In the future, the terminally ill can prolong life by surrendering their consciousness to a cybernetic life form that is then recruited into the notorious Legion of the Damned, an elite fighting unit charged with protecting humanity.
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©1993 William C. Dietz (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
This is a great listen, very well thought out and very enthusiastically read. While it is a little confusing at first with how it jumps around from place to place you will get the rhythm and love it. Ive search for mlitary science fiction and rarely find anything that makes me want to list to the entire series and this fit the bill.
Hmmm, I'm not sure what to say about this one. About half-way through I was convinced the entire book was going to be one long setup for a "To Be Continued" ending. I was wrong about that. The amount of loose-ends that got tidied up in the last few chapters was pretty phenomenal, although there's still plenty of scope for the sequels. Without straying into spoiler territory let's just say I was surprised at who was and wasn't standing at the end.
My main issue with the story is that it's a little trite and reads somewhat like early 50's sci-fi. On the pro side, I enjoyed the general plot, the chapter-starting quotes added nicely to the story. It's a fun, sometimes humorous read with an acceptable pace and the story never gets bogged down, although that is somewhat due to a lack of detail, which segues into the cons. There's obvious care gone into the depiction of some of the characters, but others are all but one-dimensional. Also, the constant stream of people falling in love (that I'm sure are a setup for later stories) was really starting to annoy me.
Overall, I'd say check it out if you're a Space Opera fan.
With regard to the audio, I found it mostly acceptable. It commits the cardinal sin of inserting music between chunks of narration although, thankfully, it only happens once about midway through the story (perhaps there's a Part I/Part II split?). Mr Corren did a great job and my only issues are with editing, as soon as the last word of a chapter is spoken there's almost no gap before "Chapter X" is announced, which can be a little jarring.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
The book started out gang busters, with the introduction of cyborgs, biobots and life in the Legion. About the middle of the book I lost interest. I must admit that I am not a Military Sci-Fi fan, so those that are, may love this book. It is hard for me to get into make believe wars, battles, and politics if the author has not made me care for the characters. Each chapter jumps quickly from one character to another, not giving enough time to build the character and make us root or not root for him/her/it.
Dietz shows a good imagination and reminds me of Kevin J. Anderson. I was also reminded a little of Neal Asher, although he is not quite as biologically crazy as Asher.
This was written in 1993, so if on sale I will listen to more of Dietz to see if his writing gets any better.
Great Book, I really enjoyed the story and the narration by Donald Corren was excellent.I am presently listening to the 3rd book in the series. Be warned, once you start listening it's hard to stop.
As fiction, this book is not particularly well written. I found the characters to be pretty one dimensional. The author fails to build any significant suspense, indeed, the motivation and intention of the main alien antagonists in the story is enumerated in dreary detail in the first few chapters. We could (and should have been left guessing a bit longer!)
As science fiction, I also found it wanting. Most of the ideas in the book are clich?s, such as cyborgs. This wouldn't be so bad if the reason for their use wasn't left bafflingly unclear. Why would an army be partially constituted of cyborgs? A decent SF author would have at least made it clear.
It looses all credibility as hard SF for me during a combat sequence in near 0G conditions when Dietz pays little heed to the basic Newtonian laws, that any high school physics student should understand.
In summary, I found the rave reviews others have given this title baffling.
There's no discussion of the technology involved which is fine but it can add to the universe the story takes place in. A lot happens in the book, but it takes away from detail and character development. I like how flawed some of the characters were. Although much of the book was a pale imitation of Dune, I love Dune so I didn't mind.
I came to this series after listening to the first three "Prequels" the Andromeda Saga
They are much better, more nuanced, better villains, more real worlds. The empress is a real bitch, where here her son is simply annoying.
Still I liked the characterisations, the depth on the Hoodatha, and the pace of the story. Worth sticking with the series I reckon
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