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Control Point

(Shadow Ops [Publication Order] #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  6,365 ratings  ·  767 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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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  6,365 ratings  ·  767 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The was the first Advance Reviewer Copy ever sent to me!
(apart from my own work)

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 them.

Oscar continued to annoy me (possibly with more valid reason) throughout the b
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If UF + military + ambiguity sounds awesome, this book is for YOU!
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $2.99:

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Congratulations, Myke Cole. You fried my brain.

I don't know if any of you have been to Oak Ridge during its Secret City Festival, but if you have, you know the rat-a-tat-tat in the background that sounds suspiciously like a machine gun . . . is a machine gun. And the beginning of CONTROL POINT by Myke Cole feels a lot like machine gun report---jarring and erratic.

You hit the ground running with an MC (Oscar Britton) fir
Rachel Neumeier
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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-D&D
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I come out of reading this horribly divided. On the one hand, I love the "give the audience what it wants" mentality, lots of explosions, driven and heroic characters, caricatured villains, and MAGIC MAGIC MAGIC MAGIC in a MIL-SF backdrop.

I wanted to just come out of this going: Well, that was a bunch of mindless hokey fun, a total popcorn read where I can turn off my mind and just WATCH THE DAMN ACTION MOVIE. Book. Whatever.

Story-wise, it's all boilerplate and totally classic, the hero falls in
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it

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
Mar 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

This book nearly killed me.

First things first: the content.
It's a world where magic suddenly appears (nobody knows why), giving people powers such as creating and controlling fire, wind, water etc. These magically enhanced people usually are not in control of their powers when they get them, are treated like the enemy by the government, and often even kill people (some do it on purpose even).
There is a special military unit responding to exactly that kind of threat and our protagonist serves in
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
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. ...more
Robin Hobb
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Benjamin Cheah
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Executive Summary: Pretty enjoyable, though problematic at times. 3.5 stars rounded up since it's his first novel.

Audiobook: Korey Jackson seems like a good fit for the protagonist's voice, but adds little else. He's a fine narrator, but nothing special. He speaks clearly and at a good volum. This is one of those books that's fine in audio, but not a must listen. I'll likely continue the series in audio simply because it's the type of book that works well for me in that format.

Full Review
Scott Sigler
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
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.

Jul 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2012, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing

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
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
“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
An interesting mix of modern normal days & magic. Suddenly people are becoming magic users & our modern governments try to put them in their place which is a huge problem both physically & socially. It was personally divisive for many, too. The author really captured those themes well. The plot was good too with a lot of action & some good characters.

Unfortunately, the overall writing wasn't quite up to speed. I had a lot of trouble getting into the book as the pace was too frantic. Most fight s
Ms. Nikki
The main character, Britton, kept making mistake after mistake. Eventually those decisions turned into idiocy. He was very unlikable, all the way up to the end of the book. The author pushes you to believe in the lies that are told by the government Britton worked for and then turns around and uses anamolies to their advantage. Too many types of magical users and the voice of the story is so "blah." I had to skim to finish it. Not for me. ...more
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked 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. Osca

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
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This book had potential but it's all action and military and not especially character driven. The main character is a whiny, impulsive, unlikable guy and by the end I was really over him. Control Point also had too many plot holes for me - for example... (view spoiler) ...more
Nimrod Daniel
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book was on my radar for a long time, its premise sounds very appealing and somewhat resembles X-Men, so I knew I should pick this one. But unfortunately the execution of this book is somewhat disappointing and I considered DNFing it more than once.
I listened to the audible version, and as we all know - that's what could make or break a book.
Even though the narrator is doing a decent voice acting, but I must admit that I'm not very fond of
his performance.

I'll break my opinion as follows:

Ranting Dragon
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: garrett, stephan

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
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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. After hunting terrorists and criminals in real life, he kept up the job on TV, first tracking fugitives on CBS’ 2017 show Hunted, an ...more

Other books in the series

Shadow Ops [Publication Order] (6 books)
  • Fortress Frontier (Shadow Ops, #2)
  • Breach Zone (Shadow Ops, #3)
  • Gemini Cell (Reawakening Trilogy #1)
  • Javelin Rain (Reawakening Trilogy #2)
  • Siege Line (Reawakening Trilogy #3)

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