I’m not a huge fan of this cover, mainly because it doesn’t correlate to anything in the book, and doesn’t indicate anything about the book except that romance will be involved
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her breathtaking Psy-Changeling Trinity series with a mating that shouldn’t exist . . .
Alpha wolf Selenka Durev’s devotion to her pack is equaled only by her anger at anyone who would harm those under her care. That currently includes the empaths who’ve flowed into her city for a symposium that is a security nightmare, a powder keg just waiting for a match.
Ethan Night is an Arrow who isn’t an Arrow. Numb and disengaged from the world, he’s loyal only to himself. Assigned as part of the security force at a world-first symposium, he carries a dark agenda tied to the power-hungry and murderous Consortium. Then violence erupts and Ethan finds himself crashing into the heart and soul of an alpha wolf.
Mating at first sight is a myth, a fairytale. Yet Selenka’s wolf is resolute: Ethan Night, broken Arrow and a man capable of obsessive devotion, is the mate it has chosen. Even if the mating bond is full of static and not quite as it should be. Because Selenka’s new mate has a terrible secret, his mind surging with a power that is a creature of madness and death . . .
As always, for a book that is in the middle of a long running series (Psy Changelings Trinity is the follow-up series to the Psy Changelings series, which includes 15 novels, so this book is in effect Psy Changelings 19) I will attempt to keep this review brief and spoiler free, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether that will actually be what happens.
Despite being number four in the series, Alpha Night actually stands fairly well alone if you’re more invested in the individual romance storyline than the overarching political situation within the series. I personally enjoy the effortless mix of both that Nalini Singh includes in her novels, as I believe the exploration of themes of autonomy, control, and the corrupting effect on a system a few amoral powerful figures can have works well with the grounding details of a few characters who slowly (or not so slowly) fall in love.
Alpha Night takes on a more classic romance trope than the previous Psy Changelings Trinity novels, though I personally appreciate when a foregone conclusion just happens rather than being used for angst that has no real possibility of happening. Obviously Selenka and Ethan were going to end up together, so I didn’t care that it happened within minutes of them meeting each other, especially as the emotional bond and devotion they built wasn’t nearly as quick.
I also really appreciated the way that Ethan’s entire lack of boundaries was treated as the concern it was, rather than just being presented as what every woman secretly wanted. I was happy to see a paranormal romance that didn’t assume that a female leader would still automatically be the follower in her relationship, and I enjoyed the non-traditional family dynamics presented in the book, because fiction in general and romance in particular still struggle with representation overall.
The continuing political situation from the world develops much the same as it has in previous books, with a shadowy figure threatening chaos from the sidelines. There is a fairly major development at the end of the novel that has been teased in earlier books, that I imagine will be the focus of the next entry in the series. There was some interesting new facets to the Psy Net situation that get introduced in this book, and I look forward to seeing what happens next.
Both the romance and the Psy Net threats are somewhat expected at this point, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading them regardless. Much like Anne Bishop’s Dark Jewels and Others novels, I read them knowing that the good guys will win (though not without scars) and evil will eventually be defeated. Neil Gaiman’s quote from Coraline also seems relevant here “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” Alpha Night doesn’t contain any major twists, but sometimes I like reading a book that just reiterates that people who spread chaos will eventually fall victim to it, that good people exist and are worth fighting for, and that community is an important part of everyone’s mental health.
Long time readers of Nalini Singh should definitely pick up Alpha Night, and I also think fans of Molly Harper, Anne Bishop and lovers of paranormal romance with social and political threads will find plenty to enjoy in this book. Although you would benefit from the context of the previous novels, each book does stand alone to an extent, and if you don’t care about the plot as much as the romance, Alpha Night could well be a book you would enjoy. This book released recently, and is available now.