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Blaze of Memory

by Nalini Singh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Psy-Changeling (7)

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7753923,651 (3.83)11
"Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she's dangerous. Charged with protecting his people's most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It's a task he's never hesitated to complete...until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might prove to be the enemy's most insidious weapon yet. Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die..."--p. [4] of cover.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
My twin sister has been telling me to read this series for years and despite liking the other Nalini Singh's I had read I never got around to reading it. After reading these books I can't imagine why I hesitated to read them ; they are really good. The story is fresh and original, the writing style is engaging and the characters are so well written that you truly get invested in their lives. I have enjoyed all the books in this series psy, changeling and human as they are all fascinating in their own way. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
~3.5 Blaze Stars ~

Blaze of Memory is book seven in Nalini Singh Psy-Changeling series. I have to say this is my least favorite book so far in this series. I had so much trouble getting into this one and was confused at the begging on who Dev was. I finally figured it out! We get a little action really not a lot, some bedroom scenes and a plot to take out the head of Shine.

This book could have been more. Dev has some cool abilities, but he only uses them once. It made no sense to give him abilities if he never uses them. In all the previous books the Psy powers are on full display. Katya is strong, determined, but she struggles with her own brain, which what was done to her is understandable. I also did not get why they had to go north? Nothing came from it unless you count the time as a why to grow the characters more into a relationship.

There where a few things I did like about this book that kept me going. One was the letters to Matthew from the Petrokov Family Archives. It was nice to read the past and see how it affected those in the Psy net before Silence came to be. I also enjoyed learning more about the Forgotten. Last I liked the cameo appearance from Judd and Lucas/Sascha. The ending was wonderful and a tear came to my eye.

For the most part I was reading just to get to the end and move onto the next book in the series. It does have some good points to it and helps use see more into the Forgotten, but Blaze of Memory was just ok for me. As for the series I enjoy Nalini Singh's writing and the interracial realtionships she creates!

Audio 2021: Back in 2018 I tried to listen to the CD, but had issues and stopped listening. I just couldn't get into the story and the pace was/is slow going. Now it's 2021 and I gave the digital audiobook a try. I actually enjoyed Blaze of Memory. Things made a bit more scenes this time around. Though I do wish we had gotten more books with the Forgotten. This is the only book with a main that is a Forgotten. The overall ARC continues with the issues in the web and the council wanting control. It's still not a favorite, but I got a bit more out of the novel this time around. Angela Dawe is wonderful narrator and I enjoyed her narration for this novel and the series.

( )
  angelsgp | May 14, 2021 |
Blaze of Memory is the seventh full-length novel in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. In this one, we have Devraj Santos, director of the Shine Foundation, who we met in Mine to Possess as a friend and colleague of Talin. A battered, unconscious woman is left on his doorstep and when she awakens, she has no memory of who she is. Using his considerable resources, Dev discovers her identity, and she’s Katya Haas, Ashaya’s (Hostage to Pleasure) former lab assistant who everyone presumed dead after a lab explosion. As Katya’s memories slowly return, she recalls that she was held hostage by Councilor Ming LeBon, who basically reprogrammed her mind. She’s certain that Ming sent her on some kind of mission, possibly to kill Dev or someone else, but she doesn’t know exactly what that mission is or what might trigger her to perform the task. So, while he deals with Shine business and family issues, Dev keeps Katya close, leading to a passionate love affair. Eventually they uncover a big secret that they’re sure the Psy Council wouldn’t want to go public, but in the meantime, Katya’s psychic reprogramming is slowly causing her brain and body to degenerate and there doesn’t seem to be anything they can do to prevent her from dying.

Dev is one of the Forgotten, a descendant of the group of Psy who refused to live under Silence – the eradication of all emotions – and therefore left the PsyNet when Silence was instituted over a century earlier. Over the years, many of these Psy intermarried with humans and Changelings, but their children and grandchildren still show some level of Psy ability and some of the newer generations are starting to manifest some intriguing – and occasionally frightening – new abilities. As the director of the Shine Foundation, Dev is tasked with protecting his people and documenting their Psy powers, and in this capacity, he’s gained enemies within the Psy Council. That’s why when Katya shows up and appears to be some sort of Trojan Horse, he can’t allow her out into the wider world. Instead he keeps her close, while constantly on guard for the possibility that she might have been sent to kill him. But when she can’t seem to resist the pull to go North and escapes, Dev tracks her down and agrees to help her with her quest. During their journey to uncovering a huge secret, they give in to the passion that’s been simmering between them since the day they met, but unfortunately they’re unable to find a solution that will save Katya’s life.

I admired Dev’s commitment to the Forgotten and his refusal to allow anyone under his protection to have to undergo Silence, even though some in his community, including his own cousin, are pushing for it. I also like that he cares for Katya in more ways than one. However, there’s still a certain coldness to him that felt more like a Psy who was either still under Silence or who’d just come out of it that seemed a little odd for someone who hasn’t ever been Silent. He was traumatized by his father going insane and killing his mother, and he has a military background, so I guess that’s what accounted for it. But he’s so distant for a large part of the story that I had a hard time connecting with him and falling for him like I wanted to. Also his own Psy power is the ability to manipulate metal and machines, but other than the occasional mental unlocking of a door or psychically “talking” to a car, we don’t see much of it in action. He frequently draws from the metal around him, but other than him saying it helped to calm him, I had a hard time understanding what exactly he was doing or getting from it. I think this also somehow played into his coldness, but I never quite figured out in what way.

Katya is a Psy who has two mid-level talents, that of a telepath and an M-Psy, their medical designation. She formerly worked as Ashaya’s lab assistant, but when Ming destroyed the secret lab, she was presumed dead. In reality, Ming held her prisoner, psychically torturing and mentally reprogramming her, but to do what, she doesn’t really know. When she awakens in the Shine medical facility, she has no memory of who she is, but as her memories slowly begin to return, she knows two things: that she’s likely a danger to Dev and that she has a compelling need to go North. Katya chafes at what she views as Dev holding her prisoner, especially after all that she’s been through already, but at the same time, she’s attracted to him and has a burning desire to be as close to him as possible. When the need to follow her internal compass becomes too great, she escapes, although Dev follows and ends up helping her. But nothing they discover, nor their burgeoning love for one another, is enough to stave off the brain damage that is growing within her every day due to her basically being imprisoned within her own mind. Katya is a generally likable character, but I didn’t feel like I got to know her all that well. Maybe it was because she’s still trying to figure out who she is herself, because of the amnesia and the rewiring of her brain, but I just had a hard time connecting with her. Also, she’s the opposite of Dev in that she’s a full-blooded Psy who used to be Silent, but all her shields were destroyed by Ming, so she no longer is. However, in previous books when a Psy came out of Silence, they still usually took a while to warm up, while she almost instantly begins lusting after Dev and has a near insatiable urge to be touched, which is more like a Changeling. Supposedly this has to do with Ming holding her in what appeared to be sensory deprivation, but it was still hard for me to reconcile her behaviors with how past Psy characters acted in similar situations.

Since Blaze of Memory is part of a long-running series, there are some common characters, although since the Shine Foundation is located in New York and most of the Psy and Changelings characters we’ve met so far are headquartered in San Francisco, there aren’t quite as many as usual. Lucas and Sascha (Slave to Sensation) help Dev with a young Forgotten boy who’s comes under Shine’s protection and who has no idea how to shield his powers from those who aren’t like him. Judd (Caressed by Ice) has another meeting with the Ghost and also helps Dev’s young cousin whose powers are out of control. Ashaya and Dorian (Hostage to Pleasure) meet with Katya a couple of times, and Ashaya tries her best to help Katya when her health begins to deteriorate. Ashaya’s son, Keenan, and Clay and Talin’s adopted daughter, Noor, who Katya knows from the lab, show up in a couple of scenes and some exciting and surprising new things happen with them. A handful of other characters from previous books pop up as well, but each of them get barely more than a mention. All of the Psy Councilors are present, including Kaleb (Heart of Obsidian), who continues to intrigue me. Psy Arrow Vasic (Shield of Winter) shows up, too, as we discover that not all the Arrows are quite as loyal to Ming as once thought. We also learn about another Changeling pack that I have a feeling will play a role in future books of the series.

To be honest, I had a hard time rating Blaze of Memory. The first two-thirds or so of the book moved pretty slowly for me, which is kind of uncharacteristic for this series. There are frequent forays into what I’ll call the “Dear Matthew” letters written by a Psy mother to her son while the debate about whether the Psy should institute Silence is ongoing and after, as well as EarthTwo command logs, and it takes until nearly the end of the book to understand the significance of both. Until then, neither made a lot of sense, so I couldn’t help feeling like they contributed to the sluggish pace. I also didn’t really feel like Dev and Katya had much to do. They simply seemed to keep moving around from place to place, while Dev keeps an eye on Katya and tries to help her, fully knowing that she may be a metaphorical ticking time bomb, waiting to explode and wreak destruction. It wasn’t until they hit the road and followed Katya’s instincts that were driving her North that the pace started to pick up. Additionally, perhaps because I was having trouble connecting with Dev and Katya as individual characters, I also had trouble sensing their emotional connection to one another. They share an insta-lust for each other, but I just didn’t feel much on the emotional or romantic front until the last hundred pages or so. Because of these issues, I thought this was going to be the first book of the series that ended up only getting three stars from me. After the finale, I toyed with give it four, but ultimately decided it just didn’t quite get there and settled on 3.5. The last third of the book adds some new and interesting information to the series story arc that I’m sure will come into play as it continues. Also in the final pages, as it becomes apparent that Katya is dying and there doesn’t appear to be anything they can do about it, Ms. Singh managed to wring enough emotion out of these scenes to make me shed a few tears, which doesn’t happen often in my reading. While Blaze of Memory ended up being my least-favorite book of the series so far, the finale helped to make up for its earlier deficiencies, and it adds enough new information to make it a worthwhile – probably even must-read – book for fans of the series. ( )
  mom2lnb | May 10, 2021 |
"Trembling from the wild fury of the kiss, she gripped the solid muscles of his shoulders and did precisely what he’d told her she would—she let him do exactly what he wanted. Because this man was as wild as any changeling, as dangerous, and right now, so on edge, she had a feeling any resistance would be read as the wrong kind of challenge."


In the bygone days when tumblr still ruled, there was a gif of a boy dancing in front of a psychedelic background only to suddenly stop, and the word "problematic" flashed by. I cannot find this gif anywhere, and yet it is the only thing that fully captures how I feel about this series. Why do I continue reading it? Why do any of us do anything? Is life meaningful? What does "meaningful" even mean?

Anyway, this book is fucked up. Like, honestly. This is a romanticized depiction of an emotionally abusive relationship, that's it.

The way the narrative is structured is antithetical to the way the central romantic tension in the previous books was set up, and replaced by a straight-to-VHS spy movie plot from the 90s. Which is both dissatisfying - because the story fails to meet the expectations the author set up with the previous books - and boring.

I mean if you're reading this series for the overarching plot I guess you need to read it but like, don't?

Don't. ( )
  systemfailure | Jun 16, 2020 |
this was an interesting one, mainly due to the fact that it was a psy-changeling relationship. It was a psy-forgotten relationship. Forgotten are the psy's who never went into Silence. Well Katya was supposed to die in the explosion at lab, but she didn't she was held onto by Ming, and was literally mind raped into the point that she was his toy. She was supposed to kill Dev, the director of the place that helps the forgottens children be found rescued and taught to use their powers. When she is left on Devs doorstep, she has amnesia. But everyday more of her memories are recovered, and as she remembers more and more, the more and more she realizes that she is glad to be in devs arms rather in Mings clutches. During the entire book they both deal with the fact that she is a weapons of ming waiting to deploy, but yet they are drawn to each other, and end up falling for each other. By the end it's quite sad, but of course this wouldn't be a PNR if the characters didn't get their HEA. And of course a new twist was brought up in the end as well, but you must read it to find out. ( )
  hixxup79 | Feb 23, 2020 |
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Nalini Singhprimary authorall editionscalculated
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To Anu fua for loving books.. and for loving my books!
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Death followed the Forgotten like a scourge.
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"Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she's dangerous. Charged with protecting his people's most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It's a task he's never hesitated to complete...until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might prove to be the enemy's most insidious weapon yet. Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die..."--p. [4] of cover.

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Average: (3.83)
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