Monday, August 01, 2011

Review: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

Hey everyone!

How are you doing? Hope everything's good :) A bit quiet lately, but I guess that's summer for you! Although truth be told, I've also been quiet... My excuses are work and reading :) I've been reading a lot, yay! And most of it from my RWA loot :) However, I need to get back to blogging, otherwise, I'll lose my touch. It took me forever to put the words together for my review of Playing Dirty. It just wasn't coming together ^_^; Hopefully, it'll be more easy with Kiss of Snow... but I doubt ^_^;  It wasn't.

Can you believe it's been almost 2 months since I read Kiss of Snow?!? Where does time go?!? I intended to review Kiss of Snow earlier, but it slipped through the cracks with everything going on at that time... Perhaps it's a good thing though, as the craze has died down a little and it's given me more time to reflect on it... I guess we'll see :) Anyway, here I go!

Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
published by Berkley in May 2011

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would've been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules-and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other's secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight...

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna's darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home-and the alpha who is its heartbeat.
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Psy/Changelings series, Book #10

The Story:  Okay, we all know what the story of Kiss of Snow is about: Hawke and Sienna finally getting together!! Woohoo! LOL. I think the blurb sums it up well, but I'll give it a try.

Hawke and Sienna have been attracted to each other ever since the Laurens family joined the SnowDancer Pack. However, Hawke never acted on the attraction for several reasons: 1) Sienna's age, 2) Hawke doesn't like Psy, 3) he lost his mate when he was a kid, 4) he's been warned off Sienna by many he cares and trusts, etc. Unfortunately, as Sienna matures from rebellious teenager to beautiful young woman, the attraction becomes harder and harder to fight off... and it has made Hawke very, very edgy. Not a good state of mind for the leader of the pack, especially since all signs indicate that they are heading to war against the Psy.

Finally, at the age of 19, Sienna feels that she is in control of her life. Sienna has always been worried about the people around her, afraid that she would hurt her with her power. However, it seems like she's gotten a grasp on her power and perhaps she'll beat the odd as fellow Psy with her designation, X, tend to die young of self-combustion. She wants Hawke to stop seeing her as a juvenile and see her as a woman... However, she won't settle for what he can give her, she wants everything of him.

But can she handle what she wants? And what happens when her control over her power starts to slip?

My Opinion: Okay, not quite a good summary ^_^; But at least, I tried LOL.

Like everyone else in blogland, I was really looking forward to Kiss of Snow. I mean, the romance between Hawke and Sienna has been hinted since the first book, Slave to Sensation, and only reinforced since... and I was just looking forward to see it unfolds. Strangely enough, I never thought of Kiss of Snow as a May-December romance... I mean, seriously, Hawke is in his prime, isn't he? LOL. Very different than most May-December romance out there... but since a May-December romance is about the age difference, then I guess Hawke and Sienna's relationship qualifies... and perhaps that's why the romance aspect did not work for me that well.

Oh don't get me wrong. I love Hawke and Sienna's characters and am so happy to finally see them get together. However, the romance? I don't know. Sure there was a lot of sexual tension and that is good. Also, Ms Singh addresses the logistic aspect of their relationship really well - Sienna's age, Hawke's alpha-ness and his position, what it would mean for Sienna to become Hawke's lover and etc - and did a great job at it... but as a whole, I wasn't invested in Hawke and Sienna's relationship as I thought I'd be. Mostly because their romance felt like a tug war. I mean, for books, Sienna wanted Hawke and when Hawke was finally ready, she backed away. It was like a well choreographed dance: one moves forward while the other steps back than vice versa instead of both characters meeting in the middle. I understand why the relationship was that way and it made sense, but personally I wanted them to get together and move on ^_^; I think the war setting didn't help either - everything around them was so precarious, time was running out especially once Sienna's power factored in... I felt Hawke and Sienna were a bit rushed, like it's now or never, so let makes this work. Perhaps as a whole, the romance would have work better for me if it wasn't for those circumstances... If Hawke and Sienna got to spend more time together and just be themselves... Like that scene where Sienna and Hawke dance together? Awwww. I admit that the scenes where Sienna and Hawke were able to steal a moment together, those were very sweet :) I just wished they had even more time to spend together and work it out. And as such, I'm a bit disappointed with the resolution of their romance... just because it's been the same with every Psy heroine in the series :( I love, love, love self-sacrificing heroines and I have to say, there is something about dying heroines... however, it has become so redundant in the series ^_^; It definitively took a little away in my opinion. I thought it would be different with Sienna, because she is different. She has such an unusual power, but in the end...

Speaking of power, that's another aspect of the book that didn't quite work for me. I've really been looking forward to see what was Sienna's power. It's been hinted in the series that the "X" designation is special... and  overall, I think that Ms Singh came up with something interesting. Unfortunately for me, it was really hard to visualize it... especially the final revelation. The whole resonance, the flames, the earthing, the valve, etc. I think Ms Singh lost me a little ^_^;

The rest of the book though? I adored :) Loved, loved, loved the secondary romance between Walker and Lara. For me, that romance totally eclipsed Hawke and Sienna's. The way they got to know each other and the depth of Walker's character. My heart broke for what Walker went through... and that scene where he's braiding Marly's hair? Awwwww. I couldn't get enough of Lara and Walker and wished they had gotten their own book... but I'll take this :)  I have to say, I'm really falling for the strong, silent type LOL. I was also very happy to see more of the Laurens family - Marly and Toby. I've been dying to see how Toby has grown up... and also seeing the dynamics between the family members and also, the bond that existed between Walker, Judd and their sister. I feel that prior Silence, most of the Psy families would have been like the Laurens. Loyal to each other, united, there for each other. I wished we'd have even more glimpses of their connection than what we've got.

Also kudos for Ms Singh for taking the storyline where she did. I didn't really believe we'd see war in the series. I thought they'd be able to avoid it, take care of things before it reached that point. It's hard as a reader to see their beloved characters entering such a precarious situation, but I can't believe how hard it is for author to write them. To decide who lives and who doesn't. So as I said, kudos to Ms Singh. Also, the storyline is as always so solid - loved it. I hope that the series won't end at the end of the war, that we'll see a bit of the aftermath - because that's always the critical part.

All in all, I really enjoyed Kiss of Snow. I think Ms Singh did a great job balancing the storyline, the romance, the serious parts with the light-hearted ones. Sascha giving birth? It gives hope :) This book could have been very dark, but it wasn't. It's just unfortunate that the romance between Sienna and Hawke did not work for me, especially since I enjoy their characters so much.

My Grade: B+.


  1. I liked this one..and I liked the romance..I just wanted it to progress a little faster. Every time they were about to get it on, a phone rang, or psy attacked. OMG DO IT ALREADY!! LOL

    But man, I love how she writes.

  2. I really loved this one. I think sometimes we all anticipate something so much that we get disappointed. For me that didn't happen with this book but I could see how it might have. :)

    Great review!

  3. I'm not alone! You hit every point I was trying to make in my rambling of a post last week.

    This really was an awesome book and in anyone else's hands, it probably would have been horrid. Still, there was too much build up and there just seemed to be too much all put into one book.

    Great review/opinion! :)

  4. I'm a few books behind in this series. I figure by the time I catch up, this one should be out in paperback :-)

  5. Well, I haven't read it yet, hangs head, so I skipped to the grade.

    My biggest concern is believing that Sienna is mature and experienced enough in life to be mated to Hawke. He needs a strong mate and I think strength comes with experiences. I'm not sure if Sienna has that experience yet.

    Okay, I'm rambling. LOL I hope it made sense. :)

  6. Mandi - LOL, I know what you mean, Mandi... and when it wasn't something interrupting, it was themselves!! :)

    I do agree though, Ms Singh rocks LOL.

    Tracy - Thanks Tracy :) Well it wasn't that the book was bad or anything, you know... and really, that's to Ms Singh's credit :)

    Little Alys - Yay!!! I'm glad I'm not the only one indeed! LOL.

    You're right... in other authors' hands, it might have been horrid. Ms Singh definitively did a great job and with everything else going on, to have just this that was a bit disappointing is pretty impressive.

    Kristie - LOL, Kristie, the paperback comes out in September if I'm not wrong, so you definitively will have caught up by that time :P I found out only after I bought 2 copies of KOS that the paperback was coming out so soon!!

    Leslie - I know what you mean and believe me, Ms Singh addresses those concerns in the book. At the end of Kiss of Snow, I do think Sienna matched Hawke really well... and while trying not to give too much away, Sienna didn't grow as a regular girl - human or Psy. :)

  7. Great review, Nath!

    This one worked for me on all levels. I'm glad that you enjoyed it too, even with those concerns. :) Love, love the fact that this series still rocks my boat after all these installments. :)