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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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3668 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Enschede, Netherlands 04-15-14
    Amazon Customer Enschede, Netherlands 04-15-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "The start of a nice odyssey"
    What did you love best about Swarm?

    The first person story telling allows you to keep a constantly attached to the story without forcing you to jump around the world. It is like you are just following only one person in the story rather than many, keeping a straight story line and thus losing pace.


    What other book might you compare Swarm to and why?

    I could compare it with mogworld and Jam. This due due to the fact they are all told in a first person by the protagonist. It keeps you in the story without jumping you around the world.


    Have you listened to any of Mark Boyett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first one, although I am already going through the others of the star force series.


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

    Space adventure with the smallest allies and the biggest enemies


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra TAFT, CA, United States 09-26-12
    Sandra TAFT, CA, United States 09-26-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Totally Enjoyed This Book!"

    I got this book for my husband to listen to in the car on long trips and started out wondering how long I'd be able to stand listening to it. Now I'm totally engrossed in the series, probably more than he is. Great story, with just enough human interest to keep it real without going overboard on either the relationship stuff or the techical jargon. Great book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex FPO, AP, United States 10-27-11
    Alex FPO, AP, United States 10-27-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    "John Ringo sans the crazy politics..."

    Mr. Larson's book reminds me a great deal of John Ringo's earlier works, those written before he began letting his politics into his writing (Read: Let the crazy out), the series has a really nice premise and the action is well thought out. In fact, My only issues with the book are:

    1) Mr. Larson likes to repeat himself a great deal:
    He'll say something once, then again, then spend two pages pounding it into your cranium until you want to yell "Alright! I understood you the first time now can we please see the damn thing blow up now!" I do not mind long explanations of say 'the social impacts of alien tech', but come the hell on!, it began to feel he was pushing for word count rather then advancing the story line.

    2) Tactics, tactics, tactics!:
    I understand the main character is a college professor but, many of the secondary characters are supposed to be military professionals and you can't tell me that a Colonel or even a Sargent with years of experience on the guy wouldn't tell the nerdy self appointed 'commander' to pack sand if he ordered them to assault a position, over open ground mind you, where a superior enemy holds the high ground. And there is a word for any officer whom takes 6 companies of Marines into battle and suffers 90% losses in a engagement and that word is 'Fired.' I don't care if your the savior of the world your would not lead men into battle after that no one would trust you to.

    3) Characters:
    (Deleted to brevity) (I'm talking to the author now)
    STOP BUILDING CARICATURES AND START CREATING CHARACTERS.
    Come on the psychopathic Latin sex bomb? NEWSFLASH! Women like that don't really exist. (No matter how much you want them to)
    The dumb enlisted man and the elitist officer? Really?!?

    I'm probably going to buy the next book in this series. The story is interesting despite the above drawbacks and the author seems to be getting better at his craft.

    38 of 48 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel Aclaro ANAHEIM, CA, United States 10-21-12
    Mel Aclaro ANAHEIM, CA, United States 10-21-12 Member Since 2008

    My wife says she can read me like an open book. Though she regrets not being able to shut me up the same way. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    84
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    "Original. Occasionally slips to mundane..."

    ... But, overall, it's a good listen; not a wasted a credit.

    You know when your friends occasionally describe a movie as a good "popcorn matinee" for those Saturday afternoons when there's nothing else to do? This is like that.

    I like to think of this series now as my warm backup when "credit day" arrives yet finding myself all caught up with my main GoTo authors and waiting for their next title.

    If you find yourself in that boat and enjoy the occasional bucket of popcorn (with butter) and military sci-fi story a-la "War of the Worlds," meets "Transformers," meets "Alien vs. Predator," AND you're feeling adventurous enough to give an unexplored author a shot, then you're likely to enjoy this one.

    Head nod, too, to the performance of narrator Mark Boyett. Mr. Boyett's pacing, voice inflection and character-voice diversity complements the rhythm that was probably intended by author B.V. Larson.

    MEL'S BOTTOM LINE: Though it devolves a bit in the middle to a mundane "shoot-em-up" ground fight, there's more than enough originality and enigmatic backstory to keep you engaged in Book 1, even as you "Wish List" future titles in this promising series for those slow Saturday afternoons. But when you do, take this tip to heart: don't spare the popcorn butter! :)

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent Portland, OR, United States 10-10-11
    Brent Portland, OR, United States 10-10-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    "Great read"

    This was the best sifi that have listened to in a while. Not that it is brilliant by any means, but it is very absorbing, has great pacing, is well performed and avoids most of the pitfalls which have ruined so many other contemporary sifi series. As with a lot of sifi – most of what happens is absolutely preposterous, but Larson dose a great job of making everything seem plausible as it unwinds. The hero is strong, the situations novel, the conflict imaginative. Not deep literature, but a great story.

    What made this best for me is actually what it left out. I have read a lot of this style of sifi (invading space aliens etc) and in most of it the author seems more interested in tub thumping about their politics than actually telling a story. Swarm mercifully avoids this. Sure, there are political conflicts and strains, but there is too much serious stuff going on for Larson to bother going into snide asides about how easy it would be to defeat the aliens if it were not for all the liberals and hippies getting in the way, or to go off on some rant about impending global melt down caused by greedy corporate right wingers.

    The other pitfall Larson manages to dodge is not getting his ego get caught up in his hero too much. Ok, so the hero is your cliché average guy swept up by events and single handedly saves the world (several times), but he is written well enough that this feels genuine. Often, such a heroic main character just feels like the author is using the hero as an excuse to write about an idealized version of themselves, allowing their ego to explode out all over the page. Again, Swarm mercifully avoids this. – very refreshing.

    All in all 3 thumbs up and I hope Larson will turn out a lot more like this.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron gilbert Pearland, TX United States 02-27-14
    aaron gilbert Pearland, TX United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2012

    Christian, Texan, electrician, lover of reading-I lean towards Sci-fi/fantasy but enjoy the classics, history, and science titles also.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Flight of the Navigator meets The Terminator"
    Would you listen to Swarm again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen to it again perhaps in a few years when I've forgotten most of the fun.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the concept of equipping Earth with advanced alien tech.


    Have you listened to any of Mark Boyett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to most of this series with him as the powerhouse behind why I keep getting the next one. Mark performs with an amazing ability to stay out of the way of the story and still flesh out the characters.


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

    To save humanity would you sacrifice yours?


    Any additional comments?

    I've really enjoyed this series as it is one of those that is easy to get into due to the writing style with a heavy nod once again to the narrator Mr. Boyett.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Camp Portland 01-30-14
    T. Camp Portland 01-30-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Meh"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think people that like poorly written Sci Fi will like this book. The premise was implausible and had very little to offer.


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

    The story was just bad.


    What didn’t you like about Mark Boyett’s performance?

    It was okay.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't normally give bad reviews to books, but ever since I listened to this book Audible has been suggesting I listen to all of the rest even though I gave the book one star. I'm not sure what Audible is thinking, but every month 3 out of the 9 suggestions for me are from this author and this series. So, while the book was bad, the experience since listening to the book has been worse.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 01-26-14
    Amazon Customer United States 01-26-14 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    225
    11
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    "Plot holes, unbelievable characters"
    What would have made Swarm better?

    Creation of believable characters, removal of plot holes


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

    He was pretty good at the accents, voices, and keeping them straight. He also brought energy and life to the story.


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

    Exasperation, pain, offense


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this book enough to finish it. I really really did. For so many reasons. But I was suffering. I was suffering too badly to continue to suffer, after getting at least 65% through the book. I love sci-fi, and I love speculative stuff and I can suspend disbelief for weird or new or even scientifically inaccurate stuff, so long as it's believable within its world. But so much of the human interactions here were completely unrealistic. The most prominent female character was inconsistent AND embarrassing. Forget the Bechdel test - the two female characters never spoke to one another and the main one never seemed to worry about anything other than a man no matter who she was talking to. Here's a great quote I remember from shortly before I quit the book "I could tell she wasn't going to give me any more sugar just then, so I decided not to beg for it. Women don't respect that." I won't even try to go into the plot holes that were so numerous my brain was feeling like the proverbial swiss cheese, just trying to keep track. I wasn't expecting high literature from this book, but this book was just too bad for me to continue.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F3EN PERU, IN, United States 01-07-14
    F3EN PERU, IN, United States 01-07-14 Member Since 2013

    Hello, My name is Levi Brousseau. I'm on a life long mission to find stories that blow my mind.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Swarm of Sci-Fi"
    What did you love best about Swarm?

    This was like Gi-joe/ Navigator /Matrix. i like the story. had a lot of new ideas which is always good. lots of action which kept me glued to what would happen next. if you like UFO's or machines you will like this original story. lots of Sci-Fi goodness


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 05-04-12
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    678
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    415
    73
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    "Allen abductions anyone?"

    This is just a fun little series that will easily help you pass the time. The storyline is fresh and the narration does it justice. Give the series a try you will be glad you did.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 199 results PREVIOUS12320NEXT
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  • Gerard Lynch
    GLASGOW, United Kingdom
    3/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Start but fizzles out"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not, it has a great idea regarding the 2 alien races but as the story continues it falls into the pulp sci-fi genre. It is a good pulp sci-fi.


    What will your next listen be?

    39 Steps by John Buchan


    What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

    Good atmosphere - certainly could feel the sense of claustrophobia


    Was Swarm worth the listening time?

    Mindless late evening listen - yes


    Any additional comments?

    Fair book - bit in same vein as "Forever War" but not quite as good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mike
    liverpool, United Kingdom
    3/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a decent book"

    the sotry is well told although there is the usual problem of men trying to produce femail voices to me they always sound wrong. other than that there where a few editing issuers with the recording words seems to jump or be cut off half way through this does not affect the story however can be annoying and gives the impression that the book may be abridged when it isn't (i assume as have not read the book in print form however audible says it is unabridged).
    over all a solid and interesting scifi story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Colin
    Tewkesbury, United Kingdom
    1/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hidden Depths"

    A great start to the series. This really sets the scene for a relatively simple story that then gets you thinking. I think it takes a real knack for words when a writer gives you simplicity and you can't help filling in the details. No overburdening with technicalities either and that makes a great adventure story. Iain M Banks did it in great detail, B V Larson does it with simplicity - both manage a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Great Dunmow, United Kingdom
    1/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not the depth of the likes of Reynolds or Hamilton"
    What did you like best about Swarm? What did you like least?

    Rocked along at a good pace, no switching off while surroundings are described in minute detail or sub-plots expanded like some of the "Space Opera" type reads from Reynolds or Hamilton. It did feel a rather simplistic storytelling though with too many plot holes and "well why wouldn't you do X?" questions especially w.r.t. military tactics and descriptions.


    If you’ve listened to books by B. V. Larson before, how does this one compare?

    NA


    Have you listened to any of Mark Boyett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    NA


    Was Swarm worth the listening time?

    It was OK. Relatively short I thought, and in two minds about whether to read any more.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth a listen so you can decide whether to read the rest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • GMJ
    East Yorkshire, UK
    12/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Never judge a book by its cover"
    What did you like most about Swarm?

    I picked up the 'Swarm' Soley on recommendations (and I am glad that I did). I was immediately drawn into a fast paced nightmarish scifi scenario which kept me constantly engaged. I was looking looking for a high paced classic scifi adverture that would keep me entertained and I was not disappointed. A definite buy for any scifi nut who cannot stand unrealistic plots.


    What other book might you compare Swarm to, and why?

    Similar pace to the vampire novels by Scott Mariani.


    Have you listened to any of Mark Boyett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Have not listened to any other books YET!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The first few chapters leading to his abduction.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • john
    DURHAM, United Kingdom
    12/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exciting consept"
    If you could sum up Swarm in three words, what would they be?

    Exciting, addictive, fun


    What did you like best about this story?

    The concept of the nanos and macros


    Have you listened to any of Mark Boyett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have only listened to 2 other star force books, so can't really compare.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I have laughed, i have been on the edge of my set and i find my self trying to find excuses to go listen as much as i can!


    Any additional comments?

    Really looking forward to the rest of the series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Truls
    Norway
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "For the first time in a while, I wanted more."
    What made the experience of listening to Swarm the most enjoyable?

    I have read a lot of since fiction stories and my favorites are the ones that span over several books, like The Saga of Seven Suns and The Foundation series. The Star Force Books had the same mystery angle and unknown future. Larson had me guessing and looking forward to the next page.


    What other book might you compare Swarm to, and why?

    The Saga of Seven Suns and The Foundation series.


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

    Mark Boyett makes this book come to life in my head.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent series"
    If you could sum up Swarm in three words, what would they be?

    Gripping,engrossing and addictive


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are many strong characters. I don't have a favourite one.


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

    His narration is excellent and consistent. It helps with the visualisation of the book more than just reading it


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

    I couldn't get through it fast enough and then couldn't wait to listen to more in the series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Heckmondwike, United Kingdom
    11/12/11
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-19 of 19 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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