Also by this author: Silver Silence, Ocean Light
Also in this series: Silver Silence, Ocean Light
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #5
Published by Berkley on July 20, 2020
Source: Berkley, Netgalley
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible, Buy on Libro.fm
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.
For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed "imperfect" by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel of the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an Anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.
To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful Anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet . . . or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.
This author is phenomenal. I could end my review here because I’ve said it all before. The complex world building is already brilliant, yet Nalini Singh adds another fascinating layer with Last Guard. This time we get a deeper look into designation A. The anchors of the PsyNet and those who can actually access a widely unknown network of it, the Substrate.
This is where our main protagonists come in. They are the hub anchors, the most important players in the game to safe the PsyNet which is rotting away but vital to the survival of all Psy, who need the bio feedback given via the network. Anywho, long story short – these two are as heroic as they can be and as kind and sweet as only Nalini Singh can write them. I loved Canto who reminded me very much of Kaleb Krychek, a little more broody where Caleb oozes danger. Being from the most influential and best informed Psy family, the Mercants, comes with a lot of responsibility. Every addition to the family has to pass Ena Mercant’s scrutiny. As the matriarch of the family she’s a tough one. I’m gonna let you find out how Payal masters this feat.
Payal’s hesitance over trusting Canto is absolutely relatable when you know that her whole family is a bunch of psychos (pun intended). They dance around each other for a long while but it’s that sweet slow burn that the author excels at and makes these books so outstanding. I also love this gentleness all of the characters in this universe have. It’s portrayed differently by each of them but they all have it and Payal is no exception.
One thing that I need to mention is that Nalini Singh does recycle major plot devices. Often times the characters are in danger either due to illness or some explosive device in their body or their power being uncontrollable. She uses this frequently to increase the tension. I’m still on board though and enjoy the hell out of it.
This book was a fabulous addition to the series. I think we may get an MM romance soon – at least it is hinted at and I can’t wait to find out how this is going to play out!