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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2017
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on 29 May 2017
In the grand tradition of the likes of Heinlen and Asher. Well worth a read to see if you will enjoy the series.
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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 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 13 September 2011
This series is strong and plausible with a feeling of Arthur C Clarke, Joe Haldeman (Forever War)and Star Wars all mixed in. Good technical detail without going grossly over the top. This should appeal to many hardened sci-fi fans especially if they enjoyed any of the above-mentioned.

There are some irritating spelling and syntax errors which, I suspect, come from the conversion to the Kindle format but if you are prepared to overlook some minor production errors then you will be reading a very fine series.

I hope this series becomes a cinematic reality.
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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 23 July 2011
There's something about this series and I can't put my finger on it. They read like debut novels, and I suspect that Mister Heppner's not going to improve his writing style any time soon, but that doesn't make them bad stories. Far from it. Isaac Asimov couldn't write for toffee, but he had imagination and wit and that was good enough. Heppner's in a similar boat, his writing's not great, but it's good enough to allow you to forget the slightly clumsy, amateurish prose and just enjoy the story, because story is something that Mister Heppner does very well. There are a lot of rough edges here and the proofreader should be shot, but despite the shortcomings these are reasonably well-crafted stories that are a lot of fun to read. They're like a grown up version of the Saturday morning cartoons, a boys' own adventure series that isn't actually for kids. Give them a try, don't go in expecting the new Iain M. Banks and you won't be disappointed. Heppner deserves to be read.
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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 31 March 2011
I started reading these books on the off chance they were any good. To be honest I didn't like the title that much, but to be honest the book wasnt as I expected.

It mixes social formulas with extreme violence and interesting themes really quite well.

I am certainly reading these books at a rate ( on the fourth one now, probably in less that 10 days! (and I have a job before you ask! ))

Well worth a read, dont be put off by the title.
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on 18 May 2011
Many thanks to the author for all four of these books centreing around Martin Kluge. They are very easy to read, very engaging and can definitely be firmly put in the 'page turner' category. The other reviews give a good account of the stories and themes that run through the books so all I would like to add is: Where is number 5 Mr. Heppner?

Many thanks.
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