Erryn reviews In the Blood (Metahuman Files #4) by Hailey Turner The audiobook, narrated by Greg Boudreaux was released August 6, 2019, and is 10 hrs and 15 mins. The ebook was published December 15, 2017, 370 pages.
A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: I enjoyed book 3 so was up for more.
Running out of time.
Captain Jamie Callahan is frustrated with his team constantly being at the mercy of the enemy in order to further the MDF’s goals. To make matters worse, his father’s political campaign is ramping up, and Jamie’s every move is being watched by the media. He is acutely aware of all the eyes trained on him, his team, and Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan in particular. Meanwhile, Kyle would give anything to stay in the shadows, but he refuses to leave Jamie’s side, no matter the scrutiny. Staying out of the spotlight becomes impossible when their families are threatened and vital choices about their future together can no longer be ignored.
Staff Sergeant Alexei Dvorkin and Agent Sean Delaney are enjoying their time together as a couple when Sean’s past catches up with him. As Alpha Team’s long-running mission gets derailed in the worst way possible, Alexei discovers the enemy is playing for keeps, and neither he nor Sean are in any position to beat the odds and win the game. As for Sean, he’s worried that even if they make it out alive, Alexei may never forgive him for giving into the enemy’s demands.
Stand your ground.
Manipulation is the name of the game, but Jamie is done playing by everybody else’s rules. So is the rest of Alpha Team, because if there’s one thing Jamie’s team knows? It’s that they’re a family – and you don’t mess with family unless you want to get hurt.
In the Blood is a 107k-word steamy gay sci-fi military romance with a HFN ending that skirts HEA. There is military violence and torture within the story that may not be suitable for everyone, so please listen with caution. There are also explicit intimate scenes that are not suitable for listeners under the age of 18. This is a direct sequel to In the Shadows, and hearing the previous books in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.
This is the second Metahuman book I’ve listened to and although I would probably get more out of the book if I’d read the first two, I certainly don’t feel lost. In this book there are two established couples – Jamie and Kyle as well as Sean and Alexei. Instead of introducing a new couple, this story deals with the continuation of Alpha Team’s mission. They have been tasked with taking down the Sons of Adam terrorist network and although they cut off one head in the last book, another segment has continued on with the horrific work and now they are bent on revenge.
This is a book of vengeance and I’ll say right now that not only is it very violent, it also involves very disturbing torture. I consider myself to have a strong constitution but even I was disturbed. To be clear, it was never gratuitous – the events moved the story forward and provided motivation for the other characters as they fought off the threat. All the same, my heart went out to the two characters and what they were forced to endure. We often wonder what we would do when confronted with certain scenarios – militaries train soldiers on how to handle torture. In this case, I don’t think any amount of training could have prepared the men. You might be able to endure something, but watching a loved one going through something horrendous? I don’t know how I would have borne it.
Alpha Team is a group of men and woman who have superhuman strengths, each unique to them. As a team they are as close as family. I love that the women are treated as equals and are strong characters. That cohesion stands them in good stead as they fight terrorists who will do everything in their power to achieve domination. In the future, the world might resemble our own, but after being ravaged by population growth and climate change, there are some parts that are destroyed. A future we might face if we don’t do something about how we are living today. The author’s subtlety is appreciated – she shows the world as it might be without being preachy.
This world also contains a substance called splice that is much like the nuclear threat we face today. Splice kills 95% of all who are exposed to it but those 5% who survive become metahuman. Governments and terrorists alike want to take control over those 5%. The lengths the terrorists will go to is terrifying. There was a scene involving splice and I admit I was crying, again questioning what I would do if I were in that situation.
This is another good book that tackles some tough issues. Jamie’s father is a politician with high aspirations so there is a layer of the political as well. Lots for me to sink my teeth into. And, of course, the two couples. I was rooting for them even as they faced some major hurdles. There’s one more book to come in the series and I’m hoping it comes to audio very soon because I can’t wait.
I love Greg Boudreaux’s narration of these books. Whether it’s a very intense action scene or an equally enthusiastic sex scene, he always hits the perfect note. He also has a knack for providing good interpretations for female characters, which I always appreciate. On, and his Irish, Russian, and Boston are all pretty cool as well. Can’t wait for the next book.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
You can keep up with Hailey’s future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download the free Metahuman Files short story A Distant Devotion: http://eepurl.com/cAEejL