Control Point by Myke Cole
|Book Name:||Shadow Ops: Control Point|
|Formatt:||Paperback / Audio Book / eBook|
|Genre(s):||Military Fantasy / Urban Fantasy|
|Release Date:||January 31, 2012|
Oscar Britton took his job seriously. As an officer in the US Army, he helped defend both the country and its citizens. That in and of itself was difficult, but when people all over the world are randomly manifesting powerful magical abilities on a regular basis, the job becomes that much more dangerous. However, there was no doubt in Oscar’s mind that he was doing the right thing, until the enemy became a high school girl and her boyfriend.
Sure they had manifested as magic users, and hid their powers instead of turning themselves in to the government, but they were still just kids; not even old enough to vote, let alone take in the enormity of what was happening to them. Unfortunately, being forced to shoot at high school students was just the beginning of Oscar’s crisis of faith. Because later that night, Oscar also comes up latent, manifesting not only magical abilities, but a prohibited magic that allows him to open portals anywhere on Earth and even to places beyond that.
Now the idea of following orders and turning himself in is the last thing on his mind. And as Oscar runs from the institution he once served, he tries to reconcile his past beliefs with his present circumstances. Could he have been wrong this whole time? Was the government really the bad guy? Was it really fair to force magic users to choose between military service and imprisonment? Or was his attempt to remain free just selfish and putting the general populous at risk?
Whatever his thoughts on the subject were, his feet knew to keep running. But just running wouldn’t be good enough. Oscar knew that soon they would find him. And if he couldn’t figure out a plan before then, the Supernatural Operations Corps would end the discussion for him.
– – –
Some of you may have seen my interview with the author of Control Point, Myke Cole. If not I’ll wait while you go and check it out here.
Now a short story. I met Myke at NY Comic Con last October. I had gone to meet up with Peter Brett and when I got there, Peter introduced me to Myke and we talked for a bit. Myke seemed really cool, so I decided that I would go to his panel on Saturday. It was the best panel I went to at the con. The stories Myke and the other panelists told were amazing and funny. It was a blast! When the panel ended, Myke announced he was giving away ARCs (advanced reader copies) of his book. After his fantastic storytelling in person, I decided I wanted to read it. I got my copy and started it on the train ride home. I finished it on Monday.
The setting of the story is at first a familiar one. The Shadow Ops world is really just present day Earth with the added element of magic and all the trouble and complexity that goes along with it. The rest of the story is set in another more alien realm – the source of all the magical powers that are manifesting on Earth. The Source’s vast grasslands are populated by many otherworldly creatures, and one Supernatural Operations Corps base. This is where the military trains people to use their magic without killing anyone and of course to use it as a weapon. Now is normally the time I would explain more about the unique and complex magic system Myke has come up with, but you all read his interview just now, so I don’t need to explain it again. Right? Right.
I must admit it, took me a few pages to get my bearings, as you are dropped right in the middle of a standoff between the military and the high school students, but once I got to know Oscar, I was hooked. Oscar Britton is a deep, troubled soul, torn between what he believed (up until he manifested magic) and his desire to be free. And knowing how highly Myke thinks of the military, made Oscar’s character that much more interesting. The struggle to do the right thing and then not knowing what the right thing was, made me want to see what Oscar would do next, feel next, and which side he would ultimately decide he wanted to be on.
Plus, there were apache helicopters fighting magic wielding, fireball throwing goblins with stolen machine guns! I mean how cool is that? 😀
Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, continuing on then.
Overall, Control Point is an action packed story, set in an interesting world, with an amazingly deep main character, written by an extremely nice guy. And really, if I didn’t know otherwise, I would have thought Myke had been writing (and published) for years. The believability of the characters, the setting, and magic system were on par with some of my longtime favorite authors. As a debut novel (or a regular one for that matter), I would give Control Point six out of five stars if I could. But I guess five out of five will have to do.
Shadow Ops: Control Point is available now in the US and will be available in September in the UK. The sequel Fortress Frontier is due out in January of 2013. You can check out Myke on his website and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.