Special Ops is the ninth novel in W.E.B. Griffin's epic Brotherhood of War series. At the very least, not too many series of anything go to this many parts. Of further interest, part eight was published in 1988 (The Aviators), and Special Ops wasn't released until 2001. The belated timing makes this feel more like an epilogue than a finalization or conclusion.
Special Ops is considerably longer than the novels that comprise the first eight parts of the series. The first third of Special Ops cleverly interweaves among some of the earlier novels providing additional detail and enriching the previous plots and characters. The latter two thirds takes off where The New Breed left off. Once again we're in the Congo. This time Griffin chooses to use a somewhat obscure Cuban revolutionary that planned to export Communism to Africa. Several of our favorite special forces characters are there to thwart the spread of the Communists.
On the one hand, it was fun to see how many of the concepts, like Special Forces, Army Aviation, and secret CIA air cargo company get synthesized into a single complicated operation. There were also some characters in previous novels that never quite got their chance in the spotlight that Special Ops provides. On the other hand, unless you have read the previous novels recently, be prepared for some confusion at times, and some significant memory jogging. Also, some of the previous favorite characters play only a minor role in this book.
To conclude, fans of this series will need to read Special Ops. However, it doesn't quite stand alone, and be prepared for a long read to take in this complicated tale.
Overall Grade: B
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By Order of the President