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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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Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Brent
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 10-10-11

Great read

This was the best sifi that have listened to in a while. Not that it is brilliant by any means, but it is very absorbing, has great pacing, is well performed and avoids most of the pitfalls which have ruined so many other contemporary sifi series. As with a lot of sifi – most of what happens is absolutely preposterous, but Larson dose a great job of making everything seem plausible as it unwinds. The hero is strong, the situations novel, the conflict imaginative. Not deep literature, but a great story.

What made this best for me is actually what it left out. I have read a lot of this style of sifi (invading space aliens etc) and in most of it the author seems more interested in tub thumping about their politics than actually telling a story. Swarm mercifully avoids this. Sure, there are political conflicts and strains, but there is too much serious stuff going on for Larson to bother going into snide asides about how easy it would be to defeat the aliens if it were not for all the liberals and hippies getting in the way, or to go off on some rant about impending global melt down caused by greedy corporate right wingers.

The other pitfall Larson manages to dodge is not getting his ego get caught up in his hero too much. Ok, so the hero is your cliché average guy swept up by events and single handedly saves the world (several times), but he is written well enough that this feels genuine. Often, such a heroic main character just feels like the author is using the hero as an excuse to write about an idealized version of themselves, allowing their ego to explode out all over the page. Again, Swarm mercifully avoids this. – very refreshing.

All in all 3 thumbs up and I hope Larson will turn out a lot more like this.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful

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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.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Unbelievable characters

This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

In my opinion, this is easy listening SciFi. Entertaining if you don't want to invest too much effort.

Would you ever listen to anything by B. V. Larson again?

Not sure.

Any additional comments?

The main character is a computer science major, but his conversations with the machine is just aggravatingly illogical. Also, he takes charge of the whole army of super soldiers, without any military training or background, continues to lose most of his men because he's being an idiot and then doesn't even seem to feel responsible. I profoundly disliked the main character. Lost his family in the first chapter, but that doesn't really seem to faze him much only a few pages on.

21 of 29 people found this review helpful

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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 22 people found this review helpful

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  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 05-29-12

Good

I liked the first book in this series. It was a little rough listening to the detailed description of the deaths of the children and I found the alien ships were fairly one dimensional. points for original story ans characters.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Sorry

This is a really bad book, I like his other books but this one is just bad. Sorry

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

Enjoyable ride with a interesting capable character during the discovery of an Alien species.
The story take the reader on a quick moving ever twisting adventure. The art of fabricating such a carefully woven price of literature is truly enjoyable. The narrator is one I follow and is always up to making the story come along. Great story - just getting started and on my way enjoying a great series!! I loved this book - it has everything!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This series is great. It got me hooked

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

Well thought out

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kyle Riggs

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

He is value added. Once I heard this book, I began to look for other things he has performed. He voice database is remarkable. He voice is soothing. My wife will listen to his voice when we go on trips without complaint.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

It was a good run .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan
  • Charlotte, NC, US
  • 06-02-16

great sci-fi story

this was a book that I didn't expect to like as much as I did. The title can be a little misleading when you think about swarm. However I was thoroughly pleased with this book and can't wait for the next one. Narration was great as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Story took a while to come together

I purchased this book mostly because of the narrator Mark Boyett and he did a great job. The story itself took a while to get me in but the narrator did a great job of keeping it going. Its a bit of fun and light listening and I look forward to where the story can go. The author has opened up a lot of possibilities. I thought it was longer than I expected with a few chapters after the big battles to work into the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-22-17

what a douche bag

This guy is my least favourite sci-fi hero. he hasnt heard of team work or collaboration. BV Larson's female characters in this book were soooooo shallow and stupid like. I have eye sprain from rolling my eyes so much. Someone please tell me men don't actually operate like this because then our species is doomed!

loved the universe created and how this story is going! on to the next book.

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  • Londongirl
  • 05-26-17

Such a shame

Really liked the narrator and the story was well paced. Unfortunately spoiled by very dated storyline and some poor writing. It reads more like 1950s science fiction with very limited imagination. Very big plot holes (no clues where the spaceships come from or why & the science is plain silly) and a shockingly callous & 2 dimensional attitude from the professor lead character. Perving over some conveniently half naked nubile Latino student ten minutes after the violent death of his kids? Really? I would not recommend unless you are really in the mood for truly mindless entertainment.

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  • Derrick Brierley
  • 02-15-17

Amazing story, better performance!

Couldn't stop listening to this, Mark six an amazing job performing this amazingly written book!

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  • Ben Cook
  • 09-18-16

A+

My one complaint. Is that special forces don't act like grunts. Apart from that a fantastic story

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  • Laurie
  • 09-16-16

Not bad

It's not bad, I enjoyed it. Audio did skip at a couple of points though.

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  • Hassan Khan
  • 06-03-16

B V Larson does it again

Would you consider the audio edition of Swarm to be better than the print version?

As is standard practice for a B V Larson series, this book works as a stand alone story whilst also setting up a hunger for the next book in the series.

What did you like best about this story?

The integration of AI and the exploration of interacting with it was well done.

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

Mark Boyett's naration style is easy on the ear and endears the listener to the story and character's even when the accents start to slip a little.

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

They came for our resources, they came for us. Few would survive the trial.

Any additional comments?

Good book, i hope the series maintains the high standard.

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  • dave h
  • 09-24-15

Amazing!

Great book and brilliant narrator! I am downloading the next book right after this review!

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  • se
  • 09-23-15

Took a risk!

What did you like most about Swarm?

Never been a fan of this genre before, however this was different.
I found it hard to guess what was coming next most of the time, which I enjoyed.
Going to try the next book.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Mark Boyett?

Yes

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

No.

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  • Dougan
  • 07-23-15

Not half bad at all

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Easy to listen to enjoyable space tail with plenty twists and turns. Characters and story develops well with well structured story!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Swarm?

On reflection you notice how important the deaths of Rigg's children is to the developing story line

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

10 of the star force books that the invincible corps saga... It's not his best but it builds a solid foundation for the series and it's done very well.

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

The moment Crow managed to take power through his "personality" and despite being an invidious person he develops so powerfully through the the story!

Any additional comments?

It's a great holiday listen and if you like sci-fi it's worth a punt!

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  • lohads
  • 07-03-15

Good story

Good story hope the rest are as good.
Another good book by B. V. Larson 😀