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Friday, April 5, 2013

Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole

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Terrance McArthur

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this post.

Colonel Alan Bookbinder is a paper-pusher, a bean-counter, and an Army nonentity with a talent for assigning money to accounts. His quietly-mundane world is knocked topsy-turvy when he starts to have dreams, strange experiences, and realizes that he might be Latent, might have some of the magical powers that have appeared during the Great Reawakening.

In Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier, Bookbinder is thrown from his Pentagon office to a secret US outpost in another dimension. He is given another boring job, but he is surrounded by indigenous goblins and people who can heal with a touch or cause major body damage, fly through the air or cause lightning, purify water or create a mud bridge across a river, and open doors between planes of reality or use the knife-edged portal to slice off heads.

When one of the Portamancers, Oscar Britton, escapes with some of the magical folk who are being forced to serve the military, Bookbinder is forced to become a leader. To his surprise, he shows some true abilities, and some terrific magic powers. His growth from a bland bureaucrat to a leader of men…and women…and minor snake gods is a really uplifting storyline. However, that isn’t the only plot told in this book.

Image source: Ace

Oscar Britton was the protagonist of Shadow Ops: Control Point, the first volume in this trilogy (the third book, Breach Zone, will be out in 2014), and there is some overlap in time where events from the first book are happening from a different point of view. Once the colonel is well-established, the narrative bounces between the two men. Where Bookbinder develops into a true commander, Britton has problems with doubting himself. He tries to change the restrictions on the Latent using legal and constitutional means, yet he does manage to drop a lot of people in places that would most embarrass the President.

Cole’s three tours in Iraq and service during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill lend a gritty realism to the military action, and there is a goodly amount of it. The language is down-in-the-trenches earthy, including acronyms, slang, and words that George Carlin told us about. After all, this takes place in a war zone, not a Sunday School class.

Fortress Frontier has lots of action, characters that have enjoyable growth curves, and a world’s worth of engaging creatures and cultures. Bookbinder is a military hero for those of us who have never been in the military. Oorah!

To enter to win a copy of Shadow Ops, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Shadow”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 13, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL:

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.


  1. I wouldn't complain at all if I won this book. In fact, it would please my soul and my greedy little fingers.

  2. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher