Thursday, August 18, 2022

Hailey Turner - In the Requiem

Weighed down by scandal, Captain Jamie Callahan must choose between saving his family’s reputation and his father’s political aspirations, or taking down the enemy once and for all. Choosing one over the other will have lasting repercussions he can’t escape. Whatever path Jamie ultimately picks, Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan will be right by his side to face the consequences. Kyle knows in a situation like this the only way out is through. Together they can make it to the other side, but surviving that journey will take everything they have.
Agent Sean Delaney is learning what it means to be part of Alpha Team through trial by fire. He wouldn’t change it for the world, nor would he give up the life he’s building with Staff Sergeant Alexei Dvorkin. But their time together is threatened by outside forces they can’t outrun. Having put the nightmare of Boston behind him, Alexei is focused on keeping his family safe, but he can’t have eyes on everyone. Alexei knows he can’t ignore the danger on the horizon, and when it strikes, he is unprepared for the tragedy it leaves in its wake.
The odds are stacked ever higher against Alpha Team, and outmaneuvering a precog is a daunting, almost impossible task. Jamie knows something has to give, and when it does, it just might break him the way nothing else in his life ever could.

Comment: This is the 5th installment in the Metahuman Files series by Hailey Turner. This book was probably intended to be the last one, as it takes the plot to a point one can see as finished, but I see there are two more novellas and a full length story after this one.

In this book, our protagonists finally reach the point of no return and somethings has to give. Jamie's father is till in the run for president, Jamie feels trapped in what he thinks of his duty and the need to be there for his team but he did agree to help his father in the final stages of the campaign. To add even more stress the enemies from the past stories are still at large, things seem to be going to an impossible turn and they can't predict what might happen. Still, Jamie and Kyle are still thinking of when will they be able to be a couple in public while Alexei and Sean become officially engaged. Will there be any peace for the Alpha team in the near future?

This was a very fast paced story. It is also clear the author wanted to wrap up all the loose threads so that the story could end in a way that would feel as if things were solved or, at least, offered closure. She was also clever enough to leave some things open ended, such as the the fate of the Alpha team elements, in case they could come back later.

This said, it means it's truly best to read the books in order, as this one includes many references and situations which were addressed before or started to be planned in previous books and while this has structure to be a stand alone, it probably will feel a bit frustrating for those who are unaware of what happened before. This installment also seems to accentuate some conflicts which have been ongoing, and it can look as if there is some repetition of past plot points but let it be said, the overall effect is one of sequential events.

I've enjoyed reading about the main characters (especially Alexei and Sean, may favorites) as well as all the team's tasks. I think the author has established a very solid world building and likable characters as well. I suppose the romance might not be the focal point for most readers, but for me it's a wonderful part of the stories and especially the dynamics between Sean and Alexei work very well for me, I'm always so glad when they are on the page whether doing their things or interacting as a couple or with others. Of course we have as much attention, in this book, on Jamie and Kyle but their relationship dynamics aren't as interesting for me (very light BDSM).

Still, due to what happened in previous stories, it is a truth that Kyle and Jamie do have more focus on them in this one. Jamie, as the leader of Alpha Team and as the son of a presidential candidate, seems to be the character we see act more often and a lot has to do with his moral code, his dedication to the military which gave me structure and a goal, but also responsibility and a team he cares for and feels responsible for as well. Being in love with Kyle and being reciprocated is something he didn't imagine was possible, but since that it is so, he also wants to be able to one day have that.

As I've said, this is a fast paced plot and many things happen, it seems, too quickly or too soon after one another. There is a certain focus on military actions and lots of maneuvers and while this can seem realistic and necessary for this book, I also found that I could get the important parts without having to be knowledgeable about the majority of what was happening. There is some drama and some difficult scenes to read but thankfully, for those invested in the characters and their development, there is a payoff and I feel quite satisfied with the way things went.

I see that the next installments are novellas featuring known characters and the 6th installment seems to be a cast reunion  or finishing any possible details which were left open.. I'm actually eager to get to those, if only to spend some time with these characters.
Grade: 8/10

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