Friday 22 July 2022

White Ops - Declan Finn - White Ops Book 1

White Ops
White Ops Book 1
Declan Finn
ISBN 9798763496963
eISBN 9798201303464
White Ops - Declan Finn - White Ops Book 1

This was the third novel I have read by Declan Finn; in nearly as many weeks. I have ready the first two in his Saint Tommy Series, Hell Spawn and Death Cult. I now understand why so many people rave about his works. Before reading book 1, I had also picked up this book, White Ops Book 1, but got going on the Saint Tommy Series first. I have also previously picked up several anthologies that Finn has contributed to, that I have not got around to reading. They as well will be bumped up in my to be read pile. 

The description of this story is:

“The Pharmakoi rampaged across dozens of star systems, taking on the toughest races in the Galaxy in their campaign of conquest. But they are only the beginning.

Sean Patrick Ryan sees that another race is behind the Pharmakoi expansion ; a race that wants to test our galaxy for weakness, and who needs to be eliminated from within. To fight the enemy in the shadows, Sean will put together a strike team to light up the darkness— with nukes if necessary.

They will get the job done at any cost.

They will be White Ops.”

The beginning of this story up to about half way felt like a fix-up story. Their seemed to be several story lines set in the same universe with overlap here and there. During that first half of the book it felt like a rewrite of J.F. Powers Morte d'Urban set in space. Which in and of itself would not have been a bad thing. But then as things started coming together, it felt more like a rewrite of Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger with so many subplots that when they all started coming together the complexity of the story revealed a masterpiece. That is what I felt as reading the second half, a story masterfully written. Many different angles and pieces pulling together it was awesome. It definitely has a Babylon 5 feel about it, and like B5 has many throwbacks and callout to fans of science fiction and movies alike. A few that got a chuckle were:

“One hundred percent of his estate went to support the Andrew Greeley Chair of Catholic Studies at the University of Chicago... after an untimely explosion erased whatever objections Soron had in the matter.”

““They have yet to make a Bond film that can come close to the first fifty.””

And this passage:

“Ryan shook his head. “No. You see, the Renar could circumvent all of our scanners back then. They made a covert approach to who they thought was the leader of the planet Earth.”

Kami straightened a little. She furrowed her brow, and frowned thoughtfully. She tilted her head, staring off right behind Ryan. “No... I can’t even begin to imagine it. Who did they talk to?”

“Hint: It was a person who ruled near the center of the map, in a really large white palace, who had diplomatic contacts and relations with every single country and person on the planet, with representatives at every level, from government to the street level. He also wore white robes, which, as you may have noticed, the Renar viewed as something of a status symbol.”

Kami’s green eyes widened slightly, and she tilted her head. “You’re kidding. They thought the leader of the planet was the Pope?””

And who cannot but love the idea of the Holy Order of Saint Patrick. And what about this bit on our main character:

““Warriors are one thing. A soldier must play well with others. Between the Holy Order of Saint Patrick, and the SCA, I’ve gotten around. I’m creative. Sometimes, I just need to look at things long enough, and I can figure it out. For example, the war we all just went through.””

The action is excellent, the story entertaining. Reading this was like jumping back nearly 40 years to when I read Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat Series and Pier’s Anthony’s Bio Of a Space Tyrant series. But this series has a great message and underlying faith. It is like a classic science fiction space opera with a strong faith element! An excellent read in what looks like it will be an amazing series. An easy 5/5 stars!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Declan Finn:
Love At First Bite Series:

Other books:

Anthologies contributed to:
Luna: Planetary Anhtology Series Book 2
Supernatural Streets
Starflight: Tales From The Starport Lounge
Mercury: Planetary Anthology Series Book 4
Venus: Planetary Anthology Series Book 5
Mars: Planetary Anthology Series Book 7
Places Beyond the Wild: A Z-Day Anthology
Shoot the Devil: Ten Tales of Humans Defeating the Demonic
Fantastic Schools, Volume 6

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