Saturday, July 03, 2010

Re-Read: Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh

My re-read this month - okay, last month :P - was Mine To Possess by Nalini Singh. The reason I chose to re-read this book was to prepare myself for Ms Singh's upcoming release, Bonds of Justice, as the hero, Max, was introduced in Mine to Possess. LOL, great minds think alike, since Hils did too :)

You can click here to read my original review, which was a buddy review with Chantal over at Breezing Through

Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
published by Berkley in February 2008
A ghost returns from a leopard changeling’s past, making him question everything—even his base animal instincts…

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed... and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.

Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life--the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows...

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.

Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Psy-Changeling series, Book #5 (counting novellas)

The Story: Clay and Talin met as children. Talin was with a foster family with parents that abused her and when Clay found out, he killed the foster father. He ended up in juvie for 4 years and when he came out, was told that Talin has died. Luckily for Clay, he was later picked up by Nate who brought him back to DarkRiver.

Fast-forward 16 years and Talin shows up, asking Clay for help. Talin is a social worker, working for the Shine Foundation, and her charges have disappeared. One was found dead with some organs missing, the other is still missing. Talin's life is running short, but she's determined to keep her promise to Jonquil and not give up on him. Unfortunately, Enforcement is not interested in the case and thus, Talin needs help from people with power and connection...

My Opinion:  Phew, my memory was a bit rusty ^_^; I mean, I remembered the big lines of the book; however, for the life of me, I could not place Max LOL. So I'm happy I did the re-read.

On one hand, this book was very interesting. Mine to Possess was the first book with a human protagonist and as a result, it introduced a new dimension to the Psy-Changeling world. Primarily, we got to explore outside the Pack and the Psy, see how the world is in 2080. The introduction of the Shine Foundation and the Forgottens was engaging and well weaved in the storyline. I especially liked the addition of the Forgottens. It sounds simple and very logical at first, but I think it's something  not all authors would have thought to include in the world building. Ms Singh definitively has her world all figured out and she's revealing it according to her plan :) All the elements introduced move the whole story-arc forward and I thought Mine To Possess was really a pivotal book in the series :)

As for the plot itself, the kidnapping and etc. I thought it was good. Perhaps the whole was a bit too easy to figure out - connect the dots, but it was still good. I especially liked how the kids were rescued :)

What didn't work too well for me was Talin and Clay characters and subsequently, the romance. Talin was a hard heroine to like, especially in the beginning of the book. There she is, having lied to Clay, made him suffer... and she shows up out of no where, asking for his help... and when he becomes angry, she has the nerves to say: "What happened to you? You weren't like that before." I mean, seriously?!? You betrayed him and you expect him to welcome you, open arms? Plus, she's afraid of him which obviously doesn't help... but worst, you antagonize him!! Ugh. I understand she had a terrible childhood and was traumatized, but I didn't follow nor was able to sympathize with her train of thoughts and outbursts. As for Clay, he was more likable than Talin, but not by much. He was such an angry character, with the brooding and the growling. Then, he pushed and pushed Talin till she accepted and started breaking out of her shell. Good, but by then, I cared little about them and the romance :( All in all, I just feel that Talin and Clay were not the most compelling characters Ms Sing has written.

My Grade: Originally, I gave Mine to Possess a B+. Now, after re-reading it, I feel that was the fangirl in me talking and Mine to Possess is more of a B-. Ms Singh is definitively a great author and all of her books are strong and solid. Still they are some better than others, unfortunately, Mine to Possess is not one of those. I just couldn't connect with Talin and Clay and it kind of ruined it for me, luckily, the engaging plot and events saved it for me :)


  1. My original grade for MtP was an A-. I had totally forgotten the plot though so I suspect I would grade it lower too now. I've been meaning to dig out the whole series and reread them all again sometime. Great review.

  2. Great review Nath!

    I definitely liked the couple a bit more than you did, although I also had problems with Tally, and that lowered my enjoyment. But you know what? I forgot to include in my review that I didn't really change my mind about the grade... it was a solid read (B) then, and it remained that way for me.

    I looved the overall storyarc and the new elements she introduces in this book -- human, Forgotten, etc -- they were all excellently done!

  3. Thanks to you and Hils, I don't have to re-read this one. (not that I have time)

    I liked the introduction of the Forgottens, it opens up so many potential conflicts between the Psy, Changlings and humans.

  4. ReneeW - It's so hard sometimes to grade a book you're so excited to read! LOL, if you re-read it, perhaps it'd be like reading it again like the first time and you'd still grade it A- :P

    Hilcia - LOL, you're a consistent grader, Hils :) Cos you're tough even if it's your favorite author... while me? I have a tendency to let the fangirl in me dictates the grade :P

    There was just too much baggage with Talin's character. The whole dying thing didn't help either :(

    I really did like how it further the plot and the whole world building. Ms Singh is really good at that :)

    Leslie - LOL, no problem Leslie :D Happy to help :P

    True, it opens a lot of potential conflicts... but you know what, I wish we could have a regular human as a main character.

  5. Every time I read a review for a book in this series, I want to go and read it. Then I remember that I already tried three books in this series and while I think the premise of the world interesting, there's also something that keeps me from really connecting with the stories and characters. :(

    I'm glad you're enjoying this series so much! :)

  6. Taja - Awww, it's too bad. But you know what? I get what you mean. It happens to me as well. Although I don't have the same control as you, I still buy it to give it one last try ^_^;

  7. Great review! I haven't read this author or any of these books yet but I know its very popular and its on my TBR list that I am going to have to get too very soon!

    For my July re-read I did something I haven't done yet on my blog and re-read a children's book and reviewed it.

    I was feeling nostalgic for Harry Potter after seeing the movie previews for the final movie so I decided to re-read the first Harry Potter book.

    Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling

    my review: