REVIEW SUMMARY: Strong premise, weak execution.
SYNOPSIS: Magic has come to the world, upsetting the established order. Lieutenant Oscar Britton is a regular soldier, attached to a military group that specializes in hunting and detaining dangerous radicals. Then, inexplicably, Oscar manifests a magical power of his own and soon he is on the run, wanted by the authorities.
PROS: Interesting concept/setting; frenzied action.
CONS: Unlikable protagonist; unlikable secondary characters; repetitive internal/external dialogue; lots of petty complaints that add up.
BOTTOM LINE: A debut novel that does not live up to its potential or the hype surrounding it, yet I still have hopes for the sequel.
Myke Cole is a military reservist and writer. Control Point, just out from Ace (Penguin-Putnam), is the first novel in his military fantasy Shadow Ops series.
SF SIGNAL: Hi Myke, thanks for taking a couple of moments to speak with us! The first question that I’ve got is: why military fantasy, over something like Military Science Fiction or superpowers?
Myke Cole: Two reasons, really. The first is that my experience is in the military and that I have been a die-hard traditional fantasy fan (though I also love SF) since my earliest days. It’s a neat combination of the two old axioms “write what you know” and “write what you’d want to read.”
The second reason is that military SF has been, frankly, done to death, as have traditional superhero stories (though more in comics than novels). To the best of my knowledge (and I certainly could be wrong), a modern (and truly modern, by which I mean counterinsurgent focused) military tale blended with high fantasy monsters and magic hasn’t been done as a mass-market novel. I wanted to see if I could push the envelope a little bit.