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There are really two stories here, that eventually come together, and they are somewhat different. The Felix narrative tracks the experience of an individual soldier in an interstellar war. Steakley expends little time on the tech details and essentially none on the politics, the war is apparently completely pointless, but focuses instead on the actual experience that Felix endures. The writing is distinctive, with a chopped flow and bursts of intensity that mirror the fighting, and Weiner's narration captures this. It's very fast paced, and I found it even a bit emotionally draining. Felix has a rough ride.
The Jack Crow character provides the comic release and I found that storyline a welcome break from the intensity of the Felix chapters. Again, Weiner brings out the fun in that part of the story.
Ultimately Armor is a psychological fable, more than simple military SF, examining how people think, act and feel under extreme situations, the nature of heroism, the many ways people are motivated... some people look tough but aren't, some are brave and don't know why, some know how to lead but don't want to... lot's of unexpected little character dimensions.
Be prepared for large parts of this story to make little sense or be complete mysteries. Why the war? How do the warring technologies match up? Where does this fight fit into the larger war? How could their intel be so completely wrong? I didn't mind this; the story is not about the war, it's about these people, and this is a much more realistic way that such events are actually experienced. Only in novels do we get the "God view" that gives us knowledge of everything. Not in this novel, however. This one's all about the characters and they repeatedly say that they don't have any idea what's going on, and since they don't, neither do we.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful
Like the others who have just posted reviews this is one of those books that I have been keeping an eye out for since I joined Audible. Like the Hyperion cantos this is book is more than science fiction, it is real literature that is a pleasure to read. At its heart this is a story about two very different psychopaths, One a bitter semi suicidal man who is driven by an inner demon that forces him to survive at all costs, and the other, A passionate maniac with a cunning vicious streak that he uses to accomplish his goals despite the guilt he occasionally feels.
This is not a David Weber or John Ringo style military novel. The technology is painted in broad strokes and in most places lacks any real detail. The energy weapons are simple called "Blazers", thrown weapons are "Blaze Bombs" the artillery are "Laser Cannon" Normally I hate this generic kind of sci-fi but in this book the characters are so well written that you feel the battle more than see it. This author is not a world builder or an armchair general but someone who can write the soul of a real killer, something that many so called military fiction writers fail at. Many people may not "get" this book but for those of us that have felt the touch of the "Engine" this is book is a striking experience.
Normally I don't rate the narrator, caring more about the story instead but in this case I will say that he does an excellent job. You can always tell who's speaking just by the voice of the character and the voices fit perfectly with what I imagined when I first read this book.
33 of 37 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Armor in three words, what would they be?
Better starship troopers
What was one of the most memorable moments of Armor?
Steakley conveys the emotions and concepts of both war and the resulting loss incredibly. His machine concept will be familiar to many.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
The final scenes are good - summarising really what the book is about and the themes that run through it.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Man, machine, war.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
An interesting read with some likeable characters. A few too many loose ends for me at the end but still thoroughly enjoyed the book.
I read the paper back some years back before revisiting in this medium. The book is fantastic, one of my all time favourites. A rich and fulfilling story, with action a plenty, a deep reflective note and a satisfying twist. I only wish the author had written more.
The audio book was equally excellent. The narration, the performance, it took me back to the first reading. It was exactly as i had imagined, not an easy feat. The narrator was well matched. The pace, rhythm, ebb and flow equally well matched to story line.
Do your self a favour... sit back, be still, and listen.