Shadow Ops: Control Point

( 34 )

Overview

Lieutenant Oscar Britton of the Supernatural Operations Corps has been trained to hunt down and take out people possessing magical powers. But when he starts manifesting powers of his own, the SOC revokes Oscar's government agent status to declare him public enemy number one.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback)
$6.93
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$7.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $4.40   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   
Shadow Ops: Control Point

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

Lieutenant Oscar Britton of the Supernatural Operations Corps has been trained to hunt down and take out people possessing magical powers. But when he starts manifesting powers of his own, the SOC revokes Oscar's government agent status to declare him public enemy number one.

Read More Show Less
  • May11_2/Shadow_Ops_BB_a067c55fdc5e7f6b89e3953c5b4667be6e4ad403
    May11_2/Shadow_Ops_BB_a067c55fdc5e7f6b89e3953c5b4667be6e4ad403  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In years gone by, Supernatural Operations Corps Lieutenant Oscar Britton spent his days and nights taking down people with magical powers. Now that he is manifesting such powers himself, he has become a hunted man himself. A new military sci-fi series in mass market paperback and NOOK Book.

James Killen

Publishers Weekly
In Cole’s vision of near-future America, magic and superpowers have become a terrifying and often lethal feature of everyday life. Army lieutenant Oscar Britton enforces America’s draconian, inflexible magic regulations, but when he himself develops prohibited abilities, he flees rather than face summary execution. His eventual capture leads not to his death but to lifelong military-industrial slavery. Previously a morally conflicted cog in a brutal legal mechanism, Britton soon finds himself outraged beyond tolerance, with open rebellion the only way out. Though clearly a debut, the novel shows promise; the rather Spartacusesque protagonist is not an infallible combat machine but a man who is able to learn from his errors, and Cole’s apparent disapproval of state-sanctioned brutality, slavery, and torture even in the face of possible existential threats is a welcome novelty in the era of 24. Agent: JABberwocky Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Library Journal
In reponse to a worldwide outbreak of magical powers that appear suddenly and randomly and that cause havoc among a panicked population, Oscar Britton's job as a member of the military's Supernatural Operation Corps is to hunt down those who manifest magical talent. His life is turned upside down, however, when Britton himself develops a forbidden power and becomes the hunted instead of the hunter. A debut by a former military officer that will attract readers who like their urban fantasies with more of a military edge.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937007249
  • Publisher: Ace
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Series: Shadow Ops Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 201,967
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Flight
“Latent” has become part of the magical jargon. It used to mean folks who were channeling magic but hadn’t yet realized it. Now, everyone from the Unmanifested to the professional military Sorcerer is considered “Latent.” It’s the catchall for anyone touched by the Great Reawakening and a sign of how quickly we’ve adapted to this new reality. —John Brunk Staff Research Associate, Oxford English Dictionary

. . . coming to you live from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, where we have just been informed that a Selfer incident has collapsed the memorial with an unknown number of tourists trapped inside. A SOC intervention team is inbound and we will continue with regular updates as the situation unfolds . . .

—Alex Brinn, SPY7 News—Washington, DC reporting on the Bloch Incident

Chapter I

Assault

They want me to kill a child, Lieutenant Oscar Britton thought.

The monitor showed a silent video fed from a high–school security camera. On it, a young boy stood in a school auditorium. A long–sleeved black T–shirt covered his skinny chest. Silver chains connected rings in his ears, nose, and lips. His hair was a spray of mousse and color.

He was wreathed in a bright ball of fire.

Billowing smoke clouded the camera feed, but Britton could see the boy stretch out a hand, flames jetting out past the camera’s range, engulfing fleeing students, who rolled away, beating at their hair and clothing. People were running, screaming.

Beside the boy stood a chubby girl, her dyed black hair matching her lipstick and eye makeup. She spread her arms.

The flames around the boy pulsed in time with her motions, forming two man–sized and –shaped peaks of flame. The fire elementals danced among the students, burning as they went. Britton watched as the elementals multiplied—four, then six. Wires sparked as the fire reached the stage. The girl’s magic touched them as well, the electricity forming dancing human shapes, elementals of sizzling energy. They lit among the students, fingertips crackling arcs of dazzling blue lightning.

Britton swallowed as his team shuffled uneasily behind him. He heard them make room for Lieutenant Morgan and his assaulters, who entered the briefing room and clustered around the monitor, still tightening straps on gun slings and slamming rounds into their magazines. They loaded armor–piercing, hollow–point, and incendiary ammunition. Not the standard ball or half charges normally used on a capture mission. Britton swallowed again. These were bullets for taking on a dug–in, professional enemy.

The video went to static, then looped for the fifth time as they waited for the briefing to start. The boy burst into flame yet again, the girl beside him conjuring the man–shaped fire elementals to scatter through the auditorium.

Fear formed a cold knot in Britton’s stomach. He pushed it away, conscious of the stares of his men. A leader who voiced fear instilled it in his subordinates.

The mission briefer finally took up his position beside the monitor. His blue eyes were gray flint under the fluorescent lights. “It’s South Burlington High School, about seven klicks from our position. We sent a Sorcerer to check out a tip on an unreported Latency, and these kids decided to tear the place up once they knew they were caught. The local police are already on the scene, and they’re going to refer to me as Captain Thorsson. I’ll need you to stick to call signs. Call me Harlequin at all times.

“The helos are undergoing final checks outside, and you should be on deck to assault the target in fifteen minutes from jump. South Burlington PD and a company out of the Eighty–sixth have evacuated the civilians. We should have it totally clear now, so the order’s come down to go in and bring order to the chaos.”

“Looks like Pyromancers, sir?” Britton asked.

Harlequin snorted and gave voice to Britton’s fears. “You honestly think a fifteen–year–old girl would have the control it takes to move even one elemental around like that, let alone half a dozen? Those flame–men are self–willed.”

“Just great!” Private First Class Dawes whispered loudly enough to be heard by the whole room. “A Probe! A fucking Elementalist! Jesus fucking Christ!”

Warrant Officer Cheatham turned to his man. “So, she’s a Probe! Prohibited school’s no more dangerous than a legal one to a real soldier!”

“It’s okay, Dan,” Britton said, gesturing to Cheatham. Dawes was the youngest member of their team and prone to the histrionics of youth.

Britton could feel the terror in the room. Morgan shifted uneasily, drawing glances from his team.

“I don’t like it any more than you do,” Harlequin said, “but the law is clear. All Supernatural Operations Corps runs inside the United States must be integrated with regular army support. That’s not my call. That’s by presidential decree.

“But you are on perimeter, cordon, and fire–suppression duty. This is a SOC op, and you will let us handle the actual target.”

Target, Britton thought. So that’s what you call a fifteen–year–old girl and her boyfriend.

“What are you going to do, sir?” Britton asked.

“You gonna put a tornado down on ’em, sir?” Dawes asked.

The corner of Harlequin’s mouth lifted slightly. “Something like that.”

If anyone else had said it, the men would have laughed. But Harlequin was a commissioned Sorcerer in the Supernatural Operations Corps.

He meant every word.

“Sir,” Britton said, trying not to let his uncertainty show. “With my bird in the air and my boys on the ground, that’s not an acceptable risk. Copters and tornadoes don’t exactly mix.”

“Your concern for your team is noted,” Harlequin said, “but if you stick to your positions and do as you’re told, you won’t get hit by any stray magic.”

Supporting the SOC and taking on a Probe. Lieutenant Morgan’s voice finally broke, along with his nerve. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Britton felt the fear leap from the lieutenant to his troops. His own team was fracturing before his eyes, the terror eating into their professionalism. He knew he should be holding them together, but he had just seen kids burning to death in the halls of the very high school he used to attend. In a few minutes, he would be landing his team on the roof where he first kissed a girl, supporting a SOC unit turning its magical might against two teenagers.

The boy, they might take alive. Selfers were sometimes pardoned for past crimes if they took the oath and joined the SOC.

But the girl had no chance. She was a Probe, and only one thing happened to those who Manifested in Prohibited magical schools. They were gunned down or carted off, hooded and cuffed, never to be seen again.

“Sir, I just want to confirm that this is a capture mission, right?” Britton asked.

Harlequin shrugged. “Of course. Rules of engagement are clear: If they engage you, escalate to deadly force. Err on the side of protecting your people.”

“They’re scared kids, sir,” Britton continued. “Maybe they’d surrender? Have we gotten in touch with their parents to see if they can talk them down? I know it sounds silly, but . . .”

“It does sound silly, Lieutenant!” Harlequin cut him off. “And we don’t have time for hand–wringing right now. Those kids had a choice. They could have turned themselves in. They didn’t. They chose to go it on their own. Remember, you’re only a Selfer if you run.

“Now, any other questions?” Harlequin asked, glaring at the assembled teams.

There weren’t any.

“Good,” Harlequin said. “Get geared up and get your asses in the air. I’m jumping now. Morgan! You’re on the ground manning relief. Britton! You jump with me. Co–ords are already in the bird. I’ll meet you on target.”

He leaned in to Britton as he left. “Look, Lieutenant. The law may require me to take you along, but you keep your men out of my way and out of the fight. You’re not trained for this. And if I ever again catch you putting doubt in the minds of an assault force about to go hot, I will personally fry your ass.”

Harlequin threw open the door and leapt skyward, flying quickly out of view.

“Sir.” Dawes tugged Britton’s sleeve. “Can’t they get another team? I don’t wanna work with no Sorcerers.”

“They’re on our side, remember?” Britton forced a smile. Terror curdled in his gut. “SOC’s still army.”

Sergeant Goodman, carrying the support weapon for Britton’s team, snorted and nervously tapped the safety on her light machine gun.

“Sir, it’s a high school,” said Dawes, sounding high–school aged himself through his thick Arkansas accent.

“Selfers or not, they’re just kids,” Goodman added.

They’re reading my mind, Britton thought, but he asked “Why do we call them Selfers, Goodman?”

She hesitated. Britton took a step forward, glaring at her. She might have a point, but she had to believe in this mission if she was going to carry it out. They all had to. “Why?”

“Because they don’t think about how their magic puts others in danger,” she gave the textbook response. “Because they only think about themselves.”

“Absolutely right,” Britton said. “There are thirty–four American corpses buried in the rubble of the Lincoln Memorial because of kids like this! Who knows how many kids, hell, or even some of my former teachers, are down there right now? If you can’t do this, say so now. Once we go dynamic and hit that roof, I need everyone in the game. I give you my word; I won’t hold it against you. If you want out, now’s the time.”

He gave them a moment to respond. No one said a word.

Britton had to get his team moving. The more they stood around, the more the fear would take hold. “Okay, you heard the man, and you know the plan!” he called out. “Let’s show the SOC how the Green Mountain Boys get the job done! We’re going to be up to our assholes in elementals up there, so gear for it. Fire suppression for the pyro. There might be lightning elementals, too, so I want everyone to suit up in as much rubber insulation as the armorer will dispense. Move with a purpose, people!”

As his team hurried to comply, Britton looked back at the looping video and suppressed a shudder.

The world’s gone mad, Britton thought. Magic has changed everything.

Even if he wasn’t required to do the deed personally, he knew what Harlequin and his men intended.

Britton sat behind the helicopter’s controls and looked at the man floating in the sky.

Harlequin stood in midair, flight suit rippling in the breeze. Over a thousand feet below him, South Burlington High School glowed in the party colors of spinning police–car lights.

Behind Britton, four army assaulters looked down between their boots, dangling over the helicopter skids, shifting flame–retardant tanks and body armor out of the way for a better view.

Harlequin swooped down to land on one of the Kiowa’s skids, rocking the helicopter and forcing the assaulters to pull their feet back inside. The rotors beat the air over the Aeromancer’s head, stirring his close–cropped blond hair.

The assaulters looked nervously at Britton, and Warrant Officer Cheatham shifted in the copilot’s seat. Britton, at least twice Harlequin’s size, turned to face him. The Aeromancer was not impressed.

“All right,” he shouted loudly enough to be heard over the Kiowa’s engine, his blue eyes hard. “You’re to hold position here while we do our job.”

Britton’s brown skin concealed an angry flush. Harlequin might be a Sorcerer, but the assault order came down from on high for all of them. But the real rage came from the sense of relief. No matter how badly he didn’t want to do this, he still had to. Holding position would be tantamount to dereliction of duty.

“With all due respect, sir,” he called out over the whine of the rotors, “I have to follow the TOC’s orders. ’Big army’ has to run shotgun on this raid.”

“That’s crap,” Harlequin responded. “We’re not in the damned briefing room anymore, and I don’t care what Tactical Operations Command says. This is a real fight, with real magic. I don’t need regular pukes fucking it up. You will hold your position here until told otherwise. Is that perfectly clear?”

Britton sympathized with Harlequin’s desire to avoid unnecessary loss of life, but that didn’t change the fact that he’d flown onto Britton’s helicopter and insulted his team.

And it didn’t change the nagging feeling that if there was any chance at all those kids might be saved, Britton had to be there to make sure he saw it through.

“Negative, sir,” Britton said. “My orders are to accompany you to the target and deploy my team. That’s what I intend to do.”

“I’m giving you an order, Lieutenant,” Harlequin said through gritted teeth. He stretched an arm outside the helicopter. The brilliant stars winked out as shreds of cloud unraveled over the rotors, thudding against thickening air.

Britton’s stomach clenched as thunder rumbled, but did his best to look unimpressed. He toggled the cockpit radio. “TOC, this is support. Can someone put me through to Major Reynolds? I’m being ordered to . . .”

Harlequin conjured a gust of air that toggled the radio off. “Fucking forget it!”

Britton sighed and listened briefly to the radio static. “Sir, my orders come directly from the colonel, and last time I checked, he outranks you.”

Harlequin paused, his anger palpable. Britton gripped the controls tightly to keep his hands from shaking. He felt the tremble in the rudder pedals as the rotors spun up, slicing through the summoned clouds.

“We’re moving, sir,” Britton said. “Are you riding with us or with your own team?”

Harlequin cursed, dropped backward off the skid, righted himself, and flew off, outpacing the helicopter easily. The cloud cover around the Kiowa instantly wafted apart.

“Holy crap, sir,” Master Sergeant Young leaned in to shout over the Kiowa’s engine. “I’ve never seen anyone talk to a Sorcerer like that.”

“Seriously, sir,” Sergeant Goodman added. “The SOC don’t give a fuck if they get court–martialed. They’ll just zap you.”

“The army’s the army,” Britton said with a conviction he didn’t feel. “Latent or not, we all follow orders.”

“Thank you, sir. Seriously,” Cheatham said, “I wouldn’t want anyone talking to my people that way.”

Britton nodded, uncomfortable with the praise.

The Supernatural Operations Corps bird, another Kiowa, sleek and black, came into view as they descended. Its side was blazoned with the SOC arms—the Stars and Stripes fluttering behind the eye in the pyramid. Symbols of the four elements hovered in the corners representing legal magical schools: Pyromancy, Hydromancy, Aeromancy, and Terramancy. The red cross crowned the display, symbolizing Physiomancy, the most prized of the permitted schools. The banner beneath read: OUR GIFTS, FOR OUR NATION.

The high–school roof materialized below them, a pitted atoll of raised brick sides stretched with black tar paper. A single, brick–housed metal door led into the building.

Britton set the Kiowa hovering and nodded to Cheatham to take the controls. He turned to the assaulters.

“Okay. You all got the brief,” he shouted. “Two targets barricaded inside. Keep the perimeter secure and the fires under control. Remember, one Pyromancer and one Probe Elementalist.”

“They’re Selfers, sir,” Goodman said. “Why can’t we just bomb the building? Why’s it worth risking our lives?”

“Our orders are to take them down and bring them in for justice,” Britton replied. “If the rules of engagement change, and we have to kill them, then we will. Until then, we’re on a capture mission. Everybody square?”

It’s a damned lie, he thought. Those kids are dead. Harlequin has no intention of capturing anybody.

He made eye contact with each member of his team. None looked away.

Satisfied, he nodded. “Okay, double–check your gear and let’s do this.”

He barely had time to retake the Kiowa’s controls before the commlink crackled to life with Major Reynolds’s voice in the TOC trailer on the ground below. “Full element heads up! Support element, this is TOC. Go hot. I say again, go hot and prep for entry on target.”

“Acknowledged. Support element is hot,” Britton said into the commlink. “You heard the man!” he called to his team, “Weapons free and eyes on target!” He heard the click of safeties coming off on Dawes’s carbine and Goodman’s machine gun. Hertzog and Young hefted their flame suppressors. A quick glance confirmed the assaulters’ sighting down their barrels at the roof.

Oh God, he thought. I didn’t sign up to fight children. He tried to push his doubts away. The law was the law. You didn’t negotiate with unregulated magic users.

“SOC Element,” came Reynolds’s voice over the commlink. “This is TOC. Aero–1, sweep perimeter. Pyro–1, go hot.”

Harlequin dove from the SOC helicopter and rocketed around the school. A figure leaned out of the SOC Kiowa, pumping his fist. His arm erupted in bright orange fire.

Harlequin’s voice came over the commlink, “Aero–1 pass complete. All’s quiet. South Burlington police have the perimeter secure.” A pause, then, “Pyro–1 is hot and ready. SOC Assault–1 and –2 are good to go.”

“Roger that,” Reynolds said. “South Burlington SWAT has been kind enough to provide perimeter and entry from the ground. I’m patching them through now.”

A short crackle was followed by a thick New–England–accented voice. “This is Captain Rutledge with South Burlington PD tactical. Perimeter is secure. Students and faculty are clear, fires are out, and we’ve got the first two floors locked down. Your Selfers are above there somewhere. My men are withdrawn under sniper cover. You’re good to go when ready.”

“Roger that,” said Reynolds. “Okay, Aero–1. Your show. Call ’em out.”

Harlequin streaked over the roof and lit gracefully on the SOC helicopter’s skid. He reached inside and produced a microphone.

“This is Captain Thorsson of the US Army Supernatural Operations Corps,” his voice blared over a bullhorn mounted beneath the Kiowa. “You are accused of unlawful magic use in violation of the McGauer–Linden Act. You have thirty seconds to surrender yourselves. This is your first and only warning.”

The only sounds that followed were the roaring engines of the Kiowas.

“Christ,” Cheatham whispered. He had two high–school–aged girls of his own.

“We have to do this,” Britton said, his voice hollow in his own ears. “They’re walking bombs.”

Cheatham set his jaw, “They’re probably hiding down there, scared as hell.”

Dawes was scared as hell, too. Britton put his hand on Cheatham’s shoulder. “Dan. I need you focused.”

Cheatham didn’t look at Britton. “I’ll do my job, sir.”

“’You’re only a Selfer if you run,’ Dan,” Britton parroted Harlequin’s words. “They could have turned themselves in. They had a choice.”

Cheatham framed a reply, but was cut off by Reynolds’s voice blazing over the commlink. “All right! That’s it! Element! Go dynamic!”

“To arms, Pyro–1. Let’s smoke ’em out,” Harlequin’s voice crackled over the channel. “Spare the good Captain Rutledge’s men and light her up, stories three and higher.”

The Pyromancer stepped onto the helicopter’s skid, the bright fire extending to engulf his entire body. He raised his arms, and the flames curled in on themselves, shifting from red to orange to white. The air shimmered around them, then folded in on itself as the Pyromancer thrust his arms forward. The flames rocketed outward with a roar that competed with the helicopter engines.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hot cover, cool book

    This was a great read. I generally avoid fantasy set in the modern (or sorta) world, and never considered myself a military-anything buff. So Control Point was a very-pleasant surprise. I devoured the book in two days.

    Cole does a great job of building an alternative reality that’s believable and authentic. He sprinkles in fantastic nuggets of how the world we know and live in now would react to a subset of the population suddenly popping up with magical powers. He examines the political and social impact without ever moralizing or making a judgment. It would be easy to draw a clear good/evil line in a story like this and get preachy but Cole did none of that.

    All of this in the middle of taking us into a fully-realized alien world full of its own creatures and cultures and believable magic system. Cole not only seamlessly knit together a fantastical world with ours, but did it without you noticing. No long info-dumps, no boring explanations. Just great details drizzled in and among the action.

    This is a great debut and I’m thrilled to have found it.

    But because every book has its faults, I do have the following complaints:

    I couldn’t give Control Point five stars because Cole used one of my pet peeve writing techniques, internal monologue. I’ve gone on record before about how much I hate IM, but I know it doesn’t bother most readers so that’s probably neither here nor there to the majority reading this.

    I also agree with another reviewer who wondered when Britton would “man up.” At some point it began to feel like he debated a point with himself, only to forget the next day what he’d decided the day before.

    That said, neither of those annoyances were enough to override the imaginative plot and worldbuilding and the realistic action scenes. Definitely a recommended read. Enjoy!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    It's probably not a good sign when the (argueably) most evil character in the book is the one I'm cheering on.

    It's probably not a good sign when the (argueably) most evil character in the book is the one I'm cheering on.

    The author does a good enough job with world creation (or alteration, given that it's a modern setting with fantasy elements added in) that it doesn't feel like X-Men with the numbers filled off. While most of the magic use does seem more like mutant powers than spell casting, there's enough to show that it is magic instead of "we don't know, it's magic, deal with it".

    My problem with it is that I don't think the author thought everything all the way through on some elements. He establishes that a person's emotional state is tied to how they control their magic, with stronger emotions making magic more powerful and more difficult to control. So the best way to deal with an out of control teenager that's just gotten their powers is by sending in two helicopters full of heavily armed soldiers. Repeatedly thought the story, the author uses the phrase "skill over will" to illustrate that it's better to be precise and well trained in the use of one's magic than to be flashy and out of control. And then, instead of having the military sorcerers start off fights with enemy spellcasters by blocking their access to magic, they start off with summoning lightning and throwing fireballs. Combined with the fact that ninety five percent of the characters can be either classified as "jerk" or "spineless", and I can't see myself ever picking up the next book in this series.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2012

    A great read for modern fantasy fans.

    I enjoyed reading this book. I think it can be best described as Tom Clancy meets Gary Gygax. The premise of the book is a little shaky at first, with the author using in media res. But, as the first few chapters progress, the particulars are quickly covered. There is a definite flavor of Harry Turtledove in the alternate reality presented here. I look forward to the author's next release, as the ending presents a definite shift in the structure of the world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Easy, fast paced read

    This book was so good I had a hard time putting it down. It wasn't predictable and was a believeable look into the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Didnt hold my interest

    This book will become one of the books i read when i have nothing else to read, it just didnt grab me,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Hjghhuk




    Ppkoou

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Who needs a sword when you have a submachine gun and magical powers!?

    In Myke Cole's debut novel magic has appeared in the modern world. Goverments around the world strive to control and supress these new powers. Control Point follows U.S military officer Oscar Britton through this action packed story. The action scenes in control point are second to none. This is military fantasy at its finest. I'll be the first to admit that i was a little skeptical to read a fantasy set in a modern military, but from the start Myke's prose, realistic dialouge, and overall heart thumping action took over. This story really makes you think about a lot of issues going on in post 911 America. This book perfectly blends an action packed summer blockbuster with an in depth look at human rights, foreign policy, and the tricky balance between national safety and individual rights. ***also i must say seeing a fantasy story with scenes set in Vermont was really kick a$$.***

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I love what Myke has created with this series, and after 2 books

    I love what Myke has created with this series, and after 2 books I am eager to see where he goes with it in the next installment. Seriously, get busy Myke, we're waiting!

    And the other thing - I think this series would make a fantastic movie or TV miniseries - given a decent budget. Some of the scenes from the books are incredibly vivid and are indelibly etched in my imagination.

    Overall I find it an excellent balance of drama, action, fantasy, and human strengths and fails on both an individual, and societal basis. Other than that, it's got nothing. ;-)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    ?e..o, tqwpa.iz"p e few o v.i q bww6 yqq.iami.npp tg,o :


    O g pq
    Ii.8 69
    1?w & .ic


    U pqq3
    Pwz
    Uz /@mi t ..
    o; yk.l


    !
    Li is
    M.nl
    Z

    (
    Qvz
    Crxr
    ?o
    p
    Xl
    I
    7/
    L
    L

    P
    -8.
    .?x i..# ib
    O

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    If you can ignore the main character, SHADOW OPS: CONTROL POINT

    If you can ignore the main character, SHADOW OPS: CONTROL POINT might be a great book. As it is, it’s a fascinating world with non-stop action that fights to overcome the indecisiveness of its primary protagonist.




    Oscar Britton has just completed a mission to eliminate a teenage girl who lost control of her magical powers when he develops magical powers of his own. Rather than turn himself in, he briefly goes on the run before joining a secret military operation in which he uses his newfound abilities to help the government establish a base of operations in a magical world referred to as the “Source.”




    Cole does a great job of developing this world and understanding what the sudden development of magical powers might mean to the military-industrial complex, and the characters around Britton are dynamic and engaging, with their own motivations and depths. Unfortunately, the story is built around Britton, and he proves problematic, spending the entire book questioning whether he wants to fight on the side of the government or go on the run and almost certainly be killed.




    When he’s first brought to the military base, he hates everything about it. Then he changes his mind. Then his commanding officer is mean to him and he hates the government again. Then he goes on a mission and loves it. Then he changes his mind again. Then he hates it again. It’s every bit as annoying as it sounds, and as I read I found myself wondering how Britton theoretically thrived in the military before he developed magical powers. He doesn’t like taking orders, he wants to be able to choose his own missions, he grows petulant when things at the base don’t run the way he believes they should — these don’t seem like attributes that would work in any form of military life.




    While Britton’s defense of the goblin contractors working on the military site works in terms of putting the reader on his side, most of Britton’s complaining comes across simply as that — whining.




    Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating world. I had trouble with some of the military terminology in the book’s opening pages — we open in the midst of a military op, and it feels like we’re thrown in the deep end early. Fortunately, it felt as though this got easier to understand as the book progressed. It wasn’t until after I finished the book that I realized there’s a glossary of military terms at the back — this would have been more helpful at the front of the book, but I certainly understand that’s not Cole’s fault.




    In all, I enjoyed the book. Cole has demonstrated the ability to write engaging characters, he just didn’t succeed with Britton. I’m looking forward to the second book in hopes that Cole fixes his “Britton problem” because the rest of the book is really quite good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2013

    Excellent story

    This was a very interesting book! It is the 2nd of a series and while it is not necessary to read the original book first, do yourself a favor and do so!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    Great Idea!

    This was a pretty good novel with an interesting premise; there's magic in the world and it's been militarized by the world's big governments. And, while I wasn't in the military myself, I've known quite a few guys who were, and the military aspects of this novel are spot on!

    It's a novel idea presented in a good, fun, adventurous way.
    Worth getting!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 10, 2013

    very interesting but

    I liked the theory, but didn't like where the story ended - looked like the next book would be darker - I mean it ended well, but they only won the day not the war maybe. left me a little depressed, so I have not planned to BUY the sequel although I had seen it first and was interested. Would check it out at the library though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2013

    This is an excellent book, neatly combining contemporary fantasy

    This is an excellent book, neatly combining contemporary fantasy and military action-- from someone who understand the modern military.

    I highly recommend it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Unexpected

    Pretty much nothing in this book worked out how I thought it would. It will take the next book to know if the betrayals will pay off. Or whether Oscar really is just an intractable bastard who should have gotten over himself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Awsome thrill ride of book

    I really enjoyed this book. Great blend action and fantasy which is also mature.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2013

    One of my favorite reads of 2012. The magic system is amazing, a

    One of my favorite reads of 2012. The magic system is amazing, and very well-utilized throughout. The moral landscape created by the restriction of magic resonates with me as an X-Men fan, and I thought the main character's struggles between the way he thought the world should work and the situations he is pressed into were very effective. I'm very much looking forward to Fortress Frontier.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2012

    I bought this book with high hopes. The concept was very creativ

    I bought this book with high hopes. The concept was very creative and sounded like a great combination of my interests but unfortunately it does not pay off. The writing, while touched with some good phrases, is not strong. It feels like it skips and jumps a lot, or that there are bits of information missing. Things that should be gripping (like fights) are slow and confusing. Character development is almost non-existent. Everyone is flat. At almost half way through the book I still did not have a feel for what kind of person the main character, Oscar Britton, was. One second he's a bad-ass portal-making uber-solder, the next he's a weepy, confused guy who can't do 50 push-ups in a single go ("His chest was shredded after 32" LOL. I'm out of shape and can do thirty push-ups easily and this guy's supposed to be in active service). The writer tries to make the character have more depth by throwing sudden bursts of detail that are next to meaningless. For example, Oscar has a conflict with his father early in the book but only when the father takes a swing at his much bigger son do we get a single line about how the father had been abusive.

    All the characters are this way. They're cookie cutter characters that have little or no depth and even less motivation behind their actions.

    The plot itself is weakly held together. Things pertinent to the plot are eluded to but never explained. Things that should be eluded to are dragged out in depth. A number of elements are so contrived as to be ridiculous. It feel's like a bad custom D&D adventure where the teenage GM wanted to focus on the mundane details of military life and his magic system, rather than weaving a compelling story.

    If you're only interest is some action (never mind it's confusing nature), how many t-shirts soldiers are issued in the field and exploring yet another magic system, then this might be worth a read. If you're looking for something new, compelling and well written then keep looking.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Science Fiction and speculative fiction are commonly known for a

    Science Fiction and speculative fiction are commonly known for asking those interesting philosophical questions, those “what if’s”, and looking at the difficult and dark aspects of humanity. Fantasy has never, from what I’ve experienced, been big into doing the same. Comic books have – hence the comparisons between X-Men and Shadow Ops: Control Point which has taken the time to consider the human implications for the world that Myke Cole has created.

    That fact alone makes me respect both the author and the work because far too often are the aspects and consequences for humanity either dismissed or simply glossed over. The fact that this comes from a soldier who has seen the human impact of government policies and geopolitics ultimately lends Shadow Ops: Control Point further strength. Power, be it magical or technological, will inevitable have effects on all aspects of life – from jobs, legislation, religion, culture, etc. and Myke Cole takes all of that into account. So if you want fantasy that takes a hard look at humanity, then this book is for you.

    That’s not the only reason to read it, after all it is an entertaining story. One concerned with the military implications of a world suddenly reintroduced to magic and in particular the American military-industrial complex’s response. And predictably that means a complex setup involving contractors who work alongside professional soldiers in a legal gray area. The battles they’re fighting are even in a legal gray area, because after all the laws were not written with magic or a second dimension in mind. Through this new world, and one that has had some time to adapted, we encounter Oscar Britton as he deals with his own magic powers awakening.

    As a man given little choice he makes do as he needs to in order to survive. No one can fault him for that, but that doesn’t mean that the decisions he makes are smart. Yet how can anyone expect any or all decisions to be when they’re to be made in a split second and your life is on the line. That poor decision making process continues throughout the book, as some of Oscar’s counterparts like to point out that he’s not as smart as he likes to think he is. Never have I seen this concept so well orchestrated as Myke Cole provides Oscar with both reasoning and motivation for his actions without ever leaving the reader shouting at the page, “Why did you do that?”
    Some of the other characters aren’t as well sculpted as Oscar Britton but then again the entire story takes place from his perspective and it is his story. Like Britton we only experience the others when he does so their motivations and histories only get explored as far as he pushes for them. This creates a concise and contained novel that offers glimpses of the larger world through Britton’s interactions as well as the excerpts from “documents” or “interviews” at the beginning of each chapter.

    In the end Shadow Ops: Control Point is a rollicking introduction to a world torn by magic and conflict that will satisfy anyone’s need for military or fantasy fiction. It’s also a great outing for a first time novel by Myke Cole and he has created an engaging series that will be fun to see where he takes it. I’m also interested to see if he, being a gamer, makes a game based on his creation as I’d love the chance to play.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Control Point takes place in a world both familiar and new -- ou

    Control Point takes place in a world both familiar and new -- our world but suffused with magic. Some people are spontaneously manifesting powers. Magic is highly regulated in the US. Latents must use powers only under governmental direction or be deemed fugitives. A dutiful US Army soldier apprehending rogue latents, Oscar Britton himself suddenly manifests prohibited power. He'd like to believe years of service afford him special consideration, but Oscar knows being latent irreversibly alters everything and he flees. Apprehended by heretofore comrades and facing ultimate punishment, he's forced to join an ultra-secret unit of magic users in a parallel world - The Source. Oscar finds new purpose, mastering his powers and forging new friendships. All is not well, however, as he realizes it's barely disguised forced servitude. Many look at him with fear, distrust, or contempt. He is less and less certain of friend or foe, right or wrong, and must eventually determine where he ought to stand in the great magical divide.

    Read Control Point if you like seat-of-your-pants action. Read it if you like immersing tales. Read it if you like both or anything in between. Initial pages handily draw you in, the following keep you reading, and the final hundred pages are heart-stopping -- until the final page when you tear your hair out because book 2 won't be out until 2013 and you want to know NOW what happens to your favorite characters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)