Author: Victoria Sue
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.
Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.
Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.
Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives are at stake—four weeks for them to survive.
This was an extremely interesting and creative take on enhanced humans – human beings who have various unusual powers that may make them dangerous to others. Add to that the fact that they have been accepted into the FBI and the interest level cranks up. Now add the fact that they are each being paired with a human in a new unit which ultimately ends up with the acronym HERO (I can’t recall fully what it stands for, but H and E are Human and Enhanced. Having listened to an audiobook, I can’t go back to verify the full name.) In any event, it was quite interesting, and I’m moving this author to my “must investigate further” list since this is the second of her audiobooks I’ve listened to, and in both cases, even with different narrators, the story piqued my interest right from the beginning. The world building is very nicely done—and scattered throughout the story so it’s not difficult to follow.
Narrator Nick J. Russo did an outstanding job narrating this book. There was a large cast of male characters—each of which was given an individual voice. MC Talon, an enhanced human with super powers that aren’t fully revealed until the end of the story, was given a deep, resonant voice. MC Finn, a rather timid young man who is finally getting a chance to enter the FBI, despite a previous rejection and despite his dyslexia, has the expected soft-spoken voice.
It turns out Finn has more steel in his backbone than anyone gives him credit for—something his new team of enhanced humans learns quickly. His ambition, his spunk, his willingness to go above and beyond are all impressive. But what Finn lacks is self-confidence and he allows his failures and Talon’s poor attitude to feed his rejection and make him think of resigning.
But when he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, he shows his courage and strength of character and becomes the “poster boy” for the new unit. Still self-effacing however, he doesn’t take advantage of that. All he’s ever wanted is to be valued and accepted for himself. And he’d love to have Talon lead the list of those who care for him. Will he get his wish? Or will Talon’s self-hatred and guilt over what happens to Finn drive a wedge between them?
Though this story ends on a HFN, it’s evident that there’s more to come in this new world of HEROs and I’m looking forward to continuing where this one left off. Those interested in alt universe and MM romance will find this one very enjoyable.