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Control Point: A thrilling military fantasy to set your pulse racing Paperback – 14 August 2012
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'Black Hawk Down meets the X-Men ... military fantasy like you've never seen it before' (Peter V. Brett)
'Hands down, the best military fantasy I've ever read ... a chilling, enthralling story. Myke Cole just might be a wizard himself' (Ann Aguirre, bestselling author of Enclave)
- Publisher : Headline; 1st edition (14 August 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 075539397X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0755393978
- Dimensions : 12.8 x 3.2 x 19.6 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I was so pleased to find a new author to follow and read in a category I had not really delved into before.
I enjoyed the first book in the series greatly and look forward to the next two.
Top reviews from other countries
The big draw to buy this one is the concept: a magic "re-awakening" occurs in the world and some people turn up as "latent", manifesting one particular power or another.
The cover quote (from the brilliant Peter V Brett) relating this to X-Men & Black Hawk Down is pretty close. The government oppression of "latents", the fear among the regular public, the group of latents who feel they are superior to regular humans: all similar in concept to X-Men.
The close-quarters intense action and a particular high level of military-related authenticity – similar to BHD.
And these are the main strengths of the book: the magic system and the action. The action is well written: explosive and gripping. The first quarter or so of the book goes past very quickly largely because of the amount of action, but also because the introduction of the book's magic world is so interesting.
There is a sense that the magic could be taken further (no ability to "mix" powers?) and yet also that there are too many different kinds of manifested powers introduced at once, some of which seem pretty tame ... but on the whole, this aspect is well handled and thought provoking.
Onto the negative – prime real estate owned (almost) entirely by a single character: the protagonist, Oscar Britton.
I found Britton – a military heli-pilot who manifests a rare and particularly useful power – spectacularly irritating.
There are a few main issues I have with the character: first, while he seems to competent in training and on early missions, he makes some awfully bad decisions that he knows are bad (via inner monologue) and most of them end out really bad, to no surprise; second, the endless flip-flopping of his allegiances, often within the same chapter: one moment he's gung-ho and another he's desperately trying to break free, it gets a bit much; lastly, the way he tells everyone his feelings and gets in everyone's face for any opinion that he disagrees with: why can't he just figure out his own path and keep quiet for once?
Also for someone who was already military-minded at the beginning of the book, displays a surprisingly lack of comradery at times.
Other than the protag, the remaining characters are pretty cookie-cutter stereotypical: the cruel, annoying drill-instructor type (Fitzy); the "don't call me a young girl" naive young girl (Downer); the beautiful healer girlfriend-material type (Therese).
As such, the comparison to X-Men wavers here ... X-Men has the characters too.
The ending, without any spoilers, involves an OTT amount of blood & destruction and an astonishing lack of logic – but, does at least give a glimmer of hope that something different may be on the way in the 2nd book.
I think I will get around to the 2nd book (Fortress Frontier) on the strength of the story & action alone (also appears to have a new protagonist?), but it goes to the back of the To-Read list.
Control Point is a military come urban fantasy set in present times, although much of the action takes place in a parallel realm at the source of the magic now inflicting the world and the people in it.
The tale follows the modern US armed forces whose ranks are supplemented by the SOC or the Supernatural Operations Corps, a division of magically gifted soldiers. The power of the gifted or the Latent as they are known in the story range from the control of basic elements such as the weather, the earth, fire and water. To the ability to fly, mend flesh, suppress another's magical ability, control animals and the more rare and much sought after abilities of reanimating the dead and portamancy or creating portals to move anywhere at will.
The story's protagonist is Oscar Britton a military officer and we join him in an operation with a SOC team sent to take out two latent teenagers, illegally using their magic at a school. Oscar does all he can to prevent bloodshed but is left feeling hollow as the power of those around him leave him unable to effect the outcome and he can't understand the need of the SOC team to end the lives of the children harnessing an untrained and deadly ability.
After the mission Oscar's world is turned upside down as his own latency erupts, he can't control it and seeing the way the SOC deal with latent's he decides the only way to save his life is to run.
Oscar is a likable but flawed character, his indecisiveness can be annoying as his allegiances constantly change from abhorring his situation and wanting to escape the military, to revelling in his new ability to do some good and then back again as the wind changes direction. Come on make your mind up.
Every review of this book praises it and I read it due to it being highly recommended by a lot of reviewers I follow. The action is immense and the ending bought a satisfactory conclusion to the story, both the military and magical sides of the story were handled superbly. However I never really bought into the lead character and there were to many stereotypical roles for my liking, the bullying sergeant major character, the impressionable teenager, the tall dark handsome lead man and his love interest to name a few.
There is a lot of potential here for a debut novel though and I will definitely read the second novel but it won't be at the top of my to read pile.
Having finished this one I immediately bought the next! - what better recommendation is there than that.