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Shadow Ops: Control Point (Shadow Ops series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 400 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Myke is a fantastic writer. There are very few times I'm pulled from the imersiveness of the world. Also his world building is fantastic. He has clearly spent a lot of time building his world's magic, its capabilities, and actual likely scenarios that would transpire. It literally feels as if this could be a real world when you are reading, I thoroughly enjoy it. Yes magic exists and while we think we know all the main schools of magic as well as the probe schools (prohibited schools), it doesn't feel like some new fantastical magic is just going to spring up to move the plot along. So far I'm into book two and there are a couple of magics that show up, but they aren't special flower magics (the idea that the main character can't die so he/she "magically" gains a new ability to save them from that scenario.
The problems I have are mainly with Oscar. His duality and confusion is infuriating at times. I was not an officer in the army, I was an NCO, I led soldiers and trained them, but I thought like them, I didn't have to make officer decisions or deal with the things they had to, so i chock most of that to how Oscar is and why I don't get it. I had plenty of things that I did not agree with, that the Army, my government, and my units did. Some of those things cost people their lives, thankfully it was none of my soldiers, save one, but their decisions didn't give me such turmoil as Oscar has. I grumbled, hated the process, and carried out my orders as long as they were lawful. Oscars problem is he's too idealistic. He loves the military, he loves his country, but he can't stand what they are doing to people like him. I get that, I just feel like time was too quick in the beginning for him to go from, not trusting magic users (like Harlequinn) to suddenly standing up for their rights and being their sole leader (in his mind) in the fight for their freedom. He has, arguably, one of the coolest powers in the books so far as I've read, and instead of being completely stoked about it, he's internally fighting himself, literally. That could just be my mentality projecting on him, but I feel like he was just too much inside his own head. He steps on his own dick, so to speak, consistently. The guy says things that make me think he has no filter. For a lower enlisted guy, sure I can totally believe that, but for an officer who is a pilot, I have trouble buying that he doesn't know how to think before he speaks. All those things said, they are nitpicky and probably a personal preference thing, the book is great, and I'm super excited I found out about the author. (From the Imaginary worlds podcast by the by) I will finish reading this series and his follow on series. As a lot of reviewers have said, you can see his skill building as the books go on. I'm only into the second book, probably 2/3rds in and you can tell a drastic difference in his abilities from 1 to 2. There aren't mistakes or anything that are glaring, and the style doesn't change so much it's unrecognizable from the first, just that it feels like it flows easier, there's a second character added, and he's practically the polar opposite of Oscar which is pretty cool so far. I highly encourage you to check this series out, and support the author so he can continue to write more and hopefully revisit the Shadow Ops universe.
Other than that, this was a really interesting take on the magic in the modern world genre. I like the idea that the governments of the world would crack down on magic hard. It feels a little like the X-men/Avenger/Agents of Shield story-line with the government cracking down on people with unusual powers while employing them at the same time, but with the addition of a whole new world/universe/plane of existence where those powers are normal. That addition of a high fantasy magical realm where these powers are normal is the big twist that sets this story apart from others in this genre.
Anyway, a good read.
This is the story of a man struggling with the ethics of war, of juggling with the consequences that war has even on the people who have sworn to follow orders, regardless of the consequences. Britton must learn to make the hard choices, even if he loses his soul in the process, and hope that in the end, lives will be saved and he will be able to forgive himself.
In a world recently reeling from a magical reawakening, the old rules have been tossed aside as a select few now wield the elements at their command, order the dead to return to life, or move between dimensions at will. Shadow Ops is a novel that attempts to explore how the insanity of the American military complex might react to people suddenly gaining the power of myth and then realizing they had the capacity to try and control that power for themselves.
My only gripes with the novel is the tendency to overly rely on Hero Journey archetypes, and the story’s tendency to absolve people of what honestly is an insane amount of terrifying masochism the villains possess while at the same time trying to explain that such behavior is realistic were magic a central force in people’s lives. A third minor complaint I have is that the main character tends to sway back and forth constantly, and much of the story is his voice trying to manage his own doubts about what he eventually needs to do, even though he author clearly paints both the authority and the anarchy with equal shares of evil.
As the author used to be a soldier, the novel does a great job of portraying severe criticisms of the Armed Services on occupied territory while also honestly confronting the behavior issues the regulations cause for many soldiers. The book speaks volumes on the psychological burden the regulations places on soldiers, without calling for their complete dismissal. The book doesn’t leave the reader with any easy answers, but instead allows the reader the choice to make up his or her own mind regarding the casualties of war, but told in a very enjoyable format of magic, monsters, and guns’n’sorcery.
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I started reading this book after I've finished the Armored Saint, which is a fantasy story by the same author.Read more