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C.R.O.W. (The Union Series Book 1) by [Richards, Phillip]
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C.R.O.W. (The Union Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Length: 309 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2551 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Publisher: The Electronic Book Company (1 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008S1VH5K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,623 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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There have been several books written about Sci Fi infantry action but they have mostly all been by American authors. This book is written by an ex-British soldier and gives an account of a British dropship trooper squad in the future.

The book had me gripped the start and is very well written. It follows a new recruit joining the Dropship Infantry fighting on behalf of the European Union. In the future there are 3 Superpowers the Union who are allies with the Russians, the Chinese and the Indians. As Earth has got full the Superpowers have headed to the stars to colonise other worlds for their resources but inevitably the superpowers fight over them.

Trooper Andy Moralee is fresh meat in the section and we follow him from his arrival on his new ship and into battle from a young inexperienced trooper and watch him become a battle hardened veteran.

A good British Sci fi novel with some excellent battle scenes very well described by the author.
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How can something seem so alien and yet so familiar at the same time. It is mainly the interactions between the crows and the more senior soldiers at the beginning of life in battalion that sent shivers up my spine. Facing a raging CSM at close quarters or a short tempered platoon sergeant with, in my experience, a penchant for kicking itinerant NIGs/CROWs in the knackers at full chat.

Yup. The British Army might well be a component of a fully fledged EU army in the 24th century but it still exists and in essence, not much has changed. I also think that Phil Richards goes someway to squaring this sometimes seemingly brutal reality with a civilians perception of it. For better or for worse it is character building. You toughen up because of it.

Superbly written, fast paced, gritty, realistic. Most superlatives apply because I am on the last chapter now and trying to slow things down a bit as I don't know where to go after I have finished this one. I have almost swallowed this one whole. Also I am looking for a sequel already and on my scale a book that does that deserves five stars.

One thing though. Please make your mind up. Is Andy Moralee from Portsmouth or Pompey? I'm confused about that.
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I've been reading a fair few military sci fi books recently and this one was a stand out because it's authoritatively written, fast paced, and has a slightly different slant on things.

The plot concerns Andy Moralee, a fresh conscript – though a volunteer for the dropshop infantry. His journey on a troopship to New Earth is a hell of bullying but that falls away when they make the shooting war starts. The Andy we know at the end of the book is not the same person we see at the start. And that’s a strength and a difference from many similar books. The characters are rounded, believable, and in the face of battle they change.

This is definitely a grunt’s eye view of future war. We’re aware of the wider picture, but rarely hear any detail of what is happening beyond company level. Mostly the focus is on platoon and section level action. And as the casualties mount and unit cohesion breaks down in the tunnel fighting it’s sometimes reduced to Andy and the soldier next to him. The situation becomes very confused. That’s not to say the writer is confused at all. In fact, one of the strengths of this book is the writer’s ability to clearly and concisely describe the setting and movement within each scene. For the fast-changing action scenes that comprise most of the book, that is a vital skill that is easy to overlook because the author does it so well. It isn’t easy though, believe me!

It’s refreshing to have a near future with contemporary nations taking part. Andy is part of the European Union assault to retake a planet from the Chinese. This gives it an interesting edge, but this isn’t China-bashing. Ultimately Andy’s attitude is one of a conscript fighting for his platoon comrades against Chinese conscripts doing the same thing. They’re too busy trying to stay alive to be concerned about politics.
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As a former Royal Marine (Glorified Infantry). I can only congratulate Phillip Richards on his first novel, describes very realisticaly what happens when a newbie joins a section that has been together for some time and the hierarchy involved. Battle scenes almost have you there with them. Obviously somewhere in these book are his own experiences. Thoroughly enjoyable read, in the process of reading Lancejack. As good as the first look forward to more in ths series and any others he writes.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the follow up Lance-Jack.Both have combat scenes that seem so realistic, especially in their portrayal of how the troopers react to each other, that I wondered if the author was including at least the feel of his genuine combat experience. This is classic adventure sci-fi that in a different era would be gracing the pages of classic pulps like Amazing Stories. There are some quibbles - the books would benefit from a good editor to sharpen them up and remove some of the spelling / grammar mistakes (with age comes a pedantic nature). However, these errors are few compared with much kindle fiction and don't detract from a full on, turbo charged, roaring tale from start to finish.
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