The action starts quickly, with a heavily armed U.S.A. squad raiding a squalid den of beasts. “A hunched mountain of hair and muscle rattled with a frenzied growl,” Quintero writes, as his soldiers fire off rounds and sharp bursts of dialogue, their chatter—all tactics, jargon, and inside-joke camaraderie—as exciting as the firefight. Quintero is adept at mixing humor, tension, character, and inventive action into vivid scenes. Readers who love clever scares, splatter, and squad dialogue like “Bravo section move with me” will relish the team’s descent into forgotten tunnels beneath L.A. or its shivery exploration of an asylum where “a mountain of shadows writhed in the background.”
Also strong: team briefings, the unsettling sense that Ghost Squad might be betrayed at any moment, and the suspense of a “Scryer” reaching out into a demon’s essence to communicate. Quintero’s full-length debut is fast-paced almost to a fault, as at times its revelations and world-building might benefit from more discussion or time for readers to process. But the world of the story is rich and surprising, and Quintero ties the villains’ evil to Biblical apocrypha and urgent real-world issues. Most importantly, the scenes are strong, hair-raising, and driven by engaging characters.
Takeaway: This blend of horror and military action is splattery fun, full of demons and character.
Great for fans of: Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series, Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A