Book Review: 'Reign of Evil' by Weston Ochse – GeekMundo

The boys of the Navy’s ultra top secret Seal Team 666 are back, and this time, it’s personal.  Here’s the official synopsis:

Legend holds that when Britain is in its darkest hour, King Arthur will return to save the country, if not the world. That legend is dead wrong. When a Grove of Druids sacrifice the lives of a group of innocents, including the fiancée of a member of SEAL Team 666, the ancient king is brought back from the dead and sets his sight on subjugating humanity and cleansing his land of all who are not true Britons. Because of political sensitivities, Triple 6 is ordered to stand down, but that order is ignored by one of them seeking his own vengeance. Now, the members of America’s elite supernatural-hunting team must decide what is more important: their orders or their loyalty to their own team member.

You know what?  I really do appreciate Ochse’s writing so very much, because he’s really unafraid to make a statement in his novels.  Some authors go to great lengths to remain detached, and they hide themselves from readers.  Weston Ochse doesn’t follow that philosophy, which really makes the Seal Team 666 books–especially Reign of Evil–much more than just a horror novel.

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the third Seal Team 666 novel, and Ochse’s latest book did not disappoint.  Filled with fast-paced action and enough “holy sh*t” moments to keep the heart racing, Reign of Evil takes today’s current fairy and King Arthur tropes and turns them upside down, presenting a side that most wouldn’t even consider.  As a kid I was fascinated by King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table.  And as far as fairies go, how many of us grew up seeing evil fairies?  They’re always kind, cute, and good.  Not in this book!  They’re wicked, and they’re easily manipulated by the forces of evil, especially the ones who’ve been left behind because they were far too deranged and far too evil.  It totally made me look at Tinker Bell in a totally different way.

Where Age of Blood dealt with chupacabras, skin-wearing Mexican gangsters, a sea monster, and demon possession, Reign of Evil is a dizzying and exciting journey through British history, with a heavy emphasis on Gaelic mythology.  Aside from the fairies and King Arthur, the team battles Tuatha Dé Danann, aos síbanshees, golems, possessed individuals, witches, warlocks, morally depraved high-ranking officials, and the hounds of the diabolic Wild Hunt.  If you’re a fan of gore, there’s just enough to make you clutch your pearls, but it’s never overpowering.  And if you’re a fan of conspiracies spearheaded by the shadowy elite, then you’ll relish Reign of Evil even more.

The members of Seal Team 666 have also grown closer, especially given the tragic circumstances, but they also develop a close relationship with their brethren across the Atlantic thanks to a partnership with Section 9, England’s own military intelligence team of warriors who battle the supernatural.  That was one of the best parts of the book, the relationship both groups formed, and the change of location to a land that’s rich in folklore.  Which brings me to my next point…

Folklore is what really makes Reign of Evil, and the Seal Team 666 novels as a whole, so engrossing.  Ochse doesn’t assume you’re just going to head over to Google to figure out, he actually educates and informs the readers, so that if they do head over to their nearest search engine, it’s because they want to learn more, as opposed to being utterly and completely lost.  Ochse also has a diverse group of characters from various backgrounds, religions, and races, and that makes for a group of characters that are rich and multidimensional.

If I had one critique, it would be due to the tremendous detail to the weaponry the Seals use in their operations.  Then again, that’s my own personal taste at play here.  I also found that I wasn’t terribly scared out of my wits reading Reign of Evil–this is probably due to the fact that I grew up hearing all manner of ghost and witchcraft stories and folklore growing up–but it was still thoroughly enjoyable, and now I’m left eagerly anticipating, once again, the next book in the series.  Will they be in the Middle East?  Will they be in the Caribbean or Latin America?  Who knows, but you can bet that wherever the supernatural threatens the United States and her allies, Seal Team 666 will be there locked, cocked and ready to rock.

Pickup your copy out today wherever fine books are sold!