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MinnChica from The Book Pushers

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Control Point - Myke Cole Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/01/23/review-control-point-by-myke-cole/

Publisher: Ace
Publish Date: January 31st
How I got this book: ARC from publisher

When I first saw the cover for Control Point and the short blurb “Blackhawk Down meets X-Men,” I knew that I had to get this book. Although it’s not within my normal scope of reading, I likked Blackhawk Down and I loved X-Men. How awesome could that mash-up be?? I’m happy to report it kicked total ass.

Oscar is a military man, loving his life in the Army and trusting that they do what they say. So when he manifests a magical ability in one of the prohibited schools of magic, he is sure that they are going to kill him right away – so he goes on the run. With his magic in fluctuation and the Army hot on his tails, Oscar doesn’t make it long on his own. But the military that he loved so much doesn’t want to destroy him. Instead, they want to train him to be the most effective weapon possible.

Oscar gets sent to a special base, trained and put on the front lines as the last line of defense. His team consists of an outcast and three other people with forbidden magics, but together they can take down just about any challenge put in their way. But when Oscar realizes that he is in a gilded cage, he will go to great lengths to fight for the freedom to practice magic openly, in all schools.

I really enjoyed this book, especially once it picked up and I gave up on trying to memorize all the military acronyms (both made up and real). While the beginning started right in the middle of the action, it felt a little slow for me because it takes awhile for Oscar to get his magic. From there the scenes where he is on the run felt a little sluggish to me. It wasn’t until he started training with his magic that I became fully engaged with the story and couldn’t stop turning the pages. One of the other things that I struggled with in this book was all the military jargon. There were a lot of acronyms and phrases that were difficult to keep track of, and I didn’t notice the glossary in the back until the very end.

One of the things I really liked about this is that Oscar goes through so many different feelings about his job, his magic, and his place on the team and in this new world. He goes from being gung-ho about the Army, to thinking that for sure they will kill him the second he turns himself in. After being on the run and captured he can’t wait to escape and get away from this new world. Then he starts believing in the magic, in the people around him. After an unfortunate few run-ins, he realizes that he is being kept as a prisoner and sets out to free himself and others like him. That journey is tiring and yet it also tugged at my heart as I read. I went through all those emotions with him, and cheered him on at every turn.

I’m really excited for the rest of the books in this series. Things were set up so well in this story, with Oscar setting out on his own with his merry band of reluctant bandits. There was a lot left open at the end of the story and I’m anxious to see what happens with the goblin tribe, with his crew of misfits, with his campaign to keep people with magical abilities free and his ongoing and somewhat budding romance (wink).

All in all I was very happy with this debut series and author. The few moments of confusion for me were made up for in spades once the story picked up and the plot thickened. I loved the originality of the idea and how well Cole developed it throughout the story. I’m excited to see where this series continues to, and think it has the potential to be so incredible. This book has a little bit of everything in it: high-octane action scenes, awesome paranormal talents, plenty of suspense and subterfuge along with a sweet and budding romance.
I give Control Point a B