The ‘Star Force’ novels by B.V. Larson tell the story of augmented human soldiers in a war against powerful alien foes. I’ve seen the books pop up now and again. I think I even have one of them buried on my Kindle somewhere. I probably took advantage of a free deal at some point. I do like Science Fiction with a military bend, but free doesn’t always equal cheap. The analogy fits; as a reviewer, I always have a lot of books to read, so my time is valuable, is it not?
Army Of One is another freebie offered by Audible.com. At roughly two and a half hours, it’s the perfect length for a trip to New York City and back…if, say, you live in Pennsylvania. You’ll want something longer if you’re driving from California. I could make recommendations, but that would be another article. Numbered 4.5 in the series, this novella covers events that occur during the course of the fourth book. The ‘Star Force’ novels are first person, from the point of view of Kyle Riggs. As he can’t be in everywhere at once, despite his enhancements, ‘Army Of One’ is from the point of view of another nanotized man, Bjorn Gaines.
Gaines is a talented assassin. He not only kills efficiently, but has perfected what he terms the more important part of the job: disappearing afterwards. Hunted by men who want to recruit him to spy on Star Force, Gaines employs such talents to disappear in the Florida Keys. There, he indulges in a vacation of a sort, eking out a simple existence on a remote island, until the impending war between the Earth and the Macros lights up the sky.
The war eventually catches up with Bjorn and he is faced with a choice, one that doesn’t include disappearing. Regardless, he does disappear, but only so he can join Star Force on his own terms.
Army Of One is an entertaining story and a compelling ‘read’. The calm narration of the audio version is a perfect counterpoint to the action, which is thrilling, intense and gruesome. Bjorn, as a character, is fascinating. Through his thoughts, enough backstory is revealed to give the novella a place in the series without overwhelming the reader/listener with detail. It’s a perfectly encapsulated adventure. That being said, I would like to read more. I find the idea nanotized humans fascinating and I always like reading about aliens. The more fearsome the better.
Written for SFCrowsnest.