Any series can get long in the tooth after a while. This one is no exception. Blood World advanced the story but seemed to drag at times. Dark World was on point, fun and quick paced. I read the whole thing in less than two days. It was great. That said, it's not perfect and highlights future concerns more than anything else; Insofar as certain aspects are clearly formulaic which in some respects is both this story's superpower and super-weakness. It's similar to reading a video game where the main character can just "re-spawn" after screwing up. It is my belief this hurts rather than helps at times as it can be a "god in the box" crutch. Death should be avoided, unexpected and absolutely necessary, in this adventure it was. His sacrifice at the space station had meaning, well done. With further regards to character development, I'm glad to see McGill got his rank back. However, at this point in the series, one would think he'd be moving up not the other "less" competent or rather incompetent ones around or above him. He was a King in the last novel, by now you'd think he'd be a general or lieutenant colonel or such but he seems stuck as a captain or it's Roman equivalent. In many respects this is the essence of the problem, it's time for this series to grow and perhaps stopping the "rinse and repeat" aspect that's been successful so far but is beginning to wear a bit thin. That said Death World is like a cupcake sweet satisfying and even mildly nutritious but a diet of cupcakes would be nauseating over time. It's time to go to the "next level" to maintain my video game analogy. The threat needs to be greater, the consequences harsher, the losses more painful and end result more substantial. I'm interested in "the eaters of lotus" thread. I want to see a human stellar empire emerge. I want to know Etta's ok or at least, what's happened. I might even like to see McGill find the "right" girl for him, though I love his strong male independence. I don't want to keep going in circles though. It's time to grow strong, build a navy, control the 300 worlds outright and trim some character fat (i.e. deaths). I like Carlos but he needs to grow or die and the same can be said for a host of other ancillary characters as well. End the Cleaver threat already. I don't so much care what world McGill goes to next, a water world, an ice one, heck an terrain one would be fine as long as there's substantive growth and development. I'd pay double or triple for a novel twice or three times as long that addresses these concerns or needs. Cheers.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series from the beginning. I have noticed that series tend to get stale as they go on and on with successive books. Not so with B.V. Larson's Undying Mercenaries Series. Dark world keeps the story flowing and fresh. Past stories have focused mainly on James McGill and his interactions with lower ranked soldiers. The first half of Dark world takes a new angle and looks at James McGill mainly through his interactions with the upper echelons of Legion Varus. Don't worry, though. If you crave more of McGill's normal interactions, you will get your fix in the second half of the book. Larson's sense of humor comes through repeatedly. While the book isn't comedy, I found myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions. The characters are extremely well developed through the series, even the second level characters. B.V. Larson has once again written a very entertaining story. As long as he keeps writing this series, I plan to keep buying each new addition.
5.0 out of 5 starsAnother great entry in this series
March 18, 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Another great entry in this series! Once again McGill is caught up in the political machinations of his superiors and of course thrown into another meat grinder of a mission along with the rest of Varus legion. As usual, McGill has to pull some crazy stunts to get out of some tight situations. The quality of these stories continue to to be very high and you can't help but want more. The overall story of the Empire and is pushed forward some as there is a surprising reveal. The ending of this one is a bit different as there is somewhat of a cliffhanger. No spoilers, but I really want to know what happens next.
I've been with this series since volume one. I strongly suggest if you're new to them that you do start with the first book to learn the foundation of how Larson's 'World' universe behaves. After then, the books are best if read in order but it's not necessary for you to do so to enjoy them. There's one caveat to that though. Reading the books out of order will introduce some small spoilers.
Weirdly and uniquely to my mind, the key in these books isn't the sci-fi angle but a legalistic one. In that, it's similar to the Daniel Faust series by Schaefer where the hero gets himself out of peril through cleverness rather than heroics.
If I had to characterize the series, I'd call it a lark in space. The hero tends to always find a love interest even in the most unlikely situations such as an alien fort. The way the hero gets himself and all of humanity out of danger always satisfies. By now in V7, each new book is like a reunion between the reader and the well-known characters which comprise the ensemble at the core of each book.
Political machinations galore! Not only do we get some amazing battles, some man on squid action, and get to meet the new enemy, we see good ole James fall and rise once more!
We also get some good death count numbers! Haha.
What’s so amazing is that we have had 9 books and we have a cast of characters that we LOVE!! And now we will get to see them in battles for hopefully at least another 9 book for the Rigel conflict. And then we will have Varus vs ????? Oh yes!!!