Not sure why I like this I just do. Well written and entertaining, I re read this when I run out of other good things to read.
Outstanding story along the lines of Starship Troopers, but with greater detail to the horrors of war and loss of identity in mass combat. The way the story intertwines between the past and present is masterfully done and the ending begs for a sequel though I can't seem to find one. A great story, well narrated, and worth every penny and moment it took to listen to it both the first, and second times.
Like some others, first part was ok and fast moving...nice light read (listen) for washing the kitchen floor or peeling potatoes. Maybe the end turned out as well. I couldn't tell you because the introduction of the second, inane plot and the adolescent writing was too much for these old ears...Tom Weiner's narration nowithstanding (he did the best with what he had)....and I gave it up. By the way, if you want to see how to do a competent "intro of a new plot right out of left field after a story line has already been established", read :"The Five Fingers of Death". Several other reviewers have already written about why this book is so very bad. I will only add that my own disappointment was compounded because this book actually started out ok and I had gotten into it by several hours before the switch.
I've got 20 minutes to go before the end of the book, and I must admit that I'm totally at a loss. The writing is disjointed. I'm not sure what the real story line is about. The narration is almost forced. I can't recommend this book at all.
Armor consists of two storylines. One follows Felix, a soldier fighting against alien creatures known as "ants," and the other storyline -- which begins abruptly about a quarter of the way through and continues until the final quarter -- follows a criminal named Jack Crow.
Felix's storyline is decent and, at times, even good. Despite Steakley's lack of skill as a writer, he managed to create a character who was interesting, terrifying, and likable. Unfortunately, Felix's story is crippled by Steakley's loss for words. For example, early into the story, a battle scene is described as "Terrible, terrible, awful, awful." How did this get past his editor? Poor descriptions such as this are peppered throughout the novel. I often found myself backtracking, sorting through ambiguous narrative trying to construct a scene.
The second storyline is horrible. Rather than the third-person with Felix, we are stuck in first-person with Jack Crow, a sociopath whose first act is to kill an innocent man. We follow this loon around reading page after page of his babbling internal dialogue. Nothing important happens here until much later. Feel free to skim. Only in the last few chapters did the storylines merge.
Aside from the bad writing, the confusing scene changes, and annoying characters, I do not understand why Fleet could not bombard Banshee from space. There seemed nothing to gain from ground-based warfare. Why was there never any support from the air? Why no armored vehicles? And how could these dumb ants possibly create starships? There was much that did not add up.
If only Steakley had stuck with Felix's story, I might have called this a decent book. With proper editing, the ending could even have remained the same without forcing hours of pointless rambling on the reader. While Felix is a great character, a genuine sci-fi superhero, the author's obsession with Jack Crow and his hypersexual exploits all but ruined the story for me.
I've been trying to get into military Sci-Fi series like Starship Troopers and thought I'd give this and a several other books a try. Unfortunately, I can't really say I dug this one. It just sort of felt forgettable and dull.
Can't recommend enough. Still feels fresh and relevant. Get this book. Felix personifies the soldiers dilemma with humanity and sense of self.
Every time I read Armor (I've read and listened to it numerous times) I'm baffled as to why it isn't a more mainstream classic. Along with being one of the original blueprints for so many of the ideas we see in modern sci-fi and adventure, this is also the book many people hoped Starship Troopers would be.
As Starship Troopers absolutely nails what it would be like to go through a futuristic military's boot camp, it absolutely fails to live up to the premise of the wonderful action set piece that it opens with, leaving some readers disappointed. This is where Armor picks up the reigns, delivering incredibly paced action in support of a surprisingly emotional and moving storyline.
Don't miss this one if you're a fan of the genre. Also, the narration by Tom Weiner is first rate.
I have read 1000's and 1000's of genre books. When I hand out a sci-fi to friends as a recommendation, I often give them this one.
This book has two halves. The first one, think Starship Troopers the movie. I think the movie took more from this book than from Heinlein's story. Only this book has a soul, whereas the movie was all campy fun.
The second half starts off so quietly, its disconcerting. But if you give it a shot, it will reward you.
All together, this is one of my favorite genre books. I am saddened that the author died before writing anything other than one more book. If he had done more I think he would have been remembered as one of the giants of the field.