This book was flippin' awesome!
Kaleb is the hero of the book. I am not sure why that was such a big secret since we all knew at some point that he would get a book. His heroine was the person who he has been searching for lo' these many books. People who pay attention to that sort of stuff guessed who she was based on some cryptic clues in early books. Me? I hadn't paid that close attention so her name didn't register at all.
Her name is Sahara and she has a very unique Psy talent that turns out to be one of the reasons he was unable to find her.
I don't really want to talk plot because honestly there is nothing really new. A lot of things that have been bubbling in the last several books come to a head in this one. Pure Psy, The Ghost, Kaleb's mysterious plans...all that stuff kind of reaches a critical mass. It is really satisfying, imo, to long time readers for all these things where the foundations have been laid to get some pay-off, even as she splinters out some new plot possibilities for future books.
However the main thing that made this book so wonderful for me was the man in the center of it all. Kaleb is a great construct of a character. We have had 12 books to get to know him and to wonder about him. Gratifyingly, Singh does not make him a hero-hero. He is, to my mind, the definition of an anti-hero.
Kaleb has no moral center. He really doesn't. He has a personal code of things that are acceptable to him or not acceptable to him. He very clearly and calculatedly understands that ends justify means. He is shown doing 'heroic' things in this book. But I think that the author very clearly shows that Kaleb's actions, every thing he does, he does out of personal self interest. It just so happens that his self interest is very much bound up with the woman he has been searching for for years. If she had asked him to kill a small town, he would do it no questions asked, no remorse and no judgement of her request.
Luckily she doesn't. Sahara has a very moral center and she acts as his conscience. Going into the story the idea of Kaleb as a hero and falling in love fascinated me because I wondered how Singh would work around his Silence. Would she break it? Is he even Silent at all? In [b:Tangle of Need|12059093|Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling, #11)|Nalini Singh|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1318922090s/12059093.jpg|17026278] the author played around with 'mating' convention. A wolf mates for life and yet the heroine of that book was not the hero's natural mate. I liked how she worked around that convention and I thought she did a similar job with Kaleb's Silence. We certainly do not get shortchanged on the love story. Even if Kaleb is not warmly demonstrative (he never once cracks a smile)the reader is never, not once in doubt of Kaleb's total devotion to Sahara.
I was also gratified with the fact that the Changelings are not very present they do show up later but have limited page time. We are in Kaleb's world in this book. It really reminded me of some of the earlier books in the series, especially my favorite,[b:Caressed By Ice|458034|Caressed By Ice (Psy-Changeling, #3)|Nalini Singh|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348840226s/458034.jpg|446535].
Aden and Vasic also get a lot of face time. They quietly rock.
If I have one quibble with this book I would say that Sahara's recovery from her trauma felt a little too easy.
But in the end, I was sad when I finished this book. It reminded me of when I first discovered the series when there were already five books published and I gobbled them down one after the other. The world is really immersive I wanted to stay there longer.