It’s time for the January New Series Spotlight! If you love series books as much as we do, you’ll know that there are tons of them out there, and we don’t always find out about them right when they come out. So we are trying to help you find some new series reads. Each month we will feature a new up and coming series that we think you should know about!
*Authors: If you want your books to be featured, contact MinnChica*
Today I’m excited to announce a debut author with a debut series, Myke Cole and Shadow Ops. After first hearing about this story from Anne Sowards on twitter, I couldn’t wait to check it out – even though it’s not my typical read. My review will be posted later on today, and let me say this is a goodie!
New Series Description
I think the best descriptor came from fantasy author Peter V. Brett, who called it “Blackhawk Down meets the X-Men.” I like to call it “Harry Potter joins Delta Force.” The central premise is asking the question “how would the modern military, not just in the US but the whole world, deal with the existence of magic?” The answer, not surprisingly, is that they’d have mixed results, leaning towards “not terribly well.” Also not surprisingly, they’re not totally honest about what they’re doing. I know, the government being dishonest. Shocking.
The central plot/character arc deals with a “company guy” who is part of the army’s corps of personnel dedicated to policing/suppressing magic, who suddenly manifests an incredibly powerful, unique and prohibited ability himself. Suddenly on the run from his colleagues and friends, he’s pushed into an underground that deals with the secrets I just hinted at above.
How did the idea come about
I think there were 3 ways I came up with the idea:
First – I have been in/around the military most of my life (I’m still in the reserves and just got off an activation a few days ago). I’ve done 3 tours in Iraq and worked for years in the Pentagon. Once you get steeped in a culture like that, there’s a temptation to play with it by asking “what if?” questions. The military is an incredibly rigid organization. It doesn’t deal with shocking change well at first, but once it harnesses a thing, it becomes mighty with it, indeed. Magic fits that bill perfectly.
Second – The idea of an Apache Longbow helicopter gunship taking on a dragon or a direct action team breaching a barricaded position using a fireball or lightning-storm spell is just too damn cool. Somebody had to write that up.
Third – There have been some minor forays into pushing the “sword and sorcery” fantasy trope into “gun and sorcery,” but not with the hard-edged/reality-fuelled style that pervades more popular military science fiction. I wanted to do a military fantasy (NOT military science fiction – think spell-casting, not space ships) with the emphasis on the “military” more than the “fantasy.” This isn’t legions of elves and dwarves clashing a la Tolkien’s Battle of Five Armies. This is today’s modern, counterinsurgency-focused military dealing with magic in a setting I hope readers will recognize from the news they see every day.
Currently, the series is planned for 3 books (Control Point, Fortress Frontier and Breach Zone) , but I am open to doing more if it proves popular enough. I’ve worked hard to flesh out a solid and believable world that lends itself to a wide range of stories. The series currently focuses on the US military, but I give glimpses of other militaries too, and the Indian army plays a major role in FORTRESS FRONTIER. Given the chance, I’d welcome the opportunity to further explore how other countries are dealing with the same phenomena laid out in the first three books.
CONTROL POINT follows a single character, Oscar Britton. FORTRESS FRONTIER currently deals with two major Point-of-View (POV) characters. BREACH ZONE is currently just a pile of notes (yikes!), so we’ll have to see how that develops. I will say that I’m a big fan of multi-POV authors like Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett and George R. R. Martin, and I have really enjoyed the latitude/freedom that having a second POV has given me while writing FORTRESS FRONTIER.
I’m attaching some logos I had commissioned for the series. The first is the arms of the SOC (The Supernatural Operations Corps), the military unit around which the book is based. The second is for Coven-4/Umbra AKA “Shadow Coven,” a special sub-unit that features prominently in the book.