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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

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,645
  • 4 Stars
    2,871
  • 3 Stars
    713
  • 2 Stars
    134
  • 1 Stars
    79

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    5,232
  • 4 Stars
    2,079
  • 3 Stars
    416
  • 2 Stars
    59
  • 1 Stars
    34

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,195
  • 4 Stars
    2,588
  • 3 Stars
    790
  • 2 Stars
    149
  • 1 Stars
    101
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

54 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

53 of 68 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It's about as SOFT as Sci-Fi gets

Steel World Overall = C
Story (D+): I was HOPING for another great SciFi novel. What I got instead was a protracted first-person tale of a series of battles against dinosaurs (T-rexs & raptors). I guess it is technically SciFi in the same way that Land of the Lost or something is SciFi, but you could completely remove the spaceships, put it back on Earth, rewind time to the Cretaceous period, and you’d end up with basically the same story by sprinkling in some humans. The only part even remotely worth pondering for a few minutes was the concept of brain “backups” allowing for revival after becoming dino hors d'oeuvres (but the author beats that concept to death, since everybody was getting picked out of T-rex teeth ad infinitum).
Narration (B): pretty solid. Decent variation for voices. Some of the characters were voiced in a bit of a stereotype of military personnel.
I actually had to convince myself to go ahead and finish up with the book. I will NOT be checking out the other ‘Worlds’ in this series.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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.

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.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Undying Mercenaries series.

32 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa
  • Lakebay, WA, United States
  • 01-31-14

I Loved This Book

This is a great new series. I like the characters, the battles, and the believable science. It's a interesting concept, restoring your soldiers back to life after a really tough battle; kind of like virtual battles with feeling. This book is much better than some of his other series. B.V. Larson's writing skill has really developed. Can't wait to read the next one in the series.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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 ;)

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 09-28-17

Uninteresting take on Starship Troopers

I found this audiobook to be quite uninteresting. The protagonist, James McGill (no Saul Goodman has not changed careers to space mercenary) is a 22 year old college student who signs up with a mercenary outfit to make ends meet. Unfortunately, as he is written, he only stands out because the other characters seem to have lost ten IQ points. This makes him an ideal mercenary/spacer becasue everyone else is a bit slow or unreasonable.

The story is, in some ways, similar to Starship Troopers, (even to the drop capsules) which is to be expected given it is miltary SF. But whereas Juan Rico screws up and has a lot to learn, McGill is the opposite. There is no sense of wonder at the alien race and their star carrier. McGill doesn't even seem phased by heading to the stars in a three mile long spaceship.

All in all, I am sorry I wasted a credit on this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • N. Bowler
  • 08-16-17

Written by a child?

Pretty awful. So many preposterous plot elements, it just didn't seem believable or realistic. Whilst it was vaguely listenable in the background, there is so much good sci-fi out there I won't be continuing with the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher
  • 07-06-18

Great Military Sci Fi

Great read/listen! Good story, good narrator. Some action, some sci-fi and a pinch of humour.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-09-18

gripping story great hero

I don't always appreciate the way Mark Boyett characterises women's voices but other than that his laconic tone makes for easy listening. really good story by BV Larson that made me think of starship troopers. interesting play on concepts like Empire, and death.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • 03-04-18

Battle Novel with a great story

This book manages to set up interesting scenarios and slowly introduces a number of important topics to set the narrative. I really enjoyed exploring this side but the battles scenes were also fairly intense and the way the story is told gives a very clear picture of what's going on. I am looking forward to the next few books. Would absolutely recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.