Known primarily for his extensive work with a specific Space Traveling franchises, David Mack takes a creative detour to bring us a shadow war of mystics set during World War II in his novel Midnight Front.
After losing his parents Cade Martin, a magical prodigy with a hidden secret, becomes part of this clandestine group of mystics and learns how to control magic to join the Allies fight against their evil Nazi counterparts during the war.
If you’re not familiar with Mack’s other works he is a pro at entertaining readers, and Midnight Front is no exception. Here he takes the hero’s journey and elevates it into an engaging thrill ride in the shadows of wartime Europe, from the Holocaust to the Invasion of Normandy and the bombing of Dresden, he intertwined his characters into this period of history like master.
The framework that Mack creates for their use of magic, or the Arts as they call it, is intense in its details and he’s one of those writers who isn’t afraid to torture or even kill a character, trust me I know. And the characters are a diverse group that doesn’t come off as two dimensional stereotypes, they’re fleshed out people that deal with the adverse effects of handling magic with smoking and drinking. I love that his characters recognize the need to beat evil but not at the cost of their core, fighting for what’s right.
On a personal note, Mack through Midnight Front doesn’t pull any punches with his chapters that take place in the Concentration Camps, at first I was overwhelmed and wondered why so much time was spent at the Camps, but then it occurred to me that was the point, to show the depth of the crime that happened during the war. Midnight Front puts a spotlight on the Nazis, their supporters, the atrocities that they committed and remind us that they are an evil that needs to be fought and eradicated in any time period. He also doesn’t flinch at the homophobia that forced people to hide their orientation, the hypocritical racism of the US and its willingness to acquire power by any means.
If you like magic, military thrillers or historical fiction Midnight Front is the book for you. Available in different formats, Midnight Front is the first book in the Dark Arts series from Tor Books.
George Carmona 3rd is an Artist/Writer, former Milestone Media Intern, former DC Comics paper pusher, current book lover, and lifelong comic geek who’s been killed off in a Star Trek Book by David Mack. You can find his work at FistFullofArt.com or follow him on twitter at GCarmona3.