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  • Armor
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars198
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 May 1997
This book has been a favorite of mine since it first came out. It is one of only three books that I own that I have read three times the other two being "Fevre Dream" by George RR Martin and "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa. Each time it remains just as powerful. The Characters are second only to those in Dan Simmons "Hyperion" for their ability to draw you in and make you care what happens to them. This novel blew me away when I read it . All my friends love it and we all wonder " When is there going to be more from this peerless author ? " and " How can anyone be this good on his first novel ?" Is it possible he is some other established author using an assumed name ? We think not.This book, although it shares it's genre with other outstanding books, most notably Hienlien's "Starship Troopers", is still too much it's own style to attribute to any other author. Those wishing to read more character driven books in this genre are urged to check out the "Dorsai" books and most especially Mr. Yoshikawa's incomparable "Musashi". I know it's historical fiction but it reads almost like a super hero book . And it's based on fact. Hows that for realism?
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on 21 November 1998
The thing that struck me, reading the other reviews of this book, was how much they focused on Felix's combat and the horrors of war. While an important and exciting part of the storyline, I considered the reaction of Jack Crow and Hollis Ware to their discovery of Felix's black scout suit the core of the story. Steakley' decision to make the powered armor an actual character in the storyline was, I thought, an intersting twist. Combined with the vicious scenes of combat on the planet Banshee, the story takes on a sense of impending doom, denying the reader even the solace of knowing Felix's final fate.
The reason I gave it four stars instead of five concerns the Jack Crow sections (of course). I felt that this character's sole purpose was to tell the story of Hollis Ware. Crow exhibited very little character to begin with, and recieved minimal amounts of character development towards the end, winding up as little more than a pair of eyes and a voice from which to tell the story.
In a nutshell: Armor is a story of the darker side of interstellar war, a sort of "Saving Private Ryan" to Heinlein's "Red Badge of Courage." Read them both.
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on 10 June 1997
This book is in my top 5 of well over 500 Sci-Fi/Fantasy books I have read. This book is an original book with a great idea behind it. Read the book and you too will be caught up in the action and sub plots. Not at all like the formula books so often found in "classic" authors. This is a real gem.

The star of the book is put in a horrible situation where he is told to fight. Similar to vietnam the soldier does not really know why he is there fighting a pointless battle with very little good intelligence information. The author allowes the reader to enter this world and to understand the mental struggles the star must go through.

As with nearly every book the star has some physical attributes that are above average. This allowes him to survive when the odds are against him. Still, the author makes everything very real.

If you enjoy realistic ideas and writing combined with a good plot and sub plots you will enjoy this book. I would suggest it to anyone who has an imagination and a willingness to enter the author's view of a possible future. Read every page, or you'll miss the sub plots that put this in my top 5.
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on 10 October 1998
"THIS BOOK IS UNBELIEVABLE!" That was all I could think as I read this book. And to call it a book is undermining...It is an EXPERIENCE. I was completely astounded by the fact that it described, in words, those human emotions and feelings that no words can possibly describe. While this book is one of the greatest I have ever read, it still has a few "downsides" (for a lack of better wording) to it. While the Jack Crow sections were pretty cool, you, as the reader, are immediately thrown into his section without any warning after page 84 in the revision edition. And besides that, the sections on Jack Crow are much longer than the section on Felix. Nonetheless, it is extremely cool when Jack Crow finally comes to understand the world of Felix. What was the deal with the Archon thing though? What was the importance? (If anyone understood this, please e-mail me!!!) This EXPERIENCE must be allowed to take place for many people out there, if not EVERYONE!!! READ THIS PSEUDO-BOOK AND UNDERGO A COMPLETE EXPERIENCE WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF 500 PAGES AND BLACK INK!!!
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on 17 May 1997
I used to think that Armor was a good book that only I and about 5 other people in the country knew about. After reading the many rave reviews of it, I am beginning to see that I was mistaken. There are enough reviews that if anyone outside of Amazon employees read this, I will be surprised. Nevertheless, I tenaciously have decided to contribute my 2 cents. Armor is at first a very superficial book, seemingly only a collection of stories about one man who becomes almost schitzophrenic in his fight with aliens. My initial reaction (as was with almost everyone else who read the book) was to compare it to Starship Troopers. But their similarities are solely in the fact that they are about people in large war suits fighting aliens. Armor is like a Starship Troopers without the politics or emphasis on what military life is like. Now, if you have not yet read either Armor or Starship Troopers, then go out and read both of them. They are both great, and it is a travesty if you ignore them. So go out and read them!
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on 26 April 1997
I bought this book in 1984 for two reasons: (1) I was young, and it had a good dollar-to-page ratio (the more pages per dollar, the better for a 14 year old scrapping for pennies) and (2) it had the cheesiest cover I've ever seen. Imagine my shock at the gem within... The title of the book is lost on most readers, because (my feeling is that) it refers to the internal armor that people put on in order to deal with their own tragedies... not your basic plasteel war-suit.
I loved this book so much that I read it again immediately after I finished. Mr. Steakley's alternation between Crow and Felix challenges your allegiance to the current story line, and puts the pressure on the author to keep raising the bar with each switch... which he pulls off admirably. The printing of Vampire$ in 1990 freaked me out, and I'm still trying to figure out what it means. Anyway, Armor is my second favorite book of all time, second only to "Use of Weapons" by Iain M. Banks.
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on 24 April 1997
....AS A SPECIAL FORCES VET....

i have seen, felt, and been subject to the horrible reality of war and it's extremes and the extremes it puts on you.... i believe that was the author's idea in writing this book....to show the absolutes in full color.... he provided a military full of politics ...
and bureacratic screw ups...a man with a mind, emotions and unbelieveable life paradox of ....and provided a vehicle to have the man and the military have for a enemy.... just props to show to the world the real absotutes of war.... and the paradoxes it makes in governments...and lives....

he made it so simple and you want thrills and chills...goto see STAR WARS TRILOGY that has all the bells and whistles you need...chock full of fantasy and unreal subject matter on future and war.... full of selfless action dudes with witty remarks on cue...wanna get the feeling of what Vietnam was like...and you are a sci-fi buff..
take it from me...i was there... this is it...
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on 24 February 1999
this is a unforgetable tale of a man namd felix. it starts off with a page turning being and and very elaborate battles with ants the back of the book explains it so here it is."The planet was called simply A-9. The air was unbreathable,the water poisonous. But it had to be conquered, for it was the home world of the most implacable enemies that cosmically expanding humanity had yet encountered. body armor had been devisedfor the commando forces that were to be dropped on A-9-the cumination of ten thousand years of the armors craft. A man in that armor would be stronger than a 20th century tank force. But the enemy had a weapon that was its equal-sheer murderous mass attack by a horde of thousands of antlike almost unkillable beings. But there is more to war than battle-there is allways the question of the human being within the armor.And in this unforgettable tale of such a man." well if that has not gotten you the real book will.
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on 20 June 1997
You could compare this book to Sarship Troopers by Heinlein, the master, but this is a book for action fans. If you want a thinking type sci-fi book go somewhere else. This book is a stripped down power machine. The plot is the action and the action is the plot. The charachter development is sparce but it is enough because again , this book is about action. The book draws you in because the theme is very simple you fight or you die. The action is intense but mostly believeable. Fans of action wont be disapointed. For hidden political commentary read something else. This story is so engrossing because he is in a situation that all of us millitatry serving age people could very easily be drawn into without warning. I thought I was the only one who liked this book. It is an instant classsic.If you like action read this, if you don't read Starship Troopers again. Mr. Steakley please write us another one. This is the best action-science fiction book ever written.
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on 12 June 1997
Armor is the most heartbreaking and beautiful novels I have ever read. I can read the novel over and over and each time I'm through, I still walk away depressed. Not because it has a bad ending mind you, mostly because I'm just physically exhausted from all the emotions I suffered through while reading it. It is so wonderful and horrific all at the same time. The main characters..Felix and Jack Crow are so complex and troubled.. and it kills my heart everytime I read it. I find myself wanting to beg and plead that everything work out for them, that the nightmare end. Steakley has written only two books to my knowledge (the other one being Vampire$), and I find myself wondering what has happened to him. Both books were equally tragic, though Armor was my favorite, and they both touched my heart in a way no other thing in this world has. What has become of Mr. Steakley? His books are like a glimpse into the human soul and I want, I need more.
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