This story unfolds, folds back, circles, returns, and surprises. At times, it seems to drag as the protagonist suffers interminably in so many different ways. However, as we learn who he is and what he has done, we appreciate the weaving. The reading is good, but not great. The story bogs down here and there, but is still very engaging and entertaining.
This is Horatio Hornblower on steroids. Totally light, fun, diverting story and a great narrator. Don't look for anything heavy or serious here. I loved it for what it is..classic space opera without the political gravitas of Weber.
The publisher's summary generally describes the thrust of the story. The Krall have a spiritual mission to dominate the galaxy through competitive, brutal breeding. Only their very best warriors are allowed to survive and breed in a complex social hierarchy. How do they become the best? By finding other species and battling them. Through battle test, the Krall hope for physical and spiritual perfection. And so, they discover humans. Humans are weak, pathetic prey. The story goes into great detail in many scenes, giving us a rich experience on a hostile, alien planet. The ingenuity, intelligence, leadership, and luck it takes the captured humans to survive is remarkable and realistic. The back story is just as interesting as the main plot. The morality of human gene modification is a central dilemma cast in the history of a devastating clone war in the human past. That war wiped out 98% of all human males, which led to some interesting changes in male-female relationships.
The downside of this interesting story is the narrator. He has what sounds like a slight Candadian accent. His inflections, pauses, and emphases are all wrong. You just have to get used to it and get past it. Despite that, I had a hard time putting this one down. It pretty much consumed my New Year's holiday. Sounds like there will be a sequel, and I will snap it up if it arrives.
Some stories are plot-based, others are character-based. This story is the latter, and it is the characters that make this story shine. Ms. King does an excellent job of creating a universe so alien from Earth that it is truly alien. Humans are the new species on the block, weak, and defenseless. The horrors the protagonists endure, the losses, and the transformations are all part of a compelling listen. This is different and worth listening to.
Very creative and entertaining first volume. Boyett does his usual excellent job at narration. This is a bit of a coming of age story of a Recruit in an Earth-based mercenary outtit, but Larson has weaved in a complex and nuanced underplot that slowly reveals the complexity of this universe as the story unfolds. This volume ends well, but we know there is more to come. Bring it on. I hope that we see James Magill mature and grow into the leader that seems foreshadowed. I would hate to see him stuck in early adult immaturity over the trajectory of this series. A mature, nuanced Magill would cope with the intricate complexities of the politics and economics of this galaxy in very interesting ways.
I went through all 8 books nonstop. Some were better than others and some of the reviews of other listeners criticizing the lack of growth in Kyle Riggs maturity, emotional management, and decision-making are accurate. However, for pure entertainment on long drives up and down California, the series can't be beat. Mark Boyett is pure genius at narration. Don't know if there will be more Star Force books to come, but I will buy them if produced.
I am three hours into this and cannot recommend it. I will probably finish it out of pure stubbornness because I bought it. The story is implausible. The characterizations are superficial. The narration is strained, with inappropriate inflections, emphasis and forced emotion. The whole endeavor sounds like a high school sophomore's first attempt at sci-fi. Maybe this works for teenagers. Looking at the portfolio of this author's work, I see a lot of titles that might be attractive to younger listeners. Obviously, the author is prolific and apparently successful. Not with me, however. I will pass on any more tripe like this.
Not really a science fiction story as much as a thriller set in 2013 in a slightly altered world where 10 percent of the children are born with "abnormal" gifts. Great story with interesting characters, unexpected plot twists, and good plot movement. Well-read by Luke Daniels. I enjoyed this book and hope Sakey and Daniels team up for some more.
First, you have to purchase both books at the same time because they must be listened to one after the other. Second, make sure you have about 35 hours of time you are not doing anything else. I found the story and the reading to be addicting. The characterizations are intense, the plot lines are complexly interwoven, and there are a lot of them, and the reading is superb. It's pretty obvious from the ending of the second book that more is to come and there are still unresolved plot lines. However, the second book does leave you in a satisfied place. One of the better listens since Ringo's Troy series. I strongly recommend this one.
The biggest problem here is again the interminable suffering of Sayon. He goes through three kinds of hell and we live each moment with him. Not sure how this advances the development of his character or the plot of the story. However, the problem presented to Sayon is profound and requires him to make Hobson's Choices around conflicting morals and beliefs that would drive most humans insane. That he does so and remains sane is part of the remarkable allure of this story.
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