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.
This novel was FAR better than I expected and the synopsis does not do it any sort of justice. The general premise is one that I've never encountered before and it had me hooked from the start. I don't want to spoil anything, as the surprising plot development was the most delightful part of this book for me. If you haven't already read a review that gave everything away I encourage you to get the book without ruining this aspect for yourself! Suffice it to say, Mr. Larson gives the tried old story of alien abduction a twist that might put it into a whole 'nother sub-genre where humans are made to fight for a good cause against their will and under baffling restrictions.
I REALLY want to talk specifics but the gist is that Riggs is put in a situation where he must work around the bizarre limitations of an artificial intelligence and technology beyond his comprehension to achieve a goal of epic proportions. This is complicated by the fact that he is a random person of no authority forced to take on huge responsibility in a very short time and with no instruction. As many other reviewers have already said, he also must do all this directly following the death of his son and daughter.
Some reviewers have expressed disbelief at the progression of Riggs' roles and of his response to the death of his children or the plausibility of the plot as a whole. I disagree with all of these. Don't get me wrong, the premise of the story is WILD but it is plausible (at least within scifi) and the rest is really a pretty reasonable progression of events.
Riggs goes from a nobody to a person of extreme import because he was one of few people given ultimate power by virtue of the premise. What he does with that power and how he responds is quite understandable and reasonable to me. He never makes any leaps in logic or presents with any knowledge or ability that I would consider to be beyond a normal man with a proper education. In fact, I think his character is quite well done. If anything he's just unnaturally calm in crazy situations. His response to his childrens' death is not ludicrous as some reviewers have said. It happens in a situation of high adrenaline and violence so it is completely realistic that he initially turns his despair into rage. In such situations, people usually do not give themselves over to grief until the situation has calmed down.
The plot is pretty well laid out and supported by teasing clues throughout the book and further into the series. The technology is pretty basic and unadorned. All of it has roots in modern day technology and none of it is really explained in enough detail to say that it doesn't make sense. The author seems to have acknowledged a lack of schooling in physics on his part and the characters admit their ignorance to understand the tech.
There are only one or two other characters besides Riggs that are developed in any significant capacity and, unfortunately, his girlfriend was not one of them. When she was presented at the start I had high expectations for her but nothing more was ever added. She is used as a human companion (and concubine) for Riggs and little else. Crowe is an entertaining personality and the author sets up an age-old relationship between them that serves the political drama.
The narrator has a pleasing voice. His character discriminations are mostly very good but the main female is basically just Riggs with a slightly different accent. Nevertheless, I was never distracted by the narrator and the main voices were very satisfactory.
Overall, I was blown away by the fantastic premise of the book and I very much enjoyed Riggs as a character and his puzzle-solving with the computer (think trying to get a murderous Genie to do your will). It is a unique and gripping adventure with bouts of frequent action broken up by intriguing ideas and thought exercises. Highly recommend it for scifi fans!
I've seen this series and reviews of it floating around for while now. I have been tempted to listen before but always decided against it.
I finally took the plunge and was pleasantly surprised. The story was solid even though the characters were predictable and pretty shallow. The action was excellent and I was well entertained the whole time.
This is a lot like watching a SciFi war movie, and was worth the time. I think I'll pick up the other books to listen to when I want something fun to listen to.
It's basically one more "epic battle to save earth" If you like stories of war, death, strategy, all with a new setup, then this could be for you. It's just not something I enjoy.
Not from this series. I'll check out his other series with an ear for a truly creative story.
The performance was clear and made the point when needed. There are only 2 voice artist I really enjoy regardless of the story being told.
I probably wouldn't listen to this story again. To be blunt, the writing isn't spectacular. The story is original, however, and the protagonist is likable. I'm quite interested to get the next installment and listen to that.
I haven't had any previous exposure to BV Larson's work in any form.
Mr. Boyett's voice and overall performance made this story work for me. He projected just the right balance of conviction and reserve to Kyle's voice.
Star Force: the Beginning.
I listened to this story while working out on the treadmill. I generally listened in 30-45 minute interval and It seemed like a perfect match for that activity.
The book was below average compared to most books I listen to. That said, it kept my attention and interest enough not to stop listening. I have no interest in investing resources in future books in this series.
I believe there are other books in the series. I will not read them....
As I recall, I bought the book on sale. It was worth a few bucks but would not have been worth a full credit.
The story is original in the sense of the gravitas it conveys and realistic reactions to situations. I enjoyed Mr. Boyett's narration as always. His inflections are crucial to the pace of the storyline. The situations that occur don't have the necessary "happy results" and are not expected. Predictability in a story can make one put the book down prematurely...not this book.
The seriousness of the storyline and the moments of actions and levity are nicely balanced.
Yes, I truly enjoy his narration. His narration in the Troy Rising series was great and has kept me
yes, unfortunately I had to go to sleep sometime and had to rewind to the parts I went into REM on.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
When a professor in programming, Kyle Riggs is abducted by an alien spaceship that shortly before has killed his children, he doesn't know how his life would change. Using the simple 'hero's journey' motive (where someone goes on a quest that changes him completely) B.V. Larson introduces his Star Force Series in true Military SciFi fashion.
In short Kyle Riggs ends up becoming a super soldier due to the nanites his not completely submissive alien ship injects into him. He also become part of the newly created 'Star Force' and becomes the master brain of strategy in fighting an Alien race called the Macrons.
The whole story feels a bit like a Red Alert computer game being described with a lot of fighting and upgrades of soldiers along the way. The story also has the typical boy meets girl theme. In some way it is predictable, yet quite enjoyable.
Mark Boyett does an excellent job in reading this story. He is a seasoned narrator that is a known voice in SciFi.
The book is recommended for those who likes a straightforward SciFi adventure type story.
Yes, great storyline
The Starfist Series, grounded in the reality of Humanity Vs....
No, Well done!
Love this book. Action packed and really hooked me in. There are some unrealistic things but hey, this is fiction so I just enjoy the ride.
More believable main character. Any other 3D characters, almost no character development for anyone besides the main. The female character is portrayed as an insultingly weak and stupid girl.
"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.
"Amazing story, better performance!"
Couldn't stop listening to this, Mark six an amazing job performing this amazingly written book!
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