Short Take: “Operation: Sahara,” William Meikle

Rating: 4 out of 5

I was so happy to realize that book 12 of William Meikle’s S-Squad series, Operation: Sahara, had come out! It’s a hugely fun series of adventure/horror/creature feature military-vs-monsters novellas. Each one takes just a couple of hours or so to read, has fun banter between the Scottish military characters, some tidbits of interesting character exploration, and lots of monster-fighting action! This time, a 10-person research team has gone missing in the Sahara desert. The squad has to (unofficially) go into Libyan territory to rescue the researchers, who were looking for a lost city named Zerzura. As they make their way through the desert, their first hint that something’s gone wrong is a camel covered in blood (not its own). When Captain John Banks reads an excerpt from a journal that mentions a giant statue of a beetle, he starts to suspect the squad is going to encounter monsters again.

My one letdown with this volume is that it felt like the end of the story wrapped up a bit too quickly. Other than that, it was the usual fun. This time we spend some time following Davies around as he gets separated from the group, and it makes for an interesting change of pace. It’s still weird being without Hynd, but Wiggo’s adjustment to his promotion is keeping things engaging.

I absolutely recommend this book, and if you haven’t read the other books yet, the whole series. Each book should be able to stand fairly well on its own, but there’s a minor amount of character turnover and development, so it wouldn’t hurt to read the books in order. My only content note is for a bit of blood, death, and injury.

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