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Guest reviewer for Paranormalhaven.com. Goofy and gregarious, although mostly sensible. Love to chat about books! :)

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Fortress Frontier - Myke Cole **** Also posted as Guest review over at Paranormalhaven.com ****In a rare instance, social media (don’t snicker now) will induce me to try an author I might not normally pick up on my own. Such was the case with Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier. I’ve read and enjoyed his blog and Twitter feed, and generally have liked what he has to say. So when I was offered the chance to review the book, I promptly picked it up thinking that what I’ve read online thus far could translate into a really good book. Colonel Alan Bookbinder is a paper pusher who has never seen combat. At the beginning of the novel, he discovers that he is a “Latent”, that is, someone who possesses magical abilities. The Colonel is whisked away from his family and the life he’s known to a strange realm where he lands at the Forward Operating Base Frontier. Myke Cole does an incredible job with conveying Colonel Alan Bookbinder’s confusion and fear regarding his status as a “Latent.” You really get the sense of his frustration at the non-answers that come from his doctors and the various military personnel he comes into contact with. In addition to his new status as a Latent, he keeps coming up against Camp Commandant Taylor, a man who makes it abundantly clear that he thinks Bookbinder is pretty much worthless. When all hell breaks loose and the Forward Operating Base Frontier is attacked, Alan Bookbinder has to step up and lead the soldiers at the Forward Operating Base Frontier. One of the most satisfying parts of the novel was watching the transformation of Colonel Alan Bookbinder. He starts off as a pretty ordinary man who is very well aware of his limitations and simply does what he’s told. You see him gain the confidence as he goes through the battles, but he still is plagued with self-doubt and it makes you feel for the guy. The author does a remarkable job with communicating Bookbinder’s fears, his pride, not to mention the crippling self-doubt. While this is a military fantasy, the jargon is kept to a minimum and there is a very handy glossary at the end of the book, which I referenced several times. The language choice is economical and smooth, and because of this, makes for a very easy read. Nothing ever feels extraneous in the book. Every word choice has a purpose and serves the narrative extremely well. My only big caveat to this novel is that I felt a little unclear as to Oscar Britton’s motivations. Because I haven’t read Control Point, the first book in the series, I was missing out on the character development of Britton, and he does take up a sizable chunk of text within Fortress Frontier. On the whole, Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier was a fantastic adventure that had me rooting for Colonel Alan Bookbinder all throughout the book. This was my first book by Myke Cole, but it won’t be my last.