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The Strength of Flesh
on 14 January 2014
First things first, this is NOT a "new" Starship Troopers". That insults both the original and Larson's novel. It is a rite of passage of a spoiled brat growing up under fire to become on of Humanity's greatest warriors for the Terran Legions.
There are similarities to "Starship Troopers", Full Metal Jacket" and any other story which follows the life of a new recruit from training, through baptism of fire to becoming an experienced soldier. Larson has added something special to the mix. Although the legionnaires can die, due to alien technology they can be reborn minutes later ready to go back into the breach. It is the alien races that make this book a cut above many others.
The Galactics, races from the core systems, control the newer race. They consider Humans to be barely sentient and ripe for genocide except for the one thing they have which few other races can offer. At their best Humans are fighters, the most vicious and most tenacious soldiers available.
Written in the first person "Steel World" is the planet where James McGill finds his role in life as one of the Human Legions under contract to fight the lizard rebels of Cancri-9, also known as the Steel World because of the super abundance of heavy metals and rare earths which make up the crust of this very hot planet. The fighting is brutal, the pace is sometimes breath taking and the characters interesting and varied. Larson is destined to become a "great" in my opinion and I will soon be reading more of his books. I just hope Steel World is not a one-off as I would like to read more about McGill and the mercenary legions. Very highly recommended if you like action novels.