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4.2 out of 5 stars94
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 December 2011
While feeling in the mood for a new sci-fi read on my Kindle I came across this, surprisingly good read. The reason I say surprisingly, is typically I wouldn't impulse buy. A few of the already posted reviews, provided the extra push to purchase this e-book and I'm very glad I did.

*Minor story spoilers*

The book is a sci-fi action book, focusing on a ongoing battle between 'Biotics' (gooey, flesh bags like me and you) and the 'Macros.' While it may sound like your fairly standard affair, there are some interesting takes on the genre with the inclusion of the 'Nanos' - 'Sort of friendly(debatable)' defenders of biotics. The Nanos come to earth, and their first task is to recruit command personnel to command...well them, to ultimately provide a defence against the 'Macros'.

It sounds complicated, but its really demonstrated & presented in a very straight forward understandable way. The whole book is easy to read and it has that 'Just one more chapter' effect in some parts. After finishing it I promptly purchased the next 2 books in the series, and I'm looking forward to the 4th.

A couple of criticisms that have made me give this a 4, instead of a 5 - There is something of a lack of explanation for various things that occur which is a flaw present throughout all the books so far. (e.g. By the end of book 3, we still only really know a relatively small amount of info about the Macros.)

Also some of the character emotions/responses to events around them are almost a bit stilted. Without giving too much away, the main character, Kyle Riggs, ultimately seems rather detached after a rather personal traumatic event happens early on in the first book. There are some brief mentions of this event further on in the books, while it's possible it can be argued, Kyle Riggs is being swept along by events beyond his control there is just some emotional oomph missing.

Also the character of Sandra, while changing slightly in the 3rd book, remains a 'sexy-pouty-crazy-angry' lady throughout. I wouldn't say this is neccesarily a bad thing but her presence can on occasion grate a little.

Overall I'd highly recommend this book to those looking for military sci-fi fix.
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on 21 January 2011
I have to say that I was running short on stuff to read and I had read Mech and Mech2 before and although they were good I had read better. So when I saw a "suggestion" on Amazon I saw it was cheap and bought it... and enjoyed it thoroughly!

There were a few things that bothered me though... I would have expected more anger after what happened to the family (not saying any more as I don't want to do spoilers). Also why was there a war between the two robotic races in the first place (maybe that will be answered in the sequels... and if there aren't any sequels I'm going to change this review to -1000 stars heh)? But all in all it is a cracking good read. By the end of the first third of the book I just couldn't put it down, only taking breaks to get something to eat or drink...

So, Mr Larson, we want sequels... lots of them please. ;)
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on 30 January 2012
This book was fun and a very quick read. Some have compared the author to Heinlein. I would disagree and see more Andre Norton type writing with some adult sexual nature thrown in. But, not quite to Norton's level yet. This book is not for the person looking for an intellectual fantasy. This book sticks with many cliches: the indidvidual against the evil outside aliens, coupled with incompetent and slightly evil governments. The governement appears to have nothing but idiots working for them and if it wasn't for the brilliant hero who single handed leads Earth to survival all would be lost. The price is right and you don't have to force yourself through the book. Good entertainment, but don't think about it too much.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 August 2014
This is an OK book with a reasonably entertaining story, however there is something about the style of writing which seems almost child-like in its naivety which I found a bit off-putting and stops me rating the book highly. Literature is very subjective and others may well not share my criticisms, but for me the characters have not been sufficiently developed and seem very one dimensional. The fighting scenes are similarly shallow and distant, somewhat more like watching a computer game , than real people battling for their lives. At under £2 for the kindle version, I cannot say I have wasted my money as it was distracting enough for me to finish the book.
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If you are looking for a good modern science fiction read then you need look no further.

A fleet of hundreds of alien ships snatch people from their homes. Subjected to a series of tests most are quickly rejected and thrown dead from the skies - and these are the nice aliens. The not so nice ones are on their way.

With set piece battles both in space and on Earth, this book reminds me in parts of Independence Day and Starship Troopers.

The plot is very action driven. Focusing almost exclusively on one of the abductees and his fight for survival the plot is easy to follow, fast paced and rather absorbing.

One of my pet annoyances on the Kindle is e-books that don't have a cover picture - every book should have a cover! This one passes that little personal test. The rest of the presentation on the Kindle was very good with no obvious formatting or other errors.

Being a long novella or a short novel you can read this story in four or five hours. There are enough unanswered questions and enough scope in the story to justify a sequel, yet the story still stands on its own and has a clear ending.

Well worth the asking price and highly recommended.
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on 17 November 2012
This is one of my favourite series and my second favourite Sci-fi series. The author does a great job at creating the mechanics of this universe. They are realistic and create many interesting problems and solutions which make you become filled with awe at the thinking of the main and through him the author. The main is also a well constructed character. The introduction to the story gives you a glimpse of him and how simple and ordinary he is before thrusting him into an extrodinary situations which brings you closer to him through his luck, talent and grief. The plot is long and intersting and you can see there will be many twists and turns ending in a place you can only guess. The characters are well thought out and consistent, mostly, and they bring a sense that these people could have been you or someone you know, whether that is negative or positive depends on the character. The universe, as I have said, is well thought out and he makes an effort to connect our knowledge of other worlds with possible ones. Finally, and what I would say is both heartbreaking and respectable, is the killing off of psuedo-mains. Again and again he makes us fall in love with some of his characters. Makes us respect them and look forward to reading more about them before killing them off in some horrible battle. This is one of the best books I've ever read alot of books.
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on 25 February 2014
I loved the whole series which at the moment consists of 9 books. I read them all in 2 weeks.
The author brings a fresh approach and avoids the tired cliches so many others fall prey to, and doesn't get overly bogged down into the nitty gritty of his technological "inventions", yet manages to explore the human flaw in great detail. Give us more power than our neighbour, with very little chance of retribution, and watch our evil streak really take off. The action is fast, plausible, and keeps you yearning for more. Because of the nature of the alien he creates, and the technology that comes with it, you're only limited by the imagination of the author which really isn't lacking. The characters are all flawed in various ways, and by the end, I even found myself disliking our protagonist due to his arrogance, even if he did mean well. That is intended as a compliment to the author, because in many books of this genre, the characters are all either 100% good or 100% evil, whereas Larson goes for 95%-5%, and the 5% imperfection is where the beauty lies. All in all, this is the best sci-fi book I've read in years, not since Iain M Banks and his culture novels have I looked forward to a new release from an author this much.
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on 1 November 2015
The story has an interesting premise, with a number of people unexpectedly gaining control over mysterious advanced spacecraft, then finding themselves thrust into a space war. However, there are too many problems with the story and writing, in the end I couldn't see past them. For instance, the people who happen to pass the selection test are your basic gun-under-the-pillow, everyone is after me, or just plain take advantage of others types. So it follows that they seem obsessed about getting Earth governments to respect them, recognise them as a separant political entity and get ready to pay tribune. Mmmm, might have been a better idea to spend the time speaking to experts and getting on with figuring things out, because the battle tactics are so bad they will make you cringe. And talking of cringing, we have the age old problem that women characters are defined first and foremost by how they look, which (do i even need to say it) is various states of beautiful. Try inverting the sex of the characters and you will soon see how offensive this is. In the end, i had to conclude this book is for people who have a very different life view from me. For anyone else, stay well clear is my advice.
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on 29 January 2012
Fantastic! It has been a while since I last read a quality SCI FI book and I am thoroughly enjoying the entire series that follow from this one. I always enjoyed SCIFI because it presents possible futures in which humanities evolution is marked by scientific discovery which leads to advancement in technology, space explorations, alien encounters, and more. What makes a good SCIFI book shine from the rest is how it portrays life from the point of view of such emotional and erratic humans, with all their jealousy, stubborness, pride, anger, love, cowardice, and bravery.

What got me hooked in this book, and the entire series, is how it puts you in the shoes of "Kyle Riggs", a loving father and teacher, that has been plucked out of the world to fight in a war against intelligent machines with no human traits at all. Every page is a trial which makes you think what you would have done in his place, and every page you are left wondering what on earth he is going to do next when faced against impossible odds. The character is an AMAZING STRETEGIST and I really enjoy seeing how his decisions pan out.
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on 10 February 2013
This has all the naïveté of 1930's era Sci-Fi without the period charm. Lacks innovation, originality and character development. Avoid.
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