Jumat, 30 Agustus 2013

Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh

Prologue :

Mercury was a cult. That was ahat everyone said at the start. The Psy laughed at Catherine and Arif Adelaja’s claims of being able to free their people from insanity and murderous fury. To be Psy was to court the edges of madness. It was accepted. It was accepted. There were no cure.

But then Mercury produced two graduates of their early version of the Silence Protocol – the Adelajas’ owntwin sons. Tenjadi and Naeem Adelaja were as cool as ice, their emotions holding nothing of anger or madness ... for a while. The experiment eventually failde. The dark side of emotion rushed back into the Adelaja twins in an avalance, and, sixteen years after being heralded as the harbringers of a new future, they committed suicide. Tenjadi, the strong one, killed Naeem the himself. There was no doubt that it had been a mutual desicion. They leaft a note.

‘We are an abomination, a plaguq that will kill our people from within. Silence must never take root, must nevel infiltrate the PsyNet. Forgive us.’

Their words were never heard, their terror never understood. Found by acolytes of Mercury, thy were buries in a hidden grave, their deaths termed an accident. By then, Mercury had begun training a second generation, improving their technique, refining the tools with which to exise unwanted emotion from the heart and madness from the soul.

The most important change was the quietest – this time, they had the cautious support of the leasders of their people, the Psy Council. But they also needed support of another kind, the kind that would catch any other lapses and mistake before they made it to the public domain ... and to the ears of the still skeptical Council. If the Councilors had found out about the continuing deaths, they would have pulled back. And the Adelajas could not bear the thought of their vision being consigned to the trash heap of history. Because, though shattered by the deaths of their twin sons, Catherine and Arif never lost faith in Silence. Neither did their eldest son – Zaid.

Zaid was a cardinal telepath with a furious ability in mental combat. He, too, had trained under Silence, but as a young adult, not a child. Still, he believed. The Protocol had given him peace from the demons of his mind and he wanted to spread that gift of peace, to quiet the torment of his people. So he begas cleaning up the mistakes, wiping away those who broke under the experimental versions of Silence, burying their lives as efficiently as he buried their bodies.

Catherine called him her Martial Arrow.

Soon, Zaid recruited others like him. Others who believed. The were loners, unknown shadows, darker than the darkness, men and women whose sole aim was to eliminate anything that might threaten the successful realization of Catherine and Arif’s lifelong dream.

Time passes. Years. Decades. Zaid Adelaja was washed from this Earth, but the torch of the Arrows continued to be handed from one acolyte to the next ... until there was no more Mercury and the long-dead Adelajas were being hailed as visionaries.

The Silence Protocol was implemented in the year 1979. The Psy Council was unanimous in its vote, the masses divided, but the majority in favor. Their people were killing each other and themselves with rage and inhumanuty unseen in any of the other races. Silence seemed their only hope, their only solution for lasting peace. But would they have taken that step had they read Tendaji and Naeem’s last words? There is no one left who can answer that questiong.

Summary :
As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now he is a defector, and his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins - cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna...

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted - and had her mind violated - by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives...

Buku ketiga dari seri Psy-Changeling in bercerita tentang Judd Lauren, anggota Arrow (pasukan khusus Psy) yang memutuskan untuk keluar dari PsyNet bersama kakaknya, Walker, dan keponakan-keponakannya, Siena, Toby, Marlee, ketika Psy Council mengeluarkan perintah rehabilitasi untuk mereka. Mereka menuju teritori SnowDancer, kawanan Changeling serigala yang bersekutu dengan DarkRiver (pada buku pertama) dengan harapan mereka tidak akan mebunuh Toby and Marlee karena mereka masih kecil (para Changeling selalu melindungi anak-anak), sedangkan Siena memilih ikut meskipun belum tau apakah dia akan diselamatkan atau dibunuh. Tetapi Hawke (alfa dari SnowDancer) memutuskan untuk membiarkan mereka tetap hidup asalkan mereka keluar dari PsyNet.

Brenna adalah satu-satunya korban selamat dari pembunuh berantai yang terjadi pada buku pertama. Dia selamat, tapi berubah. Merasa takut dengan perubahan-perubahan yang dia alami, dia pun berkonsultasi dengan Judd. Mereka semakin dekat meskipun Judd merasa dirinya sangat buruk bagi Brenna. Dia tahu dia dapat membunuh banyak orang hanya karena kehilangan kontrol atas emosinya, seperti yang telah dia lakukan pada umur sepuluh tahun.

Pergulatan emosi antara Brenna dan Judd hampir mendominasi seluruh buku. Di buku ini muncul Psy pemberontak bernama Ghost yang masih terhubung dengan PsyNet dan bekerja sama dengan Judd. Penculikan Brenna terungkap ketika salah seorang SnowDancer mencoba membunuhnya. Brenna mengingat kembali saat penculikannya. Ternyata Dieter, prajurit SnowDancer, menawarkan tumpangan padanya, lalu membiusnya dan menyerahkannya pada Santano Enrique, Councilor sekaligus pembunuh berantai di buku pertama. Diceritakan juga bagaimana Judd membantu menghidupkan kembali Andrew, kakak Brenna, yang tertembak dengan menggunakan kekuatannya.

Judd akhirnya memutuskan untuk menghapuskan Silence dari dirinya karena Brenna yang seorang Changeling sangat membutuhkan sentuhan, sedangakan Judd akan menderita, bahkan bisa saja mati bila dia terus menyentuh Brenna saat masih Silence.