4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I'll try to find something new to say...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Armor (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading all these reviews, I have to admit that I'm pleasantly surprised! I had no idea that "Armor" was such a cult novel with such a huge following.
It's revealing how many veterans gave the book positive reviews. It seems to confirm something that I've felt for a long time: Steakley himself may be a veteran, and this book was a way for him to put his experiences of war (whichever one it was) down on paper. Why sci-fi? Why not?
I have to agree with those who say that the book slows down during the Jack Crow sections. It's sad but true. At least J.C. seems to undergo some sort of character development (more than one could say for many SF novels) but the dialogue especially was only so-so. I would have to say, nonetheless, that the scenes with Felix more than make up for those sections.
Comparing "Armor" with "Starship Troopers" does neither book justice. Heinlein seems more concerned with the military mind than he is with the actual experience of combat. We are never told what Earth society is like in "Armor," or at least it's only broadly described. "Troopers" was about why we need a military (and, IMHO, is much more ambiguous concerning warfare than some unsophisticated readers would think); "Armor" is about the deleterious effects of warfare on the mind and spirit. (Except for the JAck Crow stuff.)
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I would recommend it in turn, not as a great work of literature, or even great SF on the level of Poe, Wells, Clarke, Heinlein's best, Dick, Zelazny, Lem, etc. But it is a powerful book, with a lot to say, if we're willing to listen.