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I had read most of B V Larson’s StarForce series and, thinking that the series was not bad, decided to try this book. The premise, as explained in the Audible description, was that a long lost race returned to find humans had taken hold of their home world. I had assumed that there would be some kind of reasonable “first contact” between rational beings and that it might be worth reading how this was resolved. But the book disappointed me in many ways. There are no “spoilers” in this review, but I have listed what about this book made me feel disappointed.
First, the description is incorrect. The “home world” itself was physically destroyed and did not, as I assumed, only contain some kind of ruins. The humans did not inhabit the “home world” but an adjacent world. That is clear in the first 10 minutes of the book. The description was almost certainly provided by the publisher and so this is not Audible's fault.
Second, there is no “back story” to explain about the religious group and the story, as it unfolds, was almost unintelligible to me. I could not understand who they were, why they were acting as they were and why anyone would choose to make the decisions the reader eventually finds they have made. I could not help comparing those people with the characters in Heinlein’s "The Puppet Masters" since they were essentially in the same situation.
Third the characters seem to be more caricature than character. The villains have no saving graces at all and are either cowards, thieves, closet pedophiles, sadists or some combination thereof. The heroes and heroines seem to have no failings at all and, in the end, only one character seemed real to me at all.
Last, but not least, I found the reading to be less than stellar and, at least at the beginning, difficult to follow. Eventually I became familiar enough with the narration that it stopped bothering me but I always felt that it was a distraction from the book rather than being either neutral or a positive addition.
Mr. Larson’s web site says of this book that people either love it or hate it and I can believe that. Although I fall closer to the latter than the former I can see how people might find all of the weirdness appealing in books that often seen to be clones of one another. This book is definitely weird but the one positive thing I can say about it is that it is not a clone of anything else I have ever read. It would have been improved (for me) if there had been a prologue explaining who the various groups were and something about the “riders”, but perhaps I am not typical.
All in all I do not feel that I can recommend this book but I do feel that some people will positively enjoy it. I will not read any more of this series but I will continue to read B V Larson in the hope that the next book will be more to my liking.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
The story is good. The narrator was ok, but the audio was distorted and that detracted a lot.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
BV Larson has done some cracking novels, but this one took a long time to get in to. This may have been due to the narrator, who was a bit limited compared to other people who have narrated other series of Larson's. All in all, I would recommend the story, but Undying Mercenaries is a much better series.
This is one of the best stories from Larson, really enjoyed it and looking fwd to the next saga.
The narration took me some time to get used to - I struggled at the start to understand everything but I got used to it at the end