Reviewed by: E, Has, Lou, Marlene
1. Thoughts on the Hero
E: Valentin, might have become my favorite bear shifter. He is grumpy, possessive, caring, growly, generous, patient, mischievous, protective, and so wonderful to get to know. I really liked how he could be a cub at heart but at the same time keep people in line and give them so many chances to succeed. I felt for him as he struggled with internal pack issues and marveled at his patience and caring as he tried to bring disparate elements together. I also admired how he kept using different tactics to provoke Silver. Watching him stand toe to toe with both Kaleb and The Mercant herself was a great reminder that it isn’t only the Psy who have power but the changelings are in fact equal regardless of their species. I honestly wouldn’t mind having a Teddy Bear of my own.
Lou: Oh Valentin, you big teddy bear. You and your clan stole my heart and have refused to let go. When I first read the sneak peak of Silver Silence in Nalini’s newsletter I was so excited that we were getting bear shifters. Valentin has become one of my favourite shifters in the series (I have many heh. Hawke still holds first place) and his commitment and never-ending love he shows for his whole clan and Silver showcases how much of a strong leader Valentin is with his big ole squishy heart. How he teased Silver from the first page had me falling in love with him instantly.
Marlene: Mr. I Am A Teddybear is the kind of hero that makes a girl long for cold winter nights because they are better snuggling weather. But he was also the consummate Alpha, and it’s a combination that works incredibly well for this story. He’s so able to show that being strong does not mean being unemotional, and that caring does not mean weak. He also showed that there can be a playful side to being Alpha, something that Lucas has always had a difficult time with. And like my friend E., I loved the reminder that the Changelings are every bit as powerful as the Psy. Differently powerful, but equal.
Has: I am also in the fan club for Mr Teddy Bear. I looooved Valentin who was sweet, patient but also alpha to the bone with how protective towards his clan, and most especially to Silver who had to face a tough ordeal. I really enjoyed their interactions and how he used humour and his wits to get past her defences and I adored how boisterous and energetic the bear clan were, which added a different dynamic to what we’ve seen in other Changelings packs. Although I am very partial to wolf shifters, I do have to say that the bears may actually overtake them and Valentin was a wonderful hero.
2. Thoughts on the Heroine
E: I have been fascinated by Silver Mercant for several books now as her character has grown from an efficient assistant to someone whose family has decided Kaleb is one of theirs, to a person brought in to help with a large crisis, to running the global crisis reaction center and coordinating all initial efforts. Silver moved from a member of a family who wielded power from behind the scenes to front and center, the face of interracial coordination and cooperation and thus equal parts threat and target to those who wanted the world to remain destabilized. She was so complex and it was easy to see how she earned all of her positions. I absolutely loved her! Her mental voice and hidden personality were perfectly snarky as was her caring for those who her inaction could hurt. Seeing her fall prey to the bears open affection was very touching as were their attempts to cater to her Psyness. At the moment I am putting her up to the same level with Sasha even as she displays her strength and resilience in extremely different ways.
Marlene: Silver is a fascinating heroine. She’s so strong, and so focused, and yet, so vulnerable. It was also important to see that there were real reasons for Silence that were not necessarily evil. At the same time, one of the things that I liked about Silver and her family was seeing that Silence didn’t kill either loyalty or love. Her relationship with her grandmother was marvelously nuanced in that regard. Just because the words weren’t said, never meant that the feelings weren’t there.
Lou: I’ve always been intrigued by Silver. Before Kaleb’s story I always wondered if she might end up as his love interest (boss/secretary trope!), but I was so wrong. The two of them would never have worked and Silver was perfect for Valentin. I really liked Silver, but I didn’t love her as much as Valentin. Sorry! I’m always a little slower in warming up to some of the psy characters as they always seem similar because of the Silence protocol.
Has: I have been looking forward to Silver’s book because she was an intriguing character in the previous books. I loved how we got a deeper insight into her character and her family which brought interesting facets into the story. I loved her sense of self and despite being aloof at the beginning, I really enjoyed how Valentin coaxed her true personality out which was fun and entertaining to see enfold in the plot.
3. Favorite Scene
E: I have so many scenes I went back and reread out of sheer delight but I think I am going to pick two which have some serious impact but aren’t, I hope, spoilery ones. The first is a little over a third of the way into the story during a conversation between Silver and Valentin as they discuss a rather public reaction to their interaction. She says she isn’t like some of the the other powerful Psy who broke Silence and became mates with Changelings. Valentin agrees and says “You’re Silver Fucking Mercant, a woman who makes her own rules.” This one line more than anything I think really encapsulated who Silver is and what she is capable of doing. It is a line worth remembering. The second is about 80 percent in and let me just say – you should read the little quotes Singh adds in her chapter headings because a detail leaped out at me and provided me a bit more insight into Bo, leader of the Human Alliance. I am very curious to see where or if it goes anywhere.
Marlene: Pretty much every single time that Valentin referred to Silver as “Silver Fucking Merchant” because it said so much, not just about how he saw her, but also how she came to see herself. When she finally adopts that moniker for herself at the end, it was definitely a “stand up and cheer” moment.
Lou: My favourite scenes (can’t choose one. Sorry.) are when Valentin and Silver interact lol. The two of them together were so funny with Silver’s dry wit and Valentin’s funny bluntness. I loved seeing the other bear changelings and I want more of them please!!!! Especially Arwen (Silver’s brother) and Pavel <3.
Has: Again like the others have said there are too many to count, but I do love the scenes between Valentin and Silver. They were magic together and the tension and the wit and humour they created in the book was entertaining and fantastic. I can’t gush enough about their chemistry together which was the highlight in the book.
4. Dislike about book
E: I really don’t have anything I disliked. I needed tissues in a few scenes and I NEED to know how some other things end up being resolved but those aren’t anything I dislike, I just want the next one now. *grin*
Marlene: For me there were one too many anonymous human evil bastards. Their methods and motives were closely enough aligned that it was hard for me to tell them apart, especially without names. One anonymous evil human bastard per story is probably enough.
Lou: I agree with Marlene. The bad guys felt too anonymous.
Has: I also agree about the bad guys being too anonymous, although I did enjoy the story arc about the new threat against the Trinity Accord.
5. Any other misc. thoughts along with grade
E: I really loved discovering how the Mercant family is so distinctly different from the other Psy families in the first arc but at the same time I could see similarities to the Nightstar family group and I am now wondering about the inner workings of over powerful Psy family groups. Watching the StoneWater Bears demonstrate their linkages and connections outside what was formerly seen as a rather insular group gave me continued hope for the future. I also have high hopes for a secondary romance thread between a certain Bear and/or a certain Mercant. I have also solidified my guess as to who I think is the leader of the Consortium now I am waiting to see if I have read the clues accurately.
Singh’s start to the Trinity arc was absolutely wonderful. I was afraid when she shared this it was going to focus on other characters outside of the ones whose lives I have followed for so long that I would feel the hole but I was so quickly immersed in this story I forgot about that worry until I was discussing the story after I finished devouring it for the second time. The characters are equally as strong and vivid while being their own distinct personalities and having their individual struggles I really got the sense of Singh taking the question “Now what?” and crafting an extremely solid detailed answer. I am completely on board for the journey and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
I give Silver Silence an A+
Marlene: I also have high hopes for that secondary romance on multiple axes. I would love to see that one happen for a number of reasons, even though I had a WTF moment every time I saw the name Arwen as a male name and not female (Too much LOTR influence)
I loved the way that so much of this story dealt with family. Valentin’s relationship with and love of his Bear Clan felt different than Lucas and his wolves, partly because bears and partly because Valentin is Alpha in a different way from Lucas, in spite of their similarities. Like E., I also liked that peek into the Mercant family dynamics, which do resemble Nightstar and also reminded me way more of the Changelings than some of the wacko Psy we’ve seen.
But I’ll admit that I have no clue who the head of the Consortium is, and the multiple anonymous evil human bastards did not work for me.
I did a full review of Silver Silence over at Reading Reality and gave it a B+/A, and I’m sticking with that.
Lou: Reading this book gave me both joy and sadness. Joy that this series has a new direction and arc with so many new characters to fall in love with for hopefully many more years to come. I mention sadness because I’m so sad in saying goodbye to the previous characters we adore and love. While I’m sure we’ll see sneak peeks of them in future, it feels like an end of an era with the previous story arc finished and dusted. However, I cannot wait to see what Nalini brings in future installments. Silver Silence’s romance was romantic, sexy, passionate, but it’s also a book that strongly brings home the point about family and unity. Nalini Singh is an amazing writer and now the wait begins until the next book heh.
I give Silver Silence a B+
Has: Silver Silence was an amazing and highly enjoyable installment in this new arc in the Psy Changeling series. The romance between Silver and Valentin was just fantastic and I adored their banter and sizzling chemistry which leapt out from the pages. I also loved the new bear clan which had a different element in the series and they were a humorous, colourful and wonderful introduction to the series. I can’t wait to see more of them in future books. I also adore the secondary gay romance which was subtle in the background and I hope we get to see a novella or even a book with those characters in the future.
Overall Silver Silence is a brilliant entry in this long running series, but Nalini Singh has added more intrigue, new memorable characters and her magical touch of a hot and heartwarming romance which has kept this series vibrant. I can’t wait for the next book!
I give Silver Silence an A-
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