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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but unoriginal and predictable prequel
Andromeda's Fall (2012) is the first of a new trilogy from William Dietz that takes place before his Legion of the Damned series.

I rather liked the book, although perhaps not as much as the first ones in the original series, with Legion of the Damned remaining my all-time favourite from this author. The reason for this is simple, subjective, and perhaps also a...
Published 10 days ago by JPS

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Run of the mill military romp
The reviews and blurb promise a lot but I didn't feel that Andromeda's Fall really delivered. The heroine's personal journey from spoiled socialite to bad-ass soldier is pretty much GI Jane in space -- except all of the action is planet-bound so there's precious little 'space opera' in here.

The cyborg fighting machines are interesting, mind, as are the bad-guy...
Published 8 months ago by Rowena Hoseason


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Run of the mill military romp, 22 April 2014
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
The reviews and blurb promise a lot but I didn't feel that Andromeda's Fall really delivered. The heroine's personal journey from spoiled socialite to bad-ass soldier is pretty much GI Jane in space -- except all of the action is planet-bound so there's precious little 'space opera' in here.

The cyborg fighting machines are interesting, mind, as are the bad-guy synth robots, on a mission to seek out and destroy all those who might possibly oppose the new galactic empress. But none of the characters really developed into multi-faceted people: they just seem to have a role to fulfil to push the plot along from one conflict to the next. And there are plenty of shoot 'em up scenes involving rebels, natives and invading aliens. But why is the military hardware so basic, given that humans have space flight and are struggling against an alien opponent?
The underlying Foreign Legion plot is by the numbers; from boot-camp bullying to an unreasonable number of field promotions with a smattering of military jargon thrown around to make it feel realistic. Myke Cole's Control Point series feel much more credible and have a hard-edged, dry-eyed grit to them. Andromeda sneaks off for a good cry now and then, disobeys orders and develops a crush on a superior officer. She somehow inspires her squad without really demonstrating any leadership qualities, and gets away with making some truly dismal tactical decisions.

Overall, it passed an afternoon on the sofa... but I probably won't bother with the others in this series.
6/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Dietz, with less chutzpah, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned Prequel 1) (Paperback)
The plot is very predictable, albeit easy on the reader. There is , as always, the salvation of the main character brought about by the grizzly noncom pointing out the path to sublimation. Legio Patria Nostra. However, after oh so carefully hiding her talents and her past, an old schoolmate in tears is enough to prompt Andromeda to blow her cover. I would have expected some more depth and complexity in that pivotal decision. I will certainly buy the sequel, thought, as I am hopelessly addicted, and yet, with a caveat: Please don't be afraid to splurge on caffeine, William.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but unoriginal and predictable prequel, 18 Dec 2014
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JPS - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned Prequel 1) (Paperback)
Andromeda's Fall (2012) is the first of a new trilogy from William Dietz that takes place before his Legion of the Damned series.

I rather liked the book, although perhaps not as much as the first ones in the original series, with Legion of the Damned remaining my all-time favourite from this author. The reason for this is simple, subjective, and perhaps also a bit unfair. The first volume had a number of original features. This one, coming in as number nine, has only a few, if any at all. As suggested in the title of this review, it is also quite predictable, unsurprising and, at times, the story may be somewhat hard to believe, meaning that I had to make a (slight) effort to remain engaged, at times.

The unoriginal pieces include the rich-girl – spoiled socialite falling from her pedestal and becoming a hunted fugitive who finds anonymity and asylum of sorts by joining the Legion under an assumed name. I found her single-handed escape exciting, although also rather hard to believe coming from someone that nothing had prepared for such a traumatising shift.

The reason for this is a rather bloody coup that begins with the Emperor’s assassination and his replacement with his over-ambitious, tyrannical and paranoid sister. The coup itself is rather well-told. So are some of its sequels such as the night raid of the mansion of the Carlettos. The Empress’ ruthless purge of just about anyone formally associated with her brother, is harder to believe with some three thousand influential people needing to be assassinated on numerous planets across the far flung Empire through various “accidents”.

The Foreign Legion pieces are perhaps the less original of all, even the action is still enjoyable. The enlisting, basic training cum bullying and first posting are of the kind you can find in numerous half-decent military science fiction books. The Legion’s cyborgs, here T1s (for Trooper 1) are mostly accessory to the story although they are included because our heroin happens to join the 1er REC (a cavalry regiment with the cyborgs being both the vehicles and autonomous armoured combatants in their own right.

Our heroin’s conduct under fire will, of course, be hugely heroic, because her actions happen to succeed although in reality they are quite foolhardy. This, of course, leads to battlefield promotions, especially given the huge – and somewhat incredible - casualty rates that the Legion forces seem to suffer in most engagements. This, however, is interspersed with actions that any organised armed forces would find perfectly unacceptable and unforgiveable, including an attempted desertion. Finally, the somewhat unavoidable piece of romance felt a bit contrived and also hard to believe.

If you are, as another reviewer put it, looking for something to “pass an afternoon on the sofa”, want to read an uncomplicated “shoot’em up” book and happen to like military science fiction, then this one will do the trick. It is not among the very best I have read, not even among this author’s best, but it is good enough and you might enjoy reading it for a few hours, as long as you do not start thinking too much about it. Four stars, mainly because I did liked it and it definitely served its purpose, despite all its limitations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Can't put it down" military s.f. with a difference, 10 Feb 2014
This review is from: Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned Prequel 1) (Paperback)
My life long obsession with science fiction started in the early 60's. Having been utterly blown away by Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" and then later the likes of David Drake's "Hammers Slammers", F. M. Busby's "Star Rebel" trilogy and others I realised that military S.F. really was my thing. "Andromeda's Fall" doesn't disappoint - Lots of action/battle pieces, interesting hardware/weapons/cyborgs and the first female main character I've really felt at ease with! Although I have to say I find Jack McDevitt's Priscilla Hutchens has a bit of a hold over me too! Now I just can't wait to get my hands on "Andromeda's Choice" which follows on where this left off. If you like military S.F. you'll love this!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Proof you CAN make female leads enjoyable!, 27 Jan 2014
I often find when reading that I DREAD the female lead. Why? Because they tend to fall in to one of two categories:

Feels like that character was originally male, then they changed it last minute as a marketing gimmick.
OR
Completely focused on the fact the she's female; either by pointing out how amazing it is that she's doing stuff men do, or by making you constantly aware of how female she is.

Fortunately, this book doesn't really do that. Dietz had the decency to make any reference to her femininity relevant, and doesn't make it seem like a disability like so many others do. So the book has that going for it.

Of course that wouldn't make much of a difference if the rest of the story was terrible. Fortunately, Andromeda's Fall is EXCELLENT. It's got lots of action and sci-fi warfare which is always entertaining. It has characters I actually LIKE which is always a bonus but more importantly, it has characters I HATE (and I am supposed to hate them). I find it is much more difficult to make me truly loathe a character and this book has at least three that I well and truly despise!

In short, I love it and can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

(Full disclosure: I received this free from the publisher to review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not altered by this.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dietz is cool, 17 Feb 2013
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Dietz always fullfills my wish list on military science fiction.

gets the blood flowing and you always want to know what happens next.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Action and Solid Characterisation, 8 Mar 2014
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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If you want cracking action, a huge cast and of course some real kick ass characters to spend time with to get away from the real world, then you really have to give this title by William C Dietz a go. The principle character, whilst it took a while to get to, felt realistic to me, I loved the way she was rounded and how the author managed to make her vulnerable as well as thrusts her into the unknown within this epic storyline.

Add to this good solid pace that gives the readers cracking hard core action and then lulls to recover and absorb what has gone before. Its well written, has some wonderful turns of phrase and when adding into the piece some cracking dialogue all round gives you that real hit of something wonderful.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A silly tale, 25 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned Prequel 1) (Paperback)
I have to admit that I am a virgin with respect to military SF but if this book is typical of the genre, I won't be pursuing it any further. The story is basically a World War II (or even World War I) saga with a few superficial additions(robots, fancy weapons etc) to make it seem somewhat futuristic. The heroine is a pampered member of a "royal family" (lady Catherine Carletto; personally, I would have hoped that the aristocracy would have died out - or been assassinated - well before this saga took place. She escapes from a coup which results in most members of her family being killed and in a very few pages turns from a "princess" into a bloodthirsty soldier, bent on revenge. Most of the book is filled with several tediously described and, in my humble opinion, faintly ridiculous "battle scenes" which could almost have taken place in medieval times. The tale is made even more far fetched by having a romantic component included as Lady Carletto, now known as Cat, falls for one of the lower ranks.

I did manage to read the entire book and perhaps for an officionado of this genre, it is an exciting read. As soon as I had finished it, I took it straight to a local charity shop where I hope they gave it away.
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Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned Prequel 1)
Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned Prequel 1) by William C. Dietz (Paperback - 3 Jan 2014)
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