Headline, p/b, £7.99
Reviewed by Jim McLeod
Control Point is the first in an expected new military-tinged urban fantasy. It introduces us to Oscar Britton, a normal human soldier assigned to shadow one of America’s new magical military units. Horrified and dismayed at what he witnesses, Britton develops one of the rarest magical abilities – an ability that has been outlawed. Knowing all too well what will happen to him, Britton decides to run.
Control Point is a very frustrating book indeed. It is competently written and at times, such as in the combat, extremely well written. However it falls down in the departments of plot and characterisation.
For example the plot is nothing new, in fact most of the twists and turns in the novel are so well signposted you will know what will happen long before the protagonists of the book. At the start of the novel we are led to believe that death is the only option for Britton once he develops his powers. Anyone who has read any superhero comics will know that this just will not happen. The plot itself has far too many clichés, and it borrows too heavily from other sources.
As for Oscar Britton, he is one of the most annoying lead characters. If faced with two choices, the right choice and the wrong choice, he will take the wrong choice every time. He is supposed to be a battle hardened soldier but constantly acts like a shell-shocked fresh recruit.
All of this is a pity as there seems to be a really good book hiding just behind these short comings. The character of Harlequin, for example, has the potential to become a classic urban fantasy villain. And Cole’s description of The Source is very good.
Overall this is a decent book that had the potential for being a very good book, where some fresh ideas and good writing is drowned out by frustrating plot devices and annoying characters.