Siege Line by Myke Cole Review

Siege Line is an action-packed book with a male lead you would care for and a thrilling plot that will make you thrilled to the bones. There's a strong military element in the story and if you like DC and Marvel comics, this book offers a visual knockout narration that could go on par with the Superhero powerhouses.

Siege Line by Myke Cole Review
Siege Line by
Series: Reawakening #3
Expected publication:
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Language: English
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Military, Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780425269664
Format: paperback (I got a digital ARC via Netgalley for an honest review)
Pages: 432

In Myke Cole’s latest high-octane, action-packed military fantasy, the fate of undead Navy SEAL James Schweitzer will be decided—one way or another...

The Gemini Cell took everything from Jim Schweitzer: his family, his career as a Navy SEAL, even his life. Hounded across the country, Schweitzer knows the only way he can ever stop running, the only way his son can ever be safe, is to take the fight to the enemy and annihilate the Cell once and for all.

But the Cell won’t be easily destroyed. Out of control and fighting a secret war with the government it once served, it has dispatched its shadowy Director to the far reaches of the subarctic in search of a secret magic that could tip the balance of power in its favor. Schweitzer must join with the elite warriors of both America and Canada in a desperate bid to get there first—and avert a disaster that could put the Cell in control.

This is the only second book written by Myke Cole that I've read and I can see a great difference from his writing of Gemini Cell and this one. His writing has definitely improved. I can't really pinpoint how, it's just that the narration this time is fluid and will hook you instantly.

On the get-go, you would just say, "Wow," as you read the words across the pages. Or perhaps, the only reason I don't have that awed feeling in reading Gemini Cell was because I hated the fact that Sarah, James's wife, dealt with her grief by shacking with James's best friend. That's a total ew factor for me. It's one thing when your neighbor does that when her husband's only a week cold on his grave and quite another when you have to deal with that premise as your main protagonist's background.

Yes, I haven't moved on from that. And so does James Schweitzer. That thought of his wife cheating on him crossed his mind about three times in this book.

Back to Myke Cole's writing. I have been following him on Goodreads and like Michael J. Sullivan, he engages with his readers (though not as active as Sullivan). By engaging, I mean he replies to their comments on his posts. He has some posts on Goodreads and they're quite profound, and so were his replies. His intellect is palpable in his words. He's very articulate that you'd wish you'd get a piece of his mind. And by that, I mean that you'd like to have his thinking process and gain that ability to parse words that will elicit your strong feelings about something. He goes quite political in some of his posts.

That intellect and engaging writing ability finally permeates well in Siege Line. I had never checked his background while reading Gemini Cell and that book gives off an amateurish vibe in a way that it sounds ambitious and you'd wonder whether the author could pull it off. I did write a very positive review about it but I just really didn't have that really, really strong wow factor that I have for this book. Siege Line so far, is the best book I've read of Myke Cole's though this is my only second book from him.

Speaking of politics, there's no getting away from that in this book. The CIA is already involved along with a senator who was responsible for funding the Cell project. And that's not enough. With the death of the previous "necromancer" (let's just put it that way), the enemies have to find a replacement and it just so happens that they no longer have to look far (because as far as I can remember, the previous necromancer was extracted somewhere in Middle East). The bad guys caught a whiff of information for a prospect necromancer in Canada. And now, the Canadian intelligence (let's put it that way, again) and military force get involved. It was a difficult process.

James Schweitzer and the Americans (let's put it that way) have assembled a team to deal with the problem (that is, to exterminate the Cell and prevent it from getting bigger than it already is). The first squad had to be kept in the dark. Operators have to do their job and all they know is that they have to kill their targets, not knowing what they are in the first place. While that's bad enough, the same has to be done to the new team assembled for Operation Canada (let's put it that way, again).

As you can see, there are two major settings in this story. The Gemini Cell facility in Colchester and then the Canada setting. In the Cell setting, James's team wanted to exterminate the undead while they're still hibernating. The Director (the undead overseeing the success of the Gemini Cell) got wind of that, screwed their operation and escaped in the process.

Wanting to see his project through and aiming for a new goal, The Director is hell-bent on getting his hands on his perceived new necromancer and James's team is out again to intercept that.

The plot is almost too simplistic but it's the journey that counts. Myke Cole's narration has gotten so good, you'd feel you're part of the action.

Obviously, James Schweitzer couldn't pull everything all on his own. He needs major help from those who are capable of doing things. That's how the CIA got involved. Eventually, he has to get acquainted with the SAD (Special Activities Division), a division within CIA in charge of covert activities. And then we get to meet the SAD director, Ghaznavi.

All I could think of Ghaznavi is Amanda Waller, the director of A.R.G.U.S. from the TV adaptation of the Arrow series. They're both fierce and they give off this classy intimidating vibe, and they're both the head of their special division. They may not be physically as strong as operators but it's their mind that matters and the fact that they have authoritative power.

Now, at this point, I got nothing much to say but here are the ones that stood out:
  • Midway in the book, they pulled this Star Wars trope, and I thought it was a joke until the truth hits. And boy did it hit hard.
  • The only problem I found in this book was the cover. They put a teenage-looking androgynous person on the cover which I presume to be Mankiller (the badass Sheriff, granddaughter of the prospect necromancer), who by the way, is way over 30. I don't mind the androgynous part, just the misplaced teenager look. Mankiller is more manly than most men you'd ever know.
  • I love how James Schweitzer has grown some humor.

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