Best-selling author Rick Shelley brings listeners an explosive new series of future warfare. Lon Nolan, a young soldier expelled from Earth's prestigious North American Military Academy on trumped-up charges, is seeking to prove his worthiness in the Dirigent Mercenary Corps, where the bloody craft of battle has been refined into an art.
©1998 Rick Shelley (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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So reading the Publisher’s summary you could be excused for thinking this would be some sort of Gary Stu coming-of-age military story that we all know from before. Well, it is not. And really it is very light on the whole science part of the fiction too. I mean there are space ships, but just as a means of travel and there are planets, but just so that the story can have a location to take place. That is it.
And the “trumped-up charges” part, yeah that’s 5 sentences in this book, maximum. So what is this book then? Well, it is the story of a young man who goes off to war where he experiences combat for the very first time. We don’t really know a lot about him, but we know he is afraid. That is all that this book does, it describes the journey of a young man from his home base into combat and through it. And there is quite a lot of combat, which was exciting enough, and I really did enjoy the fact that our hero is not in fact extraordinary. The downside to this is that not being extraordinary and without much of a backstory to him, our hero is rather bland. I was hoping for “Armor” and I think I got the somewhat honest descriptions of a soldier set in a science fiction universe. Fair enough.
The narration was decent, but one or two of the voices he did was, in my opinion, absolutely dreadful.
This book follows a new recruit in a mercenary army as he comes to terms with his new life and everything that entails. He struggles to prove himself and cope with the fact that he's going to have to lead men to their deaths. It doesn't get much more in depth than this, unfortunately, but it's an enjoyable ride. If you're new to the genre don't start with this book. I suggest starting perhaps with Old Man's War or the Prince Roger series. Once you start running out of the more well known series to read come back to this and give it a try. It doesn't compare with those classics, but it's worth a look.
This book isn't hard Sci-Fi by any means, but it gives you enough information about the universe and its workings to keep you interested and wanting to know more. There are a few problems I have with the world, such as old fashioned bullets being able to penetrate space age armor. With a slight rewrite this book could have easily been set in an alternate world to our own. The tech is simple enough that there was just no reason for the futuristic Sci-Fi setting. That said, if you're willing to turn off your brain for a bit you'll likely find this book to be enjoyable, but quite predictable.
The primary problem I have with the book is the narration. The narrator sounds like a robotic Swede. A strange description? It's a strange voice. Give the sample a listen for yourself. It took me about an hour to get over how strange the voice sounded and simply enjoy the book.
The first book was interesting enough that I'm going to give the second book a chance. Though if the plot doesn't pick up in the second book, I'm not sure I could give a third book a shot.
A good first book. Here's hoping the rest of this series will get even better.
The author starts the series of with alot of room for "more" thank the gods for that.
Many others end up hobbling themselves in book one but this book gave me a more unfetterd feeling upon consideration of the future.
Book no2 just finsihed dl'ing so going to give that a try.
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