Friday, December 9, 2016

SNAFU: Black Ops - edited by Amanda J. Spedding and Geoff Brown - The exceptional military Horror anthology series continues

5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Editors Amanda J. Spedding and Geoff Brown have once again gathered some of the best and brightest writers to be a part of their highly successful SNAFU military horror anthology series.

Somewhere along the way I've lost count on the exact number of books in this collection, but it's getting to the point where it could occupy it's own shelf on your bookcase and every one of them has been as good as the first.  SNAFU: Black Ops is no exception.  Get ready for thirteen tales of military horror filled with monsters and mayhem.

Back to Black - Jonathan Maberry & Bryan Thomas Schmidt - A Joe Ledger/Sam Imura Rot & Ruin novella.  Definitely a power-packed way to kick off the anthology.  In the absence of official orders.  Top and Bunny had assigned themselves a mission.  The rules were simple.  Keep moving.  Save whom you could save.  Kill as many zombies as was practical.  Rinse.  Repeat.

The Waking Dragon - R.P.L. Johnson - I loved the ideas the author put forth in this short story.  VR Torture and AI Warfare.  Can it really be that far off?  The advantage of virtual reality torture was after it was done you were still relatively intact.  The agony was real, but temporary.

The Clash of Cymbals - Richard Lee Byers - This story features Crusaders battling the Moors, curses, and more.

Black Tide -James A. Moore & Charles Rutledge - Another familiar hero in the personage of Jonathan Crowley and a well-told story that adds a bit of Lovecraft to the military horror.  As a kid, one of Brent's favorite movies had been The Creature From the Black Lagoon.  This thing looked like the titular creature's bigger, meaner sibling.

Raven's First Flight - Alan Baxter - An adventure featuring the Dark Squad which has caught the attention of Armour.  Armour exists to take care of magical, unnatural, supernatural, etcetera threats to the non-magical, unsuspecting masses.

Sons of Apophis - Christine Morgan - An entertaining tale set in the world of Egyptian mythology
The author tells a story of the creation of night and day I had never heard before.  Fascinating.

Seal Team Blue - John O'Brien - A New World novella.  A virus, a world-wide pandemic, a rushed to production vaccine, and a cure that was worse than the virus.  Fast-paced and action-packed.  One of the better stories in the collection.

A Debt Repaid - Tim Marquitz and J.M. Martin - A Tales of the Prodigy story from two of my favorite writers.  A mission to rescue the woman taken by Bal Surathanan, the slaver.  Gryl will let nothing get in the way of his freeing Jacquial.

Ground Zero - Kirsten Cross - Hands down, my favorite story in the anthology.  Excellently written story about battling Taints (vampires) in the London underground.  One of the most savage and evil monsters ever to walk the face of the earth was currently standing casually on a London underground platform as if it were the most natural thing in the world, dressed in normal clothes, and looking every inch like a bog-standard commuter.  A hidden horror, right there in plain sight.

Deepest, Darkest -Hank Schwaeble - More fun with monsters in the form of a Jake Hatcher short. Jake is forced on a bogus mission under false pretenses. A layered tale and a lot of fun.

Raid on Wewelsberg - Seth Skorkowsky - A fast-paced story from Skorkowsky's Valducan series set back in WWII fighting Nazi abominations.

God-Killers In Our Midst - James Lovegrove & N.X. Sharps - A tale which answers the question, "Is it possible to kill a god?"

Extinction Lost - Nicholas Sansbury Smith - As a Marine All it takes is all you've got.  Smith has his characters fighting Nazis and the monsters they've created and longing for The good old days when they were fighting men, not monsters.

Black Ops is a broad mix of novellas and short stories from worlds established and new, some tales are weird, some scary, some you might even lose sleep over, but every tale is right on target as the SNAFU series show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

SNAFU: Black Ops is published by Cohesion Press and is currently available for the Kindle and will soon be out in paperback, too.

I totally recommend every one of the books in the SNAFU anthology series.  Enjoy.

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