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Armor Mass Market Paperback – December 4, 1984

487 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Gripping, forceful and compelling....a tour-de-force. --Kliatt --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

JOHN STEAKLEY has written four short stories, three films, and two novels, including Vampires, which was the basis for a John Carpenter film. Besides being a writer, he has been a stock-car racer, a semipro football player, a private detective, an actor, and a car salesman. He lives in McKinney, Texas. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; First Editiion edition (December 4, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886773687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886773687
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (487 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 126 people found the following review helpful By EV on May 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of the two dozen or so sci-fi titles I've read over the last two years (while enjoying the longest advanced training the Army offers) John Steakly's Armor has been certainly my favorite. At first I expected the book to be a meld of Starship Troopers and The Forever War, but the introduction of Steakly's second major character, Jack Crow, turned the story completely around -- and into a tale that transcends its dystopian future setting.

As a reader you may be at first a little confused about the change of perspective in Armor. Half of the novel is written in the third person following the story of Felix, our power-armored soldier, and the other half is told by space adventurer/pirate/prisoner Jack Crow in the first person. This element is essential to understanding the story, and is reconciled later on as we learn more about Felix's story. So give it a chance even if you're at first put off by the shift in perspective.

As many other reviewers have mentioned, the combat sequences in Armor are indeed exceptional. As Felix flung himself into combat against his alien foes there was no way for me to remain outside the battle. Steakly believingly portrays brutal hand-to-hand combat through the eyes of a frantic soldier as he loses himself in the struggle to survive a terrible war on a bleak world.

If you're a science fiction fan or military fiction fan, you can't afford to pass up Armor. It's one of those few stories that pick you up and take you along an exciting 400-page ride, but still leaves you with a simple moral at the end.
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131 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on May 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Armor is, I believe, my favorite science fiction novel ever. It follows to basic plotlines -- one is the story of a desperate soldier fighting an impossible war, the other from the point of view of an ex-pirate escaped from prison who joined up with the wrong crew. The two plots do intertwine, but the plots aren't the appeal of this novel.
The author's writing style is unique. On the battlefield, you get that feeling which is rarely accurately conveyed in words, the feeling of the rush, the confusion, the horror of combat (I've never been in a combat situation, but I like to pretend I can imagine what it is like). But it's more than that. Steakley questions the whole purpose of the war, the necessity and the making of heroes, and the humanity and desperation of the soldiers.
When you get to the the pirate's section, it switches over to a first person POV, but instead of using one of the usual first person styles (either normal third person with the word 'I' substited in a lot, or subtance-less with a lot of jokes,) you really get into the head of the character, into what makes him tick, and it's really a fantastic experience.
And even with all the fantastic points necessarily made, this book never lets up. There's nary a boring or dull moment, there are the obligatory plot-twists, action sequences, etc..
This is simply a must read novel.
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107 of 120 people found the following review helpful By OK on July 6, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
after reading many of the reviews it's clear to me that there are two types of people in the world. people who assume their own plot and expect the author to fulfill it and people who assume nothing and are ready to be fulfilled by the author's plot.
now i also now that armor is not a book for everybody. i've read it a number of times in my life. for the first time when i was in my early teens and as recently as a few years ago. armor is NOT about the social structures of the ant-like enemy. armor is not about the political or quasi-nationalistic motivations of the ant-like enemy. armor is not about the science of it's fiction. armor does not care how intersteller warfare is possible. it's assumed. armor does not care about the astro-physics of planetary behavior. armor does not concern itself with the mechanical genius of the full body killing machines.
it is because armor doesn't concern itself with the typical science of fiction that we are directed to what it is about: the survival of the human survival instinct. Armor is about the intense impact of fear, pain, death, and lonliness on the human psyche. armor is about the humility of realizing the depth of another's suffering. about knowing that you wouldn't have been able to survive.
armor is a subtly compassionate novel that explores human suffering like no other piece of fiction i know. it's english is not perfect. but the style is perfect for the story. the battle scence are graphic. the characters are rough. but once again they are true to the story.
science fiction provdes only a convienient setting. it could be vietnam or it could WWI. steakley uses sci-fi to focus in on what the story is really about. humans. not ants. humans.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Conrad B. Senior on April 22, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like Steakley's writing. This is his best book and one of my all time favorite books. It is about the armor people place around their souls and the armor they wear in battle.
Felix is a man who has lost his will to live. He knows he is going to die, but has a core "Engine" inside of him that refuses to give up. The "Engine" is Felix's armor against the world and gives him the ability to function in battle better than anyone else.
Felix begins his military life as a rookie in an assault drop on an alien race and he is the sole survivor. Because of a computer glitch which assumed all of his group were killed, he gets dropped again and again into horrific battle, instead of getting rotated out for R&R.
The "Engine" inside of Felix fights on. He is the sole survivor many times. As the faces around him keep changing, he becomes the experienced survivor, admired by most, more and more of a loner, and finally begins to lose the ability to call on his Engine to survive.
Halfway through the book, the plot changes completely to a science station on a far off planet and a new character Jack Crow, nearly as tough as Felix, who teams with a brilliant scientist in replaying the recorder in Felix's battle armor. Immersed in the horror, they pray for Felix's death to end the horror they are playing back.
The book ends with the reader wanting more. Since there is no part II, you will find yourself rereading this book and picking up more detail and enjoying the subtle development of the book.
Outstanding book. Buy two in case someone borrows it and keeps it. Better yet, buy three and give a copy or two to you best friends.
One of the best and most engaging books you will ever read.
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