Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
[xrr rating= 3/5]
Narrator: Mark Westfield
Summary: Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his selective mutism and social anxiety. Calvin’s confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that’s been his whole world for as long as he can remember.
As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends.
Review: I was happy to finally have a book for Calvin and Hobbs (hehe), and I did like getting their story, although it is a little bit of a filler book. The first 5 books all had somewhat of an overarching plot with overarching (or at least interconnecting) villains. This book gave us a bit of a break from that. Yes, the guys were working and there was a case related to Calvin in particular that took place over the course of the book. But it was a more ‘typical’ case that police might deal with as opposed to the previous evil-super-villains. Of course in the last chapter, we get a teaser to what the next evil-super-villain/plot will be.
I’m okay with that, although I was rally annoyed that it was the next day!!!!! They didn’t even get ONE day off?!? We easily could have had a “three months later” thing to make it a bit more realistic. But anyway, I digress.
The actual plot of this book was okay, although I started getting really annoyed with both the civilians and the cops at certain parts, and it was definitely affected by the current climate with regards to police brutality, in particular against minorities and low income populations. There was definitely some intent by the author on this, but who knows to what extent.
But that was all really a side plot. The main focus here was definitely the relationship. But with that regard, I wish we had made more progress. The guys first hooked up, progressing from BFF to “more”, in one of the previous books. Which was great at the time. But which makes this book feel like it’s lacking some key moments. It really deals more with Ethan’s issues and him being able to accept their relationship than the relationship actually needing any work. Sure they have their ups and downs, but even more than in a regular romance, given their EPIC bromance up until this point, we knew there was no way these guys would be on the rox even temporarily while working things out. That confidence, made it a little less exciting. Sorry. And while I sorta get their (mainly Ethan’s) concerns, it seemed overly angsty.
I liked it, and I liked getting to know Ethan and Calvin better. Although there is one particular piece of Calvin’s past that we learned about that I cannot believe wasn’t revealed to everyone.
I lurved the way this narrator portrayed Ethan. I’ve always been a fan of his voice in general, but Ethan was unique. Most of his dialogue is internal, and with an audio version this could have been very confusing of whether he was speaking out loud or simply commenting inside his head. The narrator kinda whispered and used a softer voice for the inner dialogue, which was perfect. Well done sir.
Sure the cases are over the top. Sure the theatrics are unrealistic. But I enjoy this series, always have. As a series goes on it can be hard to live up to the first few great books. But the characters, in particular Dex (who will returning as MC in book 7), are very dynamic. The narration is always a joy to listen to, and I plan on continuing with this as a solid 3-3.5 star series for me.