Still haven’t started the Middle Earth game … but we’re getting close.
In the meantime, Jason Anspach and Nick Cole have a new series, Forgotten Ruin. Cole is known for his “x meets y” elevator pitches: this one is “Black Hawk Down meets Lord of the Rings.” And no, the Rangers in Mogadishu aren’t whipping out Gandalf-level sorcery (although I’d read that one, too!): instead, US Army Rangers are dropped, literally, into a dark fantasy world whose chief inhabitants appear to be ten thousand orcs bent on erasing the camo-clad company from their version of the Earth.
I should stop right there: you’re hooked. And so was I.
There’s plenty going on in this first volume, too. The US sent pretty much its entire SOF roster to this world, for reasons that might verge into spoilers. But when the Ranger’s C-17 arrives, they’re alone. The other forty or so planeloads of shooters are nowhere to be found.
As in my own Operation Vampire, as long as the ammo holds out, the Americans are in good shape, although modern body armor isn’t as good against arrows as one might prefer. But after the ammo? Well, that’s a little more dicey. There are going to be a sufficiency of swords and axes lying around, sure, but how much time do the Rangers devote to sword-and-axe drill?
Sure, tomahawks. Because Rangers.
And then there’s the wizard, hurling lightning and fire down on Uncle Sam’s grittiest. What’s the usual solution to a wizard?
That’s right — a wizard of our own. Which MOS is that, again?
Anyway, I do hope this series is going to be like Galaxy’s Edge, the best Star Wars fiction ever written without mentioning the words “Star” and “Wars” together. Anspach and Cole released that series about every six weeks, allowing momentum to build and creating massive gratitude that I didn’t have to wait a year between volumes.
Remember that meme with Gandalf and the AK-47? Well, just stretch that over 500 pages of action and mystery. Good to go.
UPDATE: Yep, it’s a series! Hit and Fade pre-announced by Amazon: