Bio-tech aliens battle Mechs built by humans! After centuries in stasis, a lost task force returns home. Arriving from the infinite void, the surviving ships discover that the Imperium lies in ruin. The Homeworld itself is destroyed, and nothing lives in the Ancestral System except an infestation of unknown bipedal beings - creatures soft, red of blood and warm of flesh.... When you colonize a planet, make sure the owners aren't coming back.
MECH is the story of a new Earth colony built upon the ancient Homeworld of a civilization presumed (incorrectly) to be long dead. MECH is a full novel, 90,000 words in length, by best-selling author B. V. Larson.
©2010 B.V. Larson (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I had read most of B V Larson’s StarForce series and, thinking that the series was not bad, decided to try this book. The premise, as explained in the Audible description, was that a long lost race returned to find humans had taken hold of their home world. I had assumed that there would be some kind of reasonable “first contact” between rational beings and that it might be worth reading how this was resolved. But the book disappointed me in many ways. There are no “spoilers” in this review, but I have listed what about this book made me feel disappointed.
First, the description is incorrect. The “home world” itself was physically destroyed and did not, as I assumed, only contain some kind of ruins. The humans did not inhabit the “home world” but an adjacent world. That is clear in the first 10 minutes of the book. The description was almost certainly provided by the publisher and so this is not Audible's fault.
Second, there is no “back story” to explain about the religious group and the story, as it unfolds, was almost unintelligible to me. I could not understand who they were, why they were acting as they were and why anyone would choose to make the decisions the reader eventually finds they have made. I could not help comparing those people with the characters in Heinlein’s "The Puppet Masters" since they were essentially in the same situation.
Third the characters seem to be more caricature than character. The villains have no saving graces at all and are either cowards, thieves, closet pedophiles, sadists or some combination thereof. The heroes and heroines seem to have no failings at all and, in the end, only one character seemed real to me at all.
Last, but not least, I found the reading to be less than stellar and, at least at the beginning, difficult to follow. Eventually I became familiar enough with the narration that it stopped bothering me but I always felt that it was a distraction from the book rather than being either neutral or a positive addition.
Mr. Larson’s web site says of this book that people either love it or hate it and I can believe that. Although I fall closer to the latter than the former I can see how people might find all of the weirdness appealing in books that often seen to be clones of one another. This book is definitely weird but the one positive thing I can say about it is that it is not a clone of anything else I have ever read. It would have been improved (for me) if there had been a prologue explaining who the various groups were and something about the “riders”, but perhaps I am not typical.
All in all I do not feel that I can recommend this book but I do feel that some people will positively enjoy it. I will not read any more of this series but I will continue to read B V Larson in the hope that the next book will be more to my liking.
I would if it was redone by a new narrator.
Mirron's mispronunciations and extra sibilants are so distracting. One that kept gnawing at me was cryo being pronounced like Cairo.
I am only about an hour into it. So far, the answer is no.
I usually listen while I am driving. Because of that, I can't give full concentration to plot development, character development and trying to make sure I hear the words correctly.
For that reason, I love audiobooks that come in series. I feel like I come to know the characters. When I start a new book in a series that I have already been reading, if the enunciation is good, I don't have to concentrate on that very hard. The same is true for character development. I already know the characters and a really good narrator can let me know who is speaking by their vocal inflections, accents, etc.
Combine the fact that this is a new book in a series where I have to learn all about the characters, the gist of the back story and the the difficulty in listening to a less than stellar narrator and it gets pretty bad, pretty fast.
Well, most of them.
I wanted to give up on this book after the first half hour but I stuck it out until half-way, at which point I felt that I had other audiobooks that I would prefer to try.
I found that I just didn't like any of the characters; the bad folks are too worthless and too numerous. I found that I just didn't care what happened next, so I gave up.
The one interesting point was seeing the Bugs (cf. Starship Troopers) from the Bugs point of view.
I really can not judge the story as I only got one hour into the book. The voice actor was simply terrible. I have heard Mr. Willis on other books, and while he certainly has never been my favorite I really think he "phoned" this one in. I listen to books on my bi 1.5 hour commute (each way) to class and my .5 hour commute to work. His reading bored me so much that I found myself day dreaming about anything but the story.
Some sort of Sci Fi
The story seemed like it had potential, but as I said, I really could not give it a fair shake as I could not listen to it.
narrator distracts classic larson
interesting to see from the aliens point of view. aliens jumping out of toilets, that's why I've always been a little nervous sitting on a toilet in the dark.
character voices are good, but rest of narration is distracting, kind of sounds like that guy from original star trek- George Takei.
no, character development was not strong enough to identify with, felt kind of choppy, I got this because I enjoyed Larson's star force series so much. It feels like an earlier work, with more of a space opera tone.
enjoyed it well enough to get the next book in the series, not sure if I will stick with the series after that though, hoping it gets better.
Fewer characters which really was confusing.
Definitely. This is just not one of his better endeavors.
I usually don't write a review, however, this book was a real chore to follow. I lost interest about half way through, but kept plodding on hoping it would somehow get better. It didn't. For me anyway it was too complex in its structure and I found myself constantly trying to figure out who all the different characters were and what they were really doing. Additionally the plot goes on and on and on and then just finishes up in a quick finish which left me asking, Is this it? Better luck next time B. V..
I tried restarting it to get over the absolutely terrible narration. I can't get past the first couple chapters.
Absolutely. I loved the first series which is why I tried this one.
No intonation. Zero character voicing. Basically, change out the narrator and the performance would be better. My 13 yo son could do better.
To be clear, I can't judge the book because the narration was impossible to listen to.
This book would be better if I had it in paper back so I could burn it. The story is crap and too much focus is put random useless details.
Less focus on reproductive cycles of unusual alien species
I love parsons other series books. Have read most of them
More focus on the story, less on personal habits of the creatures
Too much time spent on the reproductive processes, over and over again.
Larson is an excellent writer. This series is far beneath his abilities
Enjoyable book but I did get lost in some of the plot twists and had to use the rewind button on several occasions. However, that could have been caused by me grappling with new characters.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I will be moving onto Mech 2 next.
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