Cave 13 (St. Martin’s Griffin, August 29, 2023). Cover design by Rob Grom
Brandon Crilly introduced me to Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger novels, with his enthusiastic review of the ninth volume in the series Dogs of War in 2017.
This series is about way more than its main protagonist, Joe Ledger, and is filled with a host of deeply-imagined heroes and villains… Every Joe Ledger novel features some sort of established horror premise – like vampires, zombies, and even Cthulhu – and gives it a mad science twist…
But amid the nonstop, Die Hard-esque action that inevitably occurs, there remains that core character development, which continues from several books previous, as Joe Ledger’s allies struggle to remember who they are, why they fight, and why they can win, no matter what odds they face. And with a touch akin to J.J. Abrams, Maberry slowly reveals some key mysteries that go back to the beginning of the series and which, I hope, will be continue to be explored in an eventual tenth book.
The latest installment Cave 13, published in trade paperback next week by St. Martin’s Griffin, is the third volume of spin-off series Rogue Team International, in which detective Joe Ledger leads a team of elite specialists to deal with global threats.
Jonathan Maberry is a modern renaissance man. The creator of the Netflix series V Wars and the current editor of Weird Tales, he’s also a comic writer (Wolverine, DoomWar, Black Panther), five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and a New York Times best-selling author with multiple popular series under his belt, including Rot & Ruin and the Kagen the Damned fantasy novels.
While there’s plenty of coverage of Cave 13 in the usual places, my favorite commentary comes from PamG at Goodreads.
Action, danger, intrigue, history, tension, and suspense are combined in the latest military thriller by Jonathan Maberry: Cave 13 . This third book in the Rogue Team International (RTI) series continues to feature Joe Ledger and Havoc Team. RTI are independent troubleshooters who sometimes tackle antagonists on their own and sometimes are asked for help from various countries. Once again, this is a dark and violent thriller with some interludes that are lighter. While most of the novel takes place in Jerusalem, Israel, readers also travel to the Republic of Chad, Greece, and the United States.
While this novel focuses on Joe and his dog Ghost, Havoc Team as well as Top Sims and Bunny. However, other colleagues play important roles that give the reader character continuity. While readers get insight into various antagonists throughout the novel, their specific roles and how everything fits together takes a while to be revealed.
Our previous coverage of the tireless Jonathan Maberry includes:
The New Weird Tales (2023)
Kagen The Damned (2022)
AVP: Ultimate Prey, edited by Jonathan Maberry and Bryan Thomas Schmidt, reviewed by Brandon Crilly
Cozy Catastrophes and Sinister Archaeology: Weird Tales #364 edited by Jonathan Maberry, by Derek Austin Johnson (2021)
Birthday Reviews: Jonathan Maberry’s “Red Dreams” by Steven H Silver (2018)
In 500 Words or Less: Dogs of War, by Brandon Crilly (2017)
Mars One (2017)
Dogs Of War, A New Joe Ledger Novel (2017)
Aliens: Bug Hunt, edited by Jonathan Maberry (2017)
Deadlands: Ghostwalkers (2015)
Cave 13 will be published by St. Martin’s Griffin on August 29, 2023. It is 515 pages, priced at $19 in trade paperback and $12.99 in digital formats. The cover design is by Rob Grom.
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