Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Review- Shadow Ops: Breach Zone by Myke Cole

I'm wrapping up my promise to review Myke Cole's Shadow Ops trilogy today with my review of the final book. Here's my review for

Shadow Ops: Breach Zone by Myke Cole


The Shadow Ops trilogy comes to a close as Scylla, the brutal Negramancer, attacks the Home Plane with an army of goblins, wyverns, rocs, and other creatures from the Source. Jan Thorsson, commonly known as Harlequin, ends up in charge of the defense forces on the battlefield that is New York City. Against worsening odds, Harlequin must struggle to fight against Scylla's attack and her vision of a world where Latents rule and the non-Latent are nothing more than chattel. But there's more lingering on Harlequin's mind than fighting for the system he's devoted himself to. He and Scylla have a past, and it's suddenly all coming to a crux as one confrontation lingers on the horizon.

That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from

Our Gifts, for Our Nation.

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began “coming up Latent,” developing terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Those who Manifest must choose: become a sheepdog who protects the flock or a wolf who devours it…

In the wake of a bloody battle at For-ward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign “Harlequin,” becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he’s ever known.

In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind.

When Scylla’s inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to pre-vent a massacre. In order to redeem himself with the military, Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past, warped by her power into something evil…


When it comes right down to it, this is a story about the fight for equal rights. Human rights. This is a story that's been fought over and over in American history and is still ongoing in one way or another this very day. But what's amazing is that while it's a basic type of conflict, it's clear that Cole isn't writing for any particular agenda. This is a story about fighting for what is right, fighting for the right reasons, and fighting the right way. On every front (sure, we'll say the pun is intended) this is pulled off brilliantly.


There are three different stories at work here, all tied in with one character at the center of the web: Harlequin. The character you've been led to hate (at least I was) since the first book of the trilogy suddenly becomes the center of attention, and I marveled at how effortlessly Cole transformed my perception of this man.

As for the plot, this book is very much a politically-plotted story, but there is the amazing addition of a love story here. And throughout, this is an action-packed battle on every front. The politics are a battle, the romance is as well, adn then there's the actual, you know, fighting. Cole does an amazing job bringing all three plot threads along, breaking up the intense action with the "interlude" chapters that found the romantic history of the main characters. I remained in a state of awe throughout the story, watching as everything unfolded into a magnificent woven whole.

My Thoughts

I don't think I can rave enough about this book and how perfectly it closes out the Shadow Ops trilogy. Cole set a high bar with Control Point, exceeded it with Fortress Frontier, and blows it out of the water (literally, at one point) with Breach Zone. His characterization is frighteningly true to life, the plots are solid, the events all moving toward the same end. He reads easily, showing a great balance between every element from dialogue to pacing, setting, characterization, everything. He doesn't give too much information, nothing that's unneeded, and he doesn't hold anything or anyone back. Moments will make you cheer or weep. I did both at one point or another.

In reference to the trilogy as a whole, I absolutely love and admire how Cole has placed different characters at the forefront of each of the three novels. Oscar Britton is clearly the center of Control Point, Alan Bookbinder of Fortress Frontier, and Harlequin of Breach Zone. The others are not off the map once "their story" is finished. I was greatly attached to Britton in reading Control Point, and at first I was wondering why I wasn't getting enough of him in Fortress Frontier. But then I realized it wasn't "his story" anymore, but that didn't mean he no longer existed. The passing of the protagonistic torch to Bookbinder was a brilliant move on Cole's part, and when I came to this conclusion of the trilogy, I was ready to address my relationship with Harlequin and bring the story to a close. Myke Cole can write, and he does it amazingly well.

Would I Recommend This Book? Oh, so very yes. Whatever your choice in fiction, I realy don't believe that anyone could be disappointed with reading this book and the entire trilogy. Don't like fantasy, no worries. It's not all fantasy. Don't care for military action as much? There's exploration and character relationships that will blow your mind. There's something here for everyone to latch on to, I believe, and I give this a glowing recommendation for anyone who knows how to read. Shadow Ops: Breach Zone gets a Limbic-dampening 5 out of 5 stars.

Oh, and the trilogy as a whole gets a Reawakened 5 out of 5 stars.

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