Shadow Ops: Control Point Audio CD – 1 Sep 2012
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Myke Cole is an expert at ratcheting up suspense and delivering pulse-pounding adventure that leaves audiences breathless. In Shadow Ops: Control Point, the world has seemingly gone mad. People are waking up with magical powers, such as the ability to raise the dead or call forth storms. The only thing staving off a plunge into chaos is the Supernatural Operations Corps, headed by Oscar Britton. But when Oscar exhibits a power of his own, the hunter becomes the hunted.
Top customer reviews
But the author brings his own knowledge of military process to bear and a healthy imagination, giving us a dystopian US background, another dimension where Earth is at war with goblins and every other magical inhabitant, and a backstory of Native Americans fighting for secession with their own magical powers.
I think this book would appeal to Tom Clancy type readers, who want fast action, gritty heroes, and sexy ladies. For the typical fantasy reader, it may be a little on the 'action packed' side, a little two dimensional. The author does show fantastic confidence for a debut; clearly creating a large universe and background with plenty of potential for future sequels.
However my main bugbear was with the main character; much is made of the writer's military background, and yet his main character is a soldier who is completely incapable of following any order without questioning it, even before he develops his powers. Whilst I think this is done to emphasise Oscar's moral core (this is a US military we don't normally see in fiction, effectively enforcing a police state) I couldn't help but think Oscar would have been more likely to have been in the glasshouse than at the controls of a helicopter if this was his attitude to military discipline. I would rather have seen a gradual decline in his desire to follow orders. This also created a pretty repetitive narrative to the novel; Oscar gets orders, Oscar rebels, Oscar gets put in his place, repeat. This makes it feel like a very long time until we get to the heart of darkness. The other thing that irritates me is the seemingly uniform attitude to Latents. When Oscar manifests, he runs to his parents and then his best friend. If my best friend turned up at my door with 'mutant powers' I would think it was incredibly cool; everyone in this America immediately panics and calls the authorities, who they believe will *kill* their best friend / son, etc. That was a bit too much of a stretch of the imagination for me.
The problem is that none of them real even vaguely credible. We're in a world where magic is understood enough to be divided into different specialisms, for those skills to be nurtured by an organisation that understands it intimately...but everyone involved in this is so dangerously stupid that they really should have been shot on page one. And the moralising...oh, heaven preserve me from the moralising. This desire to see everything in black or white gets boring very quickly, and then continues for the rest of the book undimmed. There's a strong anti-military edge to all this, which strikes a discordant note given the author's own military service, and there seems to be a desire to see all sides of the argument while presenting each one in the simplest terms possible.
Worst of all, though, is our protagonist Oscar Britton. A career military man who really doesn't seem to understand how the military works and bucks at the idea of simply obeying orders, a man who happily kills several people when told to (despite not liking having to take orders...) but is so opposed to the needless slaughter of one character that he openly brings about and participates in the killing of literally hundreds, who makes decisions that force his friends into a series of actions that we know would not be their own choice, and then is allowed to get out of it all with some sort of halo of brilliance around him. He is, without question, the singularly most repugnant and idiotic main character I've yet encountered.
But the world is very good, Cole has done strong work in his imagining of a world where this might occur, and I like the background if not the actual focus (the military presence in the Source makes zero sense, for one). The action is inventively deployed if rather garbled at this first attempt, and although the idiocy of Oscar Britton is too all-encompassing to really take any joy in his adventures I intend to track down the second book at some point and see how Cole develops it all.
Yup, I'm as confused about this as you are...
Most recent customer reviews
most likly not get rest as expensive ebooks and not reach excelence...Read more
The big draw to buy this one is the concept: a magic "re-awakening"...Read more
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