Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review: Javelin Rain by Myke Cole

Javelin Rain
Author:  Myke Cole
Publisher:  Ace, March 29, 2016
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print and digital)
ISBN:  9780425269657 (print); 9781101636763 (digital)

The fast-paced, adrenaline-filled sequel to Gemini Cell, set in the same magical and militaristic world of the acclaimed Shadow Ops series.

Javelin: A code denoting the loss of a national security asset with strategic impact.

Rain: A code indicating a crisis of existential proportions.

Javelin Rain incidents must be resolved immediately, by any and all means necessary, no matter what the cost…

Being a US Navy SEAL was Jim Schweitzer’s life right up until the day he was killed. Now, his escape from the government who raised him from the dead has been coded “Javelin Rain.” Schweitzer and his family are on the run from his former unit, the Gemini Cell, and while he may be immortal, his wife and son are not.

Jim must use all of his strength to keep his family safe, while convincing his wife he’s still the same man she once loved. But what his former allies have planned to bring him down could mean disaster not only for Jim and his family, but for the entire nation…

Qwill's Thoughts

Javelin Rain by Myke Cole picks up immediately after Gemini Cell, the first novel in the precursor series to Cole's Shadow-Ops Trilogy - Control Point, Fortress Frontier and Breach Zone. The Great Reawakening (the return of magic to the world) has not yet happened. However, magic is being used and probed and the Gemini Cell has created 'zombies' - dead animated by the souls of powerful and evil jinn pulled from the soul storm by a sorcerer. Jim Schweitzer (now an immortal undead ex-Navy SEAL) is on the run from Gemini Cell with his wife, Sarah, and their young son, Patrick. Gemini Cell wants Jim back or dead. Jim wants to protect his family.

In Javelin Rain plot nearly takes a back seat to the characters. For me this was really a story about a man's love for his family (Jim 's love for Sarah and Patrick) and the lengths he will go to protect them. Jim realizes, but somehow does not really get, that he can't be with his family anymore. His love for his wife is magical and drives him to behave in ways not at all consistent with his training as a SEAL. He's at the point where he has nothing to lose - he's already dead. - and nothing and no one will stop him from protecting his family.

Jawid Rahimi and Dadou Alva are sorcerers and are able to pull jinns/souls from the soul storm into a dead body. Jawid is quickly unraveling. Events from the Gemini Cell seemingly have unhinged him in ways that don't appear to be completely recognized by the people he's working with. He's always been quiet and loner. He's portrayed as a simple person in many ways, but he is constantly fighting against his very strict Muslim upbringing. What he does for the Gemini Cell can't be more antithetical to his religious upbringing and he is constantly at war within himself.

Dadou Alva is a horrible person. She is brought in to work with Jawid. She has no redeeming qualities. She's manipulative, murderous and mean. Her background is explained but it is not enough to elicit any sympathy for the psychological / emotional wreck that she is. I honestly kept hoping she would meet an unpretty demise. However, while I despised her she is incredibly memorable.

Jim is becoming more and more the immortal 'zombie' than in Gemini Cell - a thinking 'zombie' but still losing more and more of his humanity. He's constantly fighting his new self. He deeply loves his family and it is heartrending to watch him realize that he can not be with them anymore. He knows he can't, yet he yearns and hopes. There are times when his love for his wife overwhelms his training as a Navy SEAL, but he is always determined to protect his family no matter what.

Javelin Rain is a transitional novel between Gemini Cell and the next novel in the series. This is not a bad thing. Nothing is really resolved, but Jim knows what he must do. Bad things happen. Frightening things are revealed, but the novel left me with more questions than answers.

As always Cole's writing is taut and the pacing intense. This is Cole's most deeply emotional work. Having a window seat on Schweitzer's emotions and thoughts is devastating. Cole has deepened the history of the Gemini Cell program and there is still more to be revealed and more uncovered.


Gemini Cell
Ace, January 27, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Myke Cole continues to blow the military fantasy genre wide open with an all-new epic adventure in his highly acclaimed Shadow Ops universe—set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when magic first returns to the world and order begins to unravel…

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself—and his family—in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty—as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son…

See Qwill's Review here.

The Shadow-Ops Trilogy

Control Point
Shadow Ops 1
Ace, January 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Lieutenant Oscar Britton of the Supernatural Operations Corps has been trained to hunt down and take out people possessing magical powers. But when he starts manifesting powers of his own, the SOC revokes Oscar's government agent status to declare him public enemy number one.

Fortress Frontier
Shadow Ops 2
Ace, January 29, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Overnight the rules changed…but not for everyone.

Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a paper-cut. But after he develops magical powers, he is torn from everything he knows and thrown onto the front-lines.

Drafted into the Supernatural Operations Corps in a new and dangerous world, Bookbinder finds himself in command of Forward Operating Base Frontier—cut off, surrounded by monsters, and on the brink of being overrun.

Now, he must find the will to lead the people of FOB Frontier out of hell, even if the one hope of salvation lies in teaming up with the man whose own magical powers put the base in such grave danger in the first place—Oscar Britton, public enemy number one…

Breach Zone
Shadow Ops 3
Ace, January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began “coming up Latent,” developing terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Those who Manifest must choose: become a sheepdog who protects the flock or a wolf who devours it…

In the wake of a bloody battle at Forward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign “Harlequin,” becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he’s ever known.

In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind.

When Scylla’s inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to prevent a massacre. In order to redeem himself with the military, Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past, warped by her power into something evil…


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