I LOVED the world building and how it was done. First we got a Prologue explaining briefly how Therians came to be, they are a part of society (even if not everyone love that idea..), there is prejudice, there are rules and regulations to track the Therians which not everyone appreciate and naturally there is a lot of hate towards the unknown which is what brought Dex and Sloane together..
Sloane lost his human partner to a Therian informant, and now (a year later) he is being replaced by Dex, who used to be a ("regular") cop up until he sent his partner to jail for killing an innocent Therian. Dex could have been a part of THIRDS a long time ago but he preferred to work in the ("regular") police and try to influence them from within (to seeing Therians in a better way). See, his brother Cael is Therian and they are really close. Also Tony, his (adoptive) father, and brother are actually working in THIRDS which is how he came to change agencies when the cops at the precinct turns against him leaving the station no other choice but to "turn him over" to the THIRDS. It's a sort of Promotion really, but it's not what Dex wanted.. not to mention the new guys at the "Destructive Delta" aren't his fans either.
This book is told from both Sloane and Dex's POV which I always appreciate especially since we are getting a more accurate picture of the two worlds so to speak combined. On the one hand Dex is doing a great job in becoming a part of the team and yet there is always the undercurrent of who he is replacing - Gabe - and what it means to each of the remaining 7 agents (including his brother Cael). It's worst for Sloane though, Gabe meant the world to him and even though it's been a year he is still grieving. Dex sees that, he sees the whole team and how it affected them and he does a really great job at finding a place for himself, but it doesn't work equally with all members.
Besides all that there is also a mystery to solve. There is a Therian killing people who are "Therian sympathizers" and they are not even close to finding out ANYTHING about the guy. It took me long enough to realize who the guy is, though I had a feeling they are not looking for the right guy maybe not for the right reasons for the killing. I liked that most of the plot was about the interaction between the characters though, I'm not that into mystery novels in general but I enjoyed the overall action involved in the plot. It made the book almost impossible to put down (though, sadly, I had to at times..).
The romance element was somewhat mild because Sloane and Dex are just getting to know each other, mostly to dislike each other, or maybe to lessen the dislike and form an appreciation of each other professionally (and personally). It doesn't help that they are both VERY attracted to one another, so things do happen between them. But it's really just the beginning. The book ends with a sort of a promise for a HFN, not even a true HFN but there are enough books in the series to pursue that which I really appreciate because I think it makes the whole relationship buildup a lot more realistic. In a way, they aren't ready for a relationship as it is, not to mention it's not allowed on THIRDS.
I really enjoyed the other members on the team as well as Tony (Dex and Cael's adoptive father and not boss). I just went for a look out at the next books (trying to read as little as possible hehe) I'm really happy that this series would feature some of the characters with their own book. I'm very curious about ALL of them.
This is a GREAT start to a series. I LOVE the MCs and can't wait to get more of them, and uncover Sloane's deep secrets as well as seeing the more tender side of him we got only the smallest glimpses of. The writing is superb! It's easy to read, funny ate times, emotional at others, bout not over emotional in my mind, there was action, there was fun banter. I simply enjoyed every minute of the book.
Totally Awesome! Can't wait to start the next one!
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 297 pages, 1-3 November 2016 / On GoodReads
ABOUT THIS SERIES
THIRDS is my absolute favorite Paranormal MM Romance / Urban Fantasy series. It's the first I've read by Charlie Cochet (and wasn't the last!). I absolutely ADORE the series, each book was simply superb! There's a lot of action in the books, but there is also A LOT of laugh out loud moments as well as heartfelt ones between the MCs. I couldn't have asked for more. This series has it all!
The world building is AWESOME, it's explained right in the beginning of the series - A biological weapon used in the Vietnam war caused a mutations that made the Therians, a new species of half man - half animal. What we usually call "shape shifters". The world is struggling to deal with this new species, a lot of prejudice, a need to register and somehow contain the new members of society. The THIRDS - Therian-Human Intelligence, Recon, Defense Squadron is formed to help the "human police" deal with Therian threats.
The series focuses on the "Destructive Delta" team, mostly the leader - Sloane a Jaguar Therian and his new human partner Dex (with 3 novels focus on other couples).
The Destructive Delta Team:
Sloane Brodie (Therian Jaguar) - Dexter "Dex" J. (Justice) Daley
Ash Keeler (Therian Lion) - Julietta "Letty" Guerrera
Cael Maddock (Therian Cheetah) - Rosa Santiago
Ethan Hobbs (Therian Tiger) - Calvin Summers
2. Blood & Thunder [Sloane & Dex] (Published 3 August 2014) ★★★★★
3. Rack & Ruin [Sloane & Dex] (Published 7 November 2014) ★★★★★
4. Rise & Fall [Sloane & Dex] (Published 2 February 2015) ★★★★★
5. Against the Grain [Cael & Ash] (Published 3 August 2015) ★★★★★
6. Catch a Tiger by the Tail [Calvin & Ethan] (Published 5 November 2015) ★★★★★
7. Smoke & Mirrors [Sloane & Dex] (Published 8 July 2016) ★★★★★
8. Thick & Thin [Sloane & Dex] (Published 1 February 2017) ★★★★★
9. Darkest Hour Before Dawn [Seb & Hudson] (published 25 April 2017) ★★★★★
9.5 Gummy Bears & Grenades [Sloane & Dex] (published 4 October 2017) ★★★★★
10. Tried & True [Dex & Sloane] (published 24 November 2017) ★★★★★