said...

I was hoping to find out what happened between Marley and Ben too!

Anonymous said...

man, this book was awesome :) with silence gone, there're so many possibilities!!! now i just have to survive another year waiting for the next book... T_T

did something happen to Shoshanna Scott in the previous book that i overlooked? cause she's the only councillor that wasn't mentioned in heart of obsidian. or she's just gone AWOL?

ifrah said...

OMG i LOVE this book, now i'm kicking myself for skipping all kaleb scenes from the previous books. To be honest i was not expecting his story to be so amazing but my God Nalini did her magic, I have to say now he is my 2nd fav character after lucas. i don't know but kaleb kind of reminded me of Dev santos

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE this book because it is sooooo cool. It kinda takes me back to caressed by ice (Jude's and Breena's book) actually because that was the only book that came from a psy point of view for guy.Nalini I believe you out did yourself on this one but, I can't wait for your next book to come out, that's if you do have another book that comes out for the psy changeling series. I so wanna know what happens now that the psy can have their feelings back. Will you have a story for Kit now or will you wait a few years? or maybe Tai and Evie? it so strange because now the psy can feel the series can go in a whole new direction with heaps of other optional characters like Vasic and the Arrows, but i have to say my favourite is still and always going to be Sienna and Hawke because honestly who can beat that Alpha pair besides Lucas and Sasha. Really? anyways keep up with the good work from your loyal reader ( in your archangel series as well) I wish you Luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read it... I would say the female character is the one they were looking for in Kiss of Snow...

Joycelyn Wilburg said...

I could NOT see how Kaleb could be made human. Kept the book for 24hrs before reading. Then read twice in one week. Should have trusted my favorite authoress. Thank you.Looking forward the Arrows adaptation, Ming getting minced, more of the Rats and Windhaven and maybe Nikita..... And
Changling Snakes maybe.
Would like a bit more on the initial meeting of the Ghost and Judd. Thank you.

Sharese Walker said...

Heart of Obsidian is absolutely one of my favorite books in the Psy/Changelling Series. I have re-read many times already. I could never imagined how the book would have turned out or the story behind Kaleb. That wa a wonderful surprise. The most anticipated books of a major series, unfortunately, usually turn out a big disappointment. Not this one. It was filed with action, adventure, actual romance and I loved to have a more 3 dimensional viw of some of the Psy. I love it. As as an avid reader of paranormal romance I have definately become jaded, this book exceeded my expectations.