Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Jody Aguirre’s family was kidnapped and tortured by witch hunters. After a few days of captivity, he’s all that’s left. Using his frosty awakened superpowers, Jody manages to escape and is rescued from the side of the road by Bren Faulkner’s stretch Town Car. Bren, a hot-thermal awakened with government connections, promises to help find the witch hunters who destroyed Jody’s life.
While navigating his trauma and pain, Jody comes to rely on Bren for more than just food, his house, and his superpowered connections. Brendan is all that reminds Jody what’s left to live for, and a strong advocate for justice vs. vengeance, like the proverbial knight in shining armor he is. As their affection for one another deepens and their attraction becomes impossible to deny, Bren wonders if acting on their feelings would be taking advantage. Jody, meanwhile, struggles to claw his way back to something like normality, knowing that Bren’s part of the solution, not the problem.
But none of it matters, if they don’t take down those witch hunters.
I have loved Katey Hawthorne’s Superpowered Love series from the very first story Equilibrium (Superpowered Love #1) where the author introduced her superpowered humans called “the awakened”, each having a different elemental power (fire, water, electricity, etc.). Unknown to the general human population, they are hunted by a faction called witch hunters and protected by an Awakened Force working with the FBI. The Takedown is an emotionally intense story, dealing as it does with an horrific event in one young man’s life. Happy, getting ready to graduate from college, Jody’s life goes to hell in one gruesome, nightmarish day.
While we aren’t there for the actual event where Jody’s father is killed, and he and his mother are kidnapped, we are for Jody’s harrowing escape. Hawthorne jumps us into Jody’s plight and into his head, on the run, scared, doped up and in shock. We stay that way for some time, along with Jody. Even when picked up by Bren Faulkner, the trauma Jody has suffered has had consequences far past the physical ones he’s suffered. I’m talking the mental and emotional ones, PTSD, acute anxiety and more. All this is treated here within the story as it should be for someone who has undergone such an atrocity. Plus it’s still going on as all the members responsible are still at large. Thus the title, The Takedown. For Jody is determined to bring down those who destroyed his family at all costs, even if it’s himself. Something Bren is not ok with for reasons obvious and veiled.
We get Jody, we really do. We can understand his need for revenge and the compulsion to narrow his life down to just the hunt. Then there’s Bren Faulkner.
Bren Faulkner is a special character, one with many surprises for both the reader and Jody. Bren has his own reasons for staying away from any romantic complications involving Jody no matter how hard it may be getting. I loved the part where Bren turns out to be hot-thermal to Jody’s cold, a delicious touch. He’s also older than Jody, which gives Jody a strong support when he needs it the most. Bren has as many layers and doubts about his role in Jody’s life as Jody does. How that is worked out is something not to be resolved until the end, which I thought was smart indeed. Too much else going on in between these two and around them for anything else to feel authentic and believable.
I loved the actual takedown part! If I could “fist bump” the author and yell “hell yes” I would have. It was suspenseful and Jody got his answers. Perfect.
If you haven’t started the Superpowered Love series, I suppose you could read this story, but you would be lacking some necessary background information I find important to the novel. Far better to start at the beginning and working your way through (don’t miss Riot Boy or Losing Better…love them)! I recommend them all, including the free reads!
Cover Artist: PL Nunn does another splendid job with the cover.
Kindle Edition, 189 pages
Expected publication: June 6th 2017 by Loose Id LLC
SeriesSuperpowered Love #8