Bonds of Justice
(Psy/Changeling Series Book 8)
By Nalini Singh
Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy- dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned to is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor's closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of catastrophic mental fracture.
Max was the cop in Tally & Clay’s book. Sophia is a J-Phy which means she is a Justice Phy. J-Phy have the ability to enter into the mind of a killer, see the horrific crime taking place and then project the crime into the other minds of lawyers, cops or anyone else that needs to know. Handy little ability to convict criminals however the emotional scars it leaves behind on a J-Phy (that are not supposed to have emotions) really takes a toll on their minds. Unfortunately as a result of that Phy ability the life expectancy of a J-Phy is mid-thirties at the latest. Life expectancy is cut short due to the mandatory “reconditioning” that the J-Phy are required to undergo.
I love how Nalini Singh keeps introducing the readers to different fractions of the Phy society. The J-Phy that was introduced in Bonds of Justice is definitely an interesting ability to add to a judicial system. Sophia is at the end of her time as a J-Phy. After this last case she has been scheduled for the mandatory reconditioning because her shields are so damaged. They are fractured so much so that she has been escalated to a “Sensitive”. She cannot have skin to skin contact. She needs to especially avoid that contact with criminals because if experiences a skin brush, she will overload her brain activity and die. She wears gloves to ensure no accidental contact.
So as you can see, it would be highly peculiar to have a Phy at the end of her life (only around 30 yrs old) who can’t touch or be touched yet she is willing to start a relationship with a human. I found it odd how Max and Sophia came together. They met during a previous case and he was attracted to her and she to him. Sophia was able to feel attraction due to her damaged shields and “Silence” breaking through. Sophia makes the decision to break Silence in order to feel emotions before her death sentence of reconditioning. She wants to be loved. To be cared for by someone just once in her dejected life.
The pace for Sophia and Max to come together was well timed. It was slow yet quick enough to hold the reader’s attention. If the story was strictly about Max and Sophia I’m afraid Bonds of Justice would not have held my attention. Bonds of Justice was assisted along with Sascha & Nikita’s continuing storyline, the Counsil and the constant underlying plot of Phy society. I found that these backstories held my interest much more than Sophia and Max. It is exciting and angsty to figure out what the split Phy Counsil is going to do and what direction they will take.
So as a result of Sophia and Max's lack of holding my interest based upon them being the main protagonists, I am granting my first 4 heart rating for a Phy-Changeling book. 4 out of 5 is still an excellent rating because Bonds of Justice was a good book, it just wasn't as excellent as the previous novels.