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Swarm: Star Force, Book 1 | [B. V. Larson]

Swarm: Star Force, Book 1

Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there.
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Publisher's Summary

Earth arms marines with alien technology and builds its first battle fleet! Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there.

A novel of military science fiction by best-selling author B. V. Larson, Swarm is the story of Earth's annexation by an alien empire. Long considered a primitive people on a backwater planet, humanity finds itself in the middle of a war - and faced with extinction.

Battle stations! Listen to another Star Force novel.

©2010 B.V. Larson (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    John Stewart York, SC United States 04-25-13
    John Stewart York, SC United States 04-25-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Series review"

    I am currently on book five of the series. I am putting this review on book one, since, of course, this will be the first book someone will look at to see if the series is worth a read. I have been an avid reader of sci-fi for over 50 years. I teethed on Heinlein, Asimov and Clark. I do recommend the series. If you are looking for something groundbreaking and complelely original then move on and good luck on finding what you are looking for since sci-fi has been around a long time. If you are looking for an entertaining story that will keep you interested and buying the next book in the series then you will not be disappointed.
    Mark Boyett also does an excellent job on narrating the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 04-07-13
    Heather 04-07-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great, gritty war novel"

    I enjoyed Swarm a great deal. It wasn't a perfect novel, but it had a quality that is hard to find these days - it gave me that "just one more chapter" feeling.

    The good: Many books have a main character who ends up being crucial to the fate of the world. This is such a book. But Swarm does a good job of actually explaining it, and making it seem plausible, without making its protagonist superhuman. As he explored the heartless AI that had taken him prisoner, the main character's attempts to figure things out and musings about what was going on mirrored my own. There is a definite back story going on, an incredible plot that is hinted at, but that does not quite take shape in this book. Good thing it's only book one, because I want to know more! That being said, there's also a definite (and somewhat happy) ending.

    The characters seem interesting - nobody is a cardboard cutout villain, and although we don't get to know most characters very well, most seem interesting. Mark Boyett does a great job of making them come to life with different voices and accents, and I'd be happy to listen to another novel narrated by him.

    There is conflict in the book, and consequences. Things are rarely black or white in the novel; instead, the author takes pains to show shades of grey, both morally (sometimes there are no right choices) and with decisions (sometimes the main character fails and sometimes people die because of him). There are also surprises in the book - I was caught off guard a couple times by directions I did not expect the book to go. Even the ending caught me off guard, and set up a wildly different book 2.

    The bad: Swarm can be a pretty dark book. As mentioned, lots of people die in the novel, including several because of the protagonist's choices. His own teenaged children die in chapter 2, and while it happens quickly and moves the plot along, it was still darker than I'd have preferred. There is talk of extinction, murder, and a vague hint of rape (not by the main character). At times I found this off-putting.

    In addition, the book is a book about events and ideas, not about people. Few people get much fleshing out in the novel, which makes the romance between the main character and an unlikely passenger seem slightly forced. It also seems like some of the angst that ought to be in such a dark book is skimmed over a little too quickly, although not horribly so. The new technologies described in the book are also not covered in much depth, although that's not always a bad thing - lacking a science background myself, I often find hard sci-fi to be trying a little too hard. Swarm was at least internally self-consistent, and often had good reasons for its powers and limitations.

    Finally, Swarm changed directions. At the very beginning, it was an adventure, but quickly became a puzzle in which the main character had to figure things out, which I loved. But then it became a science fiction war novel where the protagonist fought side by side with marines against giant robots and talked about politics and logistics. While a great read, I wasn't expecting it (maybe I should have been, though).

    All in all, Swarm was a great book, one that was gripping and plausible, but also a little dark and gritty. If you like books about war and solving puzzles, have I got the series for you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ken Quincy, MA, United States 04-05-13
    ken Quincy, MA, United States 04-05-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun scifi adventure"
    If you could sum up Swarm in three words, what would they be?

    Fun scifi adventure


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Kyle Riggs because he is a badass


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

    Couldn't put it down. Very compelling.


    Any additional comments?

    A fun read with out a lot of a depth. Excellent if you like scifi stories like Starship Troopers but want the entire story to be about war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John United States 03-26-13
    John United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2012
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    "In a word, Wow!"
    What made the experience of listening to Swarm the most enjoyable?

    The story was fast paced and really compelling. You get sacked in at the beginning and don't want the book to end.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The end of the world is only the beginning.


    Any additional comments?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Ann Kerns HOUSTON, TEXAS, US 03-18-13
    Pamela Ann Kerns HOUSTON, TEXAS, US 03-18-13
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    "pretty entertaining"
    Would you listen to Swarm again? Why?

    The charecters were engaging enough to nake me want to follow their further adventures


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The femake charecter was pretty thin


    Which character – as performed by Mark Boyett – was your favorite?

    Crow was interesting


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Hunlock Creek, PA, United States 03-18-13
    Robert Hunlock Creek, PA, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Terrific"

    Keeps you on your toes wanting to hear what happens next. Very unique and original. Want more of his books now..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    staff-fam 03-13-13
    staff-fam 03-13-13
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    "Frustrated with Kyle"

    It was a good enough book - the story moved along nicely and the plot was interesting. But one thing kept bothering me - Kyle kept wasting time - lots of it. He would have a breakthrough interaction with the ship and learn some valuable piece of info...then would seem to sit around and flirt with Sandra for 8 hours until the next crisis, then have to play 20 questions with the ship again while the fate of the earth hung in the balance. The world is at stake, man! Keep talking to the ship! Also, would someone really sit around that long without contacting some experts or government types? I understand the paranoia that they'd want to take your ship - but don't be so arrogant to think that you can figure out how to save the world w/o a little help. Stop and pick up a cell phone or walkie-talkie if nothing else. Even taking into account that this was a fiction book and of course we want to see a "hero" - his actions just didn't follow common sense for as bright as he was portrayed to be. And, finally - the ship kept saying the thing about "Command Personnel" - but Kyle didn't once try to make Sandra "Command Personnel". Sure, the ship may have rejected that - but at least try.

    I guess I like it when the protagonist either A) does what I think I would do in that situation (my own arrogance, I guess) or B) does something that makes me say "that's a great idea". I don't like it when they continually do things that seem contrary to common sense.

    So, in light of that - while the story was interesting - I think I'll pass on the rest of the series. I want to enjoy a book and get lost in it - not wish I could take over (either the writing or the character) and do things differently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 03-11-13
    Patrick 03-11-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Swarm to be better than the print version?

    Audio is easier for me to do as i drive around a lot and do not have time to sit down and read.


    What other book might you compare Swarm to and why?

    Have not listened to anything like Swarm.


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth Watkins 03-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Unfortunate"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story is good if you consider the elements. The narrator Mark Boyett did a nice job. I like a story to contain plausible reactions from the characters. I would have liked some humility in the main character.


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

    The characters in this book are weak as other reviewers have commented. I felt as though I was audience to someone's fantasy. Tough guy name, check, endless affirmations of self worth from other characters (hot young coed, hardend soldiers, a General, scientists, etc) and the main character himself, check. Congressional Medal of Honor, check. I felt a little insulted after this one.


    Could you see Swarm being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, well, maybe as a Saturday night movie on that science fiction network with the wrestling and ghost shows.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trungnghia H. Nguyen San Francisco, CA 03-05-13
    Trungnghia H. Nguyen San Francisco, CA 03-05-13 Member Since 2012

    gametime415

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "BEST SCI-FI SERIES"

    I have listen to all 6 books and this is a must read or listen if you're a sci-fi fan!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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