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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-12-05
- Reviewer: Staff
In Cole’s vision of near-future America, magic and superpowers have become a terrifying and often lethal feature of everyday life. Army lieutenant Oscar Britton enforces America’s draconian, inflexible magic regulations, but when he himself develops prohibited abilities, he flees rather than face summary execution. His eventual capture leads not to his death but to lifelong military-industrial slavery. Previously a morally conflicted cog in a brutal legal mechanism, Britton soon finds himself outraged beyond tolerance, with open rebellion the only way out. Though clearly a debut, the novel shows promise; the rather Spartacusesque protagonist is not an infallible combat machine but a man who is able to learn from his errors, and Cole’s apparent disapproval of state-sanctioned brutality, slavery, and torture even in the face of possible existential threats is a welcome novelty in the era of 24. Agent: JABberwocky Literary Agency. (Feb.)