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Steel World (Undying Mercenaries) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 4, 2013
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About the Author
B. V. Larson is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels, many of which have reached the Amazon/Kindle Top 100 bestseller list. Writing in several genres, most of his work is Fantastic in nature, and spans from Military Science Fiction to Epic Fantasy. As a California native, B. V. Larson's stories often take place on sunny beaches and in cities such as Las Vegas. He has three kids living at home and currently teaches college. He writes college textbooks as well as fiction.
For more information check out the author's homepage: BVLarson.com --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
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The "Steel World" of the title is populated by saurian beings, including large T-Rex types, and combat against them is something else again. That alone makes this book worth reading, but the story holds much more to enjoy than just war against dinos. The main character is well fleshed out and is supported by other characters who are interesting enough.
in short, this book is well written and has enough new ideas to make it stand out among all the mil sci-fi. Upon finishing it I immediately purchased the next two in the series.
Seriously, B.V. Larson is one of the most promising, newish, science fiction writers I've seen with books available for Kindle. His ideas have always been great, and his writing is consistently getting better.
I don't know how funny this book was intended to be, but I was constantly laughing. Unlike so many other science fiction writers that are publishing primarily or exclusively on an ebooks platform, Larson can actually write and/or has some good editors. Readers aren't constantly taken out of the world by awkward phrasing, horrible grammar, or bad punctuation. That being said, he's no Neal Stephenson, but to be fair he produces a lot more books. Well, Stephenson now writes fiction tomes, not mere books, so that's not a great comparison.
Hope you read this Mr. Larson and publish the next book soon. Also, seriously get on that clone idea.
I sort of get what Larson was trying for here... with the regeneration tech, and the heavy references to video gaming, the book reads like a first-person shooter where you get to come back after you die over and over to complete your mission. But this really fell flat for me and the basic plot was far too similar to Vaughn Heppner's Assault Troopers from Earth legions being used as mercenary troops down to saurian foes. (I said similar, not the same... so no, I'm not even remotely insinuating that Larson copied the story as these are fairly common scifi themes.)
There were some issues with the way the magical tech worked as well... a person could be backed up, but the back up was vulnerable because it was stored on a chip in the machine when it was in transit, but if a person died nowhere near the machine (or even in com contact with their network) somehow they still remembered dying despite that they were copied from the last known backup. If the machine had realtime backup capability how would it not know if someone had died out of com contact? This inconsistency caused trouble throughout the book.
There were also a surprising number of typos throughout the text... nothing major, but things like omitted words, incorrect words, and incorrect gender applied to main characters at certain points.
The reason this book gets 4 stars from me and not 3 is that this is still a book written by the guy who did Star Force and the Mech series... with all of its flaws it's still a fun bit of escapism and is well written. I'm not sure I'd continue on if this becomes a series, but for someone looking for fun, if somewhat forgettable, adventure this will fill that need.
The weakness in the characters is that the main's fellow humans turn cardboard about the middle of the book. Huge battles of hundreds of men and monsters always end up centering on the main character. He does something to win the day usually all by himself. He ends up being the only one thinking clearly and who really sees what is going on. This, however, makes the plot really roll.
There is a very interesting tech structure. He has some machines and hybrid alien/machine systems that move the story along nicely. The social/military structure is interesting also. I liked it.