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4.3 out of 5 stars58
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 12 December 2010
This book is well written with the main characters well developed. The main character is Marten Kluge who struggles under oppression and over the course of the book develops and finds out more of himself.
Marten Kluge was born around Mercury, within an oppressed society. He and his parents fight to free themselves with Marten ending up in Australia living in an underground city. Martin continually struggles against the system: Thought Police hound him; he lives like an ant and questions, through his actions, those in power. The Highborn attack and conquer the city, freeing Marten from one oppression but lands him in the Highborn military machine - fighting for the wrong side!
For me, the book started well, concentrating on the main character, however I felt the move into explaining the war and the various high commanders on both sides (the Highborn and Earth (communist party called Social Unity)) detracted from the more interesting story of Marten.
If I had not read in the book description that the Highborn were "created in the gene labs as super soldiers" I would not have understood for some time why the Highborn were superior to the standard Homo sapiens. I felt that a little more description around how the Highborn came about would have enhanced the story.
I had to suspend my belief that there could be so much weaponry available to both sides (despite the abundance of raw materials within the asteroids in the Solar System), and the massive preparations for war that the Social Unity party had made - the military preparations seemed to be many orders of magnitude than during our own world's Cold War.
Despite all of the above, the book was enjoyable - the four stars are simply due to my preference in what I want in a story. For those who enjoy the strategy of large, planetary scale wars, then this may well be a page-turner for you.
For Kindle readers: the book is worth the investment in time in reading. There were a few typos that did not detract from the reading (unlike some other Kindle books available currently).
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on 2 April 2011
Intelligent & gripping - highly recommended for anyone who likes sci-fi to feel realistic instead of trying to boldly go where the laws of physics are too inconvenient to apply.

The series tells of the adventures of Marten Kluge as he finds his way from place to place within the solar system, struggling against adversity every step of the way. Initially he is trying to escape the oppression of the political system adopted by humanity amongst Earth and the inner planets; later he finds himself dragged into a war between mainstream humans and a rebellious off-shoot of humanity, the genetically engineered & generally superior Highborn; later still he finds himself up against an even tougher foe (I won't say any more to avoid spoilers).

This is not a story with exaggerated technology able to mysteriously jump between the stars & conveniently teleport people from place to place - all the action takes place in our solar system & with genuine attention to the practicalities of getting from A to B & how things work. It's easy to forget just how BIG our solar system is when reading & watching most sci-fi, and just how much scope there is for events to unfold between the planets, moons, & other bodies we have "locally".

There are plenty of influences from other sci-fi folklore, which adds another level to reading this series as you spot this or that influence of other stories. I don't know if this is intentional by the author or not, but either way it added to the enjoyment for me.

Bottom line - a great read for a minimal price tag. Buy the first book and see what you think - even if you don't like it, you've spent less than for a cup of coffee.
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on 17 July 2014
This is a good series, but mainly from an entertaining point of view. The author is, in my opinion, using extremes of social organisation to make almost any other position look more appealing. I suspect the author is American, because democracy is not made fun of and the main character's view on freely available weaponry, expressed later in the series.

That aside, I enjoyed the series. There are very few main characters, which makes the action easy to follow, character development is there, and believable in scale due to the timescales involved. My favourite is Osadar Di. Keep an eye out for her, as I think her struggle is more difficult and human than the main character, Marten Kluge.

The author does a good job trying to stick to a believable universe, but this makes the story of the main character less believable. After reading books written by George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb, having a character make it through such improbable sequences unscathed time after time points out the unreality of the story.

Some other minor niggles: The proofreading and editing could have been better, and degrades through the series (tenent instead of tenet sticks in my mind), and some phrases become slightly repetitive.

All in all, it was good, but I disliked the undertone of "freedom bought at the point of a sword", and the parodying of other forms of government to the extreme.
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on 3 September 2013
Book Review: Star Soldier by Vaughn Heppner
Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd

Writing Style - 3.5/5.0 (Good)
This didn't flow as well as I would have liked, and there were some elements of dialogue that felt `B-Movie' clunky. Nevertheless, this was not the norm across the whole piece.
The beginning of the story is excellent and leads very nicely into the later timeline for the main character, as he tries to merge into society.
Although some of the construction in the writing feels a bit too regimented, it does stay in keeping with the storyline, and as the character progresses through the book, the writing gets stronger.

Character Development - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
For the main character and the supporting characters who come into the story later, there is reasonable development, which remains consistent and keeps the reader involved. The military commanders and the `highborn' characters remain very two-dimensional for the most part, which is understandable, and ensures that the reader does not fully engage with them.
For Marten, the main character, the suppressed desire for revenge gradually takes hold, and the author does well to make this more of a careful transition.

Descriptive - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
The environments and atmosphere of the piece are described in stunning, vivid detail. From a sci-fi fan's perspective, this is pretty much as good as it gets.
The characters are nicely described and the battle scenes (where relevant) are superb. If really pressed, I would have to go so far as to say I haven't come across a better example of a good ol' fashioned shoot-`em-up sci-fi... yet.

Language & Grammar - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
Yes, I found a handful of very minor grammatical `things'... I wouldn't go so far as to say errors, as this term seems more and more based on reader preference. That said, I found a few that I considered in need of TLC, but nothing more.
Beyond that, the word selection and use of language was excellent. As a reading level, this could pretty much fit any sci-fi fan from mid teens upwards.

Plot - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent) - NO SPOILERS
This is a terrific story, well told; with some superb sub-plots and excellent action.
The author leaves nothing to chance with some excellent story development and some excellent twists.
By the time you get to the end, you know you want to read on. For lovers of real sci-fi, this is superb.

General - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
This is a really enjoyable book. Yes, okay, the writing could use a little firming up here and there, but to be honest I wasn't really that bothered.
As always, every sci-fi book has its negatives, and no doubt someone out there will read it and decide it is rubbish. For me, it wasn't.
Looking forward to getting to the next in the series.

4 superb stars!
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on 28 February 2011
When I started reading this novel I was convinced that I was going to write it off as a two star book. The opposing factions are generic and are diametrically opposed in an exaggerated, clichéd manner which robbed me of the sense of belief that they could ever have been 'one nation'. The characters themselves are one dimensional and can come across as wooden at times. Dialog as well is frequently stilted and feels awkward.

The biggest surprise for me then was when I actually really got into the book. The combat scenes were tremendous fun. The space combat not as much as the land combat, it would have been better if the actual physics had been omitted. I felt that the detail detracted from the sense of realism significantly as several concepts put forward are just plain wrong using our current understanding of science. Otherwise I enjoyed it quite a bit in the end. I will be buying the second book in the series and would encourage people who have bought this novel to stick it out to the latter half and give it a chance. It sets up the second book well.

So with that, I am giving it three stars, I would probably have rounded up to three and a half stars had Amazons review system allowed it.
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on 22 January 2013
When reading a new book from an author you haven't read before you wonder what it is going to be like and if you you will enjoy it. No such problem here, as you get engrossed in the story very quickly. As the story unfolds there are a number of possibilities as to how the story will unfold. While you can predict some of them, others are harder to foresee.

The parallels between the WW2 Nazi invasion of Russia are a bit obvious, but the book goes beyond that creating a whole new world out of the entire solar system. Earth is under attack by genetically modified soldiers (Nazis) who consider themselves superior, whilst earth is defended by Social Unity (Soviets) and their dreaded Peace Harmony Corps. Marten Kluge would rather not live under either system, and inadvertently ends up fighting on the wrong side in a war that threatens to enslave the human race.

I enjoyed reading this book so much that I have already completed the second book in the series and have started on the third.
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on 5 March 2014
Different. An unusual concept of humanity being torn between two adversaries who both seem to be intent on mutual destruction. The hero's descent into child blooded killer and his hopes of coming out on the side of decency developing. The following books may prove interesting.
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on 29 September 2011
being dyslexic i was always told to read everyday, with a mind that never stops racing i find it hard to get drawn into sotrys, but this series of books sucked me in and i havent been able to stop reading. i only started book 1 a week ago and am already half way through book 4. this book is as well written as the gears of war books by karen traviss. it is obvious alot of thought and research has gone into the storys. And they all read like one huge book no side tracked story line for something new its all one huge universe. Would also make a good computer game for the level of detail.
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on 15 June 2011
This is my first ever review but after reading this book (and the rest of the series) i felt i had to give some support to this fantastic author.

The first few chapters of the book where nothing special but it soon turns into a very clever story of survival fast pasted and action packed. The science never gets too extreme and never detracts from the story. Once you start you will end up having to get the rest of the books in the series. Other people have been far more articulate about the stories and i cannot match that, however if you want a great read this is a great place to start.

I hope the author carries on with the Doom Star series.
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on 4 March 2014
I'm not a massive reader but I've been looking to get my teeth into a good book for a few weeks. To prompt me I bought a new Kindle and then stumbled upon a recommendation for this book. The fact that it's the first in a series of six books was intriguing as I've never read a series and was interested to see if I would want to read on. Two months later and I've just finished reading book number six and have to say that I really enjoyed every single one, 5 stars all the way, and wish there were more coming. Instead I'll just have to read Vaughan's other books. Never mind!
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