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- Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (2015-11-10) (1800)
- ASIN: B017YC7U8Q
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- Customer Reviews: 738 customer ratings
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Machine World (Undying Mercenaries) by B. V. Larson (2015-11-10) Wall Chart – January 1, 1800
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5 Stars out of 5
I really like theses books although I’m not so sure I could accept the idea of dying and the being regenerated in a new body!
If you haven’t read any of these books, you really need to go back to the beginning and start from there. Our main character, James McGill, is a Legionnaire with the Legion Varus. How he stays in this legion is the real mystery. See, James McGill isn’t one to follow orders or the rules. He does what James McGill thinks is right and then sorts out the consequences later.
As I mentioned, dying is part of the job for Legionnaries, especially for Legion Varus. But, dying doesn’t necessarily mean “dead”. The Legion has an alien machine which takes organic matter and converts it into a new human with the downloading of that persons most recent memories! Out of this machine pops a fresh human. This copy has all the memories of its previous body up until they were killed! That to me is really gruesome. I mean dying is bad enough, especially if it was a violent death, but remembering how you just died who put a lot of people in the insane asylum! It’s just not something you’d want to remember.
James McGill has been in the Legion awhile. This will be his fourth world that he and the Legion Varus have been assigned a mission to do something. In every past mission, James McGill has been killed several times. He hopes that won’t happen this time and he tries his hardest to make that happen. Except things always go wrong for McGill.
Because he has been an impressive Legionnaire when he’s fighting, he’s up for promotion to Veteran. This is like an NCO position and has to be vetted through the other Legion Vets, none of which like James McGill. They all think he thinks too much and they wind up paying for it. So, James has to pass a "trial by fire” ritual set up by the other Vets. But, he quickly finds out that it’s rigged against him.
Ok, you need to read the book to find out what happens to Veteran James McGill. He’s also wanted by the Nairbs which is like the Galactic judges. They can also execute McGill permanently and if not him, all of Humanity. But, James McGill is a resourceful guy if nothing else. He thinks on his feet and usually figures out hot to not permanently die. That’s a good thing.
I would recommend reading it anyways, because it's a series and it continues the story of James, Mcgill and our other cohorts in Legion Varus.
But the actual story of this book, is really really "hodge podge" .. there are so many scenes in the book, especially with Claver.. one of the main "villians" in the book.. that just are beyond a stretch of imagination. And even Jame's Mcgill does things, not as a show of growth as a character, but just things that are borderline ridiculous... Which if you've read the previous three books, and then you read this one, you'll understand what I am referencing. Basically its his negotiations.. there's nothing wrong with his communication with the other characters and his superiors.. its how he handles all the situations..
Although there is one point in the book where he kills two of his torturers, which was a pretty cool little scenario in how he got out of that. I really liked this. Mainly it was his dealings with Claver after a certain point that got old.
Another angle I find refreshing is the way “immortality” is dealt with in this series. There are so many stories out now essentially exploring the same questions dealing with the tiresome nature of living forever. This series takes a completely different approach that again is both refreshing and plausible. It uses immortality as a tool rather than making it the theme of the series.
This is the first time I have stopped and put fort the effort to write a review. I wouldn’t say this ranks among the all-time-greats of SciFi. However, for me the point of taking time to read a story is often not to explore some existential truth, but it just have fun and escape into another place and time. Mr. Larson, I congratulate you on successfully creating just such a story line. As you indicate at the end of the book that the conclusion of the story is coming, I am looking forward to it.
Top international reviews
I also feel thaat the story tellingv is geting better. It is a little clunky in places but is stfill captivating, engaging and fun.
Whilst a little 'Boys own' ripping yarn style at times it is fun and thee charaters are growing.
Good old fashioned space based sci-fi. Beautifully writeen it isnt but it moves at a pace and is really enjoyable reading.
Finally our protagonist starts to think with something other than his gonads.
The series makes an interesting change from the usual "earth is a dungheap in the galactic scale" without getting too mired in political intrigue or deus ex machina plots. My hope is that as the series develops so do the main (and secondary) characters. Saying that, even the secondaries (I'm looking at you Turov) make for interesting personalities.
I look forward to seeing how the series and characters develop (hopefully without too much political bovine excrement clouding the action).
In most part though they are not believable (even with "suspension of disbelief")
They are macho yarns of a rebellious male hero who always gets the girl - always disobeys orders - and somehow right at the end manages not only to survive but actually save the world along with himself.
I will buy and read the rest - but mainly as per the previous books, just for light entertainment in the odd 5 minutes spare. They are not books that one would want to settle down for an evening and "immerse" in
Brilliance audio arrangement is great - shame the UK can't get its act together to read more SciFi books.
Looking forward to more exciting hair raising escapes.