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Germline (The Subterrene War #1)

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3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  855 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews

Germline (n): the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage that can be passed to the next generation. Also (slang): secret military program to develop genetically engineered supersoldiers.

One hundred years from now, Russia and the United States are at odds again. This time the war has gone hot. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds

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MP3 Book, Unabridged Library Edition, 1 page
Published July 26th 2011 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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(showing 1-30 of 2,442)
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Mark Lawrence
Mar 23, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of the debut SFF books I've read recently this one comes closest to literary fiction and has the best prose (bar Half-Sick of Shadows). The book's been described as very dark and depressing. I just found it interesting and at times exciting. The protagonist is messed up with a drug habit and post traumatic stress (is it 'post' if it's happening during the stress?). He's a journalist and so the ideal observation point to have on this futuristic war for Earth's diminishing resources.

A lot of weap
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Timothy Ward
You don't give a book five stars for having a flawless story, you give a book five stars because at the end you want to scream, "This book is awesome!" The book should change you through living in the main character's skin. You pick the book up each time with the same familiarity as if you were sitting down for coffee with your best friend and they are going to tell you a story. You finish the book feeling like you are saying goodbye to a dear friend. I've done this before, having lived in Austr ...more
Justin
http://staffersmusings.blogspot.com/2...

Wow. Before I go any further into this review I want to be up front that I don't really feel qualified to review or judge this novel until I read it a second time. Nevertheless, I'm going to give it my best go. Please consider this more of a "first impressions" review that some kind of detailed analysis.

(Edit: After finishing the review, this has got be the longest "first impressions" post ever. Oh well, my blog, my run on incoherent thoughts.)

I finished
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Ranting Dragon
May 20, 2012 Ranting Dragon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: michelle
Germline, T. C. McCarthy’s ambitious debut novel, is the first installment in his Subterrene War trilogy. While it is ostensibly labeled as work of near-future military science fiction, that description barely scratches the surface of the true scope of the novel: Germline is, in essence, a gritty and confronting coming-of-age story featuring a deeply flawed protagonist. The result is intense, uncomfortable, and more than just a little bit brilliant.

A grim, believable future, and a protagonist to
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Mike (the Paladin)
I find more and more that rating books (for me anyway) is getting to be a very tricky thing, at least sometimes. This book is probably better at least in some sense than the 3 star rating will indicate. Still there's a reason I decided I had to go with 3. So, let's again say this is the much lamented "3.5" star book.

This is a story of a future war. The world has ground down to the point that metals are apparently in perennial short supply. Some is being mined in space we're told but it's still v
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Michelle
Apr 20, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, debut
http://www.vilutheril.com/?p=1198

Germline, T.C. McCarthy’s ambitious debut novel, is the first installment in his Subterrene War trilogy. While it is ostensibly labeled as work of near-future military science fiction, that description barely scratches the surface of the true scope of the novel: Germline is, in essence, a gritty and confronting coming-of-age story featuring a deeply flawed protagonist. The result is intense, uncomfortable, and more than just a little bit brilliant.

A grim, believa
...more
Ove
Aug 16, 2011 Ove rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gritty and Painfully Realistic

There is something I like with war correspondents. This is the second book about one this year that I have been impressed by.

Oscar Wendell is down on his luck addicted to drugs but assigned to be the first reporter allowed to the frontline when the story starts. I have seldom read a story so gritty and painfully realistic about war as this one given of course it is military science fiction.

In the near future wars are fought over metals in the earth crust. The soldie
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Jason Pettus
Sep 19, 2011 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It's not often that a sci-fi military-thriller mass paperback with a cheesy front cover will remind you of a Pulitzer nominee, but that's certainly the case with T.C. McCarthy's absolutely astounding literary debut Germline; because as a military veteran with a dark past himself, McCarthy brings the same k
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Markus
Jan 18, 2015 Markus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this after reading Justin's great review. This was a very different kind coming of age story, to say the least. A very bleak, a dark story about the very unlikeable war reporter who is drugged out most of the story and who is a quite big asshole. I got feeling at somewhere around the halfway mark, that 'why i'm reading about this pulitzer-hound-asshole', but by the end it was really worth of it, because it's was surprisingly emotional and it made me want to read more from this McCarthy gu ...more
Dale
Feb 21, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!

Read by Donald Corren
Duration: Approximately 9 hours.
Published by Blackstone Audio, 2011.


T.C. McCarthy’s Germline is a non-stop military techno-adventure set in the middle of a war in Central Asia in the 22nd century. Russia and the United States are fighting over the resources of Kazakhstan. It turns out that Kazakhstan is rich in rare metals that are needed for the 22nd century’s technological devices. They have to be mined deep in the mountains of Kazakhstan and the mines, countryside, li
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Grete
Review originally published on BookThing!

I started reading Germline about 12.30 this afternoon, intending to read for a little and have a nap. Now it’s just gone 5pm and I may be a little bleary eyed after no sleep but I just finished the book and then had to take a little time to reflect on it before I wrote the review.

Germline is not an easy read, it has all too realistic scenes of death, insanity and desperation in war, the main character is about the most self-indulgent mess of an anti-hero
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Ross Hamilton
Dec 26, 2011 Ross Hamilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dislike trying to sum up a novel in a single word but on this occasion it is not hard to do so: brutal.

Initially I was expecting something along the lines of space opera or military sci fi but I was a long way from right.

This is a future where the USA is the aggressor in a war for mineral resources. In a short time, losses on both sides are horrific, despite the introduction of the genetically engineered super-soldiers. On the US-side, these are all identical teenage females, which if they sur
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Paul Nelson
Feb 15, 2012 Paul Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books-read
An extremely intense, gritty ride through a futuristic war with the Russians over metals underground.
Our chief protagonist battles through drug addiction and an over whelming need to find love in war struck Kazakhstan. A fairly short book at 350 pages but a quick read as you cannot put this book down.
Told in first person, you really get into the head of the reporter Oscar Wendall as he goes through emotional and physical hell in positions where people seem to get blown away around him - yet he
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Mary Ellingson
Sep 18, 2011 Mary Ellingson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hold onto your seat, intense read. A well crafted world of our possible future with countries waring over natural resources. An addict reporter embedded with the troops that include genetic FEMALE soldiers. It's not just about the war but also the reporter Oscar's internal war with addiction, love, friendship and life. He adapts throughout the story in an unwilling manner at times so that he can survive.
Daniel
Dec 19, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is military sci-fi and it is raw. It's raw and desperate and beautiful and wonderful. This ain't a bang bang pull the trigger novel. It's about a man who is in a war he shouldn't have any part of, and he's a civilian working for Stars and Stripes to begin with. Our warfare, science and technology as enabled the U.S. to create super soldiers to go where we cant, fight the battles we will lose. The staggering and original twist to this is that the genetics we use are all cloned females. Stron ...more
Brandon Snow
Aug 21, 2011 Brandon Snow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the grimmest books I've ever read but I can't remember the last time I was so captivated by a story.
Amanda
It’s been a while since I ventured in military scifi. I usually stick with the more sociological/psych experiment or cyberpunk areas of the genre, but this one just stuck out to me. I think its combination of aspects is just intriguing–a drug addicted journalist, a future war on earth, underground warfare, and robots. It certainly held my attention and flamed my interest in military scifi.

Oscar is a well-rounded character. At first he seems flat and frankly like a total douchebag, but that’s bec
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Nicole L Bates
Jun 11, 2012 Nicole L Bates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
For me this story is about one man’s search for something pure in a deeply flawed world. Germline is told from the perspective of Oscar Wendell, a drug addicted reporter, a “still born son of conflict” who chooses to place himself in the midst of a brutal futuristic war. Though he does everything he can to avoid feeling, his greatest desire is to feel, to find something to live for.

I appreciate the way the author uses syntax to put the reader inside Oscar’s mind. The story begins with very abrup
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Libby
In the future, armies battle in bleak and hazard-filled tunnels over rare metal ores. Every country wants them badly enough to expend lives and blood for them. The germline of the title refers to soldiers, gene-altered and created specifically to fight ferociously in these horrible conditions.

I had to pause for a while before I reviewed this book. This is a well written book, the kind I like best. I gave it four stars because of its ring of authenticity. I have never been in combat, but the batt
...more
Jessica Strider
Sep 13, 2011 Jessica Strider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Pros: realistic depictions of war, interesting use of genetically engineered soldiers, deals with the aftermath of war as well as the war itself

Cons: character driven, very intense descriptions

War between the Americans and the Russians over minerals in Kazakhstan is big news, and Stars and Stripes reporter Oscar Wendell is the first reporter allowed to visit the front lines. His addiction to drugs, the time he spends at the front and meeting a contingent of genetics irrevocably change him so tha
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Rob
Oct 13, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Where to begin with this one? Well, bleak might a good word for starters. Few novels I’ve read have depicted the dirtiness, pain, monotony and sheer distress involved in war. Wendell is not a hero, he has serious drug problems, which have led to and compounded his family problems, he isn’t the nicest or bravest guy in the world, and he has a tendency not to turn his writing assignments in on time. One thing at which Oscar excels; however, is endearing himself to the soldiers with which he follow
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Kevin Syers
Oct 03, 2011 Kevin Syers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished Germline last night. This was a great story told well.

A few reviews mentioned the fact that it seemed like a video game. The protagonist goes from point A to point B, then has to do X before he can leave for point C. Before I read any reviews I did notice this pattern but instead of thinking of a video game I thought of it just being Oscar (the main character), not bound by military restrictions, trying to survive and eventually just get home.

I've never been to war but I could ima
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Sharon
May 13, 2012 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A very immersive story. Oscar is a richly flawed, but still very empathetic character, and the setting is interesting. I did find myself rereading passages in the early parts of the book because I was having trouble figuring out if they were flashbacks or not, but the narration always felt authentic to the character, so this isn't really a complaint.

My only real complaint is that the one conflict that takes place between Oscar and Sophie seemed to resolve itself too quickly and neatly. Truthful
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Dave
Aug 09, 2011 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a futuristic war novel. Most of the time I couldn't put this one down, I was completely drawn in. The lead character is really flawed and spends much of the early story high. Since it is told in the first person, this became tough to read. I am not much for mind-altered states. However, as I was considering putting it down, McCarthy stopped letting that aspect dominate and it became enjoyable again.

This book portrays the anonymous bloodbath of war, had a lot of action, and many deep refl
...more
Patrick Mcgee
Apr 10, 2012 Patrick Mcgee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Germline is a futuristic, scifi, military-focused novel masquerading as literary fiction. This one is almost all character driven and focuses on the impacts of war. The plot is paper thin and really didn't become tangible until over 250 pages in. Those last 100 or so pages were riveting, though. Without the pace picking up in the last third I would have stuck with 3 stars on this one instead of four. I think it worth checking out for those interested sci fi and a gritty look into the atrocities ...more
Clyde
Sep 17, 2014 Clyde rated it really liked it
Intense and brutal, Germline is a totally absorbing military SF novel. It is also difficult to describe. It reminds me a lot of the stories that came out of World Wars 1 and 2 in that it is not about glory and has very little heroism. It is more about the ultimate hopelessness of war and the physical and mental destructiveness, even for those who survive.
The term "germline" refers to genetically engineered soldiers who form an important part of the fighting forces. However, to me that isn't wha
...more
Richard Pippen
Aug 18, 2012 Richard Pippen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent military sci-fi novel. The main character has the luck of the devil on his side as he makes his drug-addled journey through a horribly war-torn Kazakhstan. He eventually becomes the unwitting and unwilling guide to survival to a new kid in the war, and in a weird symbiotic way, the kid helps guide him back to reality. Great potrayal of the realities of war and one man's journey through it.
Manoj Srivastava
Aug 21, 2011 Manoj Srivastava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, sci-fi
Gritty, yes. Reminded me of "apocalypse now" and "hamburger hill" and "the deer hunter". With a grown up version of "star ship troopers", and a hint of "blade runner" thrown in. Despite all this, a very compelling read. I bought this yesterday, on our trip to the Olympic Peninsula, in Winslow. This is mid afternoon, and I am done with it already.
Raphael Vincent
May 18, 2012 Raphael Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a character piece. It didn't need a plot to be good and it was good. Rarely have I read of characters so real and sympathetic that I actually felt something for them. And it helps that its narrative style was so immersive.
Nicholas Mastrodicasa
This was one of the most unique books I'd come across in some time. It was a one night read, it was that good. I can't say enough good about this book, the characters and idea were solid and plausible as was the technology.
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T.C. McCarthy is an award winning southern author whose short fiction has appeared in Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas, in Story Quarterly and in Nature. His debut novel, Germline, and its sequel, Exogene are available worldwide and the final book of the trilogy, Chimera, will be released in August 2012. In addition to being an author, T.C. is a PhD scientist ...more
More about T.C. McCarthy...

Other Books in the Series

The Subterrene War (3 books)
  • Exogene (The Subterrene War, #2)
  • Chimera (The Subterrene War, #3)

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