Headline Books, s/b, Â£7.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns
Magic has become a very real part of many lives across the world in Coleâ€™s Shadow Ops series, as ordinary people suddenly find themselves feeling the flow of magic through them and find strange powers manifesting.
One of these is Colonel Alan Bookbinder â€“ a desk jockey in the US military, heâ€™s had a very mundane existence up until the events of this book.Â He spends each and every day working on spreadsheets until one day when he finds himself feeling like heâ€™s drowning â€“ he has become â€œlatentâ€ and senses the flow of magic, but has no powers manifesting.
Transferred to the Supernatural Operations Corps, he finds himself based at an outpost on an alien world, the titular Fortress. When all hell breaks loose, he finds himself in an unfamiliar commanding position, has to work out how to control his magic and get him and his troops safely home.
Coleâ€™s military background is very apparent in this exceptionally detailed and superb tale.Â Peppered with military acronyms (all explained in a handy glossary at the back of the book), stunning action and effective dialogue, the alien world and the myriad characters are all brought to technicolour life through his excellent prose.