Shaw by Anna Hackett

Shaw by Anna HackettShaw by Anna Hackett
Series: Hell Squad, #7
Published by Anna Hackett on January 26th 2016
Pages: 176
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Hell Squad sniper Shaw Baird is a man on a mission. His squad is his family and now the invading aliens have done the unforgivable…taken one of his team. Claudia Frost—soldier, friend, and all-round badass—is running on borrowed time. Shaw has vowed to bring her home, whatever it takes…and he’s only just realizing now she’s been taken that Claudia is a vital piece of him.
Claudia Frost is surviving…barely. Kept in chains, made to fight for the aliens’ enjoyment, she can’t survive much longer. But she knows her squad is coming for her…knows Shaw is coming. Only thoughts of the sexy, charming sniper get her through the hell, and for the first time in forever, she wishes she hadn’t let the wounds of her past stop her from taking a taste of the man who is her friend, her sanity and her secret obsession.
But rescuing Claudia is only the first dangerous step. The alien keeping Claudia prisoner is far more intelligent, far more patient and a hell of a lot deadlier than any they’ve faced before. Not only is he hunting their band of human survivors through the forests of the Blue Mountains, but he wants Claudia. And he’ll let nothing get in his way.

And Hell Squad returns with a big bang!

Claudia Frost has been taken by the Gizzida and her squad-mate Shaw is determined to get her back. In the process, the last single members of the Hell Squad learn what they really mean to each other while dealing with the aftermath of a devastating alien invasion.

One of the toughest and most kickass heroine I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about, Claudia’s story is one that I’ve been waiting for. I’ve always found Claudia intriguing and in this book, Anna Hackett peels away all her layers to reveal a multi-faceted character (strong, determined, realistically practical) whom I can cheer for. There’s so much to like about her and her indefatigable strength – despite all that she’d faced in her past – that Shaw, that sniper playboy with whom she’s always had a more-than-friends relationship (ish) with, pales like a shallow man in comparison as he strives to keep up with her coolness. I could only wish he could have been a lot more than he’d ever been for her, given that the somewhat flaky explanation for his fast-and-loose behaviour with the ladies isn’t convincing enough to sway me over when he suddenly pledges his loyalty only to Claudia despite never having done anything like that before.

But for now, be still, my girl-crush.

Together however, Shaw/Claudia is a pairing, like every other pairing before them, that’s probably a sub-plot in the entire story arc that unfolds slowly but surely in a journey that goes from mountains to coastline. Yet I like the way Anna Hackett builds this post-apocalyptic world by focusing on pairings and thoroughly enjoyed especially the mini-interactions between Squad 9 and the Berserkers here, making me quite relieved that this whole epic tale is far from done.