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Praise for

Shadow Ops: Control Point

 


Shadow Ops: Control Point
is
Black Hawk Down
meets
The X–Men
. Fast-paced and thrilling from start to finish,
Control Point
is military fantasy like you’ve never seen it before. Cole’s wartime experience really shows in the gritty reality of army life and in the exploration of patriotism as the protagonist wrestles with the line between the law and what he sees as right.”

—Peter V. Brett, international bestselling author of
The Desert Spear

 

“Cross
The Forever War
with
Witch World
, add in the real-world modern military of
Black Hawk Down
, and you get
Shadow Ops: Control Point
, the mile–a–minute story of someone trying to find purpose in a war he never asked for.”

—Jack Campbell,
New York Times
bestselling author of The Lost Fleet Series.

 

“Myke Cole takes you downrange where the bullets fly and the magic burns with precision-guided ferocity that’ll put you on the edge of your seat before blowing you right out of it.”

—Chris Evans, author of the Iron Elves series

 

“It was very entertaining, and the Magic 8 Ball says ‘will enjoy’ . . . It’s impossible to blow up so much . . . between two covers, in such style, and not have a hit. I would watch it in 3–D.”

—Mark Lawrence, author of
King of Thorns

 


Control Point
. . . sees the beginning of something new and awesome: guns ’n’ sorcery. Blending military fiction with urban fantasy, this novel was an absolute blast to read—action packed, tightly written and plotted, intense, and utterly gripping.”


Civilian Reader

 

“Realism is tightly interwoven throughout Cole’s writing, giving the book such power . . . A nonstop thrill ride that’s almost impossible to put down.”


Fantasy Faction

 

“An intense masterwork of military fantasy that grips you from start to finish until your eyes practically devour the words as you approach the thrilling ending . . . Whether you’re a fan of superhero fiction or military thrillers—heck, even if you like your epic fantasy with elves and goblins—we absolutely recommend you give
Control Point
a read.”


The Ranting Dragon

 

“[Cole has] created a military urban fantasy for the twenty-first century, with all of the complexity and murky gray areas that entails. The action is sharp and vivid.”

—Tor.com

 

“Fast-paced, nonstop action.”

—Violette Malan, author of
Shadowlands

 

“A thrill ride, from the first page until the very last.
Control Point
had me hooked.”

—Shiloh Walker, national bestselling author of
Stolen

 

“A solid and entertaining novel: a really kick-ass premise/ milieu and potential for many stories to be told . . . Cole has launched a solid series that I hope to continue reading.”

—sffworld. com

 


Shadow Ops: Control Point
is both entertaining and thought provoking; just one of those would make it a good novel, but the combination is what makes it a great one. If you’re in the mood for something that’s action packed but still delivers depth, this is a great choice. Recommended.”


Far Beyond Reality

Ace Books by Myke Cole

 

Shadow Ops: Control Point

Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier

Reviewers are reminded that changes may be made in the proof copy before books are printed. If any material from the book is to be quoted in the review, the quotation should be checked against the final bound book.

 

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) • Penguin Group (Australia), 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) • Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books, Rosebank Office Park, 181 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North 2193, South Africa • Penguin China, B7 Jaiming Center, 27 East Third Ring Road North, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

SHADOW OPS: FORTRESS FRONTIER

An Ace Book / published by arrangement with the author

publishing history

Ace mass-market edition / February 2013

Copyright © 2013 by Myke Cole.

Map by Priscilla Spencer.

Cover art by Michael Komarck.

Cover design by Annette Fiore DeFex.

Interior text design by Laura K. Corless.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978–0–425-25636–7

ACE

Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ACE and the “A” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

printed in the united states of america

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

For J. R. R. Tolkien, who planted the seed, and Gary Gygax, who watered it until it took root

Acknowledgments

Once again, my name is going on a project made possible by a small army of people. They include (but are not limited to) my agent Joshua Bilmes (and Jessie Cammack, Eddie Schneider, and John Berlyne) and the staff at Ace (Anne Sowards, Jess Wade, Danielle Stockley, Kat Sherbo, Rosanne Romanello, Brady McReynolds, Jodi Rosoff, and many more) and at Headline (John Wordsworth et al.). Thanks also to Michael Komarck, Larry Rostant, Nick Stohlman, Paul Jacobsen, Sarah Semark, and Priscilla Spencer, who plied their particular arts to bring this work to life. Thanks also to Joel Beaven, Tamela Viglione, and David Fields for careful test reading, and to Chris Evans, Robin Hobb, Ann Aguirre, John Hemry (Jack Campbell), Mark Lawrence, Shiloh Walker, and Violette Malan for lending their names to the effort to get people to believe that my work was good enough to spend money on. Special thanks to Mihir Wanchoo for consultation on the Hindi/ Sanskrit language and Hindu mythology, and to the staff and class of Viable Paradise VI. Thanks also to the Drinklings, the staff of Qathra, and the New York Public Library (where this book was largely written).

Thanks also to my family, in particular Madeline and Jasper, who daily teach me patience, passion, and not to be afraid to get excited about bugs, rocks, and bad British television.

Thanks also to Ted Arthur and Chris Meawad, who have acted as delegates from my old DC haunts and paid careful attention to making sure I never lost touch with my drinking and running (or maybe running and drinking?) roots.

Thanks to United States Coast Guard Station New York and Training Center Cape May (CO, Captain William Kelly and XO, Commander Owen Gibbons), who continue to hold me to standards I would never achieve without their incredible example. You lead from the front, and I am all too happy to follow.

With Peter V. Brett again saved for last: brother, friend, mentor, battle-buddy. None of this would exist without you omnipresent on my six, ignoring your own hell to push me through mine. Thanks.

NOTE

A glossary of military terms, acronyms, and slang can be found at the end of this book.

Measure of a Man

 

It was kind of a bummer, honestly. No special incantations. No wands or staves. No hat with moons and stars on it. I just get sappy and point and boom. Where’s the fun in that?

—Former Ambassador to Finland Katherine Arajarvi

Speaking to reporters on graduation from SAOLCC

and assignment to a SOC Coven

Chapter I
Tide Comes In

Oscar Britton is wanted for the murder of several soldiers and civilians, including his own father. He allegedly traffics in prohibited magical schools, most likely Negramantic practice. He has plotted the violent overthrow of the United States government and mishandled classified information. CONTACT: If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the nearest FBI office or, if outside the United States, the nearest United States embassy or consulate.

—FBI Web site: Ten Most Wanted Fugitives

He races into the water, kicking up clods of wet sand, waves sloshing over the glass-polished surface of his shoes.

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