Cole’s third book in the Shadow Ops series continues in his version of our world where many of the population find themselves with magical powers after the Great Reawakening. In the United States, people can choose to either use their powers in the service of their government, or go rogue as a “Selfer” and face a life on the run, pursued by the government.
New York suddenly finds itself under attack from the vicious Selfer, Scylla, and hordes of goblins and other creatures. Her magical ability, negramancy is one of the banned schools of magic, and gives her the ability to accelerate decomposition and make anything rot almost instantly, including buildings and people.
Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, known as Harlequin, is in charge of the outpost in New York, trying to rescue and evacuate the population while fighting off Scylla’s army. Before long, they find themselves running out of supplies, and fighting around the clock battling to stay alive.
Cole builds a fantastic picture of New York under siege, and really captures the emotions, challenges and dilemmas that his characters are faced with. An excellent novel – Cole is building an intricate world that mixes magic and science to good effect.