Title: In the Wreckage (Metahumans Files: Book One)
Author: Hailey Turner
Length: 341 Pages
At a Glance: This book took me a while to read, but it was well worth the time and, at the end, something I’m very happy I experienced. Well done!
Reviewed by: Tax
Blurb: A Marine with honor.
After surviving a horrific chemical attack that turned him into a metahuman, Captain Jamie Callahan got a second lease on life. For three years he’s been working for the Metahuman Defense Force and leading Alpha Team—all against the wishes of his family. The job requires his full dedication, so it’s no surprise Jamie doesn’t have time for a relationship. An enticing one-night stand with a gorgeous stranger is all it takes to show Jamie exactly what he’s been missing. When a mission to take down a terrorist cell brings that same stranger back into his world, Jamie’s life gets complicated.
A soldier with secrets.
Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan was only looking to relieve some stress after a long mission. He didn’t know the hot guy he picked up at a bar was the leader of the MDF’s top field team. When Kyle and his partner get seconded to Alpha Team to help fight a terrorist threat, he has to balance his desire for Jamie against his duty to keep his secrets safe. That gets harder and harder to do amidst regulations both are tempted to break.
Two men trying to survive.
Giving into passion could cost both their careers. Abiding by the rules will only result in heartache. An attack on MDF headquarters brings with it a choice Jamie and Kyle can’t escape—duty, or love?
Review: It has been quite some time since I’ve read a futuristic sci-fi novel. I’m a huge fan of world building and learning the rules and terminology that goes along with a futuristic setting and characters. That being said, I am fairly critical when I find flaws in the worlds or plotline, feeling cheated if anything seems overly contrived. Hailey Turner got a check in every box on my mental checklist of things I LOVE about this genre.
This is a long book, so let’s tackle each awesome thing one at a time. So, I think we shall being with…sex. In a word, orgasmic. Not for the faint of heart, by any means, the sex between Jamie and Kyle is nothing short of amazing. Since metahumans have superhuman powers, the result of the anomaly in their DNA making them immune to a toxic chemical weapon, their enhancements perfectly suit one another. I don’t want to give away what those powers are since it would take away from a pivotal moment in the story; however, their sex is intense, aggressive, and, to one partners wishes, a bit painful. The caring between the two men, despite their needs and passions, is always at the center, as is their growing passion for one another. While the pain aspect is fully contextualized and not done for the sake of gratification, the scenes nonetheless would probably make a reader who does not like to read about aggressive acts in consensual sex a bit uncomfortable. Let me emphasize two points: The violence is not for gratification and the sex is consensual with both parties getting exactly what they want out of it. That said, I had to fan myself off after each scene.
Now, to the world. The timeline is set about two and a half hundred years in the future. The circumstances which created metahumans had the flavor of The Fantastic Four to it, where humans were exposed to a toxic chemical weapon and something in their makeup enabled them to survive, changed at the DNA level, with various superhuman abilities like strength, durability, telekinesis, telepathy, and levitation, to name a few that appear in the book. The whole culture surrounding the way metahumans are viewed by civilians and by the government (two very different views) is played out. Furthermore, we see degrees of powerfulness in rival metahuman groups. For example, one telepath is stronger than the other. Not by much, but it gave them an edge. Of course, the other group had a metahuman with powers that our protagonist team didn’t have, posing a particular threat to the team. While this could have been very confusing, Hailey Turner handles it perfectly.
How about we talk about the characters. Each protagonist has been developed fully. You would expect that from a book of this length where the author took the time to provide all the details and experiences we needed in order to really get to know the cast. And, unlike most romances, the side characters play major and important roles throughout the book, even though they aren’t the main love interest. And, as such, they are integral to propelling the storyline forward in the midst of the love developing between our two protagonists. Add to that several sub-stories, one following Kyle’s background and the other following Jamie’s, and we find there is resolution to not one but many stories. I was actually drawn to tears toward the end as one storyline closed, completely satisfied with the beauty of the moment when some secrets are revealed.
This book took me a while to read, but it was well worth the time and, at the end, something I’m very happy I experienced. Well done!
You can buy In the Wreckage here: