If you are a fan of Isaac Asimov's deep thinking, or Larry Niven and his habit of making the reader do math, then this book is a welcome mental relief..Show More ». Another reviewer referred to it as "sci-fi easy listening" and I think he hit the nail right on the head. Much like a Michael Bay film, if you start thinking too hard, you just ruin it for yourself. But that's not to say it can't be entertaining. To understand what I mean, simply read the following (spoiler free) synopsis:
Computer Science professor Kyle Riggs is abducted by an artificially intelligent alien spacecraft. With occasional interjections from his stunningly beautiful consensually captive co-ed companion he must make clever use of programming, hacking, strategy, logic, and knowledge of powers of two to save Earth from merciless robotic aliens.
At several points throughout the novel I considered how it might have made a good story line for a real-time strategy computer game (a la Starcraft). I must say, the book is massively entertaining. Listening to it is akin to having testosterone injected through your ears. Mark Boyett captures the different characters exactly as you would expect with all the seriousness that is required. The book skates a fine line between easy to take in and outright melodrama. It does a pretty good job at staying this side of melodrama (most of the time).
I feel I must give a disclaimer that, as a computer science graduate myself, I think there is a certain draw to a book featuring a computer science professor as a protagonist. Especially one that gets the girl and saves the world. It's not really the kind of thing one would expect out of someone in my field.
To sum things up: The characters aren't deep and neither is the plot, the action is enjoyable and constant, the hacking is surprisingly realistic (5 points for executing a privilege escalation exploit on an alien ship), and I think I'm going to pick up the next one.
Kyle Rigs is special. He's the sort of hero who knows better than everyone, about pretty much everything. If an officer gives an order, he'll count..Show More »ermand it. Sure hell do the same thing later, but he's Riggs. He's so smart that he's not only better than anyone else to run the new tech, he's better than all other people combined. These are the glaring and reoccurring things. Leave aside failing to remember little bits of science like inertia. That's okay, he's The Riggs and not bound by foolish things like planning, military disciple, or a rudimentary appreciation of self replicating factories. Thinking and behavior that could be excused in the surprise and crisis of the first book continue on a larger and more costly scale.
I love this series,the author doesn't bore the reader with unnecessary jargon or technical information,but adds enough to make it interesting and help..Show More » the story along. Audible,keep doing these books!
With the 4th installment, Riggs is finally back on home court and preparing for the eventual round 2 with the macros. The same cast of characters is b..Show More »ack with Sandra getting creepier due to the microbiological/nanite combo in her. Crowe is still his "time to flee and hide" self. Much time is spent on defense, followed by a counterattack. At the same time, he is dealing with assassins gunning for him. Riggs also gets to call in any chits he's obtained with alien biota.
While the plot is compelling, the pacing well done, and the battle scenes well executed, the overall story suffers from Riggs being forced to carry the whole load. Without Riggs, earth would have been toast long ago and it's not due to a one time superhero feat. Rather, every interaction with aliens of any type always needs Riggs to save the day or at least manage to prevent a catastrophe from developing. Crowe is simply tiresome with his cowardly lion act and Sandra is just plain weird to everyone. Everyone else is extremely formulaic and stereotypical. At the very least, Riggs needs a Mr Spock to figure out what most of the stuff they find actually does. Noticeably absent in this installment is any discussion of the alien race responsible for all this stuff. With a well deserved lull, perhaps Riggs can outfit a more diverse and capable star force (a physicist and biologist would be nice additions).
The narration is passable, but unremarkable. For a group that is suppose to represent a swath of earth's population, everyone sounds like they come from a Hollywood studio's caricature department.
If you are looking for sci-fi that is fast-paced, fun, and incredibly interesting, I'd recommend the Star Force series for you. The author has carefu..Show More »lly crafted a military sci-fi universe where new discoveries and surprises await, leaving the reader astonished at the depth of B.V. Larson's imagination.
Most sci-fi series that I have read have at least one book where things do not click, or the plot seems forced, or difficult to believe. In contrast, every book of this series is strong, and I keep thinking that the best one is the book I just finished.
Mark Boyett, the narrator, is quite amazing as he seamlessly switches his accent from one member of an international team to another to yet another. It adds an extra dimension of enjoyment over the text version of the books.
The fortress is completely built, it's time to build ships, but The Earth stopped communicating with Riggs He has terrible personnel problems..Show More », he has only 300 men And all his neighbors, damn Crustaceans, Blues and Crow are plotting against him, The question is who friend and who is foe?
PS Sometimes I think it is The Only Original Sci-Fi series
Next book is "Annihilation" and I hope it will available very soon!
I have, of course, read all the other book in this series and it is slipping. I hope B.V. Larson or one of his associates read these reviews. The char..Show More »acter, Kyle Riggs, is becoming juvenile and just as much a dictator as his hated foe, Crowe. I don't understand. Col. Riggs is generally an idiot, and therefore, I'm losing interest in him and almost wish he would be killed off. When, after how many years in space and countless battlefields, do Kyle Riggs suppose to learn from his mistakes. It's becoming frustrating to read/listen to. The narrator is good though. I like him.
I am shocked. Fans who've been following the series know that Krowe needs to be taken down and now it's about to happen. But it's not JUST Emperor Kro..Show More »we and the Imperialists Kyle has to worry about. The Blues have been up to no good and show their hand before Kyle and crew can even make it out of the Eden system to return to earth.
What new abomination has The Blues created this time. How can they possible return to Earth and overthrow Krowe? What kinds of traps has Krowe laid for them along the journey back? What new creatures will we meet? What woman will Kyle choose? What's Marvin going to get into? . This is what we've all been waiting for and it isn't predictable and doesn't disappoint. I can't wait for more. I missed Sandra though. What a loss.
As always Mark Boyett does a phenomenal job narrating. I really enjoy his voice for Marvin and The Blues. He really brings out the humor.
Larson has finally (after 9 installments) brought some closure into the life of one Kyle Riggs. At the end of the 8th installment, Riggs had finally s..Show More »ucceeded in defeating Crowe and undertook the arduous task of restoring some semblance of rationality to Earth. Needless to say, he tires quickly in the job of governing and returns to space. He and Marvin cook up a scheme to glimpse beyond the Thor ring. There is more revealed regarding the ring and machine origins as well as some critical information regarding their particular local cul-de-sac. Riggs must battle the machines again and deal with the Blues all the while, sidestepping assassins and coup attempts. With a sense that Earth is safe for the foreseeable future, Riggs apes Cincinnatus and Washington to enjoy the sunset.
The sci-fi elements are in line was earlier installments with a bit more esoteric physics of gravity control. The space battles continue to evolve with the machines learning faster than humans. The limited alien diversity (intelligent anthropomorphic variants of Earth animals with annoying personality disorders) is still present.
The narration is passable with a limited range of characters.