I have had the good fortune to be given an electronic advance reader copy of Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole. I was very excited to get the chance to read this book before it hits bookshelves in January. The first book in this series, Shadow Ops: Control Point also happens to be the first book that I picked up digitally. It made getting the advance reader copy in digital format feel like coming full circle.

This is not normally how I do reviews here on Ideology of Madness.  My prior reviews have been for the beginnings of series that I am enjoying.  I do this so that if you think you might enjoy the book that you will have several books to enjoy before you have to join me in waiting for the next one. Thankfully, I was prepared for just such an eventuality.  I wrote a review of Control Point at my own blog before I started my illustrious career here.  You can find my review of it here.

In Fortress Frontier, We return tho the world of Oscar Britton.  This is a world where magic has returned and changed how the world works.  Magic is something that appears among the population at random. In America, you have two choices if you manifest an acceptable magical power.  You can join the military and be trained how to use your power for the benefit of the nation or you can have the power supressed.  If you manifest a prohibited school or don’t like the first two choices then your only choice is to run. In Fortress Frontier, we are given the perspective of someone who manifests while they are already part of the Army.  The book opens up introducing Colonel Alan Bookbinder who works at the Pentagon.  We follow him through the process of discovering that he has a latent power and the testing that this entails. We get to see the lengths that the military apparatus will go to discover the nature of a person’s power and to try and trigger it.

This does not mean that Oscar Britton has been forgotten.  Mr. Cole takes us to the point in the story with  Bookbinder where we can see the events from Control Point taking place in the background. As things come to head in Frontier the reader is then taken back to the rag-tag band of escapees from the first book. We get to see Oscar work to deal with the people that he has liberated from military base.  The repercussions of his prior actions are the focal point of his part of the story as he has to find a place to go to ground as well as deal with the monster he unleashed in the course of his escape. There is a whole lot more going on but to talk about it would spoil the book.

I really liked the addition of the second story line to the series.  Bookbinder is an endearing character on his own but also provides a nice counter point to the views that are presented by Oscar Britton.  This adds a greater depth to the world that we are learning about and adds a different type of urgency to the action and adventure that unfolds.  I especially appreciated the more in-depth look that we are given into the military magical operations.  It was one of the ideas that really intrigued me about this series and I feel that this curiosity is well rewarded in Fortress Frontier.  Myke Cole has hit his stride with this book.  His characterizations are great and the parallel story lines showcase his skills with pacing and action sequences.

I know you have to wait until January to pick up Fortress Frontier but I highly recommend doing so.  Luckily you can pick up Control Point for Christmas as a gift to yourself and be ready for this next exciting entry into the Shadow Ops series.

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