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3.5 out of 5 stars35
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 January 2008
Why, I wonder does Kevin Anderson build a whole plot-line for some characters then kill them off seemingly at random? In this volume of the SofSS, he does it several times. The death of the character(s) becomes a frustration instead a tragedy, leaving the reader confused and wondering "What was the point of that thread ever starting?". It's like deciding characters will say "We have a great idea, we'll go and do this!" followed by "And at that moment a Piano fell on them all.". Why bother with stating the existence of the idea? It did nothing.

For me, this complaint sums up what is wrong with the entire book. Hopes are simply dashed repeatedly, to the extent that by the halfway mark, we know that any character who is doing something that could rescue someone, advance the fight or solve a problem is going to die before they actually get a chance to act. What's the point of reading the build-up when our minds are cynically predicting disaster already?

Oh dear. I do hope the final 900 chapters (sarcasm now, you see how upset I am?) have a point when they're published. I'll buy the book, because I need to have an ending. I'll be battling to keep an open mind while the plot re-convinces me that hopes are not always dashed in the Saga.
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on 25 September 2007
Whilst I am still enjoying the series as a whole, this is clearly the weakest book so far. Chapters that are, at most, 4 or 5 pages long, and totally unbelievable characters, mean you don't get any sense of depth that you might find (and desire) in other space operas, for example in Peter Hamilton's Nightsdawn trilogy. I do enjoy it when main characters die in their droves, though. :)

In addition to more obvious overlooks being made to further the plot (e.g. Confederation being able to manufacture a navy in about 2 pages, unlike the Hansa, and why couldn't the Hydrogues have destroyed Earth already?!), the distinctions between good and evil are also far too black and white for my liking when there are this many players: it's clear that the Verdani, Wentals and Confederation are the Good Guys, whilst Hydrogues, Klikiss robots and Basil Wenceslas are the Bad Guys and they're going to ultimately lose. Only the Faeros and returned Klikiss keep you guessing, and hence they are really the only things that keep you turning the pages.

Hopefully the next (and final?) book will have a satisfying plot that makes you care about what's going on again, it would be a shame if the series carried on like this.
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on 2 October 2007
What started out as a fun and slightly original series has driven itself into the gound with silly plotlines and poor or unbelievable character development.

To be honest, I have thrown this book on the floor a few times in disgust and only finished it today as I was sick and it was all I had to read.

I don't mind intelligent killing of characters in a book, but Anderson's execution of everyone with a mindblowing overly powerful enemy is typical of authors who can't create a decent plot line. Rushah is stupidly annoying and Basil Wencelas is pretty much the same. Rushah could've been a great character and Basil should've been.

This book feels like the Days of Our Lives goes to space, where the bad guys are dastardly and the good are sickeningly sweet and the airlock should've been used to eject the entire cast into the cold clutches of space.
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Having had a very satisfying read of the series to date I was wondering how Kevin would continue the series after the fifth book appeared to tie up all the loose ends. Alas I ended up regretting ever picking up this novel as it seemed half hearted with idea's and concepts that really didn't appear to be very well thought out. Add to that the very short time span involved in the tale plus the author deciding to kill characters off for no reason other than shock value and you pretty much have my opinion sewn up. Kevin has written better and I sincerely hope that the next book improves.
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on 28 November 2007
After the first five books Ive got to say I was pretty bored of this series,but as im such a sucker i found myself buying yet another book,this time Ive promised myself that i will not give Kevin any more of my hard earned cash (although i will probably end up buying the next ones second hand,just for something to read you understand)this has got to be the worst book by far.I can only take so much of sooooo powerful beings ,and characters that are so good you want to puke, please please hurry up and finish this series so I never have to read any more
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on 30 November 2007
To get the best out of this novel you should read the previous volumes of the saga first. Nevertheless, the author does provide a quick catch up on the plot so far and the history of the main characters. This is not, and presumably was never intended to be, a saga that stretches the mind. There are no deep or challenging ideas. Yet it is an enjoyable relaxing read. In science fiction there is a place for stories like this just as in mainstream fiction westerns (cowboys, etc.) may juxtapose with the perceptive writing of Jane Austen.
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on 26 March 2010
This is the 6th in a series of 7 books. It is the most engaging and imaginative science fiction I have ever read, and I have been an SF devotee for 50 years. Three of us have been reading the series and we all agree, you cannot put each book down once started. For serious readers of future off-world fiction, do start at book 1, its essential. Each book builds upon the previous while introducing utterly unexpected plot and character development. Characters are realistic and multi-faceted, painted in detail by the author who cleverly interweaves their tales. The book takes the reader into the heart of several complex alien cultures: by book 6, seven exotic races have been introduced, both allied and opposing humans, plus 3 methods of inter-stellar travel. Humans themselves have colonised many planets, each with their own culture and suffered a major schism with the space-travelling Roamer clans. If you like good SF, as opposed to simplistic stuff where the hero always wins, then this series is a "must-read".Metal Swarm (Saga of Seven Suns 6)
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on 31 May 2011
Judging from the comments in the one and two star categories makes me wonder if I have read the same book. In answer to some of the reviewers comments about building up to a character only for them to be "killed off." Point one I am finally glad that an author has the bravery to do such a thing, it makes it more interesting than to have the same old character hero do the unbelievable things and beat the insurmountable odds or challenges. There is this thing called life and the notion doesn't always happen this way, reminiscent of Frank Herberts work Dune. Secondly without giving too much away who says they have been killed off if you read attentively you will find KJA doesn't like to be tied down by the word death which gives scope for revelation in the 7th book (I just hope I am right about this).

Admittedly I would have changed certain things in the story line (eg the Cain, Wenceslas and Sarein charade could have been made more darker and sinister) and this book feels a little on the lightweighted side for things happening when comparing it to book five. However I will still read through to the end and I haven't regretted reading the six of the seven Sagas. But it is still fast paced enough to keep you entertained, and last minute twists and turns and loops towards the end of the book will keep you reading and then running to the store to pick up book seven.

All in all 4/5 because: a) I like it and b) I think it is a good book, not the best but nowhere near the bottom of the barrel either.
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on 9 August 2008
Why not write a series of books and stretch the story to breaking point. Another book with cliched characters and no imagination whatsoever. The first book wasn't that imaginative; by the third book it had died a death. If you have got this far then Mr Anderson thanks you for his second mansion in Florida and his top of the range luxury yatch.

BTW, alien creatures that live in suns? WTF?
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VINE VOICEon 4 July 2007
Metal Swarm is the penultimate volume of Kevin J. Anderson's vast Saga of Seven Suns series, and it is not a disappointment.

But it is hardly fantastic, either. It is easily the most action-packed of the volumes so far, but I found the story to be somewhat plodding in comparison to earlier books. Indeed, some earlier volumes covered the same amount of story in a third of the length.

My main concern was that this novel just didn't contain many surprises; it was fairly linear and predictable, and while good books can make me surprised by characters I thought I knew well, this book takes what I would term the "safe" approach. I also thought the cliffhanger ending was actually less dramatic than that of most of the previous books, which is odd considering that it is book 6 of 7. And lastly, I really hope that the hydrogues haven't just been fobbed off now to be replaced by the Klikiss. I think that would be a waste.

In any case, followers of the series should enjoy this, but I felt a bit as if Anderson was simply biding his time, playing the safe game, in order to set up the final book, The Ashes of Worlds. I'm looking forward to that one, but perhaps not as much as I might have been if Anderson had been a bit more adventurous with this volume and taken some risks.
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