The Galactics arrived with their battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell burners, Earth joined a vast empire that spanned the Milky Way. Our only worthwhile trade goods are our infamous mercenary legions, elite troops we sell to the highest alien bidder.
In the fourth book of the series, James McGill is up for promotion. Not everyone is happy about that, and McGill must prove he's worth his stripes. Deployed to a strange, alien planet outside the boundaries of the Galactic Empire, he's caught up in warfare and political intrigue. Earth expands, the Cephalopod Kingdom launches ships to stop us, and a grand conspiracy emerges among the upper ranks of the Hegemony military.
In Machine World McGill faces an entirely new kind of alien life, Galactic prosecution, and thousands of relentless squid troopers. He lives and dies in the falling ashes of the empire, a man of unique honor at the dawn of humanity's resurgence.
Machine World is a military science fiction novel by best-selling author B. V. Larson. (To find the first book in the series, search for Steel World by B. V. Larson.)
At the end of the previous book in this series “Tech world,” we learned that the Cephalopods, or “Squids,” are on the move and the once seemingly all powerful Galactics are nervous. James McGill has been nominated for a promotion, and Imperator Turov has to go on with life looking twenty years younger.
Now, in “Machine World,” the latest book in the continuing saga of the “Undying Mercenaries,” McGill starts off the way he always does by taking matters into his own hand at the risk of the entire human species and the chagrin of his commanding officers; but if you’ve been keeping up on the series know that his moves often save the day.
If you liked the previous three books than you should like this one; if you haven’t read any of the series don’t start here, you should read them in order.
A word about the narrator; since these books are written in first person Mark Boyett is James McGill taking on his persona and bringing the story to life. I don’t know If I would give the story five stars without his influence, he really does a great job.
28 personnes sur 32 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
I had hoped for some development, but its always "same old McGill" in this one. I feel half the lines from other characters about McGill have been heard in previous books. He goes nowhere, and he learns nothing. Nome of the other do either. Its a good time killer, but made me not want to buy the next one..
13 personnes sur 15 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
By now, in book 4 of the series, you well know the routine of James McGill- they way he handles authority, his code of honor and ethics, and his love life. If your still reading the series, then this is all appealing to you.
In my opinion, this book is a fine addition to the series. James, despite the suspension of belief you have to invest in his schemes always working out (to varying degrees) in his favor, is a character I just can't help but like on some level. He is honest, upfront, occasionally brutal and, admittedly, a bit thick at times; but he's got his heart in the right place. He takes things into his own hands and gets things done, and it's just fun to read about his exploits.
This is no great literary work, but it is enjoyable, much like any good episode of "Star Trek". It gets silly or ridiculous at times, but if you can go along with the ride, it does wind up placing a smile on your face as you listen- and you keep listening to hear about how he's going to get everyone out of the next mess.
The severe review I gave of the previous book (Tech World) was mostly due to the fact that I felt the author let James "get out of character" during the story and the result was a lot of (relatively innocent) alien deaths. While he wasn't exactly personally responsible, he was involved enough where it didn't feel true to the character I had been reading about up to that point.
But in this book, things seem to get back on track. Oh, James still plays galactic dice and shoots from the hip A LOT, but his ethics and code of honor seems reinforced in this book. He still does a few shady things, but most of it I can, as a reader, at least understand his reasoning and go along with it for the sake of the story. I may not agree with everything, but like I've said already, it's an enjoyable read.
Of course, Mark Boyett does a fantastic reading performance. It's so easy to forget that you are listening to a single person- each character come alive with their own with with unique voice, cadence, accent and personality expressed by Boyett. When i have to remind myself this is all coming from one person, it really is quite astounding.
8 personnes sur 9 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
The more BV Larson books I listen to the more the characters of Kyle Riggs and McGill seem to be the same person. The big difference between the two is that while Riggs is the leader who uses his mind to manipulate and triumph over his enemies, McGill is stuck as a low man on the totem pole who continually has to fool, and handle his superiors and friends . Unfortunately, this formula becomes harder to believe with each new book. How many times would a superior officer allow a man to lie, be caught out in part of the lie, and remain an active member of the unit?
The action in the story is good but not as engrossing as it was in his previous books. The story is entertaining but hard to believe. At one point in the story an antagonist is thwarted and pops out of the system in a ship and returns the next day with resources and supplies that apparently were just hanging around if his first plan failed.
Mark Boyett does a good job of narration. His character voices allow the listener to easily determine who is who. He emotes scenes well enough to keep your interest in a story that is not totally coming together.
4 personnes sur 5 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
"My mother always told me the best policy was honesty, but I never believed her."
This book really has McGill's personality down pat. He is a scoundrel, a cad, a conniver, a rogue, but he is honest unless it will hurt someone. He is morally grounded even when it hurts himself, and benefits truly bad guys. That's what makes him so likable. He opens his mouth when he shouldn't and gets himself in big trouble, but not only himself, he usually takes the entire human race to the edge of annihilation, If not that, then just his squad or his ship. But he does always come up with a plan. Probably not very probable, but entertaining. If you live and keep winning, or sort of winning, battles, it will seem you are unbelievably lucky, but this is fiction, and some warriors do go home in real life.
The whole premise of this series is the ability to regrow humans after they have died. The computer keeps a DNA recipe, and a backup of everyone's brains--their personalities, abilities, memories. You die in battle and the bios toss some raw material into a revival pod and regrow you a new uninjured body, and program your brain into it, all in just about 4 hours. So you can go fight and die again. There is some reflection on this type of life and how it affects your actions and outlook.
Earth is a vassal state to the Empire, so its soldiers do the Empire's fighting. There is some indication that all is not well in the huge Empire, and some of the colonized or enslaved worlds are trying to take advantage of that. There is a lot of politics in this book, and some underhanded dealing, but that is probably what would really go on.
There is great technology in this series. The battles are engaging. The characters are well-rounded, and individual. Each book takes place on a different planet in a different system with a different type of enemy. Each planet is unique, posing unique challenges requiring new solutions. James McGill is the main character, so he can't get "permed" (permanently dead, not regrown) or the series ends, so of course he is impossibly lucky. But then people still flock to see James Bond and don't complain that he couldn't be that lucky.
Mark Boyett is amazing. He does McGill's country boy cocky attitude perfectly, but then can also do a Japanese accent, a Russian accent, aliens' accents, and the superior officers' voices (I especially like Graves), and women. They are all different, believable and well-maintained. He does the inflections correctly, drawing out the humor perfectly.
Very few females have reviewed this book. It should be generally considered a "guy book", but I happen to love action movies and don't mind being one of the few women in the movie theater when I go with my sons. I loved the other books and this one as well. I can't wait to see the Empire overthrown, and Earth start advancing in the universe.
1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
My big complaint is that it ended too soon.
It's not a perfect book and maybe not even the best in the series, but I still have to give it 5/5. in the end, it was a story I dint want to put down.
1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
The first couple of books in this series were interesting, and moved along well. By the third book, I stopped liking the main character as much. He seemed smug and impossibly lucky. By the 4th book, the author clearly just doesn't care anymore. His story line contradicts itself. The plot dies off half way through the book, and he starts into another plot that makes zero sense. I hate it when a good concept dies like this. When the author is repeating himself and just leaving things out instead of dealing with them (specifically, in one scene, two Officers die, and their bodies are not mentioned in the cover up effort the protagonist has to preform to save mankind) ... This is probably the worst book I've read in 10 years. Don't get the first book, even though it's OK...because eventually you'll be reading this piece of garbage. blech. I do like the narrator, though.
9 personnes sur 13 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
If you could sum up Machine World in three words, what would they be?
Out Damn Standing
What did you like best about this story?
Everything. The action was great. I mean from the fights, let me stress all sorts of fights, to physical brawls, some minor mech warfare, and the same typical character clashes that makes this ongoing series so good. Then you had military drama, back stabbing, alien cockiness, and great old fashion scientific exploration. It has it all. I loved every moment of it. It made me excited. It made me angry. It had me wondering if doom had came. It had me upset it was over. I loved every second of it.
Which scene was your favorite?
So many to chose from. Its a cross between McGill's ability to get in and out of trouble. A cross between the side deals, his so many relationships, and all of the action. What separates this from so many other stories is that there are simply so many moments that can be considered a favorite. I'd have to say my most liked, without ruining it for anyone, was when he was nearly out of all options, and desperation along with luck helped his fate. The sheer fact that things get so hopeless down to the point in which you are checking to see if you are nearing a cliffhanger ending or a sharp end to the series is what makes so many moments so fun and hence favorites.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Any additional comments?
I really enjoyed this story. It was a continuation of the ongoing series and a well done one at that. It fleshed out Carlos a bit more and touched on a few other details. Its a great story about a main character that isn't really a hero but is one, even if not very many others will admit it. What really makes this story so good is that McGill is clearly a top of the line, warrior. But he is always a very quick thinker with a lot of luck. Sure hes no college educated tactician or some military raised seasoned brat. He gets his wits from the guts and grabs your emotions and takes you right along for those tough moments. Those hard decisions and knowing immediate results. It doesn't always work in his favor but its a very nice mix that makes the overall outcomes that much more fun.
If you have heard or read the past stories. I highly recommend you try this.. right now. :)
1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
I have thoroughly enjoyed every book in this series. Mark Boyett's narration was awesome, as usual. Keep them coming, Mr. Larson.
2 personnes sur 3 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente
This series keeps you guessing. Great humor and fast paced. Once you start it's hard to put down