Enslaving Demons like Magical Batteries — The Midnight Front by David Mack
The Midnight Front
by David Mack
Published: January 30, 2018
On the eve of World War Two, Nazi sorcerers come gunning for Cade but kill his family instead. His one path of vengeance is to become an apprentice of The Midnight Front—the Allies’ top-secret magickal warfare program—and become a sorcerer himself.
Unsure who will kill him first—his allies, his enemies, or the demons he has to use to wield magick—Cade fights his way through occupied Europe and enemy lines. But he learns too late the true price of revenge will be more terrible than just the loss of his soul—and there’s no task harder than doing good with a power born of ultimate evil.
NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge provided me with an eGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The plot, and story, of The Midnight Front is wonderful. It’s full of magic and intrigue, twists and turns, heartbreak and triumph. And though I’m not sure if it qualifies as historical fiction (I’m really bad at deciding genres) it’s generously peppered with historical events from the WW2 timeline. Those of you who are old enough to be taught WW2 in high school will go, “Oh, I remember learning about that!”
Do they still teach World War 2 in high school? No. No, distractions.
The magic system is another thing I really liked in this book. It took a little bit to grasp the ins and outs of it. All the terms and methods and equipment used were all new to me, so it was a little like learning a new language. Cumbersome at first, but comfortable and familiar soon enough.
Where this book fell short for me was the characters.
I had a hard time connecting with some of them. And I don’t just mean supporting characters, I’m talking main characters. There wasn’t enough substance to them. Not enough reasons to care about them and what they’re trying to accomplish. They didn’t feel human, to me. They were people that showed up, did some things, and then went away.
The most frustrating part of this was that there was this great history between the main villain and one of the main heroes. I know this because it’s referenced several times, but we never get a glimpse into this history. It was like someone telling you, “The most interesting thing happened to me today,” and then moving on to talk about the weather.
Actually, some of the supporting characters I found to be more interesting than the main, because I could connect with them more. I knew things about them. I saw their emotion, their wants, their needs. I knew what their motivations were and when they had they heart broken, I felt for them. When characters I wasn’t connected to had a heart-breaking moment, I felt nothing.
This book is definitely for fans of the arcane and supernatural, especially if you also dig a bit of world history in your fiction. David Mack managed to bring a healthy mixture of fantasy and somewhat modern day without it feeling too heavy handed in either.