Erryn reviews Out of the Ashes (Metahuman Files: Classified Novella #1) by Hailey Turner The audiobook, narrated by Greg Boudreaux was released October 30, 2020, and is 2 hrs and 38 mins. The ebook was published February 10, 2018, 112 pages.
A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: I’m LOVING this series.
War never leaves a soldier behind.
Staff Sergeant Alexei Dvorkin is still healing from his brief stint as a prisoner of war. While his physical wounds have mended, the emotional scars left behind are slow to disappear. Eager to prove his resilience in the face of lingering trauma, Alexei is determined to complete his first mission in three months and get back into the field – but he’s not forging ahead without his lover.
Nightmares will always linger.
Agent Sean Delaney’s recovery from trauma is more slow going than he would like, but he pushes through in order to return to active duty and not be left behind. But every decision he makes leaves him feeling like he’s gone two steps forward and one step back when it comes to Alexei. The guilt Sean feels from what they both endured still colors his interactions with the man he loves. Trying to overcome it is difficult and exhausting, making Sean question his place in Alexei’s heart.
Holding on is the hardest thing to do.
The ties between Alexei and Sean were frayed by the enemy’s hand. Mending what’s been broken between them will require a depth of honesty neither man is ready to face just yet. But if they don’t, they risk losing a future together neither wants to let go.
Out of the Ashes is a 28,000 word novella that follows directly after In the Blood in my Metahuman Files series and builds off of events in that book. It is recommended that you listen to In the Blood first before listening to Out of the Ashes. There are explicit intimate scenes that are not suitable for listeners under the age of 18 within the novella.
I love this series and had seen these novellas but hadn’t picked them up. Needless to say, I was thrilled when they came to audio. Greg Boudreaux narrates the series and he did these shorts including Alexei’s Russian accent. He always does a great job.
This story takes place after Alexei and Sean’s horrific kidnapping. That story line – that violent incident – is seared in my memory. It nearly broke me with what they went through. I knew it wouldn’t be all roses and chocolates after that – how could it be? But I wanted the men to find their way forward both in their careers and in their personal lives.
And there is work to be done. Sean still freezes up when Alexei touches him, yet turns green with jealousy when anyone shows an interest in Alexei. There is love there, but barriers need to be breached. And when Alexei and Sean go on their first covert mission, there is another kind of healing. These men’s self-worth is derived from their work, so getting back in the saddle, so to speak, triggers more healing. That and blowing up London is just fun. A cameo by my favorite British metahuman rounded out the great story. This novella was well done, and I look forward to more shorts.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
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