When you start reading “Hard Duty: The Merkiaari Wars, 1” you know you are in for a large and complex story over many light years of travel, across va..Show More »rious planets and alien races. The human race has learned the hard way that the murderous Merkiaari are out to exterminate them. After many lengthy and devastating battles, the humans have pushed the enemy out, but not defeated them. Humanity is now cautious and wary about aliens, hiding their many planets through cloaked communications and other means. So when they discover the Shan, a newly discovered alien race with limited space capability, the human explores are unsure whether to warn them about the Merkiaari or simply stay hidden and let fate run its course.
The Shan are a feline alien race which Mark Cooper develops well. He creates interesting characters that the reader will identify with and care about. The Merkiaari on the other hand are not described much at all, just blood thirsty aliens with an unknown agenda. Without listening to the sequels, it is hard to say how this will develop, but by the quality of the story, it should be worked out to the reader’s satisfaction eventually.
This is a solid listen, good characters, and mostly good hard sci-fi. The exception is a long section about making the ship’s voice recognition device small enough to be portable. Really? You mean in 500 years no one will improve on my already outdated iPhone. On the other hand there are lots of cool tech ideas like anti-gravity, nanotech, plasma rifles, etc.
The narration is excellent. Mikael Naramore has narrated dozens of sci-fi novels and is a true pro. He puts some cool sound effects in when one of the characters is listening to his own computer voice. You know who is who, but Mikael doesn’t overdo it. As close to perfect as narration can get.
Hard Duty is good space opera that will keep Scifi fans entertained for many hours. Well worth listening to.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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Again, Nothing "Deep and Mind Twisting", but decent Space Combat Sci-Fi with Aliens and Bio-Armor, etc, if you like that sort of thing (Which I do)...Show More »r/> Book 3 is Better than Book 2, which in turn is better than book 1 ;)
Book 3 starts out a little, I dunno.. let's say "At a skill level comparable to Book 1", but then it quickly gets better.. the writer seems to improve and refine his skills with each new book. The Clumsy Start MAY be due to some sections that are "Cut and Paste" right out of the previous books in the series, mostly when reiterating past events for people who may not have read the First books in the series.
I just hit the halfway mark in Book 4, and popped over here to see if there was a book 5 by chance (HEY! It CAN happen! I had it happen once before... no lie! ;)
It's a bit strange how the author sets up a MAJOR set of events, and then cuts away from them leaving loose ends that you are SURE he's going to come back to, and then suddenly he's setting up an entirely NEW series of events (Some even have totally new characters), which also kinda gets left hanging when he starts a NEW Branch of adventure down yet another path... I hope he ties all of these previous dangling ends together rather than just popping back to the same setting and it being "Several Months Later" (Which has happened a few times, right when you're expecting to read about a major battle).
I have to admit, at times I found myself thinking, "YES! We KNOW you know a LOT of cool character names, Stop naming everyone and GET ON WITH THE STORY!!!"
If you're hanging in there with the series past book one, the series DOES get significantly better with each new book!
After Finishing Book 4, I'm sitting here waiting on some "BOOK FIVE!!!!" Hello????
I Jokingly told John Ringo once.. "WRITE FASTER" (Becaus..Show More »e I KNOW he HATES that), and his Wife almost took my head off! John rolled his eyes and told her "He's kidding, I know him, He knows I HATE hearing those words"...
.... But, ummm, Mark... WRITE FASTER!!!! (I REALLY hope you don't have a wife that will take my head off ;) You've had OVER A MONTH now since Publishing Book 4, and STILL No "Book Five"?!?!?! ;)