Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

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Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by syaffolee on Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:58 pm

I thought I'd start a thread primarily devoted to the discussion of Shield of Winter so we wouldn't have to hide everything under spoiler tags. So don't say I didn't warn you. Here there be spoilers!

First, let me say that I am absolutely biased. Ever since I started the series a little after Visions of Heat was published, I've been counting down the months, days, hours that the next book will come out. So of course, when I obtained Shield of Winter, I started reading immediately. I have no self control when it comes to book crack. I think it's the combination of romance, terrific world building, and an emotive writing style. When the three intersect just so, I'm sold.

I thought Shield of Winter was a great follow-up to Heart of Obsidian. Vasic had been painted as a damaged Arrow so it made perfect sense to me that his relationship with Ivy was a slow burn. My only quibble is that perhaps the underlying angst was glossed over a bit too quickly. We never got to see more than a token mention of Vasic dealing with his guilt by interacting with the families of the victims he had been forced to kill. And aside from some self-doubt in the beginning, we don't see Ivy worrying much on how her brutal reconditioning may have affected her abilities and personality.

The fall of Silence also brought about some pretty dire consequences. How these problems were solved really brought the story arc back full circle--from when an empath broke away from the PsyNet in the first book to the realization that empaths must remain in the PsyNet in this book in order to keep everyone stable and healthy. Clearly, though, empaths don't solve every problem. Even with things stabilized, there are those who are still pro-Silence and power hungry (like Ming LeBon). I suspect these loose ends will be further addressed in the next book.

What I really liked about SoW were the interactions between the characters. I think, ultimately, one of the major themes is about family and community. I don't think it's a coincidence that the individuals most prone to the PsyNet infection didn't have any semblance of family, community, or even loyalty--instead, they literally viewed everything as either a genetic legacy or business. What saves Vasic is those very bonds, not only with Ivy but with the Aden, Judd, the other Arrows, and his great-grandfather Zie Zen. (I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the Arrows and their growing adaptation to the aftermath of Silence.)

There's a lot of interesting things about the Arrows and empaths that came up in this entry in the series. This, of course, brings up a lot more questions, the primary one (because Aden's book is next), what exactly is Aden's secret power? We know he's a telepath with medic training, but apparently a lot of people underestimate him even though he is the leader of the Arrows.  He's managed to surprise Kaleb Krychek at least twice (by sneaking past his shields and keeping up with him while helping to contain an outbreak) and it's been implied that he may have had the finesse to mentally help Vasic disable dissonance. At the end, we see Aden and Walker in serious conversation. I found this significant because Aden looks up to Walker as the teacher who taught children destined to be Arrows certain tricks in order to survive their brutal training.

Anyways, enough about my speculations. What's your take on it if you've read it? Loved it? Disappointed? Favorite scenes you'd like to gush about? (Mine was when Vasic realized, to his consternation, that he had become the posterboy for the Arrow Squad.) Minor characters you'd like to see more of? (I've been curious about Silver, Kaleb's assistant, ever since Caressed by Ice. And Samuel Rain! Unpredictable genius engineers, FTW!) Inquiring minds would like to know!

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by TheLastCardinal on Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:33 am

Samuel Rain was actually mentioned before in Branded by Fire. He was the brilliant robotics genious who instead of succumbing to the compulsion planted in his mind by Tatiana choose to fight with his will and kill himself before he could harm others . He intrigued me back then and now this . I would love to see his own book and better if with Alice
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by tabitha on Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:17 am

I absolutely loved this book. For me it was all about the bonds of 'family' and was a true love conquers all romance.
I loved Vasic, always have done. I have a thing for brooding, mysterious and twisty Razz and think this pairing with Ivy and the joint pairing of the Arrows and the E's, the eventual rulers or the net and even the honeycomb protocol have been what Nalini has been working towards from the very first book. In some places it was a little too obviously tying up loose plot ends in a too predictable fashion for me.
Was I surprised at who Vasics relation was - not particularly.
Aden is another favourite character of mine and I enjoyed seeing more of him as well as interaction between other more familiar characters.
I'm curious as to what another book can offer as we seem to have drawn a natural conclusion to the majority of the ongoing plotlines in the psy/changeling world....
If I have one other criticism it would be that I would have liked to see more of Vasics and the Arrows history but I guess that has to be what we see in the next book...
I'd still score this book a ten though as it made me laugh and it made me cry and Nalini's world building is second to none plus I wanted Vasic to have a HEA since we first met him.
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by syaffolee on Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:22 pm

I agree that Vasic's relationship with Zie Zen was not that surprising. From Hostage to Pleasure, we know that they're both on the same side. The only question would be how they got on the same side.

There were a lot of plot ends being tied up in SoW, so much so that if this had been the last book, I would not have found it strange. I don't know if it's too predictable or not. I suspect this depends on the reader. Ms. Singh is extremely good at seeding hints throughout the series. An eagle-eyed reader would easily pick them out and piece together what's probably going to happen. I don't believe that named characters just randomly appear in the series--they all seem to play significant roles later if not right at their introduction. (Although I must admit that the Samuel Rain/gauntlet thing was something that anyone could see from a mile away.)

As for what another book can offer--there's still the Ming plotline to wrap up. We still don't know where Shoshanna went or what Aden's secret power is. I think with the tentative peace between the Forgotten and Psy, there's going to be more interaction between the two. And I don't think the DarkMind has merged with the NetMind yet. (At the end, it mentions that they "intertwined". From that, I don't think we should assume that they've merged after the Honeycomb Protocol. I seem to recall a huge discussion before Heart of Obsidian came out whether or not "branded" meant that the Ghost was branded or tattooed. It ended up that "branded" really did mean branded. So I'm going to assume "intertwined" means intertwined and not merged.)

I also find it interesting that there is a quote at the beginning of Chapter 10 in SoW saying that the world used to be united, Psy and Changeling and human, in a "true triumvirate". We know that after Tally mated with Clay, Sasha remarked that the DarkRiver web was even healthier because now they have members of all three races connected. When Kaleb went to talk to Dev, Dev mentioned that perhaps the Forgotten had lower rates of psychopathy than the Psy because their net was smaller as well as having empaths. I think there's also an alternate explanation--the ShadowNet is more stable because the Forgotten intermingled with the other races. At the end of SoW, it's true they have the Honeycomb Protocol, but they're also still separated from the humans and changelings. Perhaps in future stories, we'll see the struggle of the Psy accepting cooperation of the humans and changelings and truly seeing them as equal and integrating into the PsyNet directly.

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Elaine on Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:19 am

I like the pace of the story, the build up was understandably slow as everyone was feeling their way almost blindly for the solutions to their problems. Except for Vasic technical glitches, at least he had Judd as the telekinetic sex advisor.  Very Happy 

And I especially liked that Vasic and Ivy had the first "traditional" wedding among the Psy characters described in their own novel.

For the world building, I expect there will be more crises/problems that will arise as the Psy adjust to their new Honeycomb Protocol. The rest of the Changelings and Humans will also have to adjust along with them. It is good that Anthony acknowledged Zie Zen as the real Grandfather to the quite rebellion, it shows that the Psy struggle against the imposition of the Silence Protocol had been going on for a long time.

If the next novel will be the last in the story arc, there are still a multitude of short stories and novellas which can show how our other familiar characters will navigate the changes in their environment, or show how they came to be on one or the other side of the rebellion. And I would like to read Alice and Zaid's truncated love story...
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Jane on Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:00 am

I just finished it and, of course, I loved it! I can't wait for the next one. Who do you think will be Aden's mate? I would love if it was a changeling... maybe Rina. I like psy-psy couples but I would love if it was a psy-changeling....
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Ayaba on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:09 pm

I of coursed loved the book.  I read some reviews where the reviewer said it took too long to come the romance part and that the crisis in the net took over the book.  Me i would have been disappointed if Vasic and Ivy shared skin privilege  Smile just after meeting.  In all the other books the people who did that from pretty much the beginning of the books where the changelings.  I like the fact that they took their time to get to that.  

I think Aden story should be a nice end to the story arc.  Nalini is a gifted writer but i wouldn't not like if it ever come a time where my feelings about her books at what i feel for Lindsay Sands books - too much of the same old story Sad 

Regarding the triumvirate, there is already a human mind in the psynet (Max) so we only need a changeling one so here is to hoping Aden's mate is Rina.  

I believe we are owed a novella or a short story on Abott and Jaya.  I feel Nalini could have included a scene of just the two of them.  Lara and Walker were featured intensively in KOS.  A novella between Alice and Samuel (was very happy to see to read about him) will be nice.  But don't see that happening soon, Alice still need a lot of healing.

This made be laugh
“An excellent idea,” Kaleb said. “They can set up a ‘Silent’ corner of the Net, and I’ll make a generous offer to slice them away so they can have their own isolated little Silent community that’ll soon be erased by the infection since they’ll have no Es. Problem solved.”

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Lil.destiny on Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:47 am

Oh I would love for Aden and Rina to get together, Judd and Brenna's story was too sexy with an arrow male n a changeling. Rina's loud and strong personality clashing with the " strong, silent brooding arrow". Can anyone just imagine?

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by arne on Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:27 am

I like the book. The Story pace was good, the build up was necessary. The Reader learned some interesting Facts about the Arrows and the life from Aden and Vasic. It was no surprise that Vasic and Zie Zen know eachother but the degree of kinship was a surprise for me.

Their were many text passages that makes me laugh. Judd as sex advisor for example. But i scream with laughter as Kit was babysitting Naya Hunter and phoned to asked for the favorite toy of Naya: a stuffed animal: a wolf!

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by tabitha on Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:23 am

Aden & Rina would be kind of cool, I always pictured him with Keisha Bale the M-psy that works with and helped the Arrows.

Judds sex advise was so funny Very Happy
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Elaine on Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:36 pm

Okay, I reread Shield of Winter, and I must say that two main things bugged me:

At some point, it seemed that Ivy bit her lip once per chapter.

And finally, WET was the major description used for her: I was tempted to count the number of times the word was used per chapter.
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Patricia on Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:01 pm

I just reread Heart of Obsidian and am onto reread Shield of Winter, except.. I'm slightly afraid that I'll notice the same things as you. D:

(Also, hey, I'm alive, how are you all? :'D)

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by TheFLuff on Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:31 am

I actually noticed how the crisis took over the romance and for the romance it would have been better to condense it all a bit, BUT:
It was a really important book for the overarching story. We might have done with a few less instances of failure to contain the outbreaks, simply to tighten the story, but that´s my only point of critique
I loved Vasic (which is totally surprising, I know) I loved how Aden emerged as THE leader and.... I was hoenstly surprised by the solution to the problem.
It was absolutely fitting and looking back you can see the connection from the first book, which was awesome.
Also, Vasic, alive and the first two people at his bed after he woke Ivy and Aden.
Fucking perfection!

Will start a third reread now Very Happy

Also: welcome back Pat, we missed you.

I actually didn´t notice

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Patricia on Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:48 am

(You didn't notice I was gone? How cruel. No, I guess in a world where not everything revolves around me, you were talking about the things Elaine noticed.)

I remember someone mentioned that they'd like the books to be less about the romance and more about the plot and I actually agreed with them to an extent. Of course, I want paranormal romance to be romantic, but at that point -I think it was shortly after #11- a lot of people were somewhat disappointed in the releases and thought that the couples/courting were becoming similar to each other and so forth, and that when the worldbuilding is as strong as it is in this series it might be worth considering to shift the importance a little. Of course, in this case it might also have been related to the fact that the stories were still very Changeling-centric, which is nice, BUT after a while seemed to, for some readers, blend into a big picture of "mating dance yes no maybe", especially when on the other side, you had the very much enticing Arrow squad or Kaleb/The Ghost.

And with Heart of Obsidian as well as Shield of Winter, I felt like the balance was right again. It was about the couples and the plot was directly related to them, but for some reasons, the weird "off" feeling I got before was gone, and I do think that was related to how well executed the plot was.

I actually felt that if there had been less of those outbreaks, the pattern might have been considered just coincidence, or given all the things that happened, the solution would have felt a little too convenient in how the characters figured it out and so forth. So in my case, I think that the result -showing how important the cause is, how many lives it costs etc, showing how the characters work in those situations, introducing certain other characters, building emotional investment, whatever- is more important than tightening the story, although I absolutely see where you're coming from, because had I not been as interested in those outbreaks, I probably would have felt absolutely the same. ._.'

ALSO! I absolutely, ABSOLUTELY, love that Nalini tried to avoid any ableism in Shield of Winter. The whole "losing arm" plot. I'm not sure if she managed to do it perfectly because ableism is something I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about in comparison to other issues, but to me, it felt like the thought was there and she managed to satisfy readers who know more than me.

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by TheFLuff on Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:00 am

I have never lost a limb, though there are times when I desperately want to get rid of one, so I can't really comment on it. but I'd love to see him with a prostethic and not a merely cosmetic one. I love how it explains, he's doing a lot with his TK, but...
On the other hand,  no not really, but I'd love to see him and Aden train to get Vasic used to the altered balance n stuff. I think that's what would affect him the most.

Also: It is wonderful to have you back, I actually DID muss you

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Patricia on Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:38 am

Yeah, I'm not sure what I want for him, but I thought it was good that it was an actual loss, not just "oops arm gone, oh I've got a new one," and that even though he can do things with his TK, it isn't the exact same thing and that the loss can't be replaced.

I missed all of you, too. Might sound weird, but it's a bit like "recharging" or something. Non-virtual life seems to suck the energy right out of me lately.

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by TheFLuff on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:27 am

But a cool mechanical prosthesis might be pretty rad ^^

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by tabitha on Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:31 am

Never really thought about the whole prosthetic limb thing, I guess I just assumed the TK could comepnsdate for it.
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Patricia on Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:18 am

tabitha, I think the difference is that he can't "feel" with his TK, even if he's still able to DO things, and I thought that the loss of a limb being an actual loss, even if there's a replacement of some sort, was a nice change, as in my books there's just interchangeable characters, situations, whatever.

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by TheFLuff on Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:42 am

And the loss of balance. It's not just that the arm is missing, the whole body weight distribution thing is different.

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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Elaine on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:30 pm

There are six Shield of Winter deleted scenes in Nalini's website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/deleted.php#shield1
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Elaine on Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:39 am

Nalini's latest newsletter also has deleted scene "Kaleb and Sahara’s Meeting with Sascha and Lucas".

This is also in the deleted scenes in her webpage
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Re: Shield of Winter Discussion (Warning: Spoilers!)

Post by Patricia on Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:36 pm

I didn't get the last newsletter for some reasons. o_o Can someone send it to me -->
Spoiler:
be döt patricia ät hotmail döt com

Thank you!

(Also, off to read the scenes now :>>>>)

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