In the 20th century Earth sent probes, transmissions, and welcoming messages to the stars. Unfortunately, someone noticed. The Galactics arrived with their battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined their vast Empire. Swearing allegiance to our distant alien overlords wasn't the only requirement for survival. We also had to have something of value to trade, something that neighboring planets would pay their hard-earned credits to buy. As most of the local worlds were too civilized to have a proper army, the only valuable service Earth could provide came in the form of soldiers…someone had to do their dirty work for them, their fighting and dying.
I, James McGill, was born in 2099 on the fringe of the galaxy. When Hegemony Financial denied my loan applications, I was kicked out of the university and I turned to the stars. My first campaign involved the invasion of a mineral-rich planet called Cancri-9, better known as Steel World. The attack didn't go well, and now Earth has entered a grim struggle for survival. Humanity's mercenary legions go to war in Steel World, best-selling author B. V. Larson's latest science fiction novel.
©2013 B. V. Larson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I read, I write; I listen
Cast from the mold of Star Ship Troopers and B.V. Larson’s other great space adventure, his Space Force series, Steel World; Undying Mercenaries is a high speed, high adventure, military Sci-Fi, page turner.
Having already submitted to the vast empire of the Galactics, Earth is in a struggle for survival and humanities legions of mercenaries must battle on planet Cancri-9, better known as Steel World to endure; but death is not the usual final obstacle as these mercenaries have the ability to regenerate.
It’s an interesting concept, the book has several plot twists and the characters are well developed and believable.
This is a story begging to be a series; and the narrator, Mark Boyett, gives a great performance.
Simply put this was the best military-scifi book I've read this year. I've read some of the other series that B.V. Larson wrote and while I enjoyed them, "Steel World" in my opinion is his best work so far. I really felt like someone took the best qualities of John Scalzi & John Ringo and made the perfect mashup. I've seen it compared to Starship Troopers but the whole time I was listening to it, I was thinking that if you took Old Man's War Series & combined it with the Troy Rising Series, you would get this book. While I do say this book is very similar to the other books mentioned, B.V. Larson delivers his own new & fresh ideas about a futuristic military. I'm anxiously awaiting any sequels in this series. As for Narration, Mark Boyett does a very good job. I've heard him read the Troy Series and enjoyed his reading both then and now. I hope he continues the Narration for any future books. As a side comment, while book is marked as part of a series, it does have an actual ending. The book could be self contained or it could pick right up from where it ends in a sequel. Also the series could just switch to another set of characters. The fictional universe that is created is so well fleshed out that I hope Mr. Larson, does in the future create spin-off series about other characters.
Enjoy the adventure
In the near future, Earth has joined an intergalactic federation and assigned the role of providing mercenary armies to keep the Universe peaceful and tranquil. Translated, Earthlings travel to distant worlds to kill or be slaughtered. Yes, there is gore and several chapters are devoted to Earth Soldiers being hunted, eaten and digested. Some are still alive and begging for a quick end.
Steel World is a member of the Military Sci-Fi genre and the story is told from the point of view of a new recruit. Expect action and some cool technology.
The change in human society and how Earth adapted to a superior race forcing mankind to become indentured to a galactic confederation.
There are several characters that I enjoyed throughout the book - each had their own priorities and each went about ensuring their personal success and that of the Legion.
Mark did a fine job, good narration makes or breaks an audiobook and I was not disappointed.
I mostly read Fantasy books and was looking for something different - Steel World was suggested by Audible as something I might enjoy. I've not read B.V. Larson before, so this book was a new experience into his world of sci-fi that I really knew nothing about.
I only wish all audiobooks were this good. This one was excellent from start to finish, everything from the story, character development and narration were flawless. I love it when a story hooks me from the first page and holds on until the end.
Another thing I liked about this book was that the characters were believable, as in they acted like real people and each had unique flaws. An annoying thing about some action stories is the way that that characters are often 2 dimensional and the hero is some kind of superman, not so in this one. Also I liked the way there was the political infighting and backstabbing in the Legion unit. In my experience, any time you get a bunch of people together you're going to have that kind of thing and yet its often an element that's left out of fiction (the B grade fiction anyway). I spent 20 years in the US Army, and the unit portrayed in this story seemed like a real military unit, the terms and technology were different but the people acted in a way consistent with my experience of how real soldiers talk and act.
I would rate this book right up there with some of my other favorite military fictional reads, to list a few: A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War Series by John Ringo), Red Storm Rising and Without Remorse by Tom Clancy, Invasion America Series by Vaughn Heppner, Armor by John Steakley, Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein and Redliners by David Drake.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Undying Mercenaries series.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
Anyone can risk their life if they know they will be brought back to life. But what if that assurance was lost? This is a straight telling of a coming of age story in a military setting with a nice inclusion of galactic civilization thrown in to spice things up. The human race is here relegated to vassal status, fighting to prove themselves useful in a universe full of ancient races. We humans are on the bottom rung of the galactic ladder in this story with nothing to trade but our lives. And, of course, there is ample opportunity to display the spunk that we all intuitively recognize as our badge of superiority. Low self esteem has never been the problem for mankind. We may be behind in technology but our eventual rise to the top is inevitable. This type of fiction is always a lot of fun.
Larson makes this an interesting tale by putting the protagonist in dire settings, always on the brink of insubordination yet just so damn useful that his talents must be called upon time and again. As the title indicates the technology of rebirth is instrumental to the plot. A dead soldier can be brought back to life, but only if the galactic machines are in range, and if the bio-techs aren’t trying to do you in permanently.
Mark Boyett delivers a stellar performance; the various character personalities instantly recognizable by his fine accents. His voicing made this a better listening experience than I would have had just reading it on my own.
Military-Adventure SF – in the tradition of Starship Troopers, The Forever War …
It is a self contained plot although “Book 1”; as yet there aren’t any other books for the series on Audible (I’m not sure Larson has written any, yet), but there are other books by Larson (see my review of “Army of One: FREE Star Force Novella”).
Mark Boyett brings just the right voice to the main character. The others are quite competently done; but be warned some of the dialogue is very quietly spoken so it might not be best for a head phones experience.
Check out the review by D: corona, ca United States (et others) for more detail.
Good Characters, some cheese, a touch predictable but the cool tech makes up for it. I'll continue buying B.V. Larson books as long as he keeps writing.
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.
Dr. Jim Fox -- Former College Professor and Mental Health Therapist
A very good, well performed and produced. This will fulfill the "space battle" part of the Sci-Fi genre. It also has many interplays between characters. Mark Boyett does a wonderful job of bringing the story to life.
Lots of personal interplays (space opera)
Great space battles (Sci-Fi at its best)
More realistic Sci-Fi (like no sound in space, and recoil makes a difference)
It is set up for a sequel or a series. I hope Larson provides us with more!
"If you liked Star Force, you'll love this"
I've listened to all 8 Star Force books (waiting for no9, the last in that series). That was an excellent series but this is even better. Plenty of action and a fast pace with some interesting tech, moving in a new direction from the Star Force universe.
Mark Boyett delivers another fantastic performance. Some of the characters sound very similar to those in the Star Force series though but I didn't find that to be an issue.
I'm very much looking forward to the next instalment - hurry up and write it Mr Larson ;)
What is the point of war if everyone gets reborn 20 minutes later ?
once you start thinking about that, the whole story becomes pointless, they're merc who can't really die. But they fight anyway.... why ?
"Reads like a teenager's dream of video games"
I kept getting annoyed with the paper thin characters, the lame obsession with how the main protagonist often finds his eyes wandering when talking to a female character. The comedy galactic aliens.
I'm all for pot-boiler type action SF and the like but this was weak all the way through.
Even Jack Campbell's Dauntless series for all its flaws is way better than this.
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