Germline : Subterene War

  • by T. C. McCarthy
  • Narrated by Donald Corren
  • Series: Subterene War
  • 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Germline (n): the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage that can be passed to the next generation. Also (slang): secret military program to develop genetically engineered supersoldiers.
One hundred years from now, Russia and the United States are at odds again. This time the war has gone hot. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the icy, mineral-rich mountains of Kazakhstan.
War is Oscar Wendell’s ticket to greatness. A reporter for the Stars and Stripes, he has the only one-way ticket to the front lines. The front smells of blood and fire and death—it smells like a Pulitzer.
But Kaz changes people, and the chaos of war feels a bit too much like home. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of drugs and adrenaline, Oscar starts down a dark road he won’t be able to turn back from.


What the Critics Say

“Compelling…. Recalling the work of Remarque, Willi Heinrich, and especially Michael Herr, McCarthy’s delirious narrative avoids cliché and raises intriguing questions about what it means to be human.” (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Story Marred by Poor Performance

I think fans of science fiction--and in particular, military scifi--deserve accurate pronounciation of terms. It is "core-man," NOT "cores-man," and yes, I know how it's spelled. The "s", just like the "p" is silent. There were other mispronounciations as well, but this one just screamed out at me every time I heard it. There are no acceptable excuses. I don't blame the reader, who in every other regard did a fine job. No, I blame the producer and the director. Take some care and pride in your work. I paid good money for this audiobook. I deserve the words to be pronounced correctly.
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- Surf City Swami "Dude!"

A military sci-fi that isn't sci-fi at all

It is a military sci-fi that doesn't include weapon-porn (so we are not subjected to what size rounds fit in which type of gun, nor how many revolutions ammunition might make in a gun barrel, or the armour penetration per inch by weapon type, etc). I like military-ish fiction that doesn't include gun/military enthusiasts' fantasies, so this book fit the bill for me.

Sure, some of the military stuff was glossed over, and some of the sci-fi was glossed over... and really, it wasn't all that sci-fi-y. It's almost like a straight up "look, I survived an atrocious war even though I came out scarred" novel. There was nothing in it that is outside the current realm of possibility: although some of the tech might not actually exist yet, the theories behind the tech does.

But the book isn't really even about war, it's about the people impacted by war...

The main character isn't a soldier. And that means we get to see a very long war from an alternative point of view. I also think it allowed Oscar to be better written, and more humanized than he would have been if he was a proper soldier. i.e. there was no real harm in him being high as a kite in the midst of battle since he wasn't really supposed to be there anyway.

The story is actually one of growth and maturity: it's the maturation of one man - because of, or in spite of, a horrendous war background. There is some (not overly moralistic) message about how war scars people psychologically, and how our veterans may not receive the respect and help they require after returning... particularly in circumstances where the "war" has slipped from the front page.

The narration is fine. Surprisingly, there is not much gore or swearing, and there is no detailed sex. The story is wrapped up completely at the end.
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- crazybatcow "I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-26-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.