Review: Operation Mongolia, William Meikle, 2019.
When Meikle announced the title of his newest S Squad book, I hoped we would have Mongolian death worms, that fabled creature of Forteana and legend. And that’s what we get. The S Squad has to fight them on a mission to rescue some Scottish paleontologists working in an area about to be occupied by Chinese troops doing a sweep for local rebels.
Not only are the death worms the most original monster the squad has faced since the series opener Infestation, Meikle provides them with a believable place in the ecology of the Mongolian desert. We even have a nice bit with how some of the locals have come up with their own defenses against the worms.
Wilkins is still recovering from the squad’s last outing in Operation Norway, and Meikle opens up the series a bit by providing some back stories for the squad members and the reason why Wiggins and Sergeant Hynd are always insulting each other. Because of that, this book would be a good introduction to the series.
On the other hand, there are minor spoilers when the squad, under siege, relates some of their previous adventures to one of the paleontologists. (A bit suspect in terms of opsec.)
That also was a bit of a problem for me because, after seven outings with the squad, my ideas of the characters didn’t comport with the background Meikle gave them.
That’s a minor gripe, though. Battling death worms in the desert, ancient monasteries, and the surprising fate and transformation of some of those paleontologists make this another winning installment in the series.
The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer provides the parallax on this one.