Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole – Advanced Review [djinn24]

Larry B. Killian otherwise known as djinn24 while lurking on the internet has been envolved in the gaming industry for 18 years and playing miniature war games, most notably Warhammer 40k for 16 years.  He is mainly known for miniature painting and is also an avid reader of most things fantasy and sci-fi. Our latest review features djinn24 reviewing Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole.

“Simply awesome. A mix of military might and old-school wizardry.” ~The Founding Fields

The helicopters are flying in low and fast in the middle of the say.  They are going to support local law enforcement from a threat that has just developed, but this mission is not in Iraq or Afghanistan but in small town USA at South Burlington High School, Arkansas. U.S. Army officer Lieutenant Oscar Britton is troubled by the target of the mission, a couple high school kids in their school that have just discovered they are probes (unsanctioned magic users) and have decided to go rogue.  The two have caused massive damage to the school and have hurt some of the students. Magical fire and elementals are blowing through the school as the Lieutenant wonder if he will be able to take them down if the time comes. Having to push his own reservations aside and lead his team to do the same has not been the easiest thing to do, to make things worse, the Supernatural Operations Corps or SOC is running this mission; working alongside the government sanctioned latents puts everyone on edge. During the mission, the worst happens and things go bad as one of Britton’s men is badly burned and placed into the hospital.  While staying with his man, suddenly to the surprise of everyone Britton discovers he is a latent when he suddenly opens a portal to another world, bringing in something really mean and nasty.  Not only is he a latent, he has developed powers in a restricted school of magic.  Thinking his life is on the line he decides to run from the very organization that he was just a member of.

Myke Cole, an officer in the Coast Guard Reserves, started this novel while deployed to Iraq.  He used the situations that he has lived through to help him paint a vivid picture in his début as an author. In part of his biography, Myke mentions sending a copy of the original manuscript to a friend with the message not to tell him what he though of the book until he has landed back in the United States.  Well the friend did as Myke wished and met him shortly after he returned, telling him enthusiastically to finish the book as quickly as possible. This book was a page turner from the first page as Myke Cole does an outstanding job throwing you right in the action as the teams are sweeping into the target of a mission.  He develops a good connection between you the reader and the main character, Army officer Lieutenant Oscar Britton.

Myke manages to keep the pace of the book steadying, hitting high points where they were really needed.  At no time I ever found myself bored and was always wondering where the next page was going to take me.  He gives you just enough of a tease to let you develop several ideas where it can go in your head but never enough to let you guess how it is going to end.  The characters are developed really well and you start bonding with the characters as you go along into the book.  I always feel if you hate the main villain in the book then the author has done a great job and I know I despised them by the end and was really rooting for Britton the entire way.  The only issue was a few characters are not talked about as much as I would have liked to see.  Though their overall role in the story was somewhat minor, putting another half page to them would have made things a bit better for me, but this did not lower my excitement of this book.

The worst part about this book was finishing it and realizing that I would have to wait for the second book to be released.  Myke has been placed on several top 10 anticipated Sci-Fi books for 2012 and it is well deserved, while the ideas are not completely original, Myke Cole has managed to put his own spin on things and really puts everything in a new light.  Overall I would give this book 9 out of 10.  The only minor issues I had was some character development was lacking.  If you like modern era sci-fi and fantasy I can not push you hard enough to read this book, you will not be disappointed.

As of the writing of this review, the second book has been started and is in the final steps of review and publication.  We have also learned that the book has been optioned for a movie, this does not mean that it is 100%, but it does mean that is has garnered enough attention to have some studios looking at this!  Very exciting news for Myke!  One thing I would like to point out, is that this is my first book review, even though I have published several since.  The publisher asked us to wait putting this review out.  I have touched it up some, hoping that I brought it up to what I am currently at with my writing but it is understandably going to be rougher then some of my more recent reviews as I was cutting my teeth on this one.

djinn24 is a professional miniatures painter, with an equally strong love of books. His reviews are concise and critical. He’s definitely good at what he does.

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