In volume two of this three-part series, Bureau 13 saved mankind for a second time as they battled a crafty villain on the USS Intrepid and New York City’s West Side Highway. At the conclusion of the book, we were able to breathe a sigh of relief as Special Agent Ed Alvarez and his team prevailed. However, for Bureau 13, there is no such thing as the end and they are back again as a new enemy threatens to obliterate the City of Chicago and turn the United States in a land of werewolves. At first, the mere mention of werewolves sounds implausible. But we must remember that this is Bureau 13 where the impossible becomes possible on a daily basis.
Volume three begins a retired veterinarian named Joanne Abernathy hears an earth shattering sound in the distance outside her home. She lives in a place that could be best described as the outskirts. Curiosity sets in and the aged and seasoned doctor heads out where she discovers a wolf that appears to have been shot. But alas, this is no ordinary shooting and this is no ordinary werewolf. What transpires after the wolf is tended to medically is surreal but sets the stage for the rest of the book. The team is assigned to an unexplained occurrence in a small town called Hadleyville. The issue at hand is large numbers of corpses without hands or heads scattered about. Jessica realizes that something is amiss and the team makes a quick exit. But they are far from danger and following them is a team of werewolves who speak and have one goal; eliminate mankind. This book quickly takes us to Defcon 1 .
Chicago becomes ground zero and every law enforcement agency is briefed on the imminent doom. But this will be no ordinary battled and all hands are on deck as Alvarez and team Tuna Fish take on werewolves, run of the mill creatures and even a floating apartment building. Pollotta pulls out all of the stops and if the first two books did not meet the standard of guilty pleasure, then this part surely will. This is the continuing saga of Bureau 13 and the strange and lethal world in which they operate.
Author Nick Pollotta returns with this second installment in the trilogy of the story of Bureau 13, the secret agency within the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for the tracking and apprehension of all supernatural creatures that pose a treat to the safety of the nation. In book one, we were introduced to Special Agent Ed Alvarez and his team of supernatural crime fighters and followed them on their mission to save mankind from complete destruction. The book was filled with all sorts of characters, weapons that we can only dream of and battles nothing short of epic. The team returns in this second part, tasked with another earth shattering mission to save the world as we know it.
The story begins in a research lab whose location and origin are unknown. What we do know is that an experiment has been conducted in which the goal is create a super human that heals instantly and is primed for infantry. The recruits are former soldiers declared dead to society. However, they are far from deceased, retaining scattered memories of their former lives. They are self-aware and a scuffle breaks out after a disagreement following an attempt by a test subject to turn on his human controllers. One subject is left standing, former Lt. Col. Kensington Sanders who we come to know as Alpha. He becomes part of Bureau 13 in ways he could have never imagined.
Life for the agents is pretty normal with plenty of ghosts, demons and other creatures to chase. But during a routine training exercise, an alarm is sounded indicating that a breach has occurred in the main containment facility. However, this is no ordinary breach and a call to arms is broadcast. The battle is surreal and the subsequent investigation reveals that there is far more to the story than meets the eye. Bureau 13 does not just have a jail break on their hands but another crime on a much larger scale. And to solve this crime, they need all of the help they can get, including Alpha and a few other recruits that blend right into Alvarez’s squad. And later in the book, they are even joined by a familiar face.
In book one, the action was non-stop and came from all directions. It was a high-octane ride from start to finish. While book two has plenty of action, there is more of a story line that builds up to the conclusion. The team is composed of seasoned veterans having engaged in endless deadly battles but here they are also investigators. And their methodical approach feels like a scene out of Criminal Minds. And similar to part one, the second part of the book takes place in New York City with the USS Intrepid playing a critical part to the book’s conclusion. The story seems completely far-fetched but in the world of Bureau 13, the impossible is always possible. And Pollotta keeps this ride going as only he knows how. Special Agent Ed Alvarez and his team are always on the job but can they save the world?
Nearly all of the reviews I have written have been of books that are classified as non-fiction. This review will be different as I have a taken a short break from the normal material to let my mind have some fun with this book that was recommended to me by a co-worker. It is book one in a trilogy and the review for the second book will follow shortly. The cover of the book gives the reader the indication that it is a novel of horror of the most unspeakable kind. However, I can assure that is not the case but the book is a non-stop ride from beginning to end. If I had to give it a definite classification, I would reply that it is a place where the Men In Black meets The Suicide Squad, Harry Potter with a touch of Fallout added. But what exactly is the book about? And what on earth is Bureau 13?
The story begins from a first person point of view as a battle with supernatural forces takes place. The central character to the story is Special Agent Ed Alvarez who joins Bureau 13, a secret division of the U.S. Department of Justice tasked with tracking down and eliminating all supernatural threats to the United States. He forms a team composed of characters of the most unusual sort and together they become Team Tuna Fish. Alvarez is assisted by Mindy the martial arts expert who is also fluent in Japanese, Jessica the mind reader, George a former solider in the Army, Father Donahue who gives the team a religious supplementation and sorcerers Raul Horta and Richard Anderson. Their commanding officer is Horace Gordon, Division Chief of Bureau 13 who bluntly informs the group that a large cloud has formed off the East Coast of the country in the Atlantic Ocean and threatens to unleash a fury of supernatural creatures upon the only place they have all called home. Beneath the cloud is an island from which the nexus of the dark cloud is formed. The group has a simple mission; get to the island, infiltrate the encapsulate city and destroy everything that poses a threat to the survival of mankind. However, with Team Tuna Fish, nothing is ever that simple.
Science-Fiction fans will absolutely love this book. Pollotta has a brilliant imagination. The creatures are as outrageous as the battles the team is forced to fight but the story never loses its pace and is supplemented with excellent sarcasm and quips about American society. Some of the action takes place in and around New York City which stood out to me as a native New Yorker. We have a joke here that nearly all disaster films and books take place in New York City for reasons only the creators know. Thankfully, my city survives here but the same cannot be said for many other things in the book. But with a legion of demonic creatures determined to erase humanity, clean and safe are not adjectives that comes to mind. This is a war between good and evil with carnage and a near apocalypse.
From start to finish the book just keeps going and just when you think the author might slow down and take a break, another curve ball is hurled toward the reader. If you are looking for a good book that lets the imagination run wild peppered with adult humor, you will find this book to be a gem.