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Control Point (Shadow Ops #1)

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  4,173 ratings  ·  555 reviews
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
Mass Market Paperback, 382 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Ace (first published January 2012)
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Cold Days by Jim ButcherKing of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceA Perfect Blood by Kim HarrisonFair Game by Patricia BriggsTricked by Kevin Hearne
Science Fiction & Fantasy Titles for 2012!
42nd out of 652 books — 1,498 voters
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14th out of 60 books — 185 voters

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Community Reviews

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It's always dangerous picking up a first book by a new author. You never really know what you're going to get.

In some ways, it's even more dangerous if you know the author beforehand. What if you read their book and don't like it?

That's the position I was in with this book. I'd met Myke Cole on several occasions and really liked him. He's a hell of a nice guy, and a bit of an exception to the fantasy author cliche. He's not a beardy pugdy ex-D&D geek. He's a clean-shaven, military-fit, ex-
Rachel Neumeier
Okay, I am not normally inclined to review books unless I like them. I mean, I don’t much care for negative reviews myself, right? And I hate to make someone else feel bad. And what if I run into the author at a convention sometime? Awkward much?

But there are limits, and this book ticked me off because of its wasted potential. Nothing wrong with the concept or the world, but . . .
Well, suppose you read the following first paragraphs of a novel:

The monitor showed a silent video feed from a high s
Mark Lawrence
The first Advance Reviewer Copy I've ever been sent! (apart from my own work). Heard lots of good things about this one. Plus ... I didn't have to pay for it! :)

So, I really enjoyed this. On pretty much the first page I was confused by/angry with the main character, Oscar. It could well be my fault. I didn't understand that the young people in the opening scene who were busy killing folk were not actually in control of the magic doing the killing. So I didn't connect with Oscar's sympathy for th

Wow, what's with all the wind. I...can't...stand...up...straight. I mean I'm used to wind (I live in Wyoming, wind's nothing), but this is excessive.

Oh yeah, this book blew me away.

(Sorry for that, I know, that was really bad, but you're still reading right?)

As bad as my opening was, Shadow Ops: Control Point is one hell of a ride. Beware, if you pick it up, you may not be able to do anything until you finish. It's that good.

I'm going to attempt to explain this book in the next couple paragraph
Hmm well, this book was enjoyable, the premise, that magic has appeared in modern-day and the military has to regulate it, was very intriguing to me. It was a fast read for me, it reminded me of a Vin Diesel movie (not a bad thing!) in that I pretty much knew what was gonna happen (shades of Avatar and other sc-fi movies everywhere) but that's fine, it was a good vacation read. I wasn't blown away by the characters, but I liked the magic system a LOT so I'll pick up the next book.
This book reads very much like a Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster action movie. A fast, almost frantic at times pace. I think the concept is a nice change from a lot of the standard fantasy almost a cross between fantasy and military science fiction. In full disclosure, I have met Myke at a convention and speak with him on line from time to time, but that doesn't discount the fact that he wrote a very exciting debut novel.
I have been one of Myke Cole's alpha readers for many years, and think this is by far his best work. Control Point has an original premise: what if magic returned to the modern world and only one person in a million could access it? Answer: They'd be drafted.

This is a stellar book, combining all the military realism of Black Hawk Down with the social commentary and awesome spectacle if the X-Men. I highly recommend it and will write a more lengthy review closer the the pub date.
Early review here, this'll be on the blog tomorrow.

Shadow Ops: Control Pointby Myke Cole has been something of a critical darling amongst online reviewers. The premise absolutely sounds amazing: people have begun manifesting magical abilitys and in response the US government takes control of the individuals lives, they are after all essentially lethal weapons, and more or less press gangs them into the military service (or forces them to liven in what sounds an awful lot like a breeding experime
Robin Hobb
Control Point is Myke Cole's military fantasy novel and an excellent entry into the field.

SF is often accused of being strong on plot but lacking characterization. This is certainly not the Case with Control Point. Oscar Britton is a fully realized character who faces real moral dilemmas as he serves his country in suppressing or controlling citizens who unexpectedly manifest powerful magic.

When Oscar himself begins to experience strange abilities that he can scarcely control, he knows the righ

My first introduction to Myke Cole was when I stumbled across his blog post on the portrayal of violence in fantasy. Cole's writing had the solidity that comes from personal experience, and that's something I've rarely encountered on the subject. Cole talked about his own experiences during his three tours in Iraq and his contracting work with a frankness and perceptiveness that deeply impressed me. After reading his post on PTSD, I made a rare impulse decision and picked up his book. I've r
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Shadow Ops: Control Point is military science fiction, but definitely not the kind I had been expecting. And honestly, if I'd known earlier just what kind of excitement I was going to be in for, I probably wouldn't have let this one hang out so long on my to-read list.

Not long ago though, I was in a bit of a reading funk and was in dire need of a book to pick me up, and Control Point sure did the trick. The book follows pr
Benjamin Cheah
I didn't like the book. Straight off the bat, the cover lies. The tacticool attire on the cover plays exactly no role in the story. No magical character uses long arms -- only pistols, and only as backup weapons (for as-yet unclear reasons). The cover shows a strong black man leading a team of seasoned operators -- but the reality is a wishy-washy soldier without any discernable leadership skills in charge of a ragtag bunch of non-military misfits. The guy with lightning bolt in his hand doesn't ...more
Really wanted to jump on board with all the 4 & 5 star reviews here but just couldn't. My biggest problem with the book is the main character Britton who is utterly unlikeable and pretty much just a self-centered douche. He is not flawed in a good way, because I like a good flawed character that has to overcome struggles. He is just a jackass that makes nonsensical decisions and acts nothing like the way an experienced soldier would act. It never read as if the author was making a conscious ...more
So lately, a lot of really cool authors have been popping up. Saladin Ahmed, Brent Weeks, Peter Brett, Douglas Hulick, and now Myke Cole. It's hard not to be enthusiastic about a group of authors who all really love fantasy, and seem like the kinds of guys I'd like to hang out with, do a bbq, have a beer, and play some Magic the Gathering. I very much wanted to love both this book and Throne of the Crescent Moon, but both books had problems that kept me from giving them my unabashed fandom.

Mike (the Paladin)
This is an...interesting book. The best way to describe it (I think) is a sort of collusion involving Those Who Walk in Darkness, Avatar (the movie) and the X-Men with a touch of Full Metal Jacket. You'll see lots of familiar plot points and character types that you will most likely recognize. The book comes in for a 3 rating from me because there were times I thought surely it would be a 4 star read and other times when I thought it might barely be a 2.

We open up on a raid to "take down" a coup

Full review originally at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: I first heard about Myke Cole via Peter V. Brett’s blog , he had mentioned his friendship with Myke a few times and this particular section about his then book titled “Latent” caught my attention nicely:
is great Military Fantasy – the X-Men meets Black Hawk Down. Myke has been one of my inner-circle test readers for many years, and vice-versa. There is a lot of him in The Warded Man, and a lot of me in Latent. Keep your eyes peeled for
Myke Cole's take on the US military regulating and employing magic as a "force multiplier" is believable and entertaining. The scenes where new recruits use their magic in training exercises are neat, while the actual missions featuring magic can be downright breathtaking. One operation, in which our protag, Oscar Britton, has to assist a local police force in taking down a rogue magic user, featured some freaky imagery and a grotesque application of offensive enchantment. It is clear that Cole ...more

Ever read a novel and say... I can't say anything bad about it? That's pretty much the case with Myke Cole's debut novel Shadow Ops: Control Point. It's not a great novel; it lacks the artistic flair of something by K.J. Parker or the deep emotional resonance of something like The Tiger's Wife (Obreht). It is, however, a very good one that tells a compelling story connected to well conceived world building and substantial undercurrents. After finishing it

A few months ago author Mark Lawrence asked in the SFFWorld forums, "What was the last fantasy book that mattered to you?" A question that has stayed with me since, as I haven't found an easy answer for it. Then came the recently released debut by Myke Cole, Control Point first of the Shadow Ops series, and the elusive question was answered.

Some humans have started to manifest supernatural abilities, including some deemed dangerous to society. Oscar Br
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Sigler
I felt this was a kick-ass debut novel. I might rate it 4 or even 4.5 stars if this was his second or third book, but for the first time out of the gate I'm giving Cole a bonus for hammering home a crazy, crazy story.

Superhero commandos. So much fun.

What I liked about this was that Cole really locked down the rule system. He makes it clear what is and what is not possible, even while letting his characters do unrealistic things. This made the story logical and rational to me. He avoided the para
Ranting Dragon

Two members of The Ranting Dragon staff, Stephan and Garrett, were able to get their hands on ARCs of one of our most anticipated books for January, Control Point by debuting author Myke Cole. A military fantasy whose premise can be summarized as “X-Men crossed with Black Hawk Down,” Control Point is one hell of a roller coaster ride with very little down time.

The bigger conflict
Don’t let that X-Men comparison throw you off, though. Modern geek culture oft
“Magic is the new nuke.” That’s how one member of the military describes the biggest change to our reality yet: overnight, random people are waking up with powerful magical abilities. Some can control water or fire. Some are necromancers. Some can heal people or create magical gates to other places.

The powers controlled by these “Latent” individuals have such immense potential, both for good and evil, that the U.S. government is practically forced to co-opt them. After the McGauer-Linden Act is
German review on GosuReviews

I was a bit disappointed after having read so many good reviews by a lot people about this book. It just didn't work for me. The military slang Myke Cole used, really displayed his military background and was something different and gave the whole action scenes a very realistic touch, but I found myself oftentimes lost with all the acronyms constantly used, especially when I put the book away for a few days. What was a FOB,MAC,SOC or ATTD again? A glossary would have
Gripping action, sympathetic characters, good writing grounded by authentic detail. Myke Cole's military experience makes this story authoritative and his imagination makes it exciting. But. (There's always a but, isn't there?)

I might change my rating after I've thought about this some more, but I'm concerned about how magic works in the Shadow Ops world.

Latents call magic to themselves by the power of their emotions. However, it's established very early that raw emotion is worse than useless. Y
Steve Drew
SUMMARY: Damn good writing that covered tough issues and left me wanting more. I have a lot of problems with how this book was pitched (mass market candy) versus the depth and world building that Myke Cole provided. Great debut.

Something bothered me as I crossed the half-way mark reading CONTROL POINT. The problem was that I was surprised. Not by Myke Cole's writing - I heard enough ahead of time to know that he put out a very good novel. Instead, I was surprised that the novel had depth in char
Milo (Bane of Kings)
Original Post:

“Wow. A fast-paced, adrenaline-thrilled, page-turning debut. Myke Cole has delivered one of the most interesting first novels of 2012, and I cannot wait for the rest of the series.” ~The Founding Fields

I’ve been wanting to read Control Point by Myke Cole ever since I heard about it at the beginning of the year. It made one of my most anticipated debuts for 2012, and I was annoyed when it was pushed back to August for a UK release. However,
Shehreyar Khan
Control point did not fail to amaze. It's fast paced and succinct, though not lacking in description. The characters aren't your ordinary fill-ins and you can tell every person in the story has their distinct motivations. For Britton, at first it's escape, then acceptance, followed by betrayal and anger. Control Point provides a great deal of insight into the military and the world is magnificently unique. The concept of latents, selfers and the Source is brilliant and you can tell that there is ...more
James Cox
Another fantastic read in this series. I really enjoyed the action, the characters and the world building was awesome. Next book, please!
Anthony Ryan
Military fantasy with a modern twist. Cole echoes the paranoia and heavy handed government of the war-on-terror era by setting his story in a version of the modern world where those with magical abilities are regarded as living weapons of mass-destruction and subject to immediate arrest and confinement. All bad news for US Army helicopter pilot Oscar Britton who finds himself co-opted into a secret government unit after he develops portalmancy; the ability to teleport at will. Swift deployment v ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Book in the wrong series. 2 15 Aug 19, 2015 01:31PM  
Adventures in Sci...: Shadow Ops: Control Point on sale, $1.99 1 8 Mar 19, 2014 06:35AM  
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As a security contractor, government civilian and military officer, Myke Cole’s career has run the gamut from Counterterrorism to Cyber Warfare to Federal Law Enforcement. He’s done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. All that conflict can wear a guy out. Thank goodness for fantasy novels, comic books, late night games of Dungeons and Dragons and l ...more
More about Myke Cole...

Other Books in the Series

Shadow Ops (3 books)
  • Fortress Frontier (Shadow Ops, #2)
  • Breach Zone (Shadow Ops, #3)
Fortress Frontier (Shadow Ops, #2) Breach Zone (Shadow Ops, #3) Gemini Cell Car Trouble (Wildsidhe Chronicles) Javelin Rain

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“When you cannot have a thing, sometimes you hunger for it anyway. The closeness of it, the taste of it, the feel of its heat. It is a pale reflection of the truth, but a reflection is better than darkness.” 1 likes
“Do not grieve. Let the branches do as the root commands. You are a warrior.” 0 likes
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