We were fighting on the wrong side of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news.
The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits.
When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn't even be fighting the Ruhar; they aren't our enemy. Our allies are.
I'd better start at the beginning.
©2016 Craig Alanson (P)2016 Podium Publishing
This was an impulse buy and I was a little worried at first. I needn't be though as it was gripping from the start. It's well written and easy to listen to, R.C Bray was as usual, a spot on choice for the narrator. The book has a great change part way through that really sent the story in another direction that was very well delivered. Overall it's a great easy listen. There's some obvious ideas liberated from other sci-fi greats, both written and televised but it works really well.
RC Bray is reason enough to buy an audiobook. Brilliant performance of an original and entertaining book. Need the next book now!
Don't get this review wrong, I did generally enjoy this book but I don't think it is the 5 star gem other reviewers seem to agree on. The idea is great and the mix of humour is fairly unique given that this is not the focus of the book, this is a really difficult balance to achieve, so the author deserves kudos for the attempt. However the characters are shallow and the plot is simplistic; motivation for uber-intelligent species to be conducting a galaxy encompassing war is never explored and the aforementioned humour is school-boy at best. Coupled with a overly large dollop of American jingoism and you're left with a basic if enjoyable yarn to waste a few hours on but not a 5 star listen. I doubt I'll continue with the series.
The story line, the narrator and contents of the book, Skippy and the Sergeant/ Colonel's banter backward and forward and the down to earth language between them and the rest of the high-racy in all of the armed services and government. being ex military I can relate to his moans and groans.
Quite a few books that have the same M O the earth gets invaded, governments topple and the hero of the book once again saves the day, but this book is a fresh look at the subject.
Mr Bray's contribution to making this book a great Listen, is paramount to this Authors book storytelling, he match's the character perfectly and I hope when the next book is released he is the one telling the story.
first was when the rag tag band of merry troops bring down the two Elephant transport planes while they were under the plasma tube/tunnel and when they sent the Lizards battle group into the sun, I could feel through Mr Brays telling up to these points that the satisfaction the Colonel was feeling for the loss of his men and women and the whole of humanity up to that point, then again when he slammed his fist down onto the Red Button on the counsel, as they approached the earth which put and end to the occupation of the Lizards.
I was looking for a New Author to listen to, because I am running out of good books by my favourit authors and the waiting for them to be added to Audible is agonizingley slow to say the least, then I saw this book and all of the Five Star ratings so I took the plunge and now I cannot wait for the next installment, come on Audible get your finger out
One of the best.
The A.I Skippy
One of the best narations i have heard for an audio book.
Cant wait for the second book !!
A great sci-fi tale of daring-do and adventure. Brilliantly read (as always by RCBray) there is as much humour as there is jeopardy. Thoroughly enjoyed this and am downloading second book right now.
A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin.
If you're hankering for the old spirit of Star Trek, well at least the more humorous episodes, with perhaps a little Starship Troopers blended in then freshly seasoned with some Blake's 7 then this is the place to come! Alanson strikes an excellent balance between injecting plentiful humour and making the story serious enough and the action tough enough to make you care. If, on the other hand you are looking for a modern-day Heinlein then you can stop reading now, these aren't the pages you're looking for.
There are lots of hi-lites in this book including a classic choice of vehicle early on to conduct an attack and some genuinely original sci-fi gags. There are of course some "classics" in there but what steals the show is the relationship between Joe and "Mr Skippy" (think Oracs with huge upgrades especially in the personality department) which had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.
The narration? Well I've Spent a lot of time in the company of Mr RC Bray recently and I love him doing his thing in books like the Arisen and Mountain Man series. He injects great tension and drama into the situations and action scenes. But who would ever have guessed from that he could really do comedy too?? Well it seems he can, he sounded like he was genuinely having a blast at times reading this one.
I always try to avoid spoilers but this book ends by setting up a real Star Trek exploring the universe against the backdrop of warring factions scenario. I am very much looking forwards to where the remaining crew will boldly go.
"WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT"
A few months ago I VOLUNTOLD you that BOB would have legions of fans. Now I am telling you this will be the next book to hit number one in Sci-Fi Contemporary. This book has science galore, comedy galore, aliens galore and space battles. To say I love it would be an IMPLIED DUH, but than OVERKILL IS UNDER RATED.
YOU GOT SOME SPLAINING TO DO LUCY
The book is over 16 hours long, and Jim The Impatient listened to all 16+ hours and was entertained all the way. Alanson has great timing and knows how to keep a story from going stale. For example, just when I thought the book was going to enter a shoot-em up phase and become boring, we are introduced to SKIPPY, an A-HOLE AI, who is witty and funny. There is something here for all Sci-Fi fans. Nothing is really new, but a lot of the good old stuff is used. For instance there are ELDERS, CLIENT RACES, PATRONS, ANCIENT ARIFACTS AND THE COLLECTIVE.
EMBRACE THE SUCK
I am not saying this is my favorite, just that it will hit number one. My favorites in the category and in order are, The Martian, Ready Player One, Bob and than this book. Some might roll their eyes at the serendipity of finding Skippy and all that he does to get them out of trouble, but if you can get past that you will love this.
SCREW ONE SHEEP
I have been listening to books since the cassette days. I have heard lots of great narrators. I don't believe I have ever heard one grow in their job as well as Bray. He started out good, with his great voice, but what he has put into the last couple of books, I have listened to has just blown my mind. Based on the last two books, he read for me, I would say he has to be my favorite.
ALPHA MIKE FOXTROT
"A Book to Lighten Up the Mood"
This is one of those shallow, entertaining on-the-rails rollercoaster books I love. The whole point is escapism and laughs. Sorry, but there isn't any real character development, giant allegories, or any of that silly "literature" stuff here.
What we do have is one poor combat grunt that keeps ending up in the worst possible place at the worst possible times. Each time he ends up there good ol' Lady Luck comes around and beats him with a baseball bat filled with love and barbwire. Plucky plans against different enemy alien shenanigans and a fateful meeting with a uproarious lonely male (weird right?) AI ensues. The AI even admits that he's a jerk.
So if you want a hilarious adventure romp on easy mode, pick this book up, I mean it is like Old Man's War or Willful Child. If not, go pick up I dunno, 2001 or something.
"Well...THAT was Certainly a Lot of Fun !!"
At 16 hours, this is actually like reading two separate books -- the first is a pretty well done military "grunts in space" story. It is a notch above the usual because of the narration which is just great. But at about the halfway point, it transforms to a space opera-type of tongue-in-cheek story that is somewhere between Redshirts and Ready Player One -- inside jokes, clever asides and a much more self-aware story....and did I mention the narrator???? I'm not going to give away the story -- which is not really rocket science (sorry) -- but I think you will very much enjoy.
"This book is SO MUCH FUN!!i"
I've listened to a lot of really excellent books and this book is excellent in it's category. I was totally enjoying a well written piece of entertainment, narrated by the perfect narrator for the book and bam! It got even so much better!!
I don't like this question because it's asking for spoilers, but I think I can say when Skippy and Joe got together, without giving too much away.
Yes, yes, yes! And I want the next book. NOW!!!
This is a 100% entertaining book. Not believable, but that was no way a goal of the writers. Entertaining, fun, exciting. If you like sci-if fun, go for it. You will not be disappointed.
"Nice ideas. Amusing tone. Interesting story."
I wish that four stars had not become the equivalent of a bad review. It leaves no room for truly stellar books which, this is not. For me, four stars is a book that I truly enjoyed and consider hours listening to be time well spent.
The main characters are appealing. The relationship between Colonel Joe and Skippy manages to capture some sincere emotion, as well as provide a lot of laughs. The plot is action based and moves along nicely, at least once Mr Alanson got used to the story.
(You'll need a little patience in the first hour or so. The author is a little more fascinated with the details at first. Fortunately, he finds a much better balance soon enough. The story moves along well after a little while.)
The narration is good. RC Bray always does good work. He's clear with character differentiation and doesn't try too hard to 'act' (I hate it when a reader tries to 'bring characters to life' with accents and such. If the author didn't achieve that with the text, it's not important. Not a problem in this reading.) That said, I don't know if the text has ever "ing" as "in'" but I wish he had stopped it.
I don't know that the book has any real literary value but I don't think it was meant to. It was a terrific ride across the galaxy and I will enjoy subsequent books as they arrive.
When I complete a book, I always try to imagine it in a book club. In this case, I think the conversation about this would focus on "It was funny when...".
And that is a very good thing.
"I want more like this"
Excellent story and characters. I'm beginning to develop a sense for the titles I should look for. less space battles and more character interactions. I will buy book two.
"Wish I had a talking A**hole beer can."
Great job by Alanson so well written, and Bray does a phenomenal job on distinguishing characters. With these two working together, it's going to be a great series, look forward to the next installment.
Great story and great narrator!!! Cannot wait for book 2!! Kept me intrigued the entire time
started slow. almost lost interest. by the end I was frantically trying to find out when the next book will be on audible. turns out to be very original.
"An Excellent Sci-Fi Adventure"
This was a really excellent book that kept me wanting to listen straight through... It was just about everything I could want in a good sci-fi book, and more!
The story begins with an alien invasion that takes the world by surprise. Power plants and critical infrastructure across the planet are targeted and Earth's military forces are no match for their overwhelming force. A military reservist and his buddies manage to capture one of the alien soldiers after their ship crash lands in their hometown. The main character treats him well and eventually releases him, bringing him to the attention of the military's top brass and winning the appreciation of the alien race.
The aliens are soon driven away by another superior alien force. Pegging the new aliens as the saviors of the planet, Earth governments are all too happy to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers off planet to fight along-side their technologically superior allies. However, their new "allies" may not be all that they appear to be, and a great deal of our military might is now off planet... Do they really have humanity's best interest in mind? Are our attackers and enemies really out to harm or destroy humanity?
The main character goes from a small town enlisted reservist to one of the last, best hopes for humanity. Can he, a single powerful ally, and a rag-tag group of soldiers protect the planet from the vastly superior technology of the other alien races in the galaxy? Can they pull Earth off of the front lines of a millennia-long proxy war?
This book was good for the first half but was positively outstanding by the last few chapters. Not only was it good, but it was actually full of great humor. I laughed out loud on multiple occasions. The writing really was excellent. I was actually pretty surprised at the direction it went, but that was a good thing! I can't wait to listen to the next book.
The narrator was top-notch. He's narrated several other books I've listened to and I couldn't be happier.
This book will be enjoyed by any fans of military or space sci-fi. It has everything from alien tech, land battles, space battles, and all of the characters are very realistic and believable. All of the military slang and jargon were straight out of your choice of military service. 5 stars all-around!
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