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Posted March 2, 2013
I loved CONTROL POINT, Myke Cole's first Shadow Ops book. I'm no
I loved CONTROL POINT, Myke Cole's first Shadow Ops book. I'm not a "modern military fiction" fan for the most part. I enjoyed THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, but haven't read any other Clancy books; I don't think I could even name the top writers in the genre if winning Jeopardy depended on it. But I was intrigued by Cole's premise -- mixing modern military with fantasy elements the way so many authors mix medieval military with fantasy (George RR Martin in particular these days), and I ate up the first book and really thought Oscar Britton was a great character to follow through this new world.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Cole has set himself a challenge with FORTRESS FRONTIER. Rather than picking up the story right where the first book left off, with Britton and his group dealing with the aftermath of events ... Cole starts the book by introducing us to Alan Bookbinder, a character we've never seen before (if he was in CONTROL POINT at all, I've forgotten he was there) and backtracking the story to roughly about a third of the way through the first book. For readers expecting "All Oscar Britton, All The Time," this move could jar them right out of the book. In fact, although Britton is mentioned right away, it's a good quarter of the book before we get to find out where Oscar and his gang have gotten off too. Basically, Cole gives us a scaled down version of what the aforementioned GRRM does in "Song of Ice & Fire." Throughout the book we get Bookbinder's and Britton's points of view, and by comparing their story-lines we get a sense of the bigger picture than we would if Cole followed only one or the other character throughout the events.
Alan Bookbinder is as interesting a character as Oscar Britton, for completely different reasons. I feel like I was able to identify with Bookbinder better, largely because, like me, he's never been in battle before the start of the book. He's a paper-pusher and very content to be so. He doubts he has what it takes to stand up to other officers or to lead in the field. And then, of course, when he's called upon to do so, I found myself rooting for him and hoping I'd be able to do the same in his position.
If there's any downside to FORTRESS FRONTIER (and I definitely hesitate to call this a "negative,") it's that there seems to be a lot of stuff being set up for the future. Without spoiling anything (I hope), there's quite a bit of mystery surrounding a character called The Sculptor who we met in the first book but who seems to be manipulating events on the Home Plane that only have a minor influence on the outcome of this book but must have been included for a reason. There are clearly a few story arcs developing, and I hope sales are good enough for Cole to be able to continue the story. Note: this is not to say FF feels incomplete: the story of Bookbinder's evolution from non-com paperpusher to confident leader is compelling enough on its own to carry the book, and I was very satisfied with where Cole chose to end the book.
Posted February 10, 2013
The first book was good. This book was even better. Fantastic merging of story lines with excellent pacing. Just enough drama to buy into the characters and an nuanced depth that keeps you wondering about what its all about. Superb action sequences without cliche. Definite recommend.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2013
Following up on the delightful Control Point, Cole returns with
Following up on the delightful Control Point, Cole returns with a novel that is focused, exciting, and expands on the world. Alan Bookbinder is a lead as compelling as Oscar Britton. Bookbinder is more focused but just as compelling as Britton, and readers who found Britton wishy-washy in Control Point will hopefully connect with Bookbinder..Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I was very happy to see more of the sociological aspects of the setting being explored, and it's a testament to the richness of the world that I could easily imagine a dozen different ways for the series to go at any given time. There are many stories to tell here, and I'm happy to keep reading for as long as Cole cares to keep writing.