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.
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.
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.
No military operates this way. Deployment without briefings, No clear objectives, forbidden acts that could endanger the entire human race and the recruits don't even know about them? stupid. Before anyone was ever issued a weapon he would be drilled on what can and cannot be done with it.
The author clearly has no military experience and didn't do any research on it.
The characters were amazing.
This was totally unexpected. My first BV larson book and I loved it
Audiobook Addict... owner of 200+ and counting.
Steel World is certainly inspired by other "troops in space" themed romps but its still enjoyable and certainly clever enough to keep me interested. Military Sci-Fi isn't my personal brand of sci-fi as authors tend to care more about gear/explosions/tactics more than story and character development (See the incredibly wooden Lost Fleet series for a textbook example) but Steel World delivers.
Its not quite as sharp as the Old Man's War series but still manages to be funny, action packed, gorey and it crafts a reasonably interesting world where there's still a rational why ground troops would even be a factor in a universe inhabited by interstellar spacefaring races.
While you won't quite find the supposition and philosophical exploration of the societal impacts of being able to 'relife' as you might find in a Peter F Hamilton book, the repercussions are still addressed.
I haven't read other BV Larson books but I'll certainly be picking up the next book in the Undying Mercenaries series.
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.
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on treasure island.(Walt Disney)
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!
I've knocked back three books in the "Star Force" series and as good as that series is it doesn't come come close to the writing caliber of "Steel World". No offense to B.V. Larson but damn, I didn't think he had it in him. What a great story! Quick summary-to save the planet from being destroyed by aliens Earth has basically pimped its soldiers to the "Galactic Empire" to fight battles on distant planets. The story arc really pulled me in and the character development is stellar. The narration by Mark Boyett really brought this story to life! His narration was excellent as always. With "Steel World" B.V. Larson has put a pretty cool twist on the "Space Opera" genre. I hope he didn't "blow his wad" on his first installment-I can't imagine this series gettin' any better. We'll see.
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.
"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.
Really enjoyed this tale of Galactic mess ups
Love listening to Mark Boyett's narration
I really enjoyed this title and can't wait to hear the next in the series.
The performance was outstanding as well.
"Platoon in Space"
Excellent story like Platoon but in space with more depth into unit politics. The idea of combining Mercenary soldiers with the make up of the Roman Legion all for the purpose of keeping Earth in the Galactic Council is fantastic using human aggression as a commodity
I thoroughly enjoyed the reading I hope there's a new one in the works
"Well worth a go :)"
If you liked the Star Force Series then definitely give this one a go, looking forward to the rest of the series!
"Original, Gripping, Encapsulating"
Yes, it's a really good gripping tale, I'm sure there are other books similar to this out there, but Larson really keeps your interest and brings some superb scene description to play here. The story is excellent, near the knuckle and really gripping.
Hmm, good question. It's science fiction so there are a lot of these sort of books out there, but this one isnt too detailed and supplies a lot of action as well as technical info. I can't really compare it to anything else I've read.
Not listened to others, but he reads this sympathetically and does some excellent characterisations of the people in the story.
I could've done, but I really wanted to eke it out, and prolong the tension. It's a real roller coaster.
Get it. Seriously, but this book. It's worth every penny.
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