The Shadow Commission

David Mack. Tor, $19.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8323-5
A group of oligarchs sparks international war in the fast if convoluted third alternate history of Mack’s Dark Arts series (following The Iron Codex). In the fall of 1963, the Commission, a cabal of powerful men headed by a shadowy figure known only as the Old Man, orchestrates a multipronged international assault as part of its plot to remake the world for its gain. Among the attacks is the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Spouses Anja Kernova and Cade Martin, both “karcists,” warriors who wield demonic and angelic magic, work with Briet Segfrunsdóttir, the head of the U.S. Occult Defense Program, to understand how the Commission’s bullets were able to breach the magical shields surrounding Kennedy, an unprecedented feat. The whirlwind of warfare that follows is action-packed, but the graphic violence and high body count overtake character development. Though Mack’s magic system is intricate and offers some clever substitutions for not-yet-developed 21st-century technology, readers are likely to lose the thread of the Commission’s magical machinations. This is strictly for series completists. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 03/03/2020
Release date: 06/09/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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