I’m also trying to give the books a one to ten rating with ten being amazingly the best (or let’s be honest one of the best) books I have ever read and you need to go home sick to buy and read this book without delay and a one being please don’t bother even looking at the cover of this drivel.
Shadow Ops: Control Point (Shadow Ops series Book 1)
Rating 6 out of 10
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer.
Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the dead, and set everything they touch ablaze.
Army officer Oscar Britton sees the worst of it. A lieutenant attached to the military's Supernatural Operations Corps, his mission is to bring order to a world gone mad. Then he abruptly manifests a rare and prohibited magical power, transforming him overnight from government agent to public enemy number one.
The SOC knows how to handle this kind of situation: hunt him down--and take him out. Driven into an underground shadow world, Britton is about to learn that magic has changed all the rules he's ever known, and that his life isn't the only thing he's fighting for.
So, if you’re keeping track of my Books Off the Shelf posts, you’ll note that most of them receive fairly high marks on the 1-10 rating. (We’re talking a good number of 8-10’s.) I’m only giving Shadow Ops: Control Point a 6 and I’ll get to why in a min.
First, let’s talk about what I liked. Cole, actually does a lot of things right in this book. He gives us a well imagined world, and interesting plot, and creative take on a magic system. More than that, he recognizes that, with magic, our society would have some very real shifts in our thinking and way of life.
“So,” you may ask, “what’s the problem? This seems to be shaping up to be a good read.” The problem comes in the form of the characters. It’s not that they are unbelievable exactly, but more that they are un-relatable—I never care that much what happens to them one way or the other. Our primary POV character, Oscar, never truly solidifies what he thinks, believes in, or is fighting toward. We don’t know what he wants, so we really can’t cheer for him to achieve it. Oscar is more or less just swept along the currents offering little more than a wishy-washy, back and forth attitude toward the military, his magic, and his lot in life. On top of that the supporting cast seems to pendulum swing between being likable and being the root of all evil. It was hard to emotionally attach to anything in the fictional world.
I don’t mean for that to be overly harsh. As I said, there are a lot of positive aspects to Shadow Op: Control Point. It’s not a bad book. At the same time, and as ever, there are so many books and so little time. If I was going to steer you toward a book choice, this might not be the first book I brought up.
That being said, I’m always up for second chances. If you’ve read any of Cole’s other work, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do I need to give him another shot? Was there a book of his that you just loved? Leave a message below. And as ever, if you have suggestions of books to review, please let me know. If it is Science Fiction or Fantasy, there is a good chance it is on my shelf or should be.
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