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The duo of Jake Bible and Andrew B. Wehrlen once again pull off another gritty and grimy fast-paced military action science fiction story with their recent audiobook release called “Mech Corps”. The book follows a division of space marines who pilot large metal bipedal machines called mechs; mechanical robots. A quick glance at the book’s cover art give you an impression of what these contraptions look like; scary. With the population of earth needing to relocate elsewhere in the universe, military teams are send ahead to scout and claim new places for humans to survive. Invading and preparing a planet for human colonization may sound like a simple task, until our team meets an adversary who is more ruthless and powerful than anything they have previously encountered. It is a story full of action, friendship, and survival. If you enjoy space marine or military genres, you may want to have a listen to Mech Corps.
Blend together bits of Starship Troopers, a little from Alien, and some parts Old Man’s War and you have a good idea of what you will find within the pages of Mech Corps. The characters and story are not extremely deep or complex, but the action and battles are unrelenting. The book is like the opening sequence to “Saving Private Ryan” with its multiple detailed encounters. When a book opens with a loud cry to “BFI”, or brace for impact, you are thrown right into the action. Once on the planet, the team is dropped right into a firefight that gets the hostility flowing. You really get a feel for the chaos and panic that envelops the characters during the heat of battle. This team of close-knit marines as to stick together to survive the onslaught of cunningness of the enemy they face. Each of the members is trained in a skill unique to them making each invaluable to one another; much like a real marine group.
There was good interaction and collaboration between the team members along with quite a few jabs, pokes, and zings that fly between the characters constantly. At times, I felt these jabs were over-the-top, but I could understand humor was used between them to help take their minds off their ultimate goal which could have led ultimately to their deaths. I have never been put in such a high-stress situation as the book’s characters were, so I may have reacted in a similar way to deal with the setting. All of their focus and accomplishments lead to the acceptance of the newly formed “Mech Corps”.
I had no issues with the quality of the audiobook’s narration by Andrew B. Wehrlen. It seemed to be consistent from start to finish. I did not notice any audio artifacts such as swallowing or page turns either while I listened. I like Mr. Wehrlen deeper and rich voice for this book as it added a darker feel to the overall story. If I had one thing I would change, it would be the voicing of a few of the main female characters. I know it if difficult for a male with a deeper voice to properly narrate female voices, so if you can get past this slight matter, especially when listening at a faster speed, the rest of the book is enjoyable.
Parents and young readers, note this book is not intended for younger readers due to its extensive use of vulgar language, graphic violence and crude humor. Remember, this book is about war and the language used is not very flowery in the heat of battle. The characters also banter one another often with derogatory terms including sexual references and innuendoes. Parents of younger readers should be cautioned if they are thinking about reading this book. If you are easily offended by strong language, sexual content, or crude humor, you may want to find a different book to read.
In summary, if you enjoy quick action-packed space marine battles consisting of piloted 30-foot mechanical robots, I think you will enjoy Mech Corps. There is some unique technology and plot in this story setting it apart from others in this genre. The story flowed quite well and the narration was professionally done.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I don't like giving negative reviews and generally I'm a fan of Jake Bible's work, but this one is a bit of a hot mess. The book starts out with a good inciting incident, with a promise of plenty of action and adventure to come. And then the book slams on the brakes. Seriously, after the intro the book slows to a crawl. The next hour and a half to two hours is pretty mind numbing. We spend time getting to know two characters, Parveet and Torn. You think spending so much time with them that they are the main characters right? Well after those first two hours with them, you don't see more than a paragraph or two with either of them for the next 4 hours or so, and even when you do see them they aren't doing anything special. No big loss as neither one seems all that interesting, and Parveet is a straight up A-hole...but you know what? She isn't the only unlikeable character in the book. None of them are particularly likable. In fact everyone is pretty much the same exact character. The countless soldiers/mechanics/mech pilots all seem to be carbon copies of each other, insane caricatures of the ultimate take-no-crap soldier. Seriously, if it weren't for Andrew Wehrlen's narration you wouldn't be able to tell one character form the other. They all talked the same and acted the same.
I was hopeful when the action finally did pick up, but other problems popped up soon there after. Not problems for our characters, but problems with the story itself. These aliens sounded exceptionally cool. Very smart and adaptive. After one encounter with humans they learned how to pilot human drop ships, how to craft armor, use human weapons, and more. And yet for all this brilliance that they displayed at learning and adapting, their only strategy against the landing party is run wave after wave of their people into energy fences and die instantly? Sorry, that doesn't add up. If you make the aliens brilliant enough to learn to fly our ships and use our weapons they have to be smart enough not to walk into what is basically a giant bug zapper.
Then we get to the end where Parveet and Torn reemerge as somewhat key characters. The problem is there seems to be two different storylines playing out, the Parveet/Torn story of breaking away from Earth and the story of what is happening on the planet with the aliens. And honestly the two stories didn't gel together. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the running 'son of butch' joke. It might have been mildly amusing the 1st time it was told, but by the 100th?? Sorry you ran that one into the ground after the 2nd repeating of it.
Seriously, I've enjoyed many of Bibles books in the past. They always come off like B movies to me, which in my opinion is not an insult. They tend to be fun, over the top, with plenty of 'bad acting', the kind of thing you'd see on the syfy channel, but this one just didn't work for me at all.
Now as for Andrew Wehrlen's narration, I found that to be quite good. As I mentioned I am generally a fan of Jake Bible and so I am somewhat familiar with Mr. Wehrlen's voice work as he has recorded quite a few of Bible's books. Each time I hear his work I come to appreciate him more and more. The cast of characters in this book was extensive to say the least and yet he managed to convey a unique voice for each. I see it as a plus whenever I see his name attached to a book.
I received a copy of this audio title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Yet another exciting story from Jake Bible. Fits in perfectly with all of his mech tales. Highly recommend.
If you could sum up Mech Corps in three words, what would they be?
None stop action
What was one of the most memorable moments of Mech Corps?
finding the right planet only to discover it is all ready inhabited and not prepared to go without a good fight
Which scene did you most enjoy?
the fight between iron hand and mech one
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
heart got carried away and started the adrenilin running
Any additional comments?
this is a well writen if a little bad language was used to give authentisity so be it but maybe not every bodies cup of tea, me i liked it. AB Wherlene did a great just of the narratiion, i got this audio book for free to give a consodered and true review, which i have, see my other reviews for audio and ebooks to evaluate