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Steel World

Undying Mercenaries, Book 1
Written by: B. V. Larson
Narrated by: Mark Boyett
Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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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.

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Average Customer Ratings

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

A fun read

A good story and build up to a great series, I cant wait to get all the other chapters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Fun universe. shitty misogyny.

I really wanted to like this story but had to give up after its constant misogyny.

4 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2015-02-09

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 2015-10-16

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.

50 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Don Gilbert
  • 2013-12-05

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.

68 of 82 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • C. Brown
  • 2019-04-16

A 14 year old boy’s idea of a “Real Man”

First, a disclaimer: I finished all 10 books. Probably because Mark Boyett is a fantastic narrator. Make that, Storyteller. I do not think I would have stuck it out as text.
Pros:
Well-written, flows well, story builds on itself, and, like Horatio Hornblower, the protagonist rises in rank and significance over the course of he books.
Many call-backs to earlier stories, well-developed characters (within the functional requirements of the narrative) are distinct from each other. You could probably identify each bit of dialogue without attributions.
Some nice plot twists.
The central speculative hook is revivication of the legionnaires, and it is fairly well developed, though never deeply.
Lots of ripsnortin’, rootin’ tootin’ action!!!
Cons:
Unlike Hornblower, he never matures in the slightest.
The problem with charming rogues is that they are rogues. McGill is a childish, self-absorbed misogynist (I am a centrist straight male) with a bull-in-a-china-shop approach to EVERYTHING, and phenomenal luck (Authorial intent, deus ex machinae) which is supposed to pass for good ol’ boy genius.
He is a Randian superhero: Only he knows what to do. How? Well, he just … y’know … knows. He never listens to anyone; they’d only slow him down. He literally hits on every female he meets, often missing important points in the process. Most of them are his own species. He makes Captain Kirk look grown up. He dozes through briefings with the fate of all humanity at stake, does whatever his amygdala fancies, and it always turns out for the best.
Graves would have been a much better protagonist.
All of the aliens are shallow, funny-looking humans, in terms of personality, intellect, and psychology.
This series panders to the child in each of us who wishes there were no rules, and we could write on the wall using our own feces. Why do I have to wash my hands before dinner anyway? Why can’t I just take what I want? If he weren’t such a terrible example, this would be a children’s series.
This is Peter Pan with sex, violence, and alcohol, and never any consequences.
If you’re looking for science fiction that leaves you thoughtful, this isn’t it. If you’re doing heavy labor all day, and want some background entertainment, well, Mark Boyett makes this a great comic book.
Would I read more by this author? I would test him on another series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 2013-12-16

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.

58 of 73 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Willie
  • 2014-02-25

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BookWorm
  • 2013-12-08

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.

35 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dylan Brown
  • 2018-06-21

slow start but great finish

I initially lost initially interest, but on a road trip got back into the book, and after a few chapters the story really turns on and the book ended up being really entertaining.

5 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
  • Mike Q Saltzgaver
  • 2015-05-26

Best bargain on Kindle or audible.

I've read four books of this series and they're all as least as good as this one.

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
  • Computer Tyme
  • 2013-12-25

Good story and excellent narration

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

Yes I would, and I do not do that often.

What other book might you compare Steel World to and why?

It actually reminds me of "Starship Troopers" by Robert Heinlein.

What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

His narration was VERY well done. He was able to do a number of voices, all quite convincing and easy to listen to. It was so well done that at first I thought it was multiple narrators. I look forward to more books narrated by him.

Any additional comments?

I hope to see more in this series. I'm sure I will enjoy them if they are also done by Mark Boyett.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful