Normally I tend to actively avoid starting a book when I know that it has predecessors that I've not yet read. I don't like the idea that I've missed out on important character developments or plot points that may have an impact on what I'm reading. That said, there are always exceptions to every rule and in this particular instance I found myself powerless to resist the draw of this book. What a stonking premise, bonkers in the extreme - a group of hard-as-nails Navy SEALs tasked with taking on supernatural threats.
The characters are all larger than life. Each of the team is an expert in their chosen fields, and the constant back and forth of their exchanges highlights an easy camaraderie. This is a group that have to be able to rely on one another. More like an extended family than just a regular group of soldiers. I'd be hard pressed to choose which of the team my favourite was, but I have to admit the one who shares my surname might just edge it. Geeky I know, but I can't help it.
As is only befitting for a squad of super-secret stealth warriors, the members of SEAL Team 666 have access to a plethora of high-tech gear and gadgetry that would put James Bond and Q to shame. Oh and the weapons! So very many shiny guns.
It appears the author, Weston Ochse, is much like myself - a bit of a pop culture sponge. There are many references to geeky television shows and films scattered throughout the text. I enjoyed trying to spot as many of them as I could. It also made me smile when I spotted that some of the minor characters are named after other genre authors. I do enjoy it when a writer is confident enough to let their geek flag fly. This sort of thing needs to be encouraged, by jingo.
You'll hardly be surprised when I reveal that where this novel really excels is all the thrills and spills. The plot whips along at breakneck speed, hardly stopping for breath. The men of SEAL Team 666 are a stoic bunch, they're all about kickin' ass and takin' names. The novel's climax involves a spectacular fire fight that gets pretty damn brutal.
I read recently the rumour that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is being eyed for a role in the movie that is going to be based on this series. Not difficult to picture him in a movie like this at all. In fact, excited doesn't even begin to adequately cover how I would feel about this if it does happen. SEAL Team 666 works well on paper, and a leap to the big screen seems like the next logical step. I'd love it if this happens. I'd book my ticket right now if I could.
Age of Blood delivers exactly the sort of outlandish, over the top entertainment I was expecting when I first heard about it. I certainly felt like it ticked all the boxes on my checklist for explosions, zombies, organised crime, werewolves, machine pistols and ancient South American death cults. This can't ever be a bad thing as far as I'm concerned*
This book is not difficult to understand, it's entertainment pure and simple. It revels in its pulpy origins and is all the better for it. If you're looking for a book, and by extension a series, that doesn't take itself too seriously but that manages to deliver when it comes to action, horror, chills and thrills then you need to be reading this.
Age of Blood is published by Titan Books and is available now. There is also another novel that precedes this called Seal Team 666. I think I may just have to give that a go as well.
* From a literary point of view, anyway. If, after this review, I get abducted by a group of rampaging Aztecs baying for my blood, just remember I never asked for this!!
on 30 June 2014
I love the simple premise of these books.
Seal team, deal with supernatural, all have some odd spooky dooky type things thus members of seal team 666
Will this book change your view on global warming or the transatlantic European financial relations, hell no, but its great fun to read. Enjoy!