Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 9 hours, 5 minutes
After their final mission nearly tore Jamie Callihan and Kyle Brannigan from one another for good, the time has come to celebrate their love for each other. Now that their relationship can be public, the men can finally have their long-awaited wedding. It is a wonderful affair and their closest friends are there to share Kyle and Jamie’s happiness. When it is all over, the men board one of the Callahan family’s luxury space yachts for a honeymoon like no other.
Colonel Liam Wessex has returned from the wedding and is now facing the reality that his career may be over at the UMG. Now that his identity as a metahuman has been revealed, Liam’s public role as part of the royal family means it is dangerous for him to continue field work. Working for the UMG is in his heart and soul, and Liam can’t imagine what he would do with himself if he can’t be on active duty. But he also knows that between his grandmother the queen, and his superiors at work, he may not have a choice.
In the meantime, Liam is brought in as the UMG tracks Carter Bennett and the Reborn IRA, who appear to be on British soil. Liam is reunited with Oliver Archer, an MI-6 agent and childhood friend. The two had a falling out after Liam’s immature and cruel behavior when they were young men hurt Oliver badly, and Oliver still wants nothing to do with Liam. Liam feels nothing but remorse for his past actions, particularly when he realizes the extent of pain Oliver has had to bear. But Oliver is not interested in apologies, or having anything to do with Liam.
As the terrorist threat heats up in London, Liam and Oliver continue to work together. Liam is able to show Oliver how much he has changed, and Oliver realizes that he cares for Liam. Just as it seems that there could be a chance for more between them, they are caught in one life-threatening situation after another. Now Liam and Oliver, along with Kyle, Jamie, and the rest of their team, must fight with all they have to stop Carter Bennett once and for all.
In the Solace is the sixth and final full-length novel in Hailey Turner’s amazing Metahuman Files series. These books work as one long series, so you will want to have read the earlier books before picking up this one. I’ll also note that there are events that happen in the earlier novella, Fire in the Heart, that play out here. I haven’t read that one yet (the novels came out in audio before the novellas), and at times I did feel like I was missing some things, but overall I was able to jump in here having read only the main series.
Since I am reading this book for Past/Future Week as part of our Reading Challenge Month, I am going to start by talking about the world building and futuristic elements to the series, since that is not something I have covered a lot in my past reviews. The series takes place about 250 years in a the future in a world reshaped by the ravages of climate change and other upheaval. While the political systems are largely the same, most of the population lives in mega-cities, as much of the world is uninhabitable. Turner does a nice job bringing in the futuristic elements and giving some interesting world building without overwhelming the stories with too much gadgetry and fancy technology. There is a nice balance here, as this is also a world where some of the characters are metahumans with super powers. Turner blends the futuristic and the fantasy nicely and they work so well together. For example, those injured are treated with fancy technology that allows for “regen” regimes, but are also aided by doctors with special healing super powers. So I think the futuristic side of things is done well throughout the series.
This book is fun because it serves as sort of an extended epilogue for Kyle and Jamie, the principal MCs in the series, but also connects them to Liam and Oliver’s journey. Liam has been a prominent side character in the series as Jamie’s best friend and a member of the MDF’s counterpart in the UK. After following Jamie and Kyle throughout the series, particularly after the way things go for them in In the Requiem, it was so wonderful to see them get their happy ending here in the form of their wedding. It is romantic and sweet and fun and very much Alpha Team style. When the guys go on their honeymoon, we get what is probably one of the longest and hottest sex scenes I have ever read. I can’t even do it justice in my review, it is that good. It is intense and amazing and such a perfect cap for Jamie and Kyle’s journey.
The focus then moves to London with Oliver and Liam’s story. We have met Liam before, so I was excited to see him get his own happy ending, as we have been sensing a wistfulness in him as he sees Kyle and Jamie so happy. This story has a nice enemies to lovers vibe as Liam and Oliver overcome their past and move forward. The event that caused the rift was definitely significant, and Liam is truly remorseful. I think there is a nice balance here of acknowledging the significance of the past, but also allowing for the men to move forward as a couple. I liked these guys together and enjoyed seeing them work through their issues, though I do wish we had some more time with them to really see their connection grow. It felt like a quick transition from Oliver’s anger to the men as a solid couple and I would have liked a little more relationship building between them.
The story also gives nice closure to the overarching series arc with regard to Carter Bennett. There are a lot of thrilling moments (as well as another bout of torture that made me cringe a little) and things come to a close nicely. Kyle and Jamie show up to help out here, so it was fun to see all four men together. At times, the POV switching threw me off a little as we get POVs from Oliver/Liam during some sections and Kyle/Jamie in others, but overall I enjoyed having them all together. I also thought it was fun to see another metahuman team working (Liam’s group from the UMG), as one of my favorite aspects of this series is seeing all the super powers. So it was fun to meet Liam’s team and seeing all they can do.
The audio to this series has been done by the fabulous Greg Boudreaux and he does a wonderful job with this book and the series in general. As with the other books, there are a lot of characters here to manage. Between the four MCs, the UMG members, Alpha Team, Oliver and Liam’s families, etc, it is a huge cast and Boudreaux manages them so well, particularly as there are so many accents in play. Characters from past books feel very consistent. And since I have noted in past reviews that Kyle’s Boston accent sometimes floats in and out, I will mention that it is really solid here and I definitely noticed the improvement. My only note is that I sometimes had trouble discerning between Liam and Oliver’s voices, particularly in conversation. I am not sure if this is because the men really sounded too much alike, or just because my American ear doesn’t hear distinctions in British accents clearly enough. But either way, I did find myself having trouble at times figuring out who was speaking. Beyond that, however, this narration was excellent and Boudreaux’s talented voice acting has really brought this series to life for me.
So this was a great wrap up to a fabulous series. Turner does a nice job bringing together a few last plot points that were left after the previous book and tying things all together. I loved seeing Jamie and Kyle getting married and putting that cap on their relationship, and enjoyed watching Liam and Oliver fall in love This is a great series and I can highly recommend it.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for Past/Future Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win one of two great book bundles from Carina Press (you can see the details and full event prize list here)! Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by NineStar Press: a Kindle Paperwhite loaded with 50 NineStar Press books! You can get more information on our Challenge Month here (including all the contest rules) and more details on Past/Future Week here.