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.
Semi retired computer field engineer.
Remember the movie: "Starship Troopers"? My experience for of this book, was a lot like that movie. Was this movie based on this book? Not a lot of thinking necessary. Just kinda grade "B" entertainment in my opinion.
I have read lots of SciFi before that really made me think about things. This didn't really do that for me. KInda' "fluff" storytelling. Not a lot of character development. Not a lot of fulfilling tech development. Not a lot of cultural/moral/ethical tension that for me makes a story interesting - even if I don't agree with the points the writer is trying to express or explore, I want a bit of a mental challenge in that way. For me, the SciFi genre needs to be used as a vehicle for something more. The book seemed to get started on some tact, and I was getting excited, thinking, "Ok, now it's going to take off!" and then, "Hmm, missed opportunity here."
I think Mr. Boyett did a decent job of narrating what he had to work with. It felt like he was having to work harder than usual, to make this story work. It was much of the time like experiencing someone overacting, but out of necessity.
Is this one of Mr. Larson's first works? A lack of experience maybe? I didn't think what had the potential of a very fresh and interesting premise, got the outcome it deserved. Lots of "gaps" and incomplete takes on things, in some the descriptions.
I'm sorry if my review sounds overly negative, because I realize I am in disagreement with many other reviewers. I actually feel kinda' bad, not to be able to give a glowing review. So much potential here. I know writing a book is not easy to do really well. I mean no disrespect to the author, the narrator or other reviewers.
Would I listen to another one from this author or this series? MAYBE, but I would need to be in the mood for something pretty light weight.
Here is hopes the next books are better.
Action...tons of it.
Use of common sci-fi storylines to weave a unique story that is believable.
It felt like I was watching a movie.
Time for Earth to put on it's big boy pants.
If you're sleepy, then you can easily fall asleep, so the story isn't complicated and doesn't make you think. However, it's full of action and keeps you wanting more. Larson's Mercenaries Series is the best I've read of this Author so far.
What a unique beginning! And from there I found the book interesting all the way through. Never a dull moment. Believable interaction between the Star Force leaders and among the warriors too. Good detail for the aliens. Wonderful narrator.
I realize BV Larson has been writing for some time, but this is my first exposure to his books. As soon as I finished Swarm I ordered the next two in this series.
Character development. Any character development at all. It was an excellent concept that by the end became formulaic, it's characters one dimensional.
So many opportunities for characters to grow. Instead we have an online college professor who somehow knows how to engineer laser weapons, factories, starships, train and command troops, is a diplomatic genius... And his girlfriend is nothing but a sassy sex toy throughout the whole thing.
The reader was fine. If I saw his name I wouldn't hesitate to download.
Disappointment is the perfect word for the second half of this book.
I'm afraid I won't be pursuing this series.
If you like good military science fiction, go find David Drake, John Ringo and David Weber. Don't bother with BV Larson. Characters are unrealistic, enemies are flat, and there is NO attempt to bring even Science Fiction logical conclusions to the contrived emergencies.
Oh, look! You wrote yourself into a plot hole! Do you use human ingenuity to get out of it? NO! Bring in a miracle in modern (alien technology nanite) machines to fix it for you!
Probably something light and fluffy, like the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
Just write a book called Deus ex Machina and be done with it.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
What would you do if an alien ship picks you up and give you control to fight an army of giant space robots? This story explains what most of us would do in these circumstances. The sequel is definitely on my list. I want to know what happens next.
When the book started out - I was truly mesmerized. Enough to tune out the voice of my GPS and end up somewhere else. Halfway the "action" started and it felt like there was a completely different writer taking the lead. The ending was great. The only thing I can assume is that Mr. Larson had a great idea for a story but ran out of juice and filled in the middle with military minutia. I will give the second book in the series a try.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
After listening to Larson’s first two Undying Mercenaries books, and liking them, I set out to try Larson’s most popular series: Star Force. I liked the opening section of discovery and wonder, but found the climax to be anti-climatic. The Computer Science Professor protagonist is interesting. I like the way he is able to work around the Artificial Intelligence machines with his mad programming skills. It becomes farcical though when he is the sole person to figure out just the right process for defeating the enemy at each and every step in the conflict. He even becomes the on the ground field commander of combat troops in as the battle escalates. If this was a Philip K. Dick story that would be a clear indication that our guy is hallucinating, but in this book, the hero is supposed to be for real. I am well used to the idea of willing suspension of disbelief—a prerequisite for a Science Fiction reader—but after already buying the idea that intelligent alien machines are in a war and need our help; believing that a nerdy professor can go from teaching at a community college to leading the forces of earth to repel the first wave of alien invaders and single-handedly negotiating a peace that will enslave mankind for a generation, is one suspended disbelief too far. Do I think this series has potential? Yes, I can imagine how this can expand into something far more vast than this first installment, and so I may try the next book in the series at a later date.
Mark Boyett is, as always, excellent. I think the Undying Mercenaries series gives him more opportunity to demonstrate his range, but even here he is pitch perfect.
Oh yes I will, I'll wait about 4months then re listen.
The entire story line is my most memorable moment.
Mark Boyett made the audible book one of the best listens I've had. Great emotion, one of the best readers I've heard.
I could not shut it off, as soon as I finished one audio book I would load the next book.
I don't do many reviews, but I'm hooked on BV Larson, and Mark Boyett. They make a great combo..I just wish he did all of BV Larson's audio books.
"Flight of the Navigator for adults"
Exciting within the first 5minutes and sets up a world that is gonna force me to spend all my credits til I've listened to them all. Narrator has great voice and tells it well. No two characters come across the same. To me, that is the difference between a good narrator and a great one.
"Swarm - I want to join up!"
I really enjoyed this introduction to the Star Force series. I'd relisten to it again but I'm just enjoying the second book at the moment!
The details of the life aboard the ships and how the commanders learn to control the ships. Also, although it was military sci fi, the background details were excellent, how people lived and learnt to deal with day to day life.
Some of the planning of the battles, the logic for how things were worked out.
This was an excellent introduction to a series I think I'm going to love. Depth of characters and details of battle strategies made this a brilliant choice.
"great first book"
Great first book. great story. like all the bv larsons books so far. looking forward to book 2
Really good. hooked straight away. A good fast progression. brilliant sifi idea. b.v larson legend
"Another gripping Sc-fi from Larson"
Listened to Larson's Undying Mercenaries series first, and some of the broader ideas seemed to have been copied from these earlier books. But that did not subtract from the thrilling story in swarm. Hooked now!
"Good start but needs work"
This was an enjoyable listen and one that I would recommend but it is not without some flaws and quibbles which are relatively minor and don't detract too much from the main story. There are a couple of issues around the logic of the nanos and macros and with the nano ship Alamo's behaviour but nothing terrible.
The biggest weakness of the story is the character development. The main lead character generally behaves in a believable manner and is a likeable character that you can follow and get behind. Most of the other characters in the story though are quite thin with little developed between the main character and them. The main female character has some potential at the beginning when they meet on the ship and when she is recovered but this is pretty much wasted as she falls into a rather simple adoring female role that borders on the uncomfortable. And, here is where the story falters the worst, with dialog and behaviour that while possible in the situation they are in seems a bit wrong footed. There were a couple of times where I thought the author was going to go into a full blown sex scene but fortunately the author restrained themselves and didn't veer into trying to write erotica or porn.
Overall the novel moved along and you are able to develop a fondness for the lead character and a desire to read the next novel to see what happens to him and the universe he resides in. Hopefully, as the story advances so will will the writing and character development.
The narrator did a good job and was able to convey the story well and create character voices that you were able to associate with the various characters.
"Fantastic Introduction to the world of Star Force"
I liked the about of thought that had gone into character development, and how it made you thing how you react to the situations that arise in the book. Its difficult to say what i liked most without giving too much of the story away if your a fan of military science fiction, where humans suddenly have access to advanced technology you'll like it.
The way the story plays out it does have you always wanting to listen for that little bit longer.
For me it was a little short I prefer to listen to books that are much longer, but thankfully this is the start of a series of books that I look forward to enjoying in an episodic manner.
I really liked how this book started out. It was quite a traumatic start and you felt very much in the dark as you went along with the main character. I hoped to have seen a bit more exploration on the inner workings of the ship and the ai but it took a slightly different direction. The narration was ok but some scenes felt a little spoilt with the narrator's feminine voice was being put on. I would describe this for someone considering as Flight of the navigator meets Halo.
"Gets going quickly and keeps the pace fast."
Although clearly the beginning of a series there isn't too much scene setting or arc plotting (although you cn clearly see the hooks). The story starts quickly and keeps the pace fast (sometimes it doesn't make sense in terms of feelings but...). Well worth listening to.
"B V Larson does it again"
As is standard practice for a B V Larson series, this book works as a stand alone story whilst also setting up a hunger for the next book in the series.
The integration of AI and the exploration of interacting with it was well done.
Mark Boyett's naration style is easy on the ear and endears the listener to the story and character's even when the accents start to slip a little.
They came for our resources, they came for us. Few would survive the trial.
Good book, i hope the series maintains the high standard.
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