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This is without doubt a strange book to review. The story moves along at at good pace keeping the listener engaged in the story. The series of books also keep you hooked so you want to know what happens next.
The problem I have is with the main character Kyle Riggs, he must be the most arrogant pillock I have ever come across. As long as you can resist putting your fist through your speakers it's a good listen.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Annihilation, the seventh book in the Star Force series from author B V Larson steps things up to the next level being a rather more riveting read than perhaps the previous two books. This is not to say that the previous titles were not in themselves a decent and enjoyable read but Larson has managed to find another gear with Annihilation which is just astonishing when you consider just how consistently good an author he is. I have praised Larsson's work in both this series and the other "Undying Mercenaries" series which I recommend by the way and I cannot say that I have read what amounts to a poor story from him so far. I would have to say, rather ironically perhaps, that the first book that kicked off this series entitled "Swarm" was in my view the overall weakest. Having read that book I was left in two minds as to whether I should carry on with the series or call it a day on it. I was very pleased that I did carry on with the series and can definitely say that Larson has developed and weaved a clever saga thus far which is of high quality. Each book can be read in a stand-alone format if the reader so decides and Larson does do some minor background exposition in order to fill in a new reader on the key elements but as the series progresses I think it becomes more and more necessary to have read the series thus far.
Interestingly, the publishers notes on Audible state that this story is the longest one yet in the series but it comes in at a run time of under 13 hours which does not make it the longest so far so I am puzzled how this claim was come by. Had the narrator been different and perhaps read slower then the claim might be justified in some way but wisely the publisher sticks with the excellent Mark Boyett who has read at a consistent speed throughout the series. Anyway, a very minor observation and not one that impacts the story in any way.
Larson keeps the reader or listener in this case engaged at all times and I can honestly say that I never found my mind wandering from time to time as has been sometimes the case with other authors works. Larson's prose are straightforward and efficient and moves the narrative along in a flowing and natural way which I really like.
For those of you that have read the series so far, I will not go into any plot detail here but suffice to say that things are not good for our hero, Kyle Riggs and events in Annihilation leave him emotionally scarred. One plot element I did feel was sort of clear to see from the readers perspective as to how it would turn out and the old axiom of "Trust no one" perhaps rings true in this story. let's just say that one of Rig's major weaknesses is that despite his age, his judgement is often influenced by a pretty face.
As briefly alluded to above, the narrator, Mark Boyett does an excellent job as ever and his range of voices is both wide and superb in quality. Larson has a particular knack of portraying alien species in a way that does not try to bestow human personality or cultural traits upon them and succeeds brilliantly in depicting a truly alien mind that works very differently from our own. I did spot some minor errors during the reading of this book and I don't know if they were errors of narration or writing. In one chapter we encounter what sounds to me like a "Commander Becker" who promptly becomes "Commodore Becker" on two subsequent occasions before returning to her rightful rank of Commander once more. Later, unless I heard the name wrong originally, it sounds like the Becker character has become Decker. I think I spotted just one other minor error where I heard the word "turned" instead of what clearly should have been "tuned". Again, very minor and as I said, it could actually be the writing or proof reading process that was in error and not the excellent narration.
Annihilation packs a lot of punch and is a story that never slows down. As ever with a series of books from Larson, we are left in an interesting situation that just begs the reader to come back for the next instalment. This seventh book in the Star Force series is an excellent read and will not disappoint.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I have, of course, read all the other book in this series and it is slipping. I hope B.V. Larson or one of his associates read these reviews. The character, Kyle Riggs, is becoming juvenile and just as much a dictator as his hated foe, Crowe. I don't understand. Col. Riggs is generally an idiot, and therefore, I'm losing interest in him and almost wish he would be killed off. When, after how many years in space and countless battlefields, do Kyle Riggs suppose to learn from his mistakes. It's becoming frustrating to read/listen to. The narrator is good though. I like him.
29 of 36 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Annihilation to be better than the print version?
Of course. Mark Boyett is such an accomplished narrator, a favorite - right next to Scott Brick. He is so good that when I read print edition of any novel I hear Mark's voice anyway.
What did you like best about this story?
Ever notice how one character just seems to steal every scene even when they aren't really trying to? Our beloved galactic robot - Marvin - has gone and upgraded himself for a specific project. In his best effort to take care of a tragic situation for Col. Riggs, he's applied his unemotional and scientific zeal for discovery and taken it to a grotesque level. Yet, you cannot help but appreciate his adaptive creativity.
Which scene was your favorite?
This was a toss up for me. There is a scene where Riggs and some of his "Pigs" are hunkered down in the dirt trying to fight a gigantic mech that is steamrolling over them. Hoping to score a win by fighting from underneath the behemoth, the team finds themselves with a frighteningly over-sized target sure to squish them. That little battle was so well written I could sense the fear and hear the deafening sounds.The second scene is where Kyle Riggs punches into the room to see what Marvin is up to. The resulting description of Marvin's self-edit to accomplish a medical task was a stroke of macabre that really spiced up an otherwise predictable storyline.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Yes, its the funeral scene. I don't want to let out here who dies, but the scene is so powerful. Go ahead and place a bookmark here - because this, in my opinion, is the turning point for Kyle.
Any additional comments?
I was afraid that this book might be a little bit of a dud based on other reviews. I disagree, having found this to be a critical book in the series. Its the perfect setup for a change in the protagonist's personality and sets us on the path of something new. The narration was flawless as usual for Mr. Boyett. Trust the series, trust B.V., and go ahead and get Annihilation. Its worth the credit or the coin. Well done!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful