Bonds Of Justice by Nalini Singh

a review by Jade Hounsell

Book 8 in Psy-Changeling series

Bonds of Justice is book number 8 in the Psy-changling series and my second, so again huge apologies if I am missing any key information from the lead up books! And no, I still haven’t gotten around to reading the first six books, bad me. Ok, that said on with the review, the two main characters in this book are human Max Shannon and Justice-Psy Sophia Russo.  Max is a damn good New York Enforcement cop, with all the qualities needed to make him so, intuitive, inquisitive, and a tough or sensitive demeanour depending on the situation. He is also one of the rare humans with a natural mind shield to protect him from Psy mental invasion.

Sophia’s Psy ability is to be able to retrieve memories from criminals and project them to others so that a case can be built against them. The problem with this ability is that it is a double-edged sword; it allows the guilty to be charged and put away without a doubt of their guilt but it also means that the J-Psy burn out quickly due to the psychic result of being immersed in the memories of other’s madness and depravity.

Max and Sophia first cross paths when they are both assigned to a case of a serial killer who is playing games by not giving up the whereabouts of his victims’ final resting places, even when Sophia enters his mind. Max feels some sort of connection for Sophia straight away. Nothing is said or acted upon by him until they are both assigned to work for Psy Councillor Nakita Duncan to investigate the supposed ‘accidental’ deaths of some of her closest advisors.

At the start of the book we learn that Sophia’s mind is very close to the end of its use-by date, which means that she will have to go in for comprehensive rehabilitation very soon. The problem is that comprehensive rehabilitation means that her mind, memories and personality will be totally wiped leaving her a shell of a person unable to do the most basic of functions. Knowing this Sophia is at breaking point, she is really desperate to connect to someone so that one person will remember her at least. Max recognises and understands Sophia’s plight and becomes very protective and possessive of her, showing her that he won’t be content to just remember her, but will fight tooth and nail to keep her by him.

Again both characters are deeply scarred by past traumas that will be explored and faced as the story progresses. Also as usual there are plenty of pitfalls, danger and sexy time along the way while the two are investigating the case (I don’t want to say too much about it, not wanting to give anything away). The book also catches up with characters from past books (I assume) giving us a kind of update as to what is happening with them along the way as well. The Silence, a Psy Net and Council strife theme are also expanded upon giving long time reader (again I assume!) more information and adds intrigue to what I believe will be the conclusion in later books.

Can be read as a stand alone book, but again I am beginning to see why the series would be so much better if read from the start, there are characters and back-stories that I think are better understood if you have.

Previously published in Dark Matter issue 5, September 2011.  This blog has been pre-dated to reflect the date of original publication.