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Steel World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 1 | [B. V. Larson]

Steel World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 1

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....
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3385 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D corona, ca United States 12-05-13
    D corona, ca United States 12-05-13 Member Since 2015

    I read, I write; I listen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Space Opera"

    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.

    24 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 12-26-13
    Matthew 12-26-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great read"

    I started with reading BV Larsons Swarm series and was only moderately satisfied with it. This new series shows how far BV has come as an author and has a great cast of characters and a strong story throughout.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan montreal, QC, Canada 12-22-13
    Jonathan montreal, QC, Canada 12-22-13 Member Since 2012

    There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on treasure island.(Walt Disney)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very good military sci-fi !"

    this is one of the rare book i could almost finish in one day but enjoy even more if not tired.One of the best combination of author and narrator,mark boyett does well the transition to a bit more serious story(friendship,courage,loyalty).I found it as good if not even better than star force.looking forward to the next book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BookWorm Cary, NC 12-08-13
    BookWorm Cary, NC 12-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Solid 5 Star Military SciFi Audiobook"
    What did you love best about Steel World?

    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.


    23 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Horton LaVergne, TN, United States 01-22-14
    Andy Horton LaVergne, TN, United States 01-22-14 Member Since 2013
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    "good. solid. Sci-Fi."
    If you could sum up Steel World in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Orleans, LA 12-16-13
    Michael New Orleans, LA 12-16-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You want great military scifi? Lock and load!"

    Better late than never.

    Well, I have to preface this review with that statement, because, frankly, I've had a LOT of listening in front of me this Christmas season. Not a complaint as much as the cold hard fact of the matter.

    So, let's get started.

    I've already reviewed Larson's "Star Force" series, and I gave it high marks. I bought the entire series, and am working my way through THAT, and then planned to attack this, Larson's latest entry into military scifi.

    To the point, this is an ambitious start to a potentially roller-coaster ride you'll to which you'll want to listen. It's gritty. It's VERY bad-arse. It doesn't waste time on over-complicated character development, and focuses on action, strategy, and storyline. Larson's new series is all about cutting to the chase - You want military scifi? Well lock and load, you're getting an earful.

    I particularly like the pace Larson uses. It's different from "A Hymn Before Battle: Legacy of the Aldenata," another awesome military scifi, by john Ringo, which I've just reviewed. The Aldenate series covers a much broader landscape in the telling, as where here, Larson is more focused on close combat, squad interaction and a smaller cast of characters. Both series work, and frankly, reading either one makes you appreciate the other, because of their "on the mark" writing, despite their core differences.

    The narrator here, Mark Boyett, has done the work well.

    Yes, there are already TONS of spoilers, secrets and giveaways in a good number of Audible reviews. That being said, do you REALLY need to repeat those here? No, of course not.

    So, this is a great start for Larson's new series, and finally, I get to give it a two thumbs up.

    24 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "it's okay"

    narrator was good. story was entertaining, but not too though provoking. I would recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    no 12-10-14
    no 12-10-14
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    "Loved it. Immediately purchased the next book"

    Loved it. Immediately purchased the next book in the series. Highly recommend if you like...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Bozeman Marvin, NC 05-25-14
    H. Bozeman Marvin, NC 05-25-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't want it to end!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I kept coming across this book as I looked for new and different SF titles but I passed it over several times. Mistake. The story was fast-paced and full of action. The writing wasn't deep but if you are looking for futuristic military fiction that keeps you turning the pages...this is it. I have the 2nd book on pre-order and it will be available for purchase on 5/27/2014.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely. I only regret that I got into this series before Larson had written several stories or completed the series. Now I have to wait for each book to be released.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob-o CHARLESTON, SC, United States 04-25-14
    Bob-o CHARLESTON, SC, United States 04-25-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Undying Mercenaries says it all."

    If you like B. V. Larson's Star Force series then you will like this one. The story is entertaing and the narration is pretty good. It's hard for me not to say much more without spoiling the book, so enough said...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mr. P. S. Gale
    UK
    1/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 ;)

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jaspal
    Solihull, United Kingdom
    3/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reads like a teenager's dream of video games"
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Winchester
    6/18/15
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    Story
    "brilliant I'm hooked"

    fantastic story. very gripping. looking forward to listening to next book. not had as good a "read" in ages

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • luke
    6/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should I start this series"
    Where does Steel World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I like a series to enjoy the immersive continuity. This seems quite light in tone though isn't the worst first in a series effort I've read. Some pleasant steps off the story to highlight or detail some tech or history with characterisation nicely done but perhaps with a little more depth. At around 10-11 hrs its quite a bit shorter than my usual read which kept the pace up, the rambling at minimum and overall a good bit of escape.


    What other book might you compare Steel World to, and why?

    It had a feeling of a comic book with more depth. An unusual plot premise that did take me by surprise. Light easy listening science fiction.


    What does Mark Boyett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Mark Boyett has a pleasing repertoire of voice and gave the characters a warmth that wasn't quite as evident in the writing.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A fight for mankind


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gary Sereno
    6/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read like the diaries of a soldier, but works well"

    It's an odd one. The story is basic and has a few possible plot holes, but it works. The tale is just from one man from a personal perspective, which could make it one directional, but again it works.

    A certain amount of my liking of this book is the reading of it. Mark Boyett reds it like it's a series of war diaries, making it feel partly like it's a documentary on past events rather than a story in the future. I think with out this I may well have been disappointed.

    I'm looking forwards to the second book, just hoping the story does not lose it's way as I can see limitations in where this tale can go.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Asday
    6/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Catastrophically boring"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm having trouble defining a demographic for this book. It's simply written, but explicit, with plot "twists" you can see coming before you even start listening. It's not even like a romance, where it's obvious that they're gonna get together, and the journey is what you read for; it's just bland.

    I guess if you've read all other sci-fi, this might scratch your itch.


    What was most disappointing about B. V. Larson’s story?

    The universe is interesting. An omniscient galactic government decrees all species must specialise in one trade or be wiped out; some species is good at building houses, another one has got the knack of cuisine, and humans are good at fighting. Given this universe, many capable writers would be able to spin one of several interesting tales; governmental corruption, politics, outside forces threatening the balances, etc.

    This writer, however, somehow manages to take the universe, and make it boring.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    No particularly enjoyable scenes came to mind. I remember at one point the main character broke up with his girlfriend, which was a surprise to me, because I don't remember them ever getting together. Later on, I believe the main character's best friend sleeps with the aforementioned girl, and I also believe I was meant to care, but at that point, I was just left confused.

    It's an army, romance, and technology book, written by someone who doesn't seem to know much about any of those subjects.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Listening to this book was a chore. It was like chewing too much really bland chewing gum. So far, it's the only audiobook I've not seen through to completion; though I expect that to change.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Donal
    westmeath, Ireland
    6/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "slow to start good pace thereafter"

    while the language used is mundane the story is interesting enough and some fascinating science fiction backing the plot up. worth a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joshua
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    5/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Average Military sci-fi nothing major to report!"

    Listened to this book all the way through so that's why it get 3 stars. I wouldn't call it awful, but it is far from great. Just like lukewarm water. The single POV makes it feel monotone and doesn't give that different perspective character you enjoy when reading a good book. It's a bit like a "live, die, repeat" T-shirt which has seen one to many wash cycle.... gray and faded out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • mr
    Dunstable, United Kingdom
    5/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful"
    What disappointed you about Steel World?

    The story is just full of plot holes. Frustratingly, there are flaws and contradictions throughout.


    What could B. V. Larson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Got an editor, Listened to his editor, re-written the entire book.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Mark Boyett?

    Yeah, the narration wasn't bad. I'm not sure how he coped with the dreadful story though


    What character would you cut from Steel World?

    All of them.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Smudger444
    4/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Short and Sweet"

    This Story has revitalised my need for Science Fiction. I fear I am now an addict of B V Larson stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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