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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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  •  
    Mike Naka 10-03-12
    Mike Naka 10-03-12 Member Since 2012

    Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great man vs. machine opening shot"
    Any additional comments?

    i'm a casual scifi reader. i've read a few, but scifi is usually my 3rd stop when looking for something new. i like standalone books, but i'm drawn to series. i was drawn to this book based on the plot, number of reviews, and the high ratings. so, i gave it a try, and i'm glad i did.

    i've read hard scifi and military scifi where you really have to pay attention or rewind to get it. the alien technology in this book easily makes sense since nanotechnology has become so mainstream the last few years. the tech is cool, and you can see how it works, and the potential benefits. the tech makes sense so you can understand how our hero uses it.

    speaking of our hero, riggs, he is a college professor. he teaches computer science. this is a cool twist b/c you can see how he interacts with the aliens. i'm not giving anything away by saying the aliens are machines. it's fascinating to witness riggs learn how manipulate the machines' programming to answer his questions and accomplish his goals. i write code all day long for work, but you don't need to understand programming to understand and enjoy riggs' interaction and manipulation of the machines' code.

    the story opens with riggs being abducted by a spaceship in the middle of the night. i won't give much away, but riggs eventually gains control of the ship. he learns that over 700 other ships have been scouring the earth looking for "the right kind of people." just as riggs and the others start to gain some semblance of understanding what's going on and how to manipulate their ships, their ships take off into outer space declaring enemy detected. the enemy is another group of machines, who riggs names the macros. they are after earth's resources.

    this book has battles in space and on the earth. the macros are cold, heartless, and relentless, just as you would expect. there's a lot of plotting and in-fighting between the earth's forces even as the macros attack and slaughter millions.

    the battle scenes are well drawn out and smartly done. the space battles are a match of wits; whereas the earth-based are battles of attrition.

    the book is fast-paced and enjoyable with a touch of mystery. the review, mark, puts it perfectly, " Its a very entertaining story that keeps you listening. Every time you start to wonder about a certain topic, or why is this happening, or why would they do that, the author fills you in. Its as if he knows just when you want an answer but makes you wait just a bit longer for it to keep the story going."

    note: mark, i hope you don't get pissed that i quote you, but you put it so aptly.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Professor 11-28-12
    Professor 11-28-12

    1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)

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    "BEST WORK BY B.V. LARSON"

    IMHO this is best or maybe second best work (Technomancer) of B.V. Larson
    Sci fi Story with strong and interesting characters and many developments at this moment I'm reading book 6 and my attention still fully occupied.

    You will find everything you may want: aliens, humans, AI machines
    Love happiness and sorrow, Honor, betrayal and sacrifice and you will definitely enjoy it.


    PS
    For some some strange reason audiobooks of this series are published 3 or 4 months later than ebook version, so I had to get the dust of my Kindle.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan CA, United States 06-23-13
    Ryan CA, United States 06-23-13 Member Since 2015
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    Story
    "Pretty good little scf-fi story"

    I found this to be an enjoyable little listen. Not 5 star worthy but I got hooked nonetheless.

    The premise is a bit like the 'The Last Starfighter'. A small fleet of advanced alien ships arrive on modern-day Earth. Each one chooses a human pilot - one per ship. The ship and the pilot are interfaced with nano-technology and human pilots find they're equipped with devices of incredible power.

    Just as they begin to contemplate who sent these ships and why, the reason is thrust at them....another armada arrives, and it is hostile. Earth quickly realizes that the arrival of the first fleet was a gift to help combat the second adversarial fleet - which is fortunate because the level of technology they're facing means they'll need all the help they can get.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex FPO, AP, United States 10-27-11
    Alex FPO, AP, United States 10-27-11
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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 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim EVANSDALE, IOWA, United States 03-03-14
    Jim EVANSDALE, IOWA, United States 03-03-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Reads like a made for TV SCYFY movie."

    If you were looking for just a simple time passer with sci-fi flair, then this may fit the bill. Not much depth, 2-d characters, but lots of action. The book kind of loses the plot and wanders too much mid way through. I'd like to learn more about the aliens in the story, but not sure I'd want to sit through another one to find out. Unfortunately, there are far better SCI FI stories out there competing for my time and attention.

    2 of 2 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 2013

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

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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
  •  
    Avihu Turzion Givat Avni, Israel 02-12-14
    Avihu Turzion Givat Avni, Israel 02-12-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Feels like a novelization of a GI Joe movie"
    Would you try another book from B. V. Larson and/or Mark Boyett?

    I will to give them a second chance. This book was horrible, but they might have wrote something good. I shouldn't hold a single book against them. But I will inspect that book more thoroughly before starting it.


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

    The lack of character development. The main character starts flat and devoid of all emotion, and continues pretty much the same way. And no, losing loved ones is not an excuse to not having emotions.

    The disregard of the ways physical changes to the characters would affect their behaviour. After the main character undergoes a radical physical change, he acts the same. I would believe such a change would impact a person's character somewhat. But if that was the only thing wrong with it, I would have been more than willing to suspend my disbelief for it.

    Complete disregard to the ways warfare is conducted. For some reason the author thinks that if a certain faction is comprised only of computer equivalent devices they will operate the same way as his buggy computers at home. This is Independence Day virus scheme stupid.


    What character would you cut from Swarm?

    Sandra. As much as the story needed a female character, it could definitely do without this stereotypical buffoon. Her presence just strengthens the misogynism of the story because she is such a degrading stereotype, and she does nothing to advance the plot.


    Any additional comments?

    The premise sounded very promising at first, and the fast pacing makes it easy and interesting to read, but this story doesn't stand on its on.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 02-07-14
    Christopher 02-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sci-Fi Pulp for a Quick Listen"
    What did you like best about Swarm? What did you like least?

    I enjoyed a bit of the verbal hackery in dealing with the alien machines. I thought it was the most interesting aspect of this book.

    I didn't find the main characters to be particularly believable. If I end up picking up the second book in the series and something happens and everyone dies in it, my emotional investment will be pretty minimal.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was trying to do accents that he hasn't sufficiently practiced. His "Australian" is not very "Australian". His Spanish accent sounds French. His French sounds comical French. And he mispronounced some common homographs that should have been caught and fixed in editing.


    Was Swarm worth the listening time?

    I listen to audio books during my commute to give me something to focus on other than how irritating it is to be in traffic. This book is fine for that. If you're dedicating time to listening to it without anything else going on--probably not worth it.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle 01-27-14
    Michelle 01-27-14
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    "Hohummm"

    1st book in the series of 8. It was ok. The Narrator was really good, but everything else was boring. Kept finding myself drifting off onto other thoughts and would become lost of what was happening in the book. The plot was not very entertaining and at times was very predictable. If you read this don't bother reading the rest of the series. They are all the same right down to the same exact plot.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian California City, CA, United States 01-09-14
    Brian California City, CA, United States 01-09-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I don't understand the hype"
    What would have made Swarm better?


    Any additional comments?

    I had some pretty high hopes for this book going in based on the mass of good reviews…I was seriously disappointed. I like fiction, but the situation still has to be plausible. There is no freaking way that all of the worlds governments are just going to hand over all of their hopes and precious materials to a group of rag-tag, untrained, and undisciplined civilians who just happened to pass a ridiculous test outlined by the new alien spacecrafts. Also, why even have the children in the beginning? This section did not add anything to the story what so ever. I get the whole emotion thing, but having the main character's children get eviscerated and then hearing that he just kind of brushes it aside was a distraction (I'm also a father). There is no way that this guy would be able to function in that situation. I do not believe that the author understood the emotional impact that this section would have on readers with children, and I found it to be a distraction throughout the whole book. Also, how does a college computer science professor suddenly (within a few months) become a leader of over 7,000 super-marines without any prior training? Having been in the military, this was way too far out for me and acted as a slap in the face for trained military leaders. The idea was good, but the authors execution was off. I will not be listening to any more of this series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 229 results PREVIOUS12323NEXT
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  • Amazon Customer
    7/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Visual story telling great read"
    Where does Swarm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    From the beginning Swarm charges along a full speed, the atmosphere is spot on and desperate.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Swarm?

    The black surface of the ship has a personality of its own.


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

    I've started the Steel World books where Mark Boyett performs a different younger big ego character which comes across well, whereas in Swarm and Star Force he performs the slightly older lead just right.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr Jon Ryan
    London, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book and easy to listen too."
    If you could sum up Swarm in three words, what would they be?

    Fun, engaging and smile.


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

    It's a bit like starship troopers but with robbots.


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

    easy to understand.


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

    I wouldn't say moved but it did make me smile when the guy got his foot blown off and explained that the reason he still had a boot was because he found one. Only problem was that the boot was too small but not to worry as he didn't have a foot anyway.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story, easy listen, already started book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rich M
    West Midlands
    6/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read with a few minor flaws"
    What made the experience of listening to Swarm the most enjoyable?

    I have listened a military based sci-fi book before, and whilst this has not me got me searching for them I have been put off them. I enjoyed the concept and the story development.


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

    I thought the narrator did a great job and had an excellent voice for the military characters within the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I found it hard to take to the Riggs the main character in the book, and the way he reacted to situations lost a bit of realism for me. I would go into detail but do not want to spoil things by giving away important events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mara
    6/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book! Action filled sci-fi! Great narrator"

    It's an amazing book! Loved it from the very first "page" till the last!

    The story is great and original, very fast paced sci-fi novel, filled with action, aliens and cool technology. There is no moment you could feel bored. Couldn't put it down at all. Despite the fact that there is a lot of military insight and strategy in the middle of the book, it wasn't too overwhelming (even a girl like me was still interested). I guess it helps that the main character isn't a military person as well, so it's simple enough to understand his solutions and thinking. And the story has a lot of twists and surprises to keep you on the edge!

    And special love goes to the narrator - he is just amazing! The best I've heard so far! He really makes you feel the book on your own skin, the way he paces his talk, all the emotions he puts in the voice! And it's so easy to understand (very well pronounced and clear voice - English is a foreign language for me, so it's important)! The different characters also have different distinguishable voices. Great work!

    I'm already prepared to listen to the next book in the series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D. Fitzgerald
    coventry
    6/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best read this year"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The reader was very good,reminded me of Ed Bishop.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Gripping stuff from start to end,have got all the star force books now. Will get the audio versions too.


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

    All of the characters were good ,hard to pick out.Riggs I think


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

    Yes I did one Sat Morning.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
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