Series: Hell Squad #20
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing, Anna Hackett on June 2nd 2020
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As the battle against the invading aliens reaches its endgame, a group of bad boy bikers and mercenaries will stand and fight for humanity’s survival…
Tane Rahia is good at one thing—fighting. Before the alien invasion, he fought as a mercenary in the worst jungle hellholes. Now, he’s the leader of Squad Three—aka the berserkers—and he’s fighting to protect his brothers, his friends, and the last of humanity’s survivors. It doesn’t matter if he dies, he knows he belongs in the shadows, doing the dirty work and taking dangerous risks so others don’t have to. There is no warm woman, no love, and no redemption for him, and especially no small, sweet alien woman who he struggles to ignore.
Abducted from her homeworld by the Gizzida, Selena endured captivity and torture. Then she found herself on a distant planet called Earth and rescued by tough, heroic humans. She’s recovered, made a new family for herself, and come into a power that she never knew she possessed. She’s determined to experience everything life on vibrant Earth has to offer and to protect her new home. And she discovers that one battle-hardened, intense man is the only one who ignites a passionate desire that leaves her breathless.
The humans have fought hard, but now the Gizzida have created three deadly, humanity-ending bombs. Tane’s not happy that Selena’s help is vital in the fight against the aliens, and nor is he ready to face her stubborn confidence nor the white-hot desire flaring between them. But as they enter their final make or break fight, Tane and Selena know they need to fight as one. They may not survive the final battle, but they have to try: for their friends, for the planet, for humanity.
Having followed Anna Hackett’s Hell Squad series since the first few books came out, I’m actually quite a little misty-eyed at the swan song of this entire work.
There’s so much here that encapsulates the entire series, though ‘Tane’ is one of its crowning glories as Hackett catapults the last book into a rather epic finish. At 140 pages long, there’s a full repertoire of action and erotica, made believable because of a world-building that culminates (somewhat expectedly) in a final battle between humans and alien invaders amidst a long-developing burn between 2 people that has stretched out a long time. To have it all come to fruition is satisfying in every way, more so as Hackett deliberately tweaks up the tension right up until the last possible moment when you think it can’t go any further.
My only complaint is that the romance development felt a little formulaic at times, but this was me expecting Tane and Selena’s relationship to go somewhat differently. I felt Selena’s growth as an alien to an assimilated character in the Enclave made her too much alike Hackett’s heroines where I was itching for her to stand out at least in outlook and speech – apart from her powers and her affinity with creatures on God’s good ol’ green earth. That she was also constantly saving the day with her mysterious powers also lent the story one too many Deus ex-machina moments, or rather, providing easy and miraculous saves out of what would have been fatal incidents.
A less picky reader certainly wouldn’t have such qualms about swatting aside this nitpicking, obviously. 20 novellas on, I think Hackett has at least earned some bragging rights at least to enshrine Hell Squad as one of the all-time great post-apocalyptic series to remember and even re-read. And the ending? It’s a thoroughly happy one too, for everyone concerned.