by Weston Ochse
“Screams are just pain leaving the body.”
Jack Walker, SEAL in training, is pulled weeks before graduation and given assignment to a small, unknown group. Initially resenting the move and lamenting his chance to lead a ‘normal’ SEAL life, he soon realizes that not only are these soldiers the finest in the world, culled from one of the most elite fighting forces in the world, they’re fighting enemies not even from the world.
The opening sequence in the prologue is a down-and-dirty fight with one of these creatures, and it’s nice to see it takes a bit more than a well placed bullet or a swinging amulet to stop a demon. It takes tons of ordinance, unloaded in key areas of effect to even slow one down, and you won’t find many one-liner jokes interrupting the fight because wasting that kind of time in this type of fight is fatal.
As Walker slowly learns what he’s gotten himself into, the team begins learning of Walker. A full-blown demonic possession Walker suffered as a child has left him sensitive to the supernatural in that close proximity causes him to lose consciousness. Not exactly the ultimate weapon, but Walker’s ability does give them additional info when needed, which is right now as a magic practitioner has sewn a suit of human flesh and is using it to control a powerful demon to restore its reign on Earth.
This all sounds really cool, and it is, but you might be hoping for more action than is actually here. Not that there aren’t a number of ops and a high body count, but it never fully reached that toe-to-toe Demons vs. SEALs video game you might be expecting.
The writing is good and the action even better, even if we would like a bit more. An ex-military man himself, Mr. Ochse has a comprehensive command of the weapons and equipment used in the field, extensive battlefield tactics and the skill to help us picture militaristic events as they unfold. Plus, his interactions between team members have the ring of truth, all adding up to solid action/horror.
Holme’s mask was black with a white slash across it.
Ruiz’s mask was a deep blood red.
Fratty wore a solid white mask.
Laws wore a mask with a green camouflage pattern.
And Walker, probably thanks to the tried-and-true tradition of fucking with the new guy, wore a mask so pink that it was fuchsia.