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You kids get off my lawn. 

Et tu, alpha?

Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh

I've been reading these as the books between more serious stuff, as dependable girl pulp. I think Singh is ahead of the curve in terms of her plot construction and overall prose style, and the mythology, while occasionally underdeveloped, is nevertheless ambitious enough to keep me well on the hook. The relationships so far, not so much. I'm not going to launch into bitching about mate-for-life tropes and the whole alpha pack thing, which scientists have determined is so much Victorian bullshit, because it's dumb to attack emotional fantasy from some airless roost of logical superiority. The Psy-Changing world contains those things, and they have an emotional reality there.


So. This was the very first novel in this world where the central couple actually had conflicts I recognized as real, underneath all the in-world machinations I don't recognize as real, exactly. Maybe it's just that the enemies-to-lovers thing has more heat to me than rarr, me alpha, you Jane, which is largely the basis of couple conflicts in precious novels. Either way, nice to see a couple evenly matched. That said, everyone's family is the worst, and if my family acted like that with me, I would get a fucking restraining order. Unhinged proprietary violence is not respect.