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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 (4293 )
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 (2012)
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    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
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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
  •  
    Daniel Chappaqua, NY, United States 03-20-13
    Daniel Chappaqua, NY, United States 03-20-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gary Stu Saves the Day"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If B.V Larson was a better writer. Brian Larson is a college professor and decided to put a perfected version of himself in a book. The problem was that he decided his fictional persona was always going to do the right thing despite that B.V never thought things out out. The result is a narrative littered with plot holes and terrible ideas that make the protagonist come across as an ignorant villain because he always assumes hes right (thankfully for him the narrative bends the universe to aid to his misguided attempts). To make matters worse everyone else fits into a one dimensional caricature with an IQ of around 80. The main female character enters the book nearly naked and only gets more 'seductive' from there and doesn't mind at all that shes just a shapely object. Elite troops the world over can't suggest better tactics or give incite to the unseasoned protagonist. Likewise the protagonist can spout off pseudo science that always seems to work but nobody ever corrects him that hes using the word theory for something he just thought up when hypothesis is apt.


    What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

    Mark Boyett did a great job with the many voices, each voice was unique and portrayed the emotions the character felt. Interestingly he also narrated John Ringo's Troy Rising which is nearly the same book only more political. Mark Boyett has a knack for suspense on even mundane things like giving programming code or making large mirrors.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elliot ITHACA, NEW YORK, United States 01-10-13
    Elliot ITHACA, NEW YORK, United States 01-10-13 Member Since 2015

    Molecular biologist. Musician. Lover of science. Lover of music. Dreamer of magic. Thinker of thoughts. ||| "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke ||| As a scientist, science fiction and fantasy inspire me to push the line of discovery forward, beyond conventional imagination, beyond conventional wisdom.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "genreCrossing military spaceOpera WINS with Boyett"

    First, if I wrote the book's blurb:
    An everyman computer scientist is propelled into a cosmic landscape that will bring out his best, and, unfortunately, his worst. The "ring" to Hell is manufactured with Kyle Riggs' intentions. But, as you'll find out, Riggs' really is the right man and perfect protagonist for BV Larson's genre smashing space operatic military apocalyptic science fiction pragmatic technothriller.

    Second, why I chose this book:
    This book caught my eye because I was looking for a new sci-fi series, and I really enjoyed Troy Rising which was also narrated by Mark Boyett and has been compared to Star Force by others. Similar to at least the first book of Troy Rising (Live Free or Die), SWARM and the Star Force series in general (I'm on Book 3 as of writing this) has a strong protagonist who starts as a humble rural type with an additional edge of technical prowess (More about Kyle Riggs below). But while Troy Rising really lost its momentum after the first book, the Star Force series keeps it going and lays it on hard.

    If you like military science fiction of the sort portrayed in the Troy Rising series, you will love the Star Force series. And, to those of you who enjoyed the Star Force series, you will enjoy Troy Rising. But, as of Book 3, I have to put Star Force above John Ringo's space opera brother from another mother.

    Other comments have already mentioned some of the reasons you may have to suspend disbelief, but I think good science fiction will always include a few things that make you feel a touch incredulous. Nevertheless, I really don't feel like Star Force takes it over the top in any way, and I never felt like what I was hearing was too absurd or unbelievable. The technology focuses a lot on a few specific plot elements (if you are intrigued by nanotechnology, this book is your fantasyland) , but the descriptions of said technology are surprisingly within the realms of science fact. Larson either did his research well or has a wealth of information that I wish was wielded by more writers of science fiction and fantasy. Most readers will find a little bit to learn from this book. And, as good science fiction should, it will hopefully inspire your envisionment of things that are very possible given our current rate of technological advancement, even without extra terrestrial intervention.

    A little bit of analysis about the books protagonist:
    Like so many nerds growing up in the information age, I at least considered the possibility of pursuing computer science as a career choice. And, I think anyone who has ever found beauty in the workings of a machine or the elegance in a mathematical proof will be able to relate to Kyle Riggs and put themselves in his position. Larson seems to intentionally leave out specific details about Kyle Riggs appearance and style so that the reader may either truly empathize with Riggs' through his tribulations, or one can easily insert the image and essence of whichever heroically moral archetype they feel most comfortable with. Some may criticize that this leaves the main character seeming more hollow, but I think this allows Riggs to be less a man and more a symbol for the resilience of humanity. Kyle Riggs is not a single man, but as I alluded to in my first sentence all the way at the top, he is every man.

    Finally, While Mark Boyett's accents may at times all sound alike, his attempts still bring wonderful life to the characters. I really enjoyed Boyett's work for the Troy Rising series and believe he shines even more here. I'll be looking for more books narrated by him simply for his performance. Many audiobook narrators have a voice with distracting qualities of varying degrees,making listening to the book somewhat challenging regardless of the content. But, with Boyett, I have absolutely no trouble focusing on the story he is telling, but at the same time his acting fits most characters absolutely perfectly.

    That brings me to one more point. This is the first series where I've noticed that the narrator is incredibly effective at channeling a representative presence in his characters. What I mean is, the cast in this story are from so many diverse backgrounds, as they should be. So much military sci-fi puts the US at the forefront with a couple token internationals sprinkled in due to necessity. But I feel that Larson very effectively has created a very believable cast of characters from all aspects of life from all over planet Earth. This, of course, is something which would almost definitely be the case provided the scenario in the book came about.

    Furthermore, and somewhat importantly, he doesn't harp on about it. In the third Troy Rising book, 75% of the story was about the conflict between South American culture versus US culture versus Middle Eastern culture. So, sure, there was a lot of diversity,and sure, there almost certainly would be a culture clash provided people from diverse backgrounds were forced together in close quarters. But I do not think it has to be a huge focus, or a focus at all really,in a book that is about the unification of humanity into an established and significant force.

    Thanks for reading.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 05-04-12
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Hassan 08-27-12
    Hassan 08-27-12 Member Since 2015

    5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Different but the Same as others"

    if you read "Troy Rising" by John Ringo, you will see similarity between the 2 series. But at the same time there is a lot of difference and twists.

    its really good and to proof that i got the audible 3 credits offer to get the next 3 books. :)

    enjoy

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Medford, OR, United States 07-31-12
    Brandon Medford, OR, United States 07-31-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great military Sci Fi"
    What did you love best about Swarm?

    It's very suspenseful and dark without attempting to pretty up things. What I mean is there are things happening that could have been sugar coated and drawn out, and Larson simply tosses it out there. It was shocking at times, but worked very well. I like the future tech in it as well.


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

    He is an excellent voice talent that brought the characters to life well. I could easily distinguish characters simply by his tone.


    Any additional comments?

    As I understand Larson is a relative newly published author, but have no fear his work is very well written. If you like military sci fi with adventure into the unknowns of space, you will love this.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Miller SAINT JOSEPH, MO United States 07-22-12
    Vincent Miller SAINT JOSEPH, MO United States 07-22-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best Sci-Fi I've read in a long time."

    Best Sci-Fi I've read in a long time. War of the Worlds meets Terminator. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 227 results PREVIOUS123423NEXT
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  • 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: 21-23 of 23 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

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