Myke Cole is an expert at ratcheting up suspense and delivering pulse-pounding adventure that leaves audiences breathless. In Shadow Ops: Control Point, the world has seemingly gone mad. People are waking up with magical powers, such as the ability to raise the dead or call forth storms. The only thing staving off a plunge into chaos is the Supernatural Operations Corps, headed by Oscar Britton. But when Oscar exhibits a power of his own, the hunter becomes the hunted.
©2012 Myke Cole (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
"Cross The Forever War with Witchworld, add in the real world modern military of Black Hawk Down, and you get Control Point, the mile-a-minute story of someone trying to find purpose in a war he never asked for." (Jack Campbell, New York Times Bestselling author of "The Lost Fleet" series)
Got tired of the plot dragging and the characters contstant whining. It was a struggle just to get through it. If it wasn't on audio, I would have never finished it.
Good concept. Plenty of potential
Poorly executed by author
I don't think it could have been, the premise while at first interesting soon became trite and boring. The idea's been done better elsewhere.
Not based on this book, definately left a bad taste in my mouth.
It was as strong as the story could allow it to be.
Out of the 15 and change hours of material, I honestly gave it till there was only about 3 and a half hours left before I gave up on it. If I had to go through one more "I hate it here, but its my family now and I'm doing good but wait I'm a slave and I need out" teeter totter ride over the course of a single chapter I would have screamed. The main character is whiny, the supporting cast is one dimensional, and the single redeeming character, Marty, is never allowed to develop to anything worthwhile... or if he is, I didn't have the patience to get there. Glad I only spent 4 dollars on this book, even happier I'm on to something better.
Not likely another book by the author, can't fault the narrator for the material.
Story premise had potential maybe a more capable author could do something with the universe.
This is painful to listen to, the protagonist is whiny and immature more akin to an adolescent than some one that is supposed to lead people. It's a battle of wills to listen to this audio book to completion.
a better author who actual understood the military.
I like the basis idea, magic being used as a weapon and controlled by the military, a shadow group using magic that is considered illegal in this world... the ideas were good, but the execution was terrible.
It was obvious from the first chapter that this author had no clue about the military structure, or how/why it functions. At first I was willing to overlook some of that due to the basic story idea, but listening to the main character constantly whine about everything really wore on me. I kept hoping that it would get better, the main character would put on his big boy pants and stop whining. I eventually stopped listening with 2 hours 14 minutes left. Just where you can tell the big battle is about to start, I couldn't take the self pity and whining any longer.
I haven't finished the book. But, I want to speak against many of the negative reviews.
This is satire. So, when people liken the book to Haldeman's Forever War, they are really talking about the second half of that book.
The book really thinks about social equality and inequality, the use of contractors and indigenous people in American military expeditions, and the bureaucratic messes involved in that.
Further, the narrator is very expressive. However, he is African American and the viewpoint character is also African American. If you don't know that version of American English, then you might not appreciate his skill.
This is good science fiction in its political, fabulous, best.
I submitted this book to my book club and it won the election. I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! We all hated it. I'll give a short summary as to why, but I could go on for pages:
The narrator did a fine job; the author did a terrible job. The main character (Oscar) always takes the stupidest reactionary course of action. Throughout the book he gets tons of people killed by running around like a crazy person, ignoring orders, and using his powers with minimal creativity.
The powers that people can have are fairly interesting, but the execution was rather slap-dash. We see hydromancers using their powers to create torrents of water and freeze things/people solid, but when they go to fight Oscar they just dehydrate him - which is very uncomfortable! Elementalists at the beginning of the book can create powerful elementals from available fire, water, air, or earth, but after the first encounter the elementalist will wait for fire or water to appear on the battlefield before making one of those two kinds of elementals. Why not use earth or air? You know.. the elements that are always available?
Throughout the whole story I was thinking: "What is wrong with all these characters? Why are they all so stupid?"
I will say that the moral quandary of how a government would deal with a percentage of the population manifesting super powers like raising the dead was interesting. The ethical questions generally got pushed onto the backburner while Oscar makes friends with other-dimensional creatures. He then goes on to say things like "these creatures are nicer to me than any people here!" after several people are very nice to him (Truelove, Downer, that other guy).
I have plenty of other complaints, but I'll end with the one about the author seeming to be fairly ignorant of military stuff. Oscar starts out the book as the leader of an army detachment that tries to capture renegade magic users. He is also the helicopter pilot for his team. What? Really? So he's gonna be the leader by dropping them off and flying away? Don't give me any lip about him viewing the battlefield from above or using the helicopters' weapons to support his team. There's a word for the guy in the chopper and it's pilot.
The list goes on and on - but do yourself a favor and read Codex Alera by Jim Butcher instead.
I don't think I would. I don't like main characters that are incapable acting on their own, and when he finally does act, after tons of provocation, he acts like a moron.And the way the author tries to create moral dilemmas, when there isn't any, by mixing unrelated subjects, left me feeling irritated.
Cilla, she is the only character in the book with a clear idea of how wrong the hole setup is.She might be portrayed as over the top, but it's hard to say since we don't know more of her background story, but in the end, I would have preferred her as the main character.
Most of Britton's whining in the last half of the book.
I liked the story setup and and background, but the story it self was annoying.
This story was a little bit new for me (as I am used to reading medieval fantasy) and at first I was a little apprehensive about picking it up. The idea of a military special forces squad filled with people who have magical abilities seemed to be a pretty cool premise to me but I wondered how it would fit in with many of the great fantasy books I’ve read. I am happy to report that it fits in remarkably well.
Oscar Britton is a sort of standard military man. He reflects many of the ideals of a stereotypical patriot and has a strong sense of conscience as he leads a team of special forces that take down magic users. The kicker that makes this story interesting is that Oscar wakes up one day only to find out he is latent with these magical abilities. Once he is captured by the team he once lead, he is given the choice to die or work for a secret operations base on another plane from Earth called the Source. Oscar, being the sort of guy who values living, accepts hoping to find some sort of comfort and purpose in this new position. What he finds is that working under the government’s thumb isn’t freedom at all.
The story takes off from here as Oscar again is leading a team of soldiers, this one filled with latents like he, and is sent on several ops that test his abilities and his conscience. I won’t give away any of the surprises that lurk here but what I will say is this story is filled with many twists and turns that kept those pages turning for me. Just when you think things can’t get any worse for our hero, it does. What results is a really compelling story that should be an easy read for any fantasy reader.
As far as writing goes this story is told well. Myke Cole balances the plot with Oscar’s conscience and makes several interesting theories on how people would perform in a world where people wake up with magical abilities that were never before thought possible. Reading this alternate world and the way people react to it was interesting and got me thinking about how I would react in similar circumstances. Myke doesn’t choke the reader with his own ideology of how America likes to run business, but he does bring several valid points into play as the story progresses leaving a very well thought view of how this alternate world would work realistically.
On top of the story and writing I also have to applaud the accuracy of the military descriptions. Some authors try to write about something they don’t know much about or haven’t researched well but this isn’t the case with Myke Cole. Myke has obvious military experience and the story really benefits from a point of view that understands the inter-workings of the government and military as a whole. I enjoyed reading this novel because of this and I felt it added deeply to my experience that the author really knew what he was talking about with the non-fictional stuff and worked it in wonderfully with the fictional aspects.
Overall I think this novel would be worth a read for any number of fantasy fans and even military fiction readers as well. The story is well realized and the author has a very vivid imagination. As I said before I was a little apprehensive about picking this novel up but I was not disappointed. I have really enjoyed by time with Oscar Britton and I hope to revisit him soon in the sequel.
My Rating: 8/10
This book is intense and has so much awesome, that it is hard to stop listening.
The concept of a government-regulated magical department showed such great promise, but sadly fizzled. The main character is an officer that is at once perceptive and idiotic, making the worst possible decisions throughout the story. The story never explains the reasoning of the government enough to justify the main character's or other side character's actions. The most infuriating part is, unfortunately, the main character's insistance on making such bad decisions that you'd think he was a teenager instead of an educated individual with a bachelor's degree and classes on decesion-making and leadership.
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