It is hard to jump into a long-running series, especially one with a dozen interconnected books, but Nalini Singh’s Wolf Rain makes it easy. Although there are a lot of familiar characters for long-time readers to enjoy, the story focuses tightly on Memory and her journey to learn how to live outside of captivity. While Singh continues to develop the current Psy-changeling Trinity arc, primarily through alternate POV chapters peppered throughout the novel, it doesn’t distract from the central romance. Long-time readers however will be pleased by a return to the SnowDancer Wolf Den, and its playful and vibrant pack. Alexei’s grumpy and protective personality is the perfect foil for Memory’s fierce but fragile fury.
I adore stories where MC’s find unexpected belonging, and I loved how Memory struggles with impostor syndrome worried that her new friends might reject her because of the dark side of her powers but instead finds a purpose and a new people who see her more clearly than she does herself and love her. As cozy and comforting that aspect of the narrative was, Wolf Rain like most Psy-Changeling novels, is full of tense action and violence and reads much like a romantic suspense novel.
I loved how powerfully Singh portrays grief and its different manifestations, from the feeling of loss and absence, anger and sadness to irrational preoccupations. I was frankly astounded by the way Singh made me feel about a secondary character’s traumatic injury as I moved from shock to anger and betrayal to appreciation. I was less satisfied how clinically and abruptly Alexei’s fears about mating and his family’s predisposition to feral-ness was handled.
Wolf Rain pairs Singh’s trademark intense action with emotional character-driven storytelling and is a fabulous jumping on point for anyone interested in trying the Psy-Changeling series.
Content Warnings: Animal Death, Past Trauma (murder of parent, mental violation), Near death of prominent character, Kidnapping/Abduction
Ana received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.