Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Reviewed by Jen

I have mixed feelings about this book, which I hate to say because I am such a huge fan of Nalini Singh. But the degree of Insta love here was just insurmountable. It colored my ability to enjoy the first half of this story to such a degree that it made it difficult to connect to the characters or the romance for a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that with shifters, a mating instinct requires acceptance of a quick connection. But the hero here is human and he was the biggest offender.

Let me back up. This is Bowen’s story. The leader of the Human Alliance has some serious issues to overcome. Not only was he shot up in a previous book, but his brain is in danger of shutting down because of the chip he had implanted. Bowen is deathly afraid of a Psy manipulating his mind and the chip prevented that. But now it is degrading and death is knocking on his door.

There is hope.  A doctor among the black sea changelings has worked up a treatment plan that could save him. Granted, it’s only a 5% chance, but 5% is better than nothing. Once he wakes up from his pesky coma, he finds himself in a facility deep underwater. It’s there he meets Kaia, the doctor’s cousin and sometimes assistant. And also a chef. Kia has issues of her own, but falling into an instant connection with Bowen is not one of them.

When I say they fall for each other immediately, I am talking about hours… a day or two. I just can’t suspend my disbelief to that degree. Bowen is a hard man. He does not trust easily, but a few exchanges with Kaia and he knows she is his for life? Come ON.

Putting that aside, there are good things happening here. As established earlier in the series, someone is snatching the outliers of the water changelings. There are signs that point to humans, but that’s a tough pill for Bowen to swallow. He doesn’t want to believe his people would do something so awful, yet he takes his job as the head of security seriously. He launches an investigation into his team, as the doctor continues the experiment on his brain. That’s good stuff, and honestly, so is the peek we get inside the world of Black Sea. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about water changelings. And while I didn’t love them the way I loved the Bears, for instance, they had a beautiful majesty which I enjoyed reading about.

I liked both hero and the heroine well enough. Bowen’s issues were a little easier to understand than Kaia’s, but they each had their own journeys to overcome their fears. I liked the secondary characters, like the grumpy walrus and the old turtle. And we had a few cameos from characters I love like Kaleb and Mercy. There is even a Hawke sighting.

But. The resolution on Bowen’s chip is way too easy and abrupt. It almost felt like a tiny blip on the radar, when it was such a big thing in the first half of the story. The pacing felt off. Another issue: I had a hard time keeping track of who all the people were, so that when we started trying to figure out who the traitors were, I struggled to remember who was who.

Then again, the ending was great. I loved all the stuff with Kaleb. I loved Miane. I want more of her and Malachi. The last third of the book was really quite good.

I’m sure I sound all over the place with this review. Even to myself. And if you go on Goodreads, tons of people love it 100%. This just wasn’t my favorite in the series. It might even be my least favorite in this series, which makes me sad because I loved the last book SO much. But I have faith in Nalini Singh. I’m sure I will love the next one. And maybe this one will be a bigger hit for you than it was for me.

Rating: B-/C+

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Oceans Light
by Nalini Singh
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Berkley

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