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Cristina T.

Hell & High Water (THIRDS Book 1)

Hell & High Water (THIRDS Book 1) - Charlie Cochet First read: March 2015
Reread: February 2016 – BR with Trisha


I LOVED this book! L.O.V.E.D. it!!!

The most important thing here is the excellent world building, which is very complicated and extensive. For a closer look, this is the official THIRDS site, which is really freaking awesome!!! It contains everything from details on the characters, to playlists, badges, and other fun stuff! But, for the purpose of shedding some light on what I'm going to write about in this review, here's a short list of the main points...

THIRDS (Therian-Human Intelligence, Recon, Defense, Squadron) → basically an agency which promotes justice for all species, and therefore pairs every Human agent with a Therian one. They deal with all threats regarding Therians and/or Humans involved with them.

Therians → Humans who can shapeshift, and are much stronger than your average Human. They can obviously be very dangerous, especially when they go against the laws of the government.

Destructive Delta (Unit Alpha) → the original THIRDS Defense team, which is assigned the worst/most difficult cases.

This book is packed with action, suspense, humor, and a LOT of unresolved sexual tension–UST done right, so very, very right! My two favorite aspects of the book were Dex (Duh!) and the Felid Shifters. Big cats are my biggest love when it comes to animals–they're wild, beautiful, fast, and lethal. And some of them purr, like over-sized kittens! They fascinate me, always have. Shifters in general are not really my thing, but felines? Bring. It. On.


Let's meet the team then, shall we? I took the liberty to borrow the THIRDS cast from Ms. Cochet, because it's PERFECT!

For a HQ version, click here. ;-)

Dexter J. Daley “Dex” → Human

Dex is all kinds of awesome!!! He's vibrant, loud, enthusiastic, and full of life. He lights up a room in no time, is bouncy, has a soft spot for 80s music, and lifts up everyone's spirits. What's more, the guy has some balls! His first day at the THIRDS agency doesn't go all that well, because he's replacing someone who was really close to the team. Nevertheless, he doesn't let that bring him down, goes around calling bear shifters Baloo (hehe!), and lion shifters Simba (the puppet lion scene was also golden!). When Sloane gets all Team Leader Alpha asshole on him, Dex doesn't flinch, and continues to be sassy. Oh, and he's over-protective of Cheesy Doodles! Even though the team doesn't accept him at first, he manages to win them over soon enough–with baked goods, nonetheless! Smart guy! Dex's charm and humor ultimately saves the entire team, getting them out of their slump. I think it's pretty clear that I love him, right?!

Sloane Brodie → Therian – Jaguar


Sloane is hurting, so he's more of an asshole than usual, which leads to him treating Dex like shit at first. But his bullshit doesn't deter the Rookie, and Sloane eventually–after a lot of shitty actions–realizes that he has to let go of his grief, and give Dex a chance. When it comes to him, I kept changing my mind between wanting to kick some sense into him, and wanting to hug him and tell him to let his partner in, to let himself be helped with the healing process. Well, he's definitely bad-ass and being Team Leader, he barks orders at everyone, but they all follow, because Sloane knows what he's doing, and treats his team like family.

Ash Keeler → Therian – Lion


Ash appears to be nothing more than a colossal dick, but his teammates argue differently on every given occasion. He's Sloane's best friend, and they're the closest thing they've each got to family. He's the only member of the team who refuses to accept Dex's presence, but even he can't resist the guy in the end, and comes to care for him, although he tries not to show it. He was funny, and his quick wit was great!

Julietta Guerrera “Letty” → Human

This lady might be little and cute, but she's gonna kick your ass to a pulp before you have time to blink! Bad-ass is too tame a description for her level of awesome!

Ethan Hobbs “Hobbs” → Therian – Tiger


Quiet. Reliable. Loyal. Someone you want on your side. Intriguing. Mysterious. That's Hobbs in a nutshell.

Calvin Summers → Human

Calvin is very efficient, ready to risk everything to keep his partner safe, at times reckless, and he takes his job pretty seriously.

Cael Maddock → Therian – Cheetah


Cael is Dex's younger brother, and I really liked their relationship and interactions. They have each other's backs, they're very protective of one another, and their brotherly love is palpable. As an individual, Cael has an inferiority complex, for which he unnecessarily puts his life in danger on more than one occasion. He thinks that he has something to prove to his fellow Therian teammates, but none of them agree with his reasoning.

Rosa Santiago → Human

Rosa behaves like a mama bear with the other team members, she protects them, takes cake of them, and is a kick-ass woman all around.

Dr. Hudson Colbourn → Therian – Wolf

He's casted as Matt Bomer. Need I say more? Oh, yeah... Eyes off Dex, love! He's Sloane's!

Dr. Nina Bishop → Human

Not much to say about her. She is kind of just... there. Part of the team, but doesn't stand out much.

Anthony Maddock “Maddock” aka Tony → Human

This man is incredible. He adopted both Dex and Cael, and he's everything a father figure should be. As a Sergeant, he's a no-nonsense guy, firm, but understanding, and he's always there for his team.

Something I wasn't very fond of were the many pointless descriptions–of a room, for instance–but I won't lower my rating for that alone, because I enjoyed all other aspects too much. Oh, and the 'bad guy' was very obvious, but eh... Can't have it all, right? Dex makes up for the flaws, so I don't care!!! I can easily see this series becoming one of my favorites, and am looking forward to the rest of the books!