Outcast : Star Force

  • by B. V. Larson, David VanDyke
  • Narrated by Mark Boyett
  • Series: Star Force
  • 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Star Force is called to arms again! Outcast is a new beginning, the first book in a new spin-off series.
Many peaceful years have passed since the Macro Wars ended. Most of those who fought against the heartless machines have aged - but not the ingenious artificial construct known as Marvin. His insatiable curiosity is as strong as ever, and he’s brought home fresh perils to humanity’s doorstep.
The new Saga in the Star Force universe begins with Outcast, the longest book in the series. A full length novel of military science fiction by bestselling authors B. V. Larson and David VanDyke.


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Outcast opens a new chapter in the Star Force series now seeing Kyle Riggs's son, Cody Riggs playing the lead character and pretty much taking over from where his retired father left off although in a different and fresh direction. The macros, the implacable machine based enemy of all biotic life has been defeated and no longer reigns supreme within the series of rings connecting several star systems.

I wasn't sure quite what to expect from Outcast given that the series as I had known it had ran its course and concluded with the previous book. I knew this book was a sort of spin-off but it really is a continuation of the Riggs family tree now seeing Kyle Riggs's son, Cody Riggs getting into all sorts of trouble as a freshly commissioned Ensign in Star Force. With no Macros forces to fight this book explores the tantalising destinations of the rings which are known to link several star systems. During the entire 9 Star Force books preceding Outcast only a half dozen systems connected via these rings had been explored but it was hinted at that some 200 systems were linked and so there was huge scope for expansion which I am happy to say this book now begins to deal with. Larson now with his co-writer David Van Dyke depict three new and very different alien species and does it extremely well. In the previous stories, Larson managed cleverly to paint us a picture of alien cultures that were very different from our own and avoided many of the human-like attributes often given to "aliens" that we see so much of on TV. The imaginative rendering of these new species brings refreshing expansion to the Star Force universe with new foes that function in very different ways to what we have seen before.

As I approached the end of this excellent story I found myself comparing the situation of Cody Riggs and his crew to be somewhat similar to that depicted in the Star Trek Voyager television series wherein a small band of humanity is effectively stranded far away from home and must make and sometimes break alliances in order to survive and also learn how not all is what it appears to be.

I found Outcast a gripping and action packed read and was amazed at the pace and amount crammed into this story. Larson has always had the ability to write lengthy and exciting combat sequences that immerse the reader in the danger and action which makes for a listen that you will just not want to stop.

My only slight critique of the story is that I have my doubts that such a young and inexperienced junior officer regardless of who his father was and the stories learned from that father would be quite so battle hardened and exhibit such wisdom and tactical prowess without several years of hard battling under his belt. He just seems a little too young and green to me to be quite so incisive and self assured. In many respects, when reading this story we can easily forget that it is supposed to be Kyle Riggs son we're listening too and it does seem that the old war horse, Kyle Riggs is at the helm of this adventure once more. This doesn't bother me and I don't see this as a reason to mark the story down a star as it has fantastic entertainment value and is just so well written that it becomes irrelevant really. I suppose if a twenty-something young fresh faced officer was written more realistically then he and his crew would have been dead very quickly and so there would be no story at all.

Mark Boyett as ever deserves a mention as the narrator of Outcast and has been for all prior books in the saga. In this story he gets to show us that his repertoire of voices and accents is larger than the previous stories allowed and we hear new characters voiced superbly. Not sure if it's the writing or a reading error by Boyett but I have noticed a couple of mistakes in the narration. One was when he said "Back Packing" when it was clear that based on context that it should have been "Back Slapping" and I even think that he may have said "Barned the burn down" instead of "burned the barn down" but that might have been just me! Nevertheless, Boyett's narration is excellent and I can think of no better to voice the Star Force series.

Oh, one other minor thing I noticed that amused me as a UK listener is that it does seem that many American authors tend to depict British characters in a very outdated stereotypical way. This usually means that they are stiff upper lipped, very posh and use some vernacular that is somewhat outdated. Still, I have to giggle when I hear such things as I remember an American cousin of mine back in the early 80's once ask me "Do they have telephones in England?".

Outcast is a thoroughly enjoyable read and is already one of my favourites so far in the Star Force series of books. It explores new star systems and new and very different alien life in a refreshing and interesting way and has plenty of action to keep even the most battle hardened story veterans happy.

Read it, you will not be disappointed.
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- S. Morris

Another Great Book

I can't wait for the next in the series, all three, the two authors and Mark Boyett combined to make the whole storey addictive, the ten books have gone by in the blink of an eye,
I highly reccomend this as a great listen/read.
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- stig1875

Book Details

  • Release Date: 22-07-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios