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4.4 out of 5 stars106
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2013
This book was given to me as a present whilst in bed with flu.
I didn't know anything about the author.I don't read this type of book normally,BUT I'm really glad I did.
I couldn't put the book down,the story was very good and really believable.
Not many books these days take me away from life problems but you really feel for the people in the book and couldn't wait to see what happened to them.
I do hope another book is in the pipe line as it deserves to be a series of say 4-5 books.
The best read this year and A new author added to my Xmas list.
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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.
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on 3 November 2013
I stumbled on this book through my amazon recommendations. I'd seen it a few times, but didn't like the description. As is often the way, I'd run out of things to read and thought I'd give it a shot.

I found out very quickly that the description really didn't do the book justice.

Replace the 'bugs' from starship troopers with dinosaurs and mix in a machine that revives you when you die and you've pretty much got an overview of the story. Well worth the read.
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on 15 November 2013
I'm not usually entertained by stories with a military theme, but this book was less about warfare and more lighthearted, character entertainment, with lots of action.
I couldn't help but feel fond of the main character and enjoyed the flow and no nonsense, fast pace of the story. There were in fact a few characters that were well described and enjoyable, without the boring, story interrupting process of writing pages and pages of backstory for each of them.
There was a good bit of humour in the story, and it kept me interested until the end.
I'm very much looking forward to reading the next adventure these characters have, if there is one.
It's not a masterpiece of writing or storytelling, it isn't meant to be, but it is a thoroughly amusing story to read. Anything could happen when you have a story and characters like these ones, and that kept me turning the pages.
Very good.
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on 6 December 2013
I've read some of the authors previous work, but this was definitely one of the best books written by BV Larson.

It's sickening in parts, full of horrible violence, and great fun. It leaves questions: It makes you think "What happens when someone dies?" "Is the new copy of them a soul transfer?" but feeds you enough information without directly saying it that No, you die when killed. A copy of you is made with your memories, but you are dead. (At least that's what I got from it, it might be visited in another book)

It's also a handy mechanism for this (hopefully) new series of books by an author who usually has a stupidly high death. Now, you can get know the characters and watch them die over and over and over again.

A must buy for scifi fans
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on 12 December 2013
Rollicking good read, very enjoyable.
Classic science fiction. Can't wait till the next one.
I'll have to have a look at the authors other work
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on 11 December 2013
Enjoyable, well written space opera.
Good characterisation , decent plot line and well thought out physics and physiology. I would certainly my pay to read more in this series, and will now seek out more B V Larson books.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 December 2014
This book is the first in trilogy or rather, to be accurate, three volumes have been published so far about the adventures of James McGill, the narrator of the story enlisted in one of Humanity’s mercenary legions. Depending on what you are looking for and on your personal tastes, you will either very much like this book or find it “content-light” and not exactly original.

There are similarities with more than a few military novels, whether of the science variety or not. One well-trodden path is that of the new recruit who discovers what a military life means in one of toughest human military outfits. Of course, our blue-eyed boy will become an outstanding hero: again, no surprise here. Another typical ingredient of this kind of book is that it is “fast-paced” and “action-packed” (it really is, by the way). It is a page turner, to use yet another conventional expression. You also need to note that this book, unlike quite a few others of its kind, is largely free of typos, which is also something that makes it more readable.

The context of the story is interesting. By the middle of the 21st century, Humans have been contacted by “the Galactics” and integrated into their Empire as a fringe and vassal race. They have also been largely confined to their planet by this lose federation of alien races from the core of the galaxy, all of which are vastly more advanced than Humans and all of which (or at least the two species we come across in this volume) consider the Humans are barely sentient and half savages whose main talent is to wage war.

In an interesting twist which does not exactly present Humans in a flattering light, each species is required to specialise in one area. It uses this one expertise for which it has some kind of monopoly to obtain the “galactic credits” that will allow it to acquire technologies and use the services of other races. The Human speciality is that they make good mercenary soldiers, and our hero becomes one of them. Unfortunately for the Humans, one of the alien races decides it wants to add an extra competence to its portfolio of skills, up to now specialised in mining. This of course leads to a some very brutal contests that take place under the eyes of the Galactics who act as referees to ensure that the pre-determined rules of engagement are respected by both sides.

An additional twist is that these alien technologies are integrated in human military outfits. Space ships are built and run by one species, including all Legion troop transports. Rifles and made by another for all other alien species. A third race builds machines that replicate sentient beings and can replace them as soon as they die. The point here is that whole Legions can be “wiped” (meaning be wiped out) and yet survive to fight another day, sometimes the very next day.

There are perhaps a few weaknesses. I found that the book lacked a bit of context and depth. I wanted, for instance, to learn quite a bit more about the structure of government of Earth and the contact with the Galactics that lead to it. Another point is that the “resurrection machines” that can replicate both bodies and minds like some kind of tri-dimensional super-photocopier seemed a bit too good to be true. In particular, the side-effects of these “re-growths” – feeling wobbly and a bit of dis-orientation but no other side-effect or major psychological trauma than some nightmares - did not entirely convince and sounded a bit “too easy”. Moreover, the long-term effects of getting oneself killed time and time again must be rather damaging, although this theme might be covered in further episodes since this is our hero’s very first campaign.

This is a good title and a good read, despite a few weak points. If you like military science fiction, you will probably enjoy this one (and the following two episodes), even if it is not entirely original. Four stars, after some hesitations and because I liked it, despite everything else.
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on 30 August 2015
I really did enjoy this book (Kindle version) after reading it following a recommendation to do so by my friend's 13-year-old son who absolutely loved it. So I gave it a try and was very glad I did. It follows the story of a young man (aged about 22, I believe) who had grown up playing a computer game called "Steel World" which was like a Virtual Reality multi-player shooter, a game based on the real life (in the book anyway) wars being fought by earth mercenaries in another galaxy. Our protagonist decides to join one of the famously glorious legions but fails to get into his first, second or third choice legions. Instead he ends up joining one that takes anybody. The novel is action-packed, graphic but yet easy to read with no complicated plots. The enemy are dinosaur like creatures with almost human characteristics who live on a binary sun planet and the humans are mercenaries hired to defeat them. Some interesting ideas in it like the machine that is able to bring people back from the dead by creating a clone of the certified dead person who comes back with his full memory and self-awareness.

A very good book which has made me want to read the sequel Dust World (Undying Mercenaries Series Book 2) Kia (my friend's son) is already on this sequel and he says it's very good, so I am looking forward to getting and reading this one too.

A note on the Kindle version of Steel World: Perfect. No problems at all.
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on 16 November 2013
Better than average kindle book with very few typos and decent grammar this author can really write, a flowing action filled storyline with a novel twist on recycling ( I won`t spoil it by explaining this ).
The book stands alone not needing to be part of a series which makes a refreshing change.
I look forward to reading some other books from B.V. Larson
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