I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This military science fiction that was published by Baen Books on March 1, 2011 and has 592 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include World Divided, Silence, Unnatural Issue, "The River's Gift", Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar, Foundation, Intrigues, Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit, Owlknight, Charmed Destinies, Changes, Beauty and the Werewolf, Home From the Sea, Dead Reckoning, Conspiracies, Bedlam's Edge, Crown of Vengeance, Redoubt, Harvest Moon, Elemental Magic: All New Tales of the Elemental Masters, Sacrifices, Steadfast, Burdens of the Dead, Bastion, Victories, Blood Red, The House of the Four Winds, Games Creatures Play, Closer to Home, Born to Run, Wheels of Fire, When the Bough Breaks, Chrome Circle, Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Arcanum 101, A Tangled Web, Winter Moon, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters, No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, From a High Tower, Hunter, Closer to the Heart, A Study in Sable, Elite, Closer to the Chest, Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar
First in the Secret World Chronicle military science fiction comic series based on the MMORPG, City of Heroes.
I actually started this a few weeks ago, but I just couldn’t get interested until I got further into the book. Now, I’m chomping at the bit to get the next in the series, Hunt.
In this story, the authors take turns creating a chapter. Sometimes singly or in varying combinations. It has a very comic book flavor with its outrageous characters and over-the-top situation. American with/against Russkie superhero types in their various costumes. It’s a very surface read with most of the characters although there are a couple that have greater depth.
We begin by meeting the critical characters in their individual lives: Blues is helping in the Vegas Fire Department; Nagy is trying to step foot out her apartment; Eisenfaust has managed to breach Echo HQ; Murdock is getting drunk in New York; Red is plotting a bank heist with Duff Sanction, his best and oldest friend, Jon Bead, a one-woman army, and Jack of All Trades; Saviour is about to be demoted; and, Ramona is drooling over Mercurye.
I’m curious to see where the authors are going with Red Saviour’s fervor to convert ignorant Amerikanskiis to communism through her soup kitchen.
Those in charge seem to have a tough time realizing their new reality. Especially when they’re picking on Blues for defending herself!
Klaxons let loose, and Echo Ops are practically rolled over where they stand when superhuman Nazis invade the major cities of the world. Good cover for the Nazi unit that invades the prison block at Echo HQ to take down Eisenfaust, but they’re too late in one respect.
Meanwhile, Red Saviour and her team are battling to save the Russian people caught in the crossfire. The same ones chanting for her removal. Vicki is battling her own fears while Blues is wearing herself to death saving all those around her. And John comes to the attention of all the wrong people.
The virus the Nazis release into the computer system wreaks a destruction so complete that Echo is desperate for any meta to join them…including Red Djinni.
Echo Ops was…
…founded by Nikola Tesla’s nephew, Alex Tesla, who organized the “old metas from former WWII vets and recruited new ones” with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Victoria Victrix Nagy [is a] magician, metahuman, romance writer, and hacker”. And she can’t bear to leave her apartment. Even worse, to be around people. Her cat, Grey, has some kind of power as well. Yankee Pride is the son of Dixie Belle and Yankee Doodle. Belladonna “Blues” Parker is a blue-skinned metahuman with touch-healing abilities. Detective Ramona Ferrari is a regular human who works at Echo. Jack Point is a colleague who suffers from prosopagnosia, but no one can lie to him. Mercurye is a very fleet-of-foot metahuman. Iron Hawk is a Navaho meta who was a codetalker during WWII. Matai is a Samoan meta. Shahkti is a four-armed one. Jacob Stone and Tomb Stone are recruited.
Red Djinni is another metahuman, but on the wrong side of the law. Bulwark will take him in hand. Victoria Summers, a.k.a., Amithyst, was the woman both loved, although neither knows this: Bulwark was married to her while Red Djinni was with her on the barricades when she died.
John Murdock is on the run. From everything. Former military. A metahuman with extra enhancements. There’s something very special about Murdock. Even the angel thinks so.
The CCCP is…
…another meta-hero organization and Echo Ops’ sometime Russian ally led by Natalya Nilolaeva Shostakovich, a.k.a., Red Saviour. She has a passion for communism and doing what’s right, no matter the cost. Piotr Dzhavakhishvili is the moneyman Saviour must apply to for funds. Chug; Fei Li, a.k.a., the People’s Blade; and, Soviette are all that remains of her team.
Seraphym “is absolute power constrained by absolute control”. Their duty, her duty, is to the future. Choosing the person or situation to save to ensure the proper future. And John Murdock is one who must be kept safe. Matthew March is a human who sees futures. A cacophony of visions that have rendered him unable to move, unable to choose. Jonas is the owner of a bodega in John’s new neighborhood.
The Thule Society is…
…the enemy of Echo Ops. Oberst Heinrich Eisenfaust of the Uberluftwaffe of the Third Reich is a metahuman. And an ace German pilot who somehow survived World War II and has returned to warn his former enemies.
Valkyria “Effi” was Eisenfaust’s lover before she betrayed everything for the Commandant. Walter Slycke was a prisoner of Echo before the jailbreak; now he’s carrying a vital secret.
Blacksnake is one of the more “creative” mercenary security firms who are reaping a fortune from terrified people.
The Cover and Title
It’s a Baen cover for sure with its brash colors and graphic images — the Nazi eagle braking for attack, wings widespread, claws poised to strike, the gun that replaces the tongue pointing at its potential victims against a gray-black background amidst orange flames and greenish gases.
The title encompasses the entire story, for it is an Invasion that has set the entire world aflame with destruction and anger. I like the red-orange-red gradients on the title text.