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5.0 out of 5 starsEasy reading, good reading
Reviewed in Canada on December 18, 2014
It's got a lot of action, surprises, happenings. Will definitely read more of the series..
Larson has created a terrifying villain; it's a pity he doesn't realize this. The protagonist of this book (and he's the only character aside from one that isn't a cardboard cutout) does not behave like a human being.
If you want to sit through a book length power fantasy and imagine that you're smarter and wiser than literally everyone else in the world you'll have plenty of fun. Otherwise, find something with more depth than a puddle.
3.0 out of 5 starsIts OK but could do with more character development and tighter writing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2014
This is an OK book with a reasonably entertaining story, however there is something about the style of writing which seems almost child-like in its naivety which I found a bit off-putting and stops me rating the book highly. Literature is very subjective and others may well not share my criticisms, but for me the characters have not been sufficiently developed and seem very one dimensional. The fighting scenes are similarly shallow and distant, somewhat more like watching a computer game , than real people battling for their lives. At under £2 for the kindle version, I cannot say I have wasted my money as it was distracting enough for me to finish the book.
4.0 out of 5 starsHighly recommended - military sci-fi
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2011
While feeling in the mood for a new sci-fi read on my Kindle I came across this, surprisingly good read. The reason I say surprisingly, is typically I wouldn't impulse buy. A few of the already posted reviews, provided the extra push to purchase this e-book and I'm very glad I did.
*Minor story spoilers*
The book is a sci-fi action book, focusing on a ongoing battle between 'Biotics' (gooey, flesh bags like me and you) and the 'Macros.' While it may sound like your fairly standard affair, there are some interesting takes on the genre with the inclusion of the 'Nanos' - 'Sort of friendly(debatable)' defenders of biotics. The Nanos come to earth, and their first task is to recruit command personnel to command...well them, to ultimately provide a defence against the 'Macros'.
It sounds complicated, but its really demonstrated & presented in a very straight forward understandable way. The whole book is easy to read and it has that 'Just one more chapter' effect in some parts. After finishing it I promptly purchased the next 2 books in the series, and I'm looking forward to the 4th.
A couple of criticisms that have made me give this a 4, instead of a 5 - There is something of a lack of explanation for various things that occur which is a flaw present throughout all the books so far. (e.g. By the end of book 3, we still only really know a relatively small amount of info about the Macros.)
Also some of the character emotions/responses to events around them are almost a bit stilted. Without giving too much away, the main character, Kyle Riggs, ultimately seems rather detached after a rather personal traumatic event happens early on in the first book. There are some brief mentions of this event further on in the books, while it's possible it can be argued, Kyle Riggs is being swept along by events beyond his control there is just some emotional oomph missing.
Also the character of Sandra, while changing slightly in the 3rd book, remains a 'sexy-pouty-crazy-angry' lady throughout. I wouldn't say this is neccesarily a bad thing but her presence can on occasion grate a little.
Overall I'd highly recommend this book to those looking for military sci-fi fix.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2014
Fast paced, well written and well constructed. I did not like it as much as Steel World but if you liked that you will enjoy this.
The most interesting aspect is Larson's view of flying saucers and why they abduct people. They are basically composed of nano-machines (Nanos) seeking a control unit (sentient being) to aid them in their fight against another machine race, the Macros. Earth is invaded and the motley group of survivors who survive the very harsh selection methods find themselves in the front line against the invading Macros.
I have no wish to spoil the story for new readers but Larson has several unexpected twists up his sleeves and offers a lot of new ideas regarding alien invasion of Earth. This has, unfortunately, been done to death by film makers over the past few years. Good action sf with some novel ideas. Highly recommended.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2014
I loved the whole series which at the moment consists of 9 books. I read them all in 2 weeks. The author brings a fresh approach and avoids the tired cliches so many others fall prey to, and doesn't get overly bogged down into the nitty gritty of his technological "inventions", yet manages to explore the human flaw in great detail. Give us more power than our neighbour, with very little chance of retribution, and watch our evil streak really take off. The action is fast, plausible, and keeps you yearning for more. Because of the nature of the alien he creates, and the technology that comes with it, you're only limited by the imagination of the author which really isn't lacking. The characters are all flawed in various ways, and by the end, I even found myself disliking our protagonist due to his arrogance, even if he did mean well. That is intended as a compliment to the author, because in many books of this genre, the characters are all either 100% good or 100% evil, whereas Larson goes for 95%-5%, and the 5% imperfection is where the beauty lies. All in all, this is the best sci-fi book I've read in years, not since Iain M Banks and his culture novels have I looked forward to a new release from an author this much.
I'd been thinking of buying this for a while. Ever since I'd read Vaughn Heppner's Doom Star series and realised Sci-Fi and military warfare in space etc went very well together. The start of this book wasn't like I expected due to some of the other reviews I've read to date. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the manipulation of the ships, the change in relationships between the command personnel and the ships and then the ever changing types of Macros the soldiers came up against. Good ideas throughout the book and I'm now half way through book 2. These are very easy books to read, descriptive but not overly so.