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Publisher's Summary

In the 20th century Earth sent probes, transmissions, and welcoming messages to the stars. Unfortunately, someone noticed. The Galactics arrived with their battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined their vast Empire. Swearing allegiance to our distant alien overlords wasn't the only requirement for survival. We also had to have something of value to trade, something that neighboring planets would pay their hard-earned credits to buy. As most of the local worlds were too civilized to have a proper army, the only valuable service Earth could provide came in the form of soldiers…someone had to do their dirty work for them, their fighting and dying.

I, James McGill, was born in 2099 on the fringe of the galaxy. When Hegemony Financial denied my loan applications, I was kicked out of the university and I turned to the stars. My first campaign involved the invasion of a mineral-rich planet called Cancri-9, better known as Steel World. The attack didn't go well, and now Earth has entered a grim struggle for survival. Humanity's mercenary legions go to war in Steel World, best-selling author B. V. Larson's latest science fiction novel.

©2013 B. V. Larson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • D
  • corona, ca United States
  • 12-05-13

Classic Space Opera

Cast from the mold of Star Ship Troopers and B.V. Larson’s other great space adventure, his Space Force series, Steel World; Undying Mercenaries is a high speed, high adventure, military Sci-Fi, page turner.
Having already submitted to the vast empire of the Galactics, Earth is in a struggle for survival and humanities legions of mercenaries must battle on planet Cancri-9, better known as Steel World to endure; but death is not the usual final obstacle as these mercenaries have the ability to regenerate.
It’s an interesting concept, the book has several plot twists and the characters are well developed and believable.
This is a story begging to be a series; and the narrator, Mark Boyett, gives a great performance.

47 of 55 people found this review helpful

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You want great military scifi? Lock and load!

Better late than never.

Well, I have to preface this review with that statement, because, frankly, I've had a LOT of listening in front of me this Christmas season. Not a complaint as much as the cold hard fact of the matter.

So, let's get started.

I've already reviewed Larson's "Star Force" series, and I gave it high marks. I bought the entire series, and am working my way through THAT, and then planned to attack this, Larson's latest entry into military scifi.

To the point, this is an ambitious start to a potentially roller-coaster ride you'll to which you'll want to listen. It's gritty. It's VERY bad-arse. It doesn't waste time on over-complicated character development, and focuses on action, strategy, and storyline. Larson's new series is all about cutting to the chase - You want military scifi? Well lock and load, you're getting an earful.

I particularly like the pace Larson uses. It's different from "A Hymn Before Battle: Legacy of the Aldenata," another awesome military scifi, by john Ringo, which I've just reviewed. The Aldenate series covers a much broader landscape in the telling, as where here, Larson is more focused on close combat, squad interaction and a smaller cast of characters. Both series work, and frankly, reading either one makes you appreciate the other, because of their "on the mark" writing, despite their core differences.

The narrator here, Mark Boyett, has done the work well.

Yes, there are already TONS of spoilers, secrets and giveaways in a good number of Audible reviews. That being said, do you REALLY need to repeat those here? No, of course not.

So, this is a great start for Larson's new series, and finally, I get to give it a two thumbs up.

44 of 57 people found this review helpful

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Great book!

Would you listen to Steel World again? Why?

Great start to a series. Like a cross between Starship Troopers and Universal Soldier.

What did you like best about this story?

Exciting and full of action.

What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

Mark Boyett does a wonderful job with the voices and narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Solid 5 Star Military SciFi Audiobook

What did you love best about Steel World?

I only wish all audiobooks were this good. This one was excellent from start to finish, everything from the story, character development and narration were flawless. I love it when a story hooks me from the first page and holds on until the end. <br/><br/>Another thing I liked about this book was that the characters were believable, as in they acted like real people and each had unique flaws. An annoying thing about some action stories is the way that that characters are often 2 dimensional and the hero is some kind of superman, not so in this one. Also I liked the way there was the political infighting and backstabbing in the Legion unit. In my experience, any time you get a bunch of people together you're going to have that kind of thing and yet its often an element that's left out of fiction (the B grade fiction anyway). I spent 20 years in the US Army, and the unit portrayed in this story seemed like a real military unit, the terms and technology were different but the people acted in a way consistent with my experience of how real soldiers talk and act.<br/><br/>I would rate this book right up there with some of my other favorite military fictional reads, to list a few: A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War Series by John Ringo), Red Storm Rising and Without Remorse by Tom Clancy, Invasion America Series by Vaughn Heppner, Armor by John Steakley, Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein and Redliners by David Drake.<br/><br/>I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Undying Mercenaries series.

31 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Oh, hey, it's a surprisingly good military sci-fi

This turned out to be a very good military sci-fi book. I was surprised since the only other book I read by Larson was just on the edge of being unreadable. No, seriously, I went in with very low expectations of his writing skills and ended up not wanting to put the book down.

It is a fairly straight forward military sci-fi where aliens have a large presence. We follow the story only from the human side, but the alien species involved are distinct from each other and reasonably well-built. Sure, there are lizards, but as an alien species, they are just as plausible as any other alien species. The tech involved is interesting (and pretty cool) and the galactic "rules" that all the species live by are logical and consistent.

Is the main character a bit of an azz?... well, sure, but it isn't over the top and he isn't smarmy about it. There aren't any significant female characters in the book - those that are there are mainly viewed as "rewards" - but they aren't particularly objectified either, and they certainly are not bimbo sexpots (which is a nice change).

The narration is very good and there is no sex or gore and I don't actually recall any swearing. For a read-alike, you could try Marko Kloos' Frontlines series - they are quite similar in writing style and content. Oh, and Morgan's Kovacs series is kinda similar in tech-concept (but much more graphic).

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Its like Starship Troopers but with Dinosaurs

Dino Aliens ✔
Cool guy Protagonist ✔
Cool World ✔
Likable Characters ✔
Unlikable Characters ✔
Protagonist likes looking at woman's posterior when being yelled at ✔
It güde.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Clunky, But Worth It in the End

This book very effectively demonstrates how Sci-Fi needs a straight man like an Abbot and Castillo routine. The exposition comes off as clunky at best and forced at worst. A much better example of Sci-Fi exposition is in "Poor Man's Fight" by Elliot Kay, where in much of the universe is introduced through speeches given by different characters.

Fortunately, the story is absolutely worth it. I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the series, as a lot of the need for clunky exposition will be alleviated by having already been introduced to the universe. The characters are real and engaging, and McGill, our hero, is just a guy trying to do the best he can. Several times, I was worried that the author was headed in a cliché direction when the story would make a hard left.

Boyett is a solid narrator. His characters all have distinct voices and personalities that come through quite well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best bargain on Kindle or audible.

I've read four books of this series and they're all as least as good as this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Leila
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 02-28-14

Great Military Sci-Fi

Would you listen to Steel World again? Why?

Yes. I'll listen it again before listening to the sequel because I think there is a bigger story arc that will connect all books in the series.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Steel World?

I was surprised with the awakenings after death, and their emotional consequences.

Any additional comments?

The book had a satisfactory ending. I expect that the next books will rise the stakes in the human survival struggles.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Willie
  • bedford, TX, United States
  • 02-25-14

Highly entertaining, straight forward

If you could sum up Steel World in three words, what would they be?

Just plain fun....Larson doesn't make this a muddled, too many subplots running story. He keeps you on target on the main character, builds solid supporting characters, and doesn't mess around with repetition or unnecessary subplots. You can see this as an action movie, or, dare I say it, a video game-but don't let that turn you off. This is worth it.

What did you like best about this story?

Reminded me of Star Ship Troopers but with dinosaurs. The writer gives you enough to invest in the characters and provides great action to keep you listening(or reading).

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

Haven't heard him before but was very pleased with his performance. Accents a little weak but still a very good job.

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

too long for one sitting but high on the re-listening scale

Any additional comments?

Not over complicated story and action packed. I would highly recommend this book and am anxiously looking forward to the next book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. P. S. Gale
  • 01-18-14

If you liked Star Force, you'll love this

I've listened to all 8 Star Force books (waiting for no9, the last in that series). That was an excellent series but this is even better. Plenty of action and a fast pace with some interesting tech, moving in a new direction from the Star Force universe.

Mark Boyett delivers another fantastic performance. Some of the characters sound very similar to those in the Star Force series though but I didn't find that to be an issue.

I'm very much looking forward to the next instalment - hurry up and write it Mr Larson ;)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • luke
  • 06-10-15

Should I start this series

Where does Steel World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I like a series to enjoy the immersive continuity. This seems quite light in tone though isn't the worst first in a series effort I've read. Some pleasant steps off the story to highlight or detail some tech or history with characterisation nicely done but perhaps with a little more depth. At around 10-11 hrs its quite a bit shorter than my usual read which kept the pace up, the rambling at minimum and overall a good bit of escape.

What other book might you compare Steel World to, and why?

It had a feeling of a comic book with more depth. An unusual plot premise that did take me by surprise. Light easy listening science fiction.

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

Mark Boyett has a pleasing repertoire of voice and gave the characters a warmth that wasn't quite as evident in the writing.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A fight for mankind

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary Sereno
  • 06-09-15

Read like the diaries of a soldier, but works well

It's an odd one. The story is basic and has a few possible plot holes, but it works. The tale is just from one man from a personal perspective, which could make it one directional, but again it works.

A certain amount of my liking of this book is the reading of it. Mark Boyett reds it like it's a series of war diaries, making it feel partly like it's a documentary on past events rather than a story in the future. I think with out this I may well have been disappointed.

I'm looking forwards to the second book, just hoping the story does not lose it's way as I can see limitations in where this tale can go.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 05-07-15

Average Military sci-fi nothing major to report!

Listened to this book all the way through so that's why it get 3 stars. I wouldn't call it awful, but it is far from great. Just like lukewarm water. The single POV makes it feel monotone and doesn't give that different perspective character you enjoy when reading a good book. It's a bit like a "live, die, repeat" T-shirt which has seen one to many wash cycle.... gray and faded out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • 01-10-15

Platoon in Space

Excellent story like Platoon but in space with more depth into unit politics. The idea of combining Mercenary soldiers with the make up of the Roman Legion all for the purpose of keeping Earth in the Galactic Council is fantastic using human aggression as a commodity
I thoroughly enjoyed the reading I hope there's a new one in the works

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew C.
  • 07-04-15

Formulaic, by the numbers stuff

A juvenile novel without the charm of one of Robert Heinlein's.

Nonsense technology for reincarnation.

No need to rewind if you fall asleep before your timer stops it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Donal
  • 06-08-15

slow to start good pace thereafter

while the language used is mundane the story is interesting enough and some fascinating science fiction backing the plot up. worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Derek Greenwood
  • 02-15-15

easy listening

Where does Steel World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Really enjoyed this tale of Galactic mess ups

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

Most definitely

Any additional comments?

Love listening to Mark Boyett's narration

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-18-14

Starship trooper

Any additional comments?

What is the point of war if everyone gets reborn 20 minutes later ?<br/><br/>once you start thinking about that, the whole story becomes pointless, they're merc who can't really die. But they fight anyway.... why ?

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaspal
  • 03-07-14

Reads like a teenager's dream of video games

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

I kept getting annoyed with the paper thin characters, the lame obsession with how the main protagonist often finds his eyes wandering when talking to a female character. The comedy galactic aliens.

Any additional comments?

I'm all for pot-boiler type action SF and the like but this was weak all the way through.<br/>Even Jack Campbell's Dauntless series for all its flaws is way better than this.

13 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • 04-17-14

Macho Space Shoot 'em Up

It was good. No better than that. Kind of imagine this is the type of book for guys standing around the barbecue holding a beer telling their war stories.
Lots of shooting at lizard-like aliens. A lot. Gets a bit repetitive.
Some of the main characters remind me of red neck soldiers in Starship Troopers and Avatar.
Obviously some people love this book going by the reviews. Nothing terrible about it but I prefer something with a little more substance.
I appreciate that this book ends and so I don't feel obliged to read the next one in the series unless I want to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • darko
  • 10-12-15

Wonderful book

Excellent narration and an intriguing story. Great start to the series and will have you sitting in the car or transport ship wanting to hear more!

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  • Aaron Godfrey
  • 10-06-15

Starship Troopers... I mean Steel World

Take half a bowl of Starship Troopers, mix in some dinosaur, a pinch of galactic imperialism and throw in an infinite revival machine for some added crunch and violence and you have Steel World.

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  • Malcolm
  • 08-10-15

A great read

The concepts and story line in this book had me in from the get go. This is one of the first books from Audible after The Martian that I could not wait to fire up and listen to each day. Can not wait for the next story in the series.

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  • Aaron
  • 05-27-15

A well thought out Adventure.

I really enjoyed this creative version of a futuristic world. The imagination of this author is quite amazing and the performance was brilliant.