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Age of Blood

Seal Team 666: Age of Blood by Weston Ochse, Seal Team 666 #2 
When a Senator’s daughter is kidnapped by a mysterious group with ties to the supernatural . . . it’s clearly a job for SEAL TEAM 666.  As Triple Six gets involved, they discover links to the Zeta Cartel, a newly discovered temple beneath Mexico City, and a group known as Followers of the Flayed One. International politics, cross-border narco-terrorism, and an insidious force operating inside the team soon threaten to derail the mission.  Forced to partner with several militant ex-patriots and a former Zeta hitman-turned-skinwalker, Triple Six is the world's only hope to stop the return of the Age of Blood.

Earlier this year Titan Books released the first book in the Seal Team 666 series by Weston Ochse. When I read that book it was just a non-stop action pack ride till the finish. We all know that the US navy SEAL's are one of the toughest special forces out there, so that's alone cool to read about... but.. 666 yes we all know what that means, demons, devils and other supernatural creatures. This is exactly what you are in for when you read a Seal Team 666 book. Pure action, pure adrenaline and all good stuff. Just to add Weston Ochse has won a Bram Stoker award for his first book. 

The first book in the series introduced us to a die-hard SEAL Team that had to replace one member and the FNG (Fucking New Guy), was recruit Walker, fresh out of training, well fresher than fresh he was pulled out before completing it. Walker is the sniper of the team and even though he start into being accepted in the SEAL's didn't go without a few bumps but it seems that he has been finally accepted after the events in the first book. He has become a valuable asset to the team and moreover it seems that he also had found his place in SEAL Team 666. The other members that we were introduced to in the first book included: Holmes, Laws and Ya-Ya, one other member died in the end who has been replaced by Yank, who now has to wear the fuchsia colored mask! Now If you look closely at the story itself, its chockfull of action but what Weston Ochse also shows in a great manner is the camaraderie that is accompanied in such a team. Each individual member of SEAL Team 666 has a personality of their own and yes some take more forefront in the book than others but you can see them having their own thoughts and some view things quite differently. However, when you look at the overall picture of the team they are one big family, it’s not that they work reluctantly with each other but their teamwork is what allows them to achieve their goals. I really liked this feature, and along these lines when you see them discussing things or making funny banter you learn more and more about each character. And in the end there is some nice revelation of how the team was picked, this gave more insights into the structure of how the members SEAL Team 666 were chosen.

Where this book really excels in is all the cool stuff from military tactics to weapons! Yes Age of Blood is a real treat in this area. The level of detail that Weston Ochse uses to describe all these things are top notch, like you are, as a reader get the full low down of how things work. Take for example the weapons alone, it’s not that bam this is what we use, but you get the full description of what makes an MP5 and an HK461 different from each other, from ammo to general layout. It was pretty cool to read these things, another part were the other types of gear used, IR sighting, nights goggles and a lot of other stuff. Besides the gear of the SEAL’s the tactics are also “colourfully” when you see the team prepping up for entry, Weston Ochse manages to capture that perfect moment of silence before the entry and them BAM it hits you full front, a carefully controlled chaos follow wherein you see Triple Six make their moves. On top of this all, each member has a specific task when on a mission and the switching from different characters and thus positions in the lay out was done in a great manner, like I said, Walker is the sniper and has a bit of stake out position whereas the other go in gun ablazing, by switching perspectives you as a reader got the complete low down of the whole area giving a nice overall strategic view. And it’s not that one member gets skipped in any way, even walker a mile or so from the real battle does run in some rough situations but luckily there is also Hoover, the attack dog of Triple Six with her own fully kitted out combat armor.

The story itself is one nonstop thrilling ride through the finish, the members of Triple Six only get to catch their breath once the mission is over. It all starts with the disappearance of the Senators daughter, with the video feeds of the disappearance there is only one team that can help her. Triple Six. Those that battle the supernatural. This single mission alone takes Triple Six across several countries, and they discover that there is much more behind just the kidnapping of the Senators daughter. Also there are threats hiding behind each corner. I liked that Weston Ochse used one of the members of SEAL Team 666 in contracting a disease and how he was influenced it all, it just comes to show that our elite soldiers aren’t bulletproof, but that they are as tough as nails. Also as the story continues they come across an Werewolf hitman, and if you look to all that we have been introduced so far this added a nice new dimension besides the usual demons such as the homunculi. And maybe shows that in the follow up stories we might see more in the lines of the urban fantasy supernaturals maybe even an vampire gone rampant? I would love to see Weston Ochse interpretation of a bloodsucker having to be fought by our SEAL’s. The ending of Age of Blood is an all good end good kind of ending, however the bit before when the final “battle” is going down between the supernatural and SEAL Team 666 it just what you wanted to read, chaos and SEAL’s being cornered and having to rely on their own or by chance encountering other members, this chaos was captured in a perfect manner bringing you to the edge of your seat. It is this kind of stuff you want to read in military science fiction. 

Age of Blood is the perfect book for any military sf fanatic, and if you aren’t you will be once you finish it. Weston Ochse know his deal in writing about military gear and tactics and his characters are spot on within the SEAL Team. I don’t know whether Weston Ochse has used any of his own experiences in setting up the relations between the characters but the team feels whole and complete. The idea of a military branch fending off the supernatural (read: playing exorcists) comes to full show in Age of Blood when the stuff gets to weird for the normal military you know who to call, and it’s not the ghostbusters I can tell you that. Its gritty, dark and deliver the perfect punch.

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