Dark Arts: The Midnight Front
The epic first novel in the Dark Arts series.
On the eve of World War Two, Nazi sorcerers come gunning for Cade Martin but kill his family instead. His one path of vengeance is to become an apprentice of The Midnight Front — the Allies’ top-secret magickal warfare program — and become a sorcerer himself.
Unsure who will kill him first — his allies, his enemies, or the demons he has to use to wield magick — Cade fights his way through occupied Europe and enemy lines. But he learns too late the true price of revenge will be more terrible than just the loss of his soul, and that there’s no task harder than doing good with a power born of ultimate evil.
Visit midnightfront.com, my site dedicated to The Midnight Front and the new Dark Arts series, to learn more about the saga’s characters, magick system, and more!
“Mack’s novel is … propulsive, with well-crafted characters and cinematic set pieces culled from the war’s most momentous crossroads. Equal parts brimstone and gunpowder, the book deftly mixes the tropes of high fantasy into a semirealistic portrayal of WWII…”
“A complex, entertaining fantasy that sets loose a ‘chosen one’ hero arc among the dogs of war.”
“[Mack] counters the epic scope and near-cinematic showdowns with a cast of finely wrought, well-defined characters and an intricate, detailed system of magic, ensuring that this story is emotionally and intellectually engaging, as well as viscerally satisfying. Balancing a magical quest with the very real-world horrors of the Second World War is not easy, but Mack generally manages well, a feat that bodes well for the series to come.”
“4 out of 5 stars”
“The Midnight Front reads like your favorite summer blockbuster or genre TV binge-watch, moving the reader tidily along with well-crafted action, witty banter, and a narrative that knows exactly where it's going.”
“[T]here's a familiar fun to Mack's writing (even when things get gruesome) that makes for an enjoyable read. It helps that the stakes are set almost immediately, and boy are they high—both personally and, you know, in terms of world domination. You can't help but root for Cade…”
“The Midnight Front is a page-turning start to an exciting new historical supernatural series.”
“The cast of characters is nicely diverse, representing the many groups of people who would have aligned themselves either with or against the Nazis…”
“Mack doesn’t shy away from accurate portrayals of either the horrors of war or the bravery of those who stood against the Nazis. … There are no infallible heroes here, no Chosen Ones — Mack populates The Midnight Front with flawed, damaged people, and even the ‘good guys’ have to make difficult, no-win decisions with heavy prices to pay.”
“I’m very excited to see where Mack takes the DARK ARTS series from here … I strongly recommend The Midnight Front for history buffs and fans of propulsive, compelling prose.”
“4 out of 5 stars”
“I respect that the author made no attempt at covering up the horrible, inhumane, and disgusting things that […] took place during Germany's reign of terror. I respect that the author uses characters who are, in their own right, unique and just as terrified of being caught and sent to concentration camps where they'll likely not be heard from again. I respect that the author made zero attempts at saving the reader from heart break by reading the loss of a character you may come to respect. This is war. Nobody, and I mean nobody, comes home unscathed.”“After an ending that left all sorts of questions as to what is going to happen next, I do look forward to seeing where Mack takes Cade and his characters.”
“Mack doesn’t spare us the horrors of war. This isn’t a simple battle of Good Allies vs. Evil Axis … This is an arena where the shades of grey have shades of grey…”
“The fantastical elements are handled well, mostly in a matter of fact manner that emphasizes just how they are part and parcel of the lives of those involved with them. … the story [maintains] the necessary momentum, with sufficient time for us to get to know the characters (and feel the pain of their loss – no-one comes out of this unscathed).”
“Verdict: A terrific opening salvo in this rewriting of the 20th Century. 9/10”
“Mack is a skilled storyteller with a knack for vivid and visceral action.”
“[The Midnight Front] is a well-thought out novel. With his background writing stories based on a cinematic franchise, Mack’s skills at depicting a wide canvas that evokes strong images is no surprise. If creating a world / sandbox of his own in which to play was a challenge for Mack, it doesn’t show.”
“I enjoyed the hell out of this novel – empathetic characters, fantastic worldbuilding, and magnetic plotting. … Mack’s rich worldbuilding hints at a history far beyond what is presented in this book, allowing for potential stories of the past while the two subsequent novels in the series already indicate there is a welcome future to Cade’s world.”
“This is an exciting beginning to a fun series. I recommend it highly.”
“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.”
“[T]he characters are a diverse group … [T]hey’re fleshed out people that deal with the adverse effects of handling magic.”
“Midnight Front doesn’t pull any punches … If you like magic, military thrillers or historical fiction Midnight Front is the book for you.”
“The characters are engaging, the missions exciting, and the action supernatural spectacles. Recommended. The highest compliment I can give a novel is to ask for more. Thankfully, Mack is already at work on the next two books. Mack is magick. Recommended. Overall grade: A”
“One of the most intriguing components of this book (and new series) is that everyone has a rational, convincing motive for their actions. Enemies are antagonists, not one-dimensional bad guys in black hats. The author understands that we are all human, and we find ourselves in opposition when our understandings, interests, and goals come into conflict.”
“If you grew up reading and rereading the Harry Potter books, The Midnight Front is right up your alley, for it is serious magic for adult sensibilities and adult appreciation of the lessons and legacies of recent history.”
“Mack has written an adventure that may seem escapist, but which actually faces very real and persisting issues squarely. I am deeply impressed, both by his research and his ability to keep the story vivid and engaging on every page. I absolutely cared about these characters, wanting them to survive, or at least die well. Thriller-paced action, believable relationships, and appealing characterizations make this the sort of book you do not want to put down once you start reading.”