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At the end of the previous book in this series “Tech world,” we learned that the Cephalopods, or “Squids,” are on the move and the once seemingly all powerful Galactics are nervous. James McGill has been nominated for a promotion, and Imperator Turov has to go on with life looking twenty years younger.
Now, in “Machine World,” the latest book in the continuing saga of the “Undying Mercenaries,” McGill starts off the way he always does by taking matters into his own hand at the risk of the entire human species and the chagrin of his commanding officers; but if you’ve been keeping up on the series know that his moves often save the day.
If you liked the previous three books than you should like this one; if you haven’t read any of the series don’t start here, you should read them in order.
A word about the narrator; since these books are written in first person Mark Boyett is James McGill taking on his persona and bringing the story to life. I don’t know If I would give the story five stars without his influence, he really does a great job.
27 of 31 people found this review helpful
By now, in book 4 of the series, you well know the routine of James McGill- they way he handles authority, his code of honor and ethics, and his love life. If your still reading the series, then this is all appealing to you.
In my opinion, this book is a fine addition to the series. James, despite the suspension of belief you have to invest in his schemes always working out (to varying degrees) in his favor, is a character I just can't help but like on some level. He is honest, upfront, occasionally brutal and, admittedly, a bit thick at times; but he's got his heart in the right place. He takes things into his own hands and gets things done, and it's just fun to read about his exploits.
This is no great literary work, but it is enjoyable, much like any good episode of "Star Trek". It gets silly or ridiculous at times, but if you can go along with the ride, it does wind up placing a smile on your face as you listen- and you keep listening to hear about how he's going to get everyone out of the next mess.
The severe review I gave of the previous book (Tech World) was mostly due to the fact that I felt the author let James "get out of character" during the story and the result was a lot of (relatively innocent) alien deaths. While he wasn't exactly personally responsible, he was involved enough where it didn't feel true to the character I had been reading about up to that point.
But in this book, things seem to get back on track. Oh, James still plays galactic dice and shoots from the hip A LOT, but his ethics and code of honor seems reinforced in this book. He still does a few shady things, but most of it I can, as a reader, at least understand his reasoning and go along with it for the sake of the story. I may not agree with everything, but like I've said already, it's an enjoyable read.
Of course, Mark Boyett does a fantastic reading performance. It's so easy to forget that you are listening to a single person- each character come alive with their own with with unique voice, cadence, accent and personality expressed by Boyett. When i have to remind myself this is all coming from one person, it really is quite astounding.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Fantastic 4th book the undying story could almost be set in Ancient Rome with its scheming, wheeling and dealing.
The action was all there and the imagination was enthralling
Can't wait for the next book Keep it up I'm hooked. 👍😎🍺
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Once more B V Larson delivers the goods in this fourth book in the Undying mercenaries series. I did wonder if he would be able to remain consistent in terms of quality of the story but was not disappointed. I can appreciate that after writing three previous books which were all excellent that it would be increasingly hard to come up with a continuing story that would satisfy the high standards already set thus far. Larson succeeds in this difficult task in the shape of Machine World and a new and hostile alien world is vividly wrought in the pages of this engrossing story.
Larson treats the reader further and brings back plot elements from the previous book, Tech World and unleashes them upon legion Varus. I like it when authors think ahead and weave characters, races and story elements together and uses them to great effect as the series of books progresses. As ever in this great series the combat and even the training is brutal and unforgiving. I do still have to wonder at the mentality of those who can engage in training or evaluation sessions with their close colleagues and kill them viciously and then go on as if nothing has happened the following day. it does seem to me that all the repeated experiences of death would destroy a persons mind but our battle hardened legionnaires seem to be able to shake this off time after time.
Another oddity in the series is the lack up to this point of any infantry support via some form of cavalry in the shape of mechanised armoured support. It would appear that the military brass has stumbled across a well known sound military tactic in having troops supported in such a way as if it's a new idea. it does also seem rather strange that no close air support ever seems to be used to assist in a ground war of the magnitudes evident in the surface combat seen in this story. The above observations would be my only real question mark over the nature of the stories seen in this series but despite these it still doesn't detract from the enjoyment of them.
Yet again Larson packs plenty of story into this book not wasting words on anything superfluous to the narrative and so keeps things moving and relevant and as such machine World is yet another page turner in the Undying Mercenaries series. Some other authors would probably have this book split into two related books in a series but not Larson. His writing style is never wasteful in any regard and we are moved through the narrative efficiently which has held my interest non-stop from first to last page.
I could go into more plot detail to give those who have not read any of this series a hint at the sort of story to expect but I think that anyone reading a review of the fourth book in the series is more than likely to pick up the first in the series, Steel World and so by now will have a good idea of what to expect and so I shall not ruin your enjoyment of this excellent story by possible spoiler information. Suffice to say that our hapless hero, James McGill manages to end up in all sorts of trouble both on and off the battlefield and so what I will say is that I rate this another top marks effort from Larson and worthy of the series and what you might have come to expect from this excellent and entertaining saga.
Mark Boyett once more does an excellent job of the narration and having listened to all the books in this series thus far have come to realize that his rendering of James McGill reminds me somewhat of Denzel Washington's voice and accent. I wonder if others will hear this or perhaps it's just me!
Rarely have I come across a series of stories I found so addictive and enthralling and full credit to Larson's writing abilities for maintaining such a high standard of work.
Right, now off to download the next book in the series, Death World.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
hats off to the narrator it's because of a narrator that I have chosen to now go ahead and purchase other books written by BV Larson. this by no means is taking away the skills of the writer but in actual fact complementing the writer in a story
Probably one of the weaker entries into the series. The stunts the main character pulled off in this one are too far fetched to have worked. But, i still enjoyed it enough to push onto the final book soon.