Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 9 hours, 52 minutes
Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks
Sean Delaney started his career as a CIA agent and is now working alongside the Metahuman Defense Force, with Alpha team in particular. When an undercover job goes bad, MDF agent Alexei Dvorkin is called in to help Sean out. The men have worked together in the past, and there is definitely something buzzing between them. When the two are tasked with investigating a private military company that may be doing some dirty dealings with Splice, the connection between them means that faking a relationship isn’t too difficult. The mission itself, on the other hand, turns out to be far harder than either expect.
As the men continue to follow the case, they also begin a romantic relationship. The two work well together and seem to be getting closer to tracking down who is behind the attempts to create metahumans through Splice experimentation. But the case is extremely dangerous and when Sean’s family is threatened, suddenly he is faced with telling them what he really does for a living when he has kept it a secret form them for so long. With Alexei’s support, Sean manages to work things out with his family, but the danger is still real. With the help of Alpha team, Alexei and Sean now must step into battle together to take out those that are threatening the world’s safety and security, and hope that they both make it out alive.
In the Shadows is the third book in Hailey Turner’s fabulous Metahuman Files series. After two books focused on Kyle and Jamie, the series now turns attention onto Sean and Alexei. Alexei has been a prominent side character as Kyle’s brother and an Alpha team member, and Sean has also played a role, and the chemistry between them has been delicious enough to have me really eager to get their story. The books in this series build upon each other, so even though this one features new MCs, you will want to have read the first two books in order to follow the series threads.
This story jumps us right back in the action, picking up in the aftermath of In the Ruins. This is another high octane story and, right from the start, things are exciting and dangerous. One of my favorite aspects of this series is seeing how the metahumans use their powers and there are several incredibly intense action scenes here that just kept me captivated. Turner does a great job building suspense and excitement, and balancing them with the quieter moments. This feels like a big story with tons of action, but at the same time, there is a nice sense of intimacy. I don’t want to go into too much detail on the case, but it advances the series plot really nicely, while also giving good focus to this particular book. I also really liked how Turner allowed Alexei and Sean to be the stars here. Given that Jamie is the head of Alpha team, the story could easily have leaned too heavily on him when the full team is in play. But instead, we get to see Alexei and Sean really shine, while still reconnecting us with characters we know and love from past books.
As I said, the chemistry between the men started in prior books, so it was great to see things play out. There is a nice tension as Alexei and Sean balance their undercover assignment playing boyfriends with the real romantic and sexual connection between them. I enjoyed the interplay between the men as they both are strong in their own right, but also determined to look out for one another. They are super sexy together and there is just a really nice development to their relationship here.
As with the first two books, I listened to this one in audio and I continue to enjoy Greg Boudreaux’s narration. This story adds some new challenges, foremost being that Alexei speaks with a heavy Russian accent. While in the past he was a side character, now he has a major role and I was impressed with how well Boudreaux develops and maintains his accent over the long book (including speaking in Russian at several points). Boudreaux also has nice consistency here with the other characters, carrying the voices over well from earlier books. Even with a large ensemble cast, it wasn’t difficult to tell who was speaking and the voices felt nicely familiar after listening to the other stories. The book also has some a good balance to the exciting and quieter moments and Boudreaux captures that well through the narration. Overall, I have really enjoyed these audiobooks and can definitely recommend the series in either format.
I am really a huge fan of this series and am definitely looking forward to the next audio installment. If you haven’t started the Metahuman Files books, I strongly encourage you to give them a try.