Jake Sullivan, along with a group of magically gifted individuals, take on the Japanese Empire in this alternate history tale. Jake Sullivan is a war hero who was arrested for killing a man after the war. In exchange for using his magic powers to help the FBI capture other Magicals, he is being given a lightened sentence. The story opens with Jake on a mission with the FBI to capture a Brute. This mission goes wrong when Jake realizes that it is an old love interest and gets blindsided by a group of Magicals known as the Grimnoir Knights. By showing that he has incredibly advanced skills in gravity manipulation, Jake is recruited to join their cause.
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America is in a secret war with the Japanese Empire and the Chairman, the first and most powerful Magical. The Chairman doesn't just plan on taking over America: he is attempting to gain control of the world to raise an army of powerful Magicals supplemented by hardened marines. The Grimnoir were created to battle the Chairman and protect the powerless citizens of the world.
While Jake is learning about the Grimnoir and reacquainting himself with his old flame Delilah, the Chairman has planned an elaborate attack on their headquarters. Using a powerful weapon known as the Peace Ray, the Imperium forces blow up the Grimnoir headquarters while simultaneously framing them for the explosion. Most of the Grimnoir survive the explosion, but Delilah dies in Jake's arms. Bent on revenge, Jake goes to confront the Chairman on his flagship.
With the aid of the Grimnoir and a band of air pirates, Jake infiltrates the flagship and finds the Chairman. While the rest of the Grimnoir battle throughout the ship, Jake faces down his older brother who has become the Chairman's right hand. The battle is incredible with both extremely powerful Magicals pushed to their limits. Jake rises victorious from the fight and everyone is awed by the display. The Chairman offers him his brother's place, and when he refuses we see the power of the Chairman quickly incapacitate Jake. Other Grimnoir members make it to the throne room and together they manage to eliminate the Chairman and the threat to America.
In the afterlife, the Chairman reveals that he was only building his army to defend the world from a new threat. Something is coming to Earth to claim all magic for itself. Armed with this new information, the Grimnoir begin to rebuild and prepare.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked that this story grabbed you from the beginning and introduced you to fast-paced action that never really let up. It made for an easy read as there was never a dull moment.
Best scene in story:
When Jake has to battle his brother Mattie in the Chairman's throne room, Jake releases all of his anger as power. The brothers' past becomes energy that charges the room. The fight isn't just a clash between two powerful beings, it is a release of the emotion that has built through the book. When Jake stands victorious, everyone is awed by him and his strength.
Opinion about the main character:
Jake Sullivan is a seemingly simple character. He likes shooting and fighting, and he's ready to do both any time. While he has reasons and motivations for what he does, it never feels like he develops into a full character.