15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2012
This is yet another great story, worthy of the read. If you like "space operas" with advanced technology this is a well done, well told story. The universe is well though out and it really is an enjoyable ride. It's fast paced and well told out. The author doesn't bog you down with needless details or pointless side stories.
But, as with many of these books there are a few problems.
The character development isn't great. Of course it doesn't have to be either. For the most part they're fairly one dimensional and they don't really grow on you. When one of the main supporting characters dies... who cares?
The dialog can be a little hard to follow. It doesn't flow well and who said what, who did what... it gets lost. On more than one occasion I found myself having to go back and re-read a page or two to catch a sudden character change.
I believe this book is self published. There are a number of typo's, misuse of certain forms of words (such as your and you're) and frequently a sentence is badly edited. I would like to point out that these mistakes are far less frequent than in most self-published titles however. Some books are so full of these problems you can't even read them. This one has it's share and it's far more than I'd like to see but it's still better than most.
But my personal pet peeve is the word "whilst" Instead of using the commonly used "while" this author ONLY uses "whilst" While his use of the word is grammatically correct it's so over done as to be annoying. It's a small issue to be sure but it's like the written version of a mosquito buzzing in your ear every time I see it.
But, to sum it up: the shortcomings of this book are fairly minor. Don't expect some great read; this is no classic in the wings... It's a fun book, a decent read and a reasonable way to pass the time and that's good enough.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2012
I came to read Star Crusades after reading the latest novel about the Orion Belt. I loved that story and it got me into the old series of books.
The story revolves around a few people who are thrown together by circumstance and end up working together to save humanity. You grow attached to the main characters, and you know they have a shady past, but it doesn't really matter. The story is fast paced and moves from one place to the next really quickly and will keep most people entertained, however won't be for everyone. Combat is well explained and you get a good picture of what the author wants you to see through some good descriptive work. There is even a point where you fear for the lives of the main characters, however I'm yet to feel that any of them are not likely to make it out of this one alive, but the book keeps you wondering how they will get out of it.
I have a couple of issues :
The physics although not really covered don't seem quiet right, with combat maneuvers being performed as if in atmosphere, so if that isn't your bag of tea this won't be for you, however the weapons physics seem relatively well thought out, often however it seems the process of selecting ammunition for the weapons is over verbose. These are minor issues.
The main problem is the editing, someone needs to run a grammar check on the work before publishing it. All 4 books I've read have cause utter confusion in 3 if not 4 places, when the writer has mistakenly put didn't instead of did, or completely changed three of four words in a sentence so that the meaning is completely obscure until you re-read the section twice to work out what it actually is supposed to say.
There is also contextual mistakes that shouldn't be there for example in one section of legions of Orion (only one that comes straight to mind right now) where they are in 0G and the writer has gone to lengths to explain how they move around and then one of the characters walks out of the room, and then the next is pulling himself along hand over hand. It's galling to pay money for good stories to then notice so many flaws in editing.
The story is engaging, engrossing and enjoyable, and you get behind the main characters.
I hope his next book doesn't keep up with the annoying mistakes, but I still can't wait for it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2012
NOTICE: Product has changed since I bought this book. I have "Star Crusades: Omnibus Edition" which includes all 5 Star Crusades novels. Current Product Page, as of February 18 2012, is "Star Crusades: The First Trilogy (Star Crusades, Books 1-3)". Please note that my review is for the entire 5 book Omnibus edition.
This is a real blood and guts military sci fi story. For those looking for lots of fighting, some intrigue and some science justification for the sci fi then this is a pretty good story. For those looking for a solid supporting plot and characters then you might find this lacking. I liked it but would have preferred some improvements in the plot, setting and characterization. I never anticipated reading a gladiator style military sci fi novel but this is probably as close as it can get. This is the story of Spartan, a pit fighting gladiator, who joins the Confederation Marines under duress. The Confederation is in the initial stages of a terrorist insurrection which the Marines must stop. Inch by gory inch, Spartan fights his way to glory as the insurrection spins out of control.
Accepting that edged weapons (lances, bayonets, knives ...) were an important part of the conflict's weaponry took some time to accept but it was necessary since it is an integral part of the story line. The fighting focuses on close in fighting as being more important to Marines than distance fighting so edged weapons are key and gladiator skills relevant. This leads to some very tough gruesome fighting.
There was consideration given to science necessary to support this futuristic society. Author does a good job creating a cohesive in system space travel technology. Technological details hold up well to my layman's science education and seem plausible to accomplish in the near future with modest technological advances. Travel between systems is not elaborated on for most of the novel but is assumed to be practical. Biomedical advances do not have much supporting science. Overall, I thought that the author did a good job of trying to support technological basis.
Plot was mostly geared to having justification for one marine assault after another. Overall plot dragged for most of novel then rushed to a conclusion. In general, I had trouble accepting some of the basic plot and setting building elements. I will review more fully in spoilers section.
There were regular, but not frequent, editing issues which were primarily spellcheck errors (real words but not the right word for the context). Star Crusades Omnibus Edition (all 5 novels) is 23,526 Kindle locations long. Standard length novels seem to run in the 4,500 to 7,000 plus Kindle location range. Books in Jack Campbell's first Lost Fleet series were approximately 5,000 Kindle locations.
* * * S P O I L E R S * * *
There were too many plot/setting elements and characterizations that were difficult to accept. Armed Forces must have consisted of almost 50% infiltrators. Why do you need a war when you control half of the military? Plot was kept going too many times by the unexpected traitor turning up to offset Confederation gains. Plot was kept going too many times by the Union having unexpected technology or assets to offset Confederation gains. I could not accept that the Union forces, an underground enemy, is decades ahead in R&D when they should have less resources than the Confederation. This is credited to the Core in the story but it still just did not hold together for me. Late in the book, I was convinced that it was not possible to have resolution for all plot elements and that basis was being set for another series to resolve second half of war (home system part of war); instead ending rushed to a final conclusion in the last few chapters. Conclusion felt like: Found the Core, Killed the Core, Game over. After all of the plot contrivances, I expected more time on battling enemy once nature and identity of enemy was finally clear. On the characterization side, Marcus is an important supporting character but has flimsy justification for turning on Spartan over xenophobia but then turning back to Spartan over Confederation loyalty. Mikasi's characterization was overdone for my tastes. Mikasi's role as the spurned lover who has no morals and will do anything to pay back any slight is a stretch but that no one notices this until too late is too much of a stretch. Military discipline was implausible. Open fraternization between officers and enlisted within the chain of command is not plausible. Top Brass' token punishment of blatant insubordination rather than stronger punishment is not plausible even if appreciative of outcome.
* * * E N D .. S P O I L E R S * * *
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2013
Star Crusades Uprising was a surprisingly good read and a story that has plenty of action, blood...etc. Sure it is another universal war of attrition where the heroes are indefatigably great with swags of honor, love and ever present action. The story ebbs and flows though out a galaxy that is sure to fall to the evil that is-this time round-religion. It may be a bit clique but I loved it. The heroes, Spartan and Terese, are of course an item forever frustrated by the fate of the war they are engaged in.
It would have gotten a five star rating but for my pet peeves; spelling and syntax. What is it about ebooks that publishers believe this audience will just suck it up and gloss over the typos and context irregularities. I will probably get a serve from the author, who will point to costs etc for struggling ebook writers but this ebook was a direct take off traditional printing and you can bet it does not suffer from this text blight.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2012
I thought the plot was great and kept my attention through the trilogy. But after continuously stumbling through incorrect spelling and grammatical pits in the road (storyline), I can only surmise that the author was adding an additional twist targeting the social de-evolution of language in the outer regions of space known as the Centauri Confederacy. I have picked up the second trilogee to rede and should zoom rite thru given an understanding at Centauri linguistics.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2013
Even if you can struggle your way past the poor spelling, poor grammar, poor structure and obvious lack of editing, the series is just a mass of bad stereotypes. I know nothing about the main character Spartan (who only has one name cause that makes him cooler!), and I honestly dont care much about him. He does everything in a 'superhuman' way (the author's favorite adjective), and seems like a secondary character out of a 1980s Arnie movie. No depth, no character development, no subtlety.
Its too bad, because there are flashes of clever in the plotting, only now and then, but they are covered by the badness of it all. The author could be quite a good author someday, if he took a few writing, character, and plotting courses, and hired an editor. Until then, dont waste your money.
19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2013
First military sci-fi that I could not finish. It's not about the proofreading, it's about the writing and the science.
Throughout the entire book you have no idea who the bad guys are, what their motives are, or how they managed to create this gigantic crisis. Then, unexplainably, mutated super strong human soldiers come out of nowhere and start ripping people apart with their bare hands...it's obvious they're created by humans but no attempt to explain how this is done without the government's knowledge. They just show up in the 10's of thousands as supersoldiers that somehow think and respond to commands but also have no care for their own safety.
Right. Then there's the question of space combat...which in this book is described as akin to ancient galleys from the spanish armada lining up next to each other and launching broadside cannon barrages. This makes absolutely no sense in space, especially in a world where artificial gravity has been discovered. The writing is redundant and sometimes goes in circles to the point that you feel like you are reading the same paragraph over and over again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
I've only read the first three books in this series and it does show potential. The first of the three (Titan) was the one I actually foudn the most errors in though this maybe different now. Even so, the stories are thrilling and if you can forgive the odd typo I'm sure you'll enjoy the adventures of Spartan and his feisty partner!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2013
This book is yet another example of what I find all too often on the Kindle. What is it about this format that leads to such atrocious grammar, spelling, and punctuation? This one has a fairly interesting story line behind it, but aside from the mildly amateurish writing style, which is, at least in my opinion, acceptable (as if I could do any better!), it is so poorly proofread as to be nearly unreadable. All too common on the Kindle. I don't mean to single out this author, but more and more often lately I've been finding myself abandoning books like this a quarter of the way through, frustrated with constantly needing to discern whether the word 'their' is supposed to be 'they're' or 'there'. C'mon! at least re-read it yourself prior to release.
Now on to what I find to be issue #2 - this is a science fiction book. I get that it's fiction, but shouldn't the science be at least plausible? Science fiction readers who grew up on Verne, Heinlein, "Doc" Smith, Azimov, et al., understand the basic principles (in my case, very basic) of the relationship between mass and gravity. We have at least a casual acquaintance with the inverse square idea of its propagation. If you feel a need to ignore basic principles of physics, at least offer some explanation of why; different universe, alternate reality, etc.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2012
I read this volume, the second trilogy, and the sequel.
The series is an addiction for me I am ashamed to admit. It is not great literature.
Every page is a battle scene, character development is almost cartoonish, the underlying science is almost totally ignored, and it is full of spelling errors. However, plot development is excellent, the flow sweeps the reader along. When putting the book down for the day you are eager for the next reading opportunity.
I wish the publisher used a decent proof reader. Errors like " foot " instead of " fit " indicate no live proof reader, or one who is skimming the material. Every few pages there seems to be an error.
For me, this is an unusually enjoyable series.