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In “Home world,” James McGill is still as obstinate and stubbornly determined to do what he thinks is right no matter what anyone else has to say; and he now has rank, as in Adjunct. He seems to have become somewhat more mature and diplomatic given his new positon, but deep down he’s still the same old James McGill, and that’s what makes this series fun.
As the title suggests, the setting of the six book in the “Undying Mercenaries,” series is earth. It is under attack by the “Squids,” and their superior force seems destined to destroy the planet; but for better or worse earth has James McGill. To try and save mankind James will travel to the core of the Galactics universe to retrieve some high tech weaponry that could turn the tide of the war and piss off a lot of aliens.
His usual gang of mercenaries is present and accounted for along with Imperator Turov, and Claver of course. In my opinion this is the best of the series and listening to Mark Boyett play James McGill is the only way to enjoy it.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
This is a wonderful series! The tech is awesome, the battles are exciting, and the plots are thick and twisting. The universe is interesting and believable. The people are real. Few other authors can juggle all these aspects as well as Larson does here.
I read (listen) a lot. I have been a reader all my life (well since about 4). I read and write academic analyses and criticisms. In my book (yuk yuk), Larson has created a perfect set of characters in this series. They are distinct and well-rounded, with their flaws as well as their strengths. And they fill necessary roles. There are no superfluous characters. Harris, Graves and Carlos are real and vital. Kivi, Natasha, and Della are different from each other. Even the ones we love to hate-- Winslow, Claver, and Turov-- have their important places. These are people we wish we knew, even if we want to perm them sometimes.
And McGill, ah McGill. Irreverent, insubordinate, lying, conniving, loyal, philandering, seat-of-the-pants McGill, ya gotta love him even when you slap his face. He'll quote his mama's rules as he disobeys them, explain the universe with hog farm philosophy, and scheme and plot on a dime to save his friends or all humanity. He is so real, you will miss him when the story ends.
Despite McGill's seeming superficial flirtation and rutting, he does get himself into some practical self-evaluation and realistic, honorable contemplation of the future. Deep down he has a good sense of right and wrong, fairness, and commitment. This saves him from just being a total jerk. This book could be the end of the series, but we sure don't want it to be.
Mark Boyett's performance is superb. He has the voice range an opera singer would envy, so is able to create anything from a gravelly gunnery sergeant to a wisp of a girl. He keeps all his characterizations in order. But the best is his ability to inflect correctly. We know that these performances are not rehearsed as in theater, but he gets it right all the time. McGill is southern po' boy, and Boyett is smack on with his delivery of the accent, the phrasing and pausing, and tone. He delivers lines that will crack you up. For example: "She rolled her eyes. Women do that all the time around me." Or:
McGill: I was wondering what exactly our mission is, when we get aboard [the enemy ship]?
Graves: I would think that would be obvious. You're to eliminate the crew and take control of the ship.
McGill: Is that all? You don't want us to... repaint it or nuthin?
Best line in the book, perfectly delivered!!! And each book has at least one like it.
Keep 'em coming.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
As a fan of B V Larson's work and the Undying Mercenaries series in particular, it was with great anticipation that I waited for book 6 of this saga to be released. I had stumbled across this fantastic series late and so was able to consume the first 5 books in rapid succession and having done so found myself at a loose end. In the interim I gorged myself on the entire Star Force saga from the same author in the hope that the prolific Larson would write the next Undying Mercenaries book but found that even after reading all the Star Force books as well as a couple of others Larson has penned that I was still eagerly awaiting the next in this series of stories. So, when I received the notification from Audible telling me of the new release that was entitled Home World and was book 6 in the Undying Mercenaries series, I immediately made my pre-order.
I read the book in less than 4 days not able to put it down I had been so long without my needed fix and in short I can say this next chapter in this saga was indeed worth the wait and gives us everything we have come to expect and love from the James McGill character which the book centres around as we follow his campaigns and adventures that are undertaken in the very unique and rather unorthodox manner we have all come to enjoy so much.
The publishers synopsis outlines the key story well enough so I shall not go into unnecessary details about the plot other than to state how much I enjoyed it. Larson has managed to maintain the consistency and quality we have come to expect from his writing and Home World is no exception. Larson always manages to pace his stories so well and keeps everything moving and interesting and is probably the sci-fi author that could well best have his books converted to the big screen as he never dwells on heavy tech or complex plot narratives. What I have always liked about Larson is just how accessible his science fiction stories are. he write straight forward stories that the reader does not need a physics degree to fathom as do some other authors of what I refer to as "heavy sci-fi" often do or get bogged down in overly philosophical content. Larson writes direct, understandable and entertaining science fiction and in the case of the Undying Mercenaries series also adds a degree of visceral and gritty elements which gives these stories a harsh edge at times. As with any series of books, I would strongly recommend that anyone reading this review that has not read all stories to this point in the saga that they should get the first book of this fantastic series, Steel World and get yourself off to a great start.
I really hope that the Undying Mercenaries saga runs for at least 12 books to at least match the sort of scale of the Star Force saga. My only minor gripe with the Star Force series was the very limited number of worlds explored considering the scope of the linked network. However, this series has a much larger range of worlds from which to make use of and especially now with the newest technological piece of equipment that allows FTL travel among the stars. Also, in this universe the key characters given their revival abilities are effectively immortal and so the author is not limited to either a normal human life span or the confines of stories that keep its characters out of mortal danger and so the very nature of the narrative can be that much more dynamic and dangerous.
Very pleasing to see the same narrator for this series, Mark Boyett, make a return. There's nothing worse than a different narrator being used within the same saga as it completely destroys continuity and so Boyett's return is very much welcome. This narrator has an excellent repertoire of voices and accents and remains very consistent managing to bring back to life all the key characters as we know them. One very minor point is that I seem to believe that the Keavy character was originally of Hispanic origin as I recall when first voiced several books ago but now seems to have an eastern European accent. Of course, I might be wrong on that count.
Overall the book is excellent but I did notice either a narrator issue on one or two words like saying "pursuing the report" rather than I suspect was actually "Perusing the report". More obvious was that in chapter 37 there was a clear continuity error from Larson. The Keavy character is hacked to death but less than five minutes later she wonders back now with just a broken ankle? I listened to this chapter again to verify this and indeed this was the case. Also, I was left scratching my head a little as to how the Claver character was revived so many times without any real explanation. Finally, in chapter 58 our hero, McGill, manages to get himself onto a distant world but the needed recharge to his suit required to get him back was not covered so I was left wondering how he did it. However, as critical an ear for detail as I have, none of the above minor points detracted from this enthralling story.
Finally, we are left with yet another situation of massive proportions looming on the horizon which could well cover the next few books in this series such is the potential scope of the possible threat and so, yet again, we the reader are left wanting more and having to wait an age. I will have to try and find another vast series of stories elsewhere now to tide me over until the next part of the Undying Mercenaries saga is written.
If you've red and enjoyed this series to date then getting Hone World is a "no brainer". Larson continues to excel with these books so I can only recommend this latest instalment whole heartedly.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
B. V. Laarson writes a great story with a great mix of humour and seriousness
Worth looking at the rest of his books too