Sunday, 15 April 2012
Shadow Ops: Control Point Review
As soon as I heard about Myke Cole's book through the Functional Nerds podcast I knew I had to read it. Sounded like something so fresh. Sure there are a lot of familiar elements, but this was a new combination I hadn't heard of or read before and I wasn't disappointed. The book starts off with an intense action scene that sucks you in. Gives you a good feel of Oscar Britton and his world. Being a G-Man himself you can feel Myke is drawing on a lot of his own experiences. It's hard to tell which ones, but it really adds to the authenticity of the feel of the book.
I won the book through Twitter mentioning Myke in the tweet that I had won, and he said that he would send me a signed copy too! Had me smiling from ear to ear. I said I would send a photo of the book in a famous South African spot in return. So on my birthday I went up Table Mountain in Cape Town and did so. (Photo below)
Back to the book. After the initial action scene Oscar discovers that he has just manifested some magic abilities of his own. Prohibited magic like he had just helped to control. Not wanting to meet the same fate he runs for it. Runs away from everything he knows and cares about.
I can't reveal much more about the plot without spoiling it, but I will touch on some other elements of the book. I thought the magic system was well handled. Most of it seeming to have a base in real world mythology. And it's suitably hard for the characters to learn. They can't just suddenly do what they want with it. They have to control it, channel it. Not let it consume them.
I also enjoyed the characters. They were diverse and I don't think too far from how real people would act in such situations. Not an easy thing to pull off. Although I do say I have never met such a conflicted character before. His stance on his situation and new found ability changing constantly, but I don't think it is a bad thing. Not at all. Because myself my thoughts on something might change by the second. Adapting as new information comes in. Letting my experiences and feelings guide me.
Overall I think this is a very strong debut, and I think the second book will be even better because Myke will be applying what he learned from the first book's writing process.