I came to Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series via Twitter, but not from a recommendation. He tweets often with James S. A. Corey and seemed like an interesting guy, and the premise of “Black Hawk Down meets the X-Men” was right up my alley. What it really feels like is what would happen to Marvel’s mutants if there was never any Xavier or even Magneto. These Latents can be extraordinarily dangerous, and our hero, Oscar Britton gets a first-hand look at it when he flies in with some Supernatural Operations Corps officers on a mission to take out a couple of teens who manifested their powers violently at school.
Britton is incensed at how little the SOC operators seem to want to let the kids surrender, and that feeds his decision to run instead of turn himself in when he himself manifests a prohibited power (the ability to create portals from place to place). It goes poorly for him, and he gets rounded up and pressed into service as a ‘contractor’ for the SOC.
It is definitely a first novel, but it raises some interesting questions about power versus control, and freedom and the cost of doing good versus following orders. There are some slow spots and rough patches, but it’s got me looking for the second book.