Who knew that the apocalypse could be so sexy?
Aliens have come to Earth—and not in peace. Millions of humans died in the first few waves of attacks. Hidden deep in Australia’s fictional Blue Mountain Base, squads of fighters band together in the struggle for humanity.
Australian author Anna Hackett integrates elements of science fiction and action into all of her romance novels. Over the past five years, her “Hell Squad” series has followed a rotating cast of characters as they battle against the aliens—called the Gizzida—while discovering that even at the end of the world, there’s always someone to live for.
Yes, this means that in-between scenes of reconnaissance missions, firefights, helicopter chases, and more, these characters find time to fall in love. It’s a nice balance of intense action in the Gizzida-laden world above and intense passion in the beds (and showers, and gardens, and desks… etc) in the human’s hidden base below.
The series gets its name from Squad Six, known as the Hell Squad. Considered to be the toughest fighters in Blue Mountain Base, the Hell Squad is filled with former military who aren’t shy when it comes to kicking some Gizzida ass. This alien race is likened to “raptors” in the early books, and much of their demented creations, from space ships to mutated beasts, are dinosaur-like in appearance as well. Appearances can be misleading—and with the Gizzida, cunning and extreme intelligence lurks behind those red eyes.
Each book follows one pair of characters who must best the aliens to accomplish the current mission, whether it be gathering vital information, stopping the Gizzida from their perverse experimentations, or sabotaging the aliens. As the series progresses, other squads such as Squad Nine (which is full of kickass women) and Squad Three (known as the berserker squad, filled with daredevil men of dubious backgrounds) are featured, with the various squads swooping in to lend support on the field.
The ultimate goal is to reclaim Earth for humanity, but an overarching storyline laced throughout “Hell Squad” reveals that the Gizzida has plans to eradicate all human life. Hackett’s series is now 19 books long—the most recent, Survivors, was released on Feb. 11. The situation has hit a crisis point for these survivors, and the outlook is grim. “Hell Squad” will wrap up when the squads (presumably) rid the Earth of alien scum in the final series book, Tane, which is scheduled for a June 2 release.
Hell Squad books 1-19 are available now in eBook and paperback formats. The first book in the series, Marcus, is free in eBook format, and the entire series is available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers as well.
This review originally appeared in the Feb. 21, 2020 issue of White Pine Press.