Swarm (Star Force, #1)
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Swarm (Star Force #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,747 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Earth arms marines with alien technology and builds its first battle fleet! Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there.

A novel of military sc...more
Kindle Edition, 263 pages
Published December 23rd 2010
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Mike (the Paladin)
I read some of the other reviews on this one and I see it got a lot of good ratings. There were a couple however that rated it fairly low and said things like, "simplistic" or "no depth". The main question that came to my mind at that was, "who picks up a book titled Swarm (Star Force 1) looking for a deep philosophical tome?" It's the people who had the same sort of complaint about Monster Hunter International I suppose...what did you expect? We get it, you're too highbrow for the rest of "us"...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit. http://www.fantasyliterature.com

Professor Kyle Riggs and his kids were asleep in their house when the alien spaceship arrived. It killed the kids, kidnapped Kyle, and put him through a series of grueling tests. Since he was still alive afterward, the ship made Kyle the captain. This has been happening all over Earth. Most of the captured humans have been killed because they couldn’t make it through the rigorous tests, but all the survivors are now piloting spaceships...more
Robert
“Incoming Message: You are the leader of the indigenous resistance forces.” “Tell them yes. Yes, I’m speaking for this world”

Swarm immediately engaged me with its fast paced and nightmarish plot centered around an indentifiable every man. The action and mystery easily carried me through and kept me entertained. If you are looking for a light read, good old fashioned adventure sci fi and like to cheer for the hero this is the book for you. If however you're looking for depth and complexity look e...more
Pamela ☼where's my aspirin☼ Tee
SWARM is a book for when you are in the mood for what they would have called in the old days, 'a testosterone-driven' read. It's a book with aliens, space ships, and invasions much in keeping with the scifi classics.

The story is told in first person. Kyle Riggs is our protagonist and he makes a convincing computer scientist cum war hero. Something along the lines of a Heinlein character; a man of wit who rises to the occasion.

WHAT I LIKED:
--The concept was great and interesting.
--I particularl...more
Maurice Alvarez
This was my first exposure to B.V. Larson’s writing, and I was riveted from the start. I read Swarm in two sessions; I just did not want to put it down until I found out how it ended.

The plot is simple, much like the E.E. Smith “Lensman” novels: forces try to one-up each other in a series of combat scenarios, either by tech or tactics while an alien device assists our side. But the first person POV of main protagonist Kyle Riggs works marvelously to get the story to that point, as the reader is...more
Banner
Very soon into this book I thought this was going to be a three star. Fast starting adventure with nasty aliens. It has kind of a retro feel of a 1950's b rate movie; there is even a scene with a scantly clad damsel in distressed, that is chained to the wall. But the plot is very tightly written and the story continued to flow without any disjointed sub story lines. The imagination grew as did the story until a ending that was able to surprise without a major cliffhanger.

Recommended for pure en...more
Sean
Swarm is an interesting read, quickly morphing from one sort of alien incursion story to another, I found it far from satisfying. While some attempt is made to justify the technologies involved, they really are what the author needs to drive the story in the direction he wants.

The ships tasked, like the one that kidnap our main character, with defending the Earth from the invading 'Macros' seem to be ideally designed to kill their pilots and fail in their task, as they have no coherent tactics a...more
Sarena Straus
I picked up Swarm based soley on a recommendation and reviews on Audible.com and I'm so glad I did. This book is fantastic, fast moving, well written (really well narrated if you do Audible) and incredibly creative. The novel starts with a bang when Kyle Riggs' children are snatched up by an alien spacecraft and dropped to their deaths moments later. Needless to say, Kyle is pissed and grabs a rifle (he's a farmer/computer science professor, so the rifle is on hand) before the arm reaches down t...more
G33z3r
A sci-fi fantasy in which a college professor meets aliens and rises to command a fleet of spaceships and nano-technology super soldiers. because, smart beats brawn? Our hero seems to be the only intelligent man on planet Earth, forced to personally solve every problem when the planet is faced with not one but two rival alien invasions. (Oh, and he accidentally ends up with a hot naked college coed in bondage, too. One of the many perks of commanding an all-powerful alien-built starship.) Minima...more
Paul
Light and fun. Lot's of action.
Alex
Light but entertaining. This book is what I would call Science Pulp Fiction. It's pulpy, filled with action and short, you can read it in one sitting. The characters are pretty thin, the women are "hot with tanned legs" and in constant need of rescuing, there are overwhelming odds to overcome and bad guys to kill.

Although most of these things would normally be pretty negative for a good book, here they're positives as long as you know what you're getting into. This is a Sunday afternoon popcorn...more
Phil Johnson
Well done. The main character just has his children eviscerated by aliens. For the rest of the book, he throws token remorse in their direction, but really spends most of his time trying to get into the pants of the hot/curvy/mostly-naked/restrained woman that ends up falling for him for some reason.



Bonus points for all of the hot-blooded Latina stereotypes! I'm surprised her skin color wasn't compared to food, like flan or something.

I'll give a star for the tech though. Yay nanos!
Mike Nemeth
B.V. Larson is a bit of a throwback, the kind of writer who introduces a strong character and then subjects the poor guy to tragedy so heart-rending a lesser individual would simply lie down and die like a dog. Not Kyle Riggs. His two wonderful kids get killed in the opening scenes of Larson's "Swarm." And Riggs avoids death at the hands of some evil, unknown force only through shear anger. He's not defeated. He's angry. And he wants payback. What Riggs discovers is a computer-driven ship that w...more
T.W. Duke
This is one of those books that a guilty pleasure… Like porn… Without the careful thought provoking writing or the attention to craft. Its science fiction at its most… adequate? And as one reviews stated: You read a book entitled Star Force and you get what you get.

Well after b*tching about “The Warded Man” about how there was too much character development we now have a book with almost no character development whatsoever…

A big fleet of space ships with robots on board only slightly less intel...more
Steven Brandt
I have to say that Swarm is one of the most unusual science fiction stories I have read.

Unknown to backwoods planet Earth, there is a super-advanced race of beings slowly making their way across the universe, destroying everything in their path. This race will soon become known as the Macros and they are now on a direct course for Earth. Lucky for Earth there is another race out there who has made it their sworn duty to battle the Macros, or at least to help their victims defend themselves. Thi...more
Avihu
Complete and utter garbage. This book feels like a sci-fi novelisation of the recent GI Joe movies. Complete nonsense for the sake of cheap and fast action. No character development. No reasonable plot. Just a description of explosions and idiotic decision making to distract the reader from the absence of the plot. Nevertheless, there prominent references to other classics: Rama, Terminator and War of the Worlds are some that I spotted immediately.

After bashing the book generally, I will dive de...more
Janos Honkonen
B. V. Larson is one of those super prolific self publishers that are doing well on Amazon. Swarm is the first book in Star Force series, and it left me massively torn. On one hand, the book was entertaining. It was pretty pure pulp-military-scifi with giant robots and space battles and souped up space marines, and the basic premise of an alien invasion works well.

That was the good part. The bad - well, if I'm buying self published scifi, I'm not expecting to see massively nuanced characterizatio...more
Fred Fenimore
A Swing and a Miss?

Normally, when I read something with the words swarm and star force in the title, I get all warm and tingly thinking of all the hours I wiled away as a youngster swinging on my hammock reading Doc Smith. I expect to be transported for a couple of hours into a world where all the right people succeed simply by being the squarest of square bricks.

But what I got here was poorly written, badly plotted, sociopathic, uninteresting and much, much less. There is a kind of art to writi...more
Shane
As a stand alone scify, it wasn't that great. Character development is replaced by story. It is an interesting story though with interesting turns. "Independence Day" meets "Flight of the Navigator" meets Space Marines. The end is a note from the author that if this book gets good response, he will make a series of it. Should that happen, it might be worth the read.
Aaron
I wanted to like this book enough to finish it. I really really did. For so many reasons. But I was suffering. I was suffering too badly to continue to suffer, after getting at least 65% through the book. I love sci-fi, and I love speculative stuff and I can suspend disbelief for weird or new or even scientifically inaccurate stuff, so long as it's believable within its world. But so much of the human interactions here were completely unrealistic. The most prominent female character was inconsis...more
Thomas Umstattd
This is the first Sci-Fi I have read in a long time that was not written by either Isaac Asimov or Robert Heinlein. B.V Larson doesn't have the scientific depth of Asimov or the political philosophy of Heinlein but I found myself enjoying this immensely nonetheless. They are fast paced and not entirely devoid of real science.

In fact I have the feeling that B.V Larson is quite the student of history, astronomy, computer science and military philosophy. Mix equal portions of those topics and then...more
Taylor
Interesting concept that ends up becoming just adolescent male power-fantasy. Which is too bad. The premise is interesting, if nothing else: what if there's an interstellar war somewhere and autonomous, artificially intelligent spaceships are sent out into the galaxy to find pilots? What if a fleet of these ships came to earth and started picking up whoever they came across and submitted them to a series of tests? The protagonist is one such person. Early on, the strangeness of his situation is...more
James McNally
I've decided I'm going to be less critical of the books I read. I enjoyed this book a lot. the opening is exciting and gruesome. The story progresses quickly and fiercely. For the most part I found this book to be relatively original, but there were a few story lines and some of the alien technology was ripped off from previous work (one issue I had was the force fields reflected fast moving barrages but slower moving objects could pass through. This was done in Star Wars: the Phantom menace). O...more
Triopticon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Markham
This is a good and solid start to a series and I do intend to read the next instalment. However it is not brilliant, outstanding or anything of that nature. I think the series could turn out to be pretty good though.
I do like the writing style and I am happy that the book moves swiftly... Well, usually at any rate. I think perhaps had the book been a bit longer the feelings of the primery character could have been explained to us in more detail instead we were told how attractive the young femal...more
Mike
After finishing The Dog Star by Peter Heller with its great character development and such a feeling of authenticity, this was the complete opposite. I know I shouldn't expect much but I just couldn't get into this book with its weakly developed characters that are one second grieving for his brutally murdered children and in the next moment lusting after the hot young college student and saving the world to boot was just more than I could take. I figured life is too short to spend another minut...more
Servius  Heiner
Short, and not the best writing. However I really liked it.
Graham Storrs
This book left me cold. I'm not sure why. It was well-enough written but the premise, the characters and the story just seemed incredible. Yes, I know it's sci-fi and a certain suspension of disbelief is often required but the problems with this book went beyond the technology and the implied super-science. The people didn't feel right. No-one reacted to the extreme weirdness of what was happening with appropriate responses.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

The invasion of the Earth - to steal our (unspecified) 'r...more
Frank
May 31, 2012 Frank rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: scifi
This is a good, entertaining book.
Mathew
Right. I just finished book nine and want to review the series as a whole.

First off, kudos to Mr. Larson for netting a narrator as skilled as Mark Boyette. He brings Riggs to life and makes me believe his story. Secondly, Mr. Larson can write hoo-rah fight scenes and space battles amazingly well. Kyle starts the series confident, but not cocky. His nemeses seem at once unbelievably implacable (macros) and snarky pains (the australian guy, later Miklos). He triumphs using logic, reasoning, and a...more
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Brian Larson is an American science fiction and fantasy author
More about B.V. Larson...
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