Age of Blood: A SEAL Team 666 Novel

Overview

Tom Clancy meets The X-Files in Weston Ochse's SEAL Team 666 series starring the Navy SEALs who handle supernatural threats

When a Senator’s daughter is kidnapped by a mysterious group with ties to the supernatural . . . it’s clearly a job for SEAL TEAM 666.  As Triple Six gets involved, they discover links to the Zeta Cartel, a newly discovered temple beneath Mexico City, and a group known as Followers of the Flayed One. International politics, cross-border ...

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Age of Blood: A SEAL Team 666 Novel

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Overview

Tom Clancy meets The X-Files in Weston Ochse's SEAL Team 666 series starring the Navy SEALs who handle supernatural threats

When a Senator’s daughter is kidnapped by a mysterious group with ties to the supernatural . . . it’s clearly a job for SEAL TEAM 666.  As Triple Six gets involved, they discover links to the Zeta Cartel, a newly discovered temple beneath Mexico City, and a group known as Followers of the Flayed One. International politics, cross-border narco-terrorism, and an insidious force operating inside the team soon threaten to derail the mission.  Forced to partner with several militant ex-patriots and a former Zeta hitman-turned-skinwalker, Triple Six is the world's only hope to stop the return of the Age of Blood.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/26/2013
Ochse's supernatural Special Forces unit (introduced in SEAL Team 666) is deployed to find the daughter of a senator gone missing off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. The kidnapping turns out to be linked to the Zeta drug cartel, which plans to "reinstate old Aztec rule" with the help of a cult of "neo-pagan Aztec worshippers," and the team's rescue mission leads its members to a bloody showdown at an ancient temple buried under Mexico City. Characters are developed in broad strokes while military gear is described in plot-stalling detail, but those who enjoyed Ochse's first book will find more of the same to please them here. However, the basic premise of the series—which portrays the non-American villains as monsters or allies of monsters—will be very difficult for many readers to choke down. Agent: Robert Fleck, Professional Media Services. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Age of Blood:

“Ochse has hit on a new subgenre: military special ops battling supernatural enemies. Gore ensues.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Ochse’s novel attempts to blend the military fiction of Tom Clancy with the supernatural horror of early Stephen King. It shouldn’t work, but it does, thanks mainly to the SEAL-team characters, just the kind of appealing heroes you want fighting visions from all our nightmares. More in this genre-blending vein will be eagerly anticipated.” Booklist

Praise for SEAL Team 666:

*New York Post Required Reading Selection*

“SEAL Team 6, the real-life elite team that killed Osama bin Laden, has never seen the kinds of things that confront its fictional counterpart.” Kirkus Reviews

“A fan of Tom Clancy-ish military thrillers would be as engrossed in this book as a fan of Jim Butcher’s novels about Harry Dresden.” —CriminalElement.com

"Even the supernatural has its own division of terrorist. Thank goodness we have our defenders - SEAL Team 666." —Joe R. Lansdale

"Weston Ochse has always been a wised-up, clued-in, completely trustworthy writer of high-action fiction that deserved a wider audience, and SEAL Team 666 is his breakthrough book. Here, every story-line is as taut as a gunfighter's nerves, and individual scenes pop like firecrackers. I raced through this novel and when it ended, I wanted more." —Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author ofIn the Night Room

"SEAL Team 666 is like X-Files and Torchwood written by Tom Clancy: ingenious, creepy, and entertaining." —Kevin J. Anderson, #1 international bestselling author of Hunters of Dune

"A wild blend of nail-biting thriller action and out-of-the shadows horror. This is the supernatural thriller at its most dynamic.  Perfect!" —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Dead of Night and The King of Plagues

“What we have here is a massively exciting and fast paced story that really flies along at a cracking pace. In fact, I would even say it doesn't even give the reader a chance to breathe, instead it makes them turn page after page to see what is going to happen next.” —Curiosity of a Social Misfit

“An action packed and well written first story in what I see becoming a great and popular series; which has a strong lead in the form of Jack Walker. Seal Team 666 has enough military jargon and weaponry to keep military lovers happy and enough horrible creatures and gruesome deaths to keep fans of the supernatural happy. Plus, I’m really excited to see which new creatures Ochse throws our heroes way in the next books.” —Nerd Like You

“All in all what you have here is a multi-genre horror/military fiction with very likable characters, a strong mythology, and a giant pile of source material for further stories. That I would definitely read.” —Following The Nerd

“The action is heavy and the violence extreme as the team battles monsters and man yet Weston Ochse is a strong enough author that he does not have to rely on gore to keep the reader’s attention. His military background shows as well as the way his characters act in combat is very believable.” The Examiner (UK)

SEAL Team 666 affords the same pleasures as Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series or Christopher Farnsworth’s Blood Oath and its sequels: namely seeing supernatural beasties receive a good old military-grade beating…. Ochse’s army background lends authenticity to this snappy, fast-paced thriller.” Financial Times of London (UK)

Praise for Weston Ochse:

“Weston Ochse is to horror what Bradbury is to science fiction — an artist whose craft, stories and voice are so distinct and mesmerizing that you can't help but be enthralled.”—Dani Kollin, Prometheus Award-winning author of The Unincorporated Man

"Make way for a new powerhouse on the block. Hard work and formidable skills have already shot-gunned Ochse to the front of the genre's exciting new pack of writers. With creative brawn, brains, and balls, the guy's locked, loaded, and switched to full-auto, blazing away with his unique and original brand of modern horror, one of the few new writers, I'd say, who will help re-define the field for the future."—Master of Dark Fiction Edward Lee on Weston Ochse

“Weston Ochse is a mercurial writer, one of those depressingly talented people who are good at whatever they turn their hand to.”—Conrad Williams, August Derleth and International Horror Guild Award Winner

“Weston is one of the best authors of our generation."—Brian Keene, Bram Stoker Award-winning author The Rising

"Weston Ochse is perhaps the fiercest and most direct of the latest generation of dark fiction writers. I watched awestruck year by year as the bright candle of his talent grew into a roaring bonfire of brutally honest output, matched only by his deep empathy for the human condition."—Rocky Wood, author of Stephen King: A Literary Companion

“Horror fans will be drawn in by Ochse's cool, collected writing style and then blown away when he peels back reality's skin to uncover the supernatural terrors lurking just beneath the surface."
Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
Ochse (Seal Team 666, 2012) offers Volume 2 chronicling the demon-hunting SEAL warrior team. In this saga, the paranormal-pursuit SEAL team heads to Mexico to battle the usual suspects: demons, werewolves and homunculi. SEAL Team 666's mission is to rescue Emily Withers, the kidnapped daughter of a U.S. senator. Spinning his tale in short, cinematic chapters, Ochse employs characters direct from central casting. There's Holmes, the rugged, handsome officer in charge; Laws, wise-guy intellectual; Walker, dedicated, sometimes-conflicted sniper; Yank, an African-American from Compton, scared straight; and YaYa, Middle Eastern in heritage but patriotic to the core. There's even a hint of romance, with Walker being paired up with an attractive covert analyst. The main event comes when Team 666 confronts the Zeta drug cartel and an ancient Aztec cult whose members dress in the skins of the dead. Ochse laces the narrative with more acronyms than he defines, lists weapons exotic and prosaic, and splashes enough blood to satisfy fans of exploding heads. The action moves from New Orleans to California and then to Mexico City, but Ochse doesn't rely on setting. His modus operandi is demonology--and bloodletting. The prime bad guy, his motivation unclear, is white-suited Ramon, werewolf and former Zeta assassin. The original kidnapping is a trick to lure the senator to Mexico, where he too is kidnapped, the snatch pulled off by a Team 666 member infected by an otherworldly presence during a previous mission, now gone rogue at the demon's behest. The final battle takes place in ancient excavations beneath Mexico City. The good guys knife, shoot and explode Zeta gunmen, chupacabra, giant albino snakes and 7-foot obsidian butterflies called chacmools. Ochse has hit on a new subgenre: military special ops battling supernatural enemies. Gore ensues.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250036629
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Series: SEAL Team 666 Series , #2
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 258,927
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

WESTON OCHSE has won the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for short fiction. He is a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer and current intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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Read an Excerpt

1
 
 
NEW ORLEANS CEMETERY. NIGHT.
That’ll Leave A Mark was spray-painted in garish Day-Glo pink across the front of a seventeenth-century headstone. The out-of-the-way and run-down cemetery was the perfect setting for a horror movie. The ambience was complete with Spanish-moss-hung ancient trees, low ground fog, aboveground crypts crouching like intruders, anomalous statues that could be shrines to the elder gods, and the total absence of sound, except for a tinkling of zydeco on the extreme edge of hearing. And the characters, the complement of characters, inclusive of the astonishingly believable voodoo queen, were as terrifying as they were fantastic. So Petty Officer First Class Jack Walker was pretty pleased with himself that he made this observation while perched high in a tree far away from the action and armed with a sniper rifle.
Only this wasn’t a movie. Through his scope, Walker watched as Voodoo Queen Madame Laboy stood imperiously on the raised sarcophagus behind a wall of bulletproof glass, her arms outstretched as if she were the puppeteer for the vast array of undead which were pulling themselves upright from where they lay on the ground. More than a dozen naked zombies clawed their way to their feet, their jerky movements as they tried to operate their dead limbs increasing the creep factor tenfold. Some of them still had Y-incisions from medical-school students’ inexpert autopsies. Others were fresher, their mortal wounds still weeping fluid, their expressions full of surprise as if they’d just figured out they were no longer alive.
Walker swung the long barrel of the Stoner SR-25 sniper rifle back and forth as he continued observing the scene through the Leupold Mark 4 scope. The other four members of SEAL Team 666 huddled in the middle of the cemetery. Holmes, Laws, YaYa, and the new guy, Yank, stood roughly back-to-back. They wore body armor, including Kevlar forearm pads, Kevlar gloves, and Kevlar shin guards. They each held a slender two-foot metal baton in one hand and a Marine Ka-Bar in the other. Their heads were completely covered with metal helmets, depriving them of sight, sound, and smell. If they were to survive, it would be by touch alone.
The zombies were pretty much as Walker expected—shamblers. Like sailors after a forty-eight-hour drinking jag in Balibago, Philippines. Several bumped into crypts and were redirected.
Walker’s gaze was drawn back to Madame Laboy as she started to sing something in low, guttural French. A mishmash of red and purple satin covered her matronly figure. Her graying hair was piled high and infused with copper coils. Enough of her beauty remained that she could still command a room’s attention, not to mention a pantheon of the undead in a Southern gothic cemetery.
At the sound of her song, the zombies snapped their bodies straight and cocked their heads as if they were listening—which after this reaction, Walker had no doubt they were. Within moments of hearing her, they were all staring with dead eyes at the four SEALs. Then, as one, the zombies moved toward them.
Walker wished he could put a round through the Voodoo Queen’s head. It wouldn’t even be hard. Everything seemed a little easier after he took out the Somali pirates on heavy seas last year at over three thousand meters. Except that the rounds in his rifle stood no chance against the specially designed glass. Still, he could figure out a way to put his rifle to good use. He sighted in, took a moment, and fired. Dust exploded from the ground between Holmes’s feet. The SEAL straightened, tapped the man next to him, who did the same to the next, until they were all alerted to the approaching zombies.
Dragging and tripping, the undead moved faster than expected. With their arms out, fingers curled, teeth gnashing, the first wave attacked.
At first touch, each SEAL used his baton to isolate an arm and spin his attacker. Then the knife blade slid along the back until it found the neck. A hard saw with the serrated edge and the head fell free to hang by gristle and skin as the zombie dropped, lifeless once more.
A male voice spoke through Walker’s Multiband Intra/Inter Team Radio (MBITR) headset. “Increasing volume to five decibels. SEALs, move apart.”
The four SEALs did as commanded. Each one set one foot forward like a fencer, their helmeted faces pointing toward the ground, as they concentrated on what little hearing they were allowed as their only sense.
Holmes encountered a raised crypt and quickly pulled himself atop it. Yank, YaYa, and Laws remained on the ground. They moved their batons and knives in a slow dance, waiting.
They didn’t have long. Thirty more zombies rose from places along the ground where they’d been placed earlier. The problem with cemeteries in New Orleans is that the water table is too high to bury someone in the ground. Instead, people must be buried in aboveground crypts, which can run from the utilitarian to the elaborate. Since the SEALs didn’t want to raise the dead of unknown families, the crypts themselves were kept shut. Instead, Naval Special Warfare Command had requisitioned a number of cadavers, which had been strategically placed along the ground by a cohort of confused Navy seamen, who knew better than to question the details of their classified mission to relocate the recent dead.
Holmes spun as he felt a zombie brush his lower leg. Walker watched through his scope when she turned to face Holmes. She’d been a beautiful girl before something had smashed in the side of her face. She grabbed the SEAL’s leg and tried to pull him to her, but she lacked the strength, instead creating a stationary target for Holmes’s weapons. He slammed the tip of the knife into the center of her skull. Her body ceased all function. He pulled the knife free as she fell.
But Holmes had no time to waste. Two more zombies moved toward him. An African American zombie who was tall and muscled enough to have played professional basketball grabbed one of Holmes’s arms. An overweight, balding white guy grabbed one of Holmes’s legs. Holmes kicked out to rid himself of the zombie on his leg, but as he did, he was jerked off balance by the taller one.
Walker quickly scanned the other three SEALs and saw that while each was engaged, they were holding their own, except for possibly Yank, who had lowered his head and was ramming himself into a clot of three zombies. Still, they were on their feet and fighting, not at all like the SEAL team leader, who was now on the ground and straddled by a freakishly tall zombie. Even while Holmes fought desperately to rid himself of the creature on his chest, the overweight zombie was trying to chew on his leg. Try as the zombie might, he couldn’t bite through the Kevlar, nor could he find a way around it with the booted foot of Holmes’s other leg continually slamming into his face.
Walker prepared to fire. The objective of the training was to help better prepare the SEALs for situations where they had limited use of their senses. No one was supposed to die. In fact, it was Walker’s job to make sure that no one did. Still, he hesitated, watching through the scope as Holmes fought for his life. Walker could afford his boss a few more seconds. After all, nothing was faster than a sniper round.
The zombie kept trying to grab the side of Holmes’s head as if it were a basketball. The fact that Holmes had a metal helmet on didn’t seem to deter the zombie, and Holmes himself kept acting as if the helmet weren’t there. Why not let the zombie try and bite through the composite metal?
It was as if Holmes realized this at the same time Walker thought it. Holmes relaxed and the zombie immediately grabbed his head. He brought it to his face to get a better hold and snapped his jaw shut, breaking several teeth on the metal.
Not being able to see, Holmes had no idea this had occurred, but in one smooth move he slammed the knife into the side of the zombie’s head. He continued pushing until the creature tumbled off him. Without hesitation, Holmes scissored his legs and wrapped them around the other zombie’s head. Holmes rolled, causing the overweight zombie to tumble headfirst after him until Holmes straddled the zombie. The SEAL team leader no longer had a knife but he still held the baton. He placed one end of it on the bottom of the zombie’s jaw and shoved until it disappeared into the creature’s brain.
Walker couldn’t help but shake his head and smile. “Not bad, Chief. Not bad at all.”
Holmes dispatched three more, using the baton in the same manner.
Yank got to his feet from where he looked like he’d been rolling in a pile of dead zombies. Walker made a note to talk to the new SEAL. No matter how much Kevlar he wore, his zeal for battle wouldn’t stop a zombie from possibly finding a chink in his armor. Even after this, the metaphor should be lived.
YaYa and Laws each stood in the center of a pile of his own dead zombies. Other than Madame Laboy, the SEALs were the only ones left in the cemetery.
A series of beeps piped through his MBITR, followed by “Control to Triple Six. Training complete. You may remove your sensory-deprivation helmets.”
The four SEALs below Walker did as they were told and their faces were revealed.
Lieutenant Commander Sam Holmes, blond-haired, square-jawed paradigm of a SEAL, life dedicated to the cause of freedom.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Tim Laws, blond-haired, lanky, a smile already creasing a long, thoughtful face that hid an intelligence unmatched by the others.
Chief Petty Officer Ali Jabouri, or YaYa, Arab American, dark-skinned, dark hair, built like a runner, trying to prove that he was as apple-pie American as everyone else.
Petty Officer Second Class Shonn Yankowski, African American, shaved head, tattoos, burns along the left side of his face from a house fire back home in Compton.
Just as the SEALs began to high-five and celebrate, each examining the zombies he’d killed without the ability to see, they were interrupted by a terrible scraping sound. All eyes went to one of the raised crypts, this one more elaborate and twice the size of most others.
The four-inch-thick metal cover was moving aside. An immense hand reached from underneath and grabbed the lip of the crypt’s lid, a talon the size of a dinner knife jutting from each finger.
The hairs on the back of Walker’s neck began to buzz. He’d felt something electric the entire time, but he’d written it off as the zombies or Madame Laboy. But now with the metal cover free, his skin began to tingle. Whatever this was, it was much more than they’d expected, setting off his supernatural warning system like no horde of zombies ever could.
Madame Laboy’s voice rose. She screamed a series of words that weren’t part of any language Walker had ever heard. Her hands punched at the air in a complex pattern. What she was doing was many levels of mastery beyond the raising of the dead.
Walker watched as the monstrous hand lost its grip on the crypt cover, and let it drop back in place, disappearing beneath it.
Madame Laboy ran around the bulletproof shield and sped toward the crypt. With the help of Yank, she climbed on top of the lid, where she began to spit, and curse, and cast more spells.
“What was that?” Holmes asked.
She ignored him for a moment, then said, “Something I’d almost forgotten about. Something I’d misplaced.”
“Pretty fucking big to misplace,” Laws said, casting a worried eye at the crypt.
“You live as long as me and you’ll forget a lot of things, mon petit guerrier.” She stared at him, as if daring him to ask her age.
Laws snorted. He knew better than to upset a voodoo queen.

 
Copyright © 2013 by St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

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