Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh: A Book Review

WARNING: This book review contains MAJOR spoilers, so if you want to read Heart of Obsidian spoiler-free, turn back NOW!

First of all, I have to thank Wicked Scribes, for being awesome and hosting a Heart of Obsidian giveaway that I actually won. Thanks Kaleigha, you are wickedly awesome! 🙂

Heart of Obsidian  (Psy-Changeling, #12)

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

My book arrived June 6 and I spent the entire day and half the next day reading – nay, devouring – the novel. The novel really lived up to its hype. Nalini Singh’s world building was as perfect as always – I could really imagine myself living in the Psy/Changeling universe, even as the devastation of the events in the novel wracked the world to pieces. This was not a tame novel by any means – some of the descriptions of dead bodies were horrific and the story was really as dark as the blurb implied.

Okay, so here come the spoilers…

If you’ve read Nalini Singh’s blog lately and the posted excerpts from Heart of Obsidian, you probably know that the anti-hero is Kaleb Krychek and many of us had guessed that the heroine is Sahara, Faith’s missing cousin. However, what we didn’t know – and could only speculate on –  was the history between the two characters. We know from the ending of Tangle of Need, that Kaleb had been looking for Sahara for seven years.

I’ve wanted to know what happened to Sahara ever since she was mentioned in Faith’s novel, Visions of Heat – I know, of course, that Nalini Singh would not have dropped her name without actually planning out a story for her. Plus, we knew there was more to Kaleb – he isn’t a usual Psy. He smiles – which he claims is an act, and he rescued Annie from the bullet train accident, in “Stoke of Enticement” (most recently in the Wild Invitation anthology).

Plus, there was the added fact that Kaleb was Enrique’s apprentice/protege. (Enrique, if you remember, is the kind of guy you’d want to shoot.)

I had wondered if Keleb (given his past) would be a hero, anti-hero or a very good villain. (Personally, I was leaning towards villain.)

Personally, I’m still not sure if he falls under the anti-hero or villain category – after reading the novel, I think he’s still a villain to some, but a hero to Sahara. (Which is awesome in its own way – I hate it when a perfectly badass character becomes good.)

Kaleb and Sahara’s history is likewise complicated due to the fact that she’s locked away her memories and he’s unsure of how to approach the topic. Kaleb feels guilty for his involvement in what happened to Sahara and she’s been traumatized by her experience, blocking out her memories of the day she was kidnapped.

When I got to the part in the novel where Sahara and Kaleb’s shared past is revealed, I thought it was the most romantic and heartbreaking thing I had ever read. (I also concluded that Kaleb’s never been Silent in the normal way of the Psy – or Sahara for that matter.)

Kaleb shook his head at the unexpected question. He’d lain bloodied and broken in from of Santano and his pet medics, but not one had ever looked at him like Sahara was doing – as if he was a person and not a thing.

But what I was really happy about was the chance to catch up with Faith and Vaughn – it’s been a while since their novel and they rarely make cameos in the other Psy/Changeling books. And I was pleasantly surprised when so many of the Changelings made cameos in the novel – most reviewers had mentioned that we don’t get to see much of the Changelings, but I’m glad I still had the chance to catch up, even if they came later in the novel. It’s true we don’t get to see Changelings interacting in their packs, which is always interesting, but it was nice to see DarkRiver accepting Sahara into their pack and interacting with her.

You’re too good looking for this,” she said to Vaughn. It was happy chance that he’d already been at DarkRiver HQ when she’d requested an escort. “That woman alost missed her skytrain, she was so busy eating you up with her big, brown eyes.” Sahara fluttered her lashes as the hapless brunette had done.

Vaughn shot her an unsmiling look, but she saw the amusement that prowled behind it. “Get to work, Ms. Kyriakus.”

Finally, we find out who the Ghost is – very late into the novel.

So who is it?

Kaleb, of course. (I should have figured this one out after reading the blurb, but the Twitter chat with the Ghost made me have a few doubts. The Ghost/Kaleb is really good at manipulation tactics.)

If there was one thing that I didn’t like about this novel, is that it had an ending. Honestly – and I’m not really trying not to gush here – this book was so good. A lot of times hyped up books don’t live up to reader expectations, but this one did! So go out and find a copy!

Conclusion: Kaleb is now a part of my alpha male book harem! 😉

I can’t wait for the next Psy/Changeling novel, which I’m really hoping will be about the WindHaven alpha because he’s been mentioned a few times and Kaleb made a particular note about him in this novel (and I think he’s harem-worthy, but I won’t know for sure till I read his novel) – but next novel/novella might end up being about Father Xavier.

But speaking of Nalini Singh novels, how many of us are looking forward to catching up with Elena and Raphael in Archangel’s Legion (October 2013)? And what are your thoughts on Heart of Obsidian? Did it live up to the hype in your opinion? Which character’s story – from the Psy/Changeling universe – should be told next?

Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter, #6)

Rika Ashton

(aka The Book Reviewer)

Disclaimer: All book quotes used in this review are the property of Nalini Singh © 2003 – 2013.


21 responses

  1. It lived up..but, Hawke x Sienna are still my favorite =] ❤ We had this convo, but I think the next side story might be Father X, but I REALLY want Aden


    June 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    • Hawke and Sienna are a good couple, but I’m a Sasha and Lucas fan all the way! Hurray to the couple that started it all!

      I have a feeling that the next novel will be about a changeling or human or both, since we just had a novel about two Psy.


      June 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      • To be honest, if we get a humanXhuman couple, I don’t see it holding my interest


        June 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      • either way, we find out next month!! 🙂


        June 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      • Can’t wait!

        Yeah, I don’t think a human/human couple could hold my interest for long either (maybe a novella, but not longer) – too normal


        June 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      • LOL she’s ruined us. HumanXHuman is too normal now


        June 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      • Yup! Nalini Singh is the reason I keep looking for guys that have changeling potential – no seriously, I was at the skytrain today and I was hoping to spot Vaughn lurking nearby.


        June 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  2. Great review! Your question got me thinking… and now i’m all tangled up in knots again (I thought I was over this…) with the state of play in the Psy/Changeling world it would make sense to continue the storyline about the PsyNet collapse. So… it’s gotta be another Psy story surely? Vasic please Vasic – i’m crossing fingers and toes!


    June 11, 2013 at 3:49 am

    • Thanks! I’m hoping it’ll be about a Psy who falls for a Changeling at the very least – I miss seeing the interaction among pack members.

      And as much as I want Adam Garrett (WindHaven alpha) to be next, it would also make sense to continue the current storyline about the PsyNet collapse, so I’m with you on that.

      Either way, I’m hoping for a larger Changeling role in the next novel.


      June 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm

  3. Lovely review of Heart of Obsidian! I finished the novel last night, before reading this post, so you didn’t spoil anything for me.

    I pretty much had similar thoughts while reading Kaleb’s story. I don’t think he was ever Silent, even though he thinks he is.

    But I totally disagree with your speculation that Adam’s story is next. Kaleb only noticed him because he had a new haircut and dismissed him pretty soon.

    I’m hoping for Vasic’s story, like Urban Book Thief.


    June 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    • I don’t mind Vasic, but I beg to disagree! Kaleb did not dismiss Adam – and why would Nalini Singh mention Adam’s haircut of it wasn’t a hint?


      June 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      • It was HAIR, woman – get over it! Adam’s story is soooo not next!


        June 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm

  4. But it was ADAM’S hair!


    June 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    • Okay, so I admit it, Nalini Singh does like to hint at the importance of character’s upcoming role to the storyline, but she dropped a bigger hint about Vasic.


      June 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      • I’m letting you win this round, but only because you’re right about her dropping a bigger hint about Vasic. Don’t think I’m giving up on Adam though! 😉


        June 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

  5. Kaley Williams

    Love, love, love this book! But I really want read what happens in the aftermath of the PsyNet collapse. The storyline’s becoming darker than before and so intense. Thanks for the review, Rika! 🙂


    June 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

    • Me too! There are so many ways the storyline can go at this point, can’t wait to see what happens next! (I’m hoping it involves Adam’s hair, but lliana Cruz disagrees.)


      June 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

  6. Pingback: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh + Giveaway! | Priscilla Shay, author

  7. Vasiiic.. I’m waiting for Vasic.. 🙂


    December 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    • He’s next and I’m pretty excited myself. His novel sounds like a good one! 🙂


      December 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm

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