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War Dogs (War Dogs #1)

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  1,207 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews

One more tour on the red.
Maybe my last.

They made their presence on Earth known thirteen years ago.

Providing technology and scientific insights far beyond what mankind was capable of. They became indispensable advisors and promised even more gifts that we just couldn't pass up. We called them Gurus.

It took t
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2014)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mike (the Paladin)
This is, in my opinion of course, military only in the strict sense of that phrase. It is about a group of marines that end up "lost" during a combat drop. Only a few have survived to reach the surface of Mars and now they have to survive there.

The book proceeds from there through what is discovered, uncovered There is some political pontificating but it comes across as thoughtful musings on the part of the narrator.

Frankly the less than stellar rating on my part comes partly fr
Reese Copeland
Aug 30, 2016 Reese Copeland rated it liked it
I found this to be an overall good book. Interesting story. Initially, reading it in the first person kind of drove me nuts. But as the story wore on, it actually was a good asset of the book. There were times it was hard to follow what was happening and I would sometimes get lost in the book. I listened to this as an audiobook.
Nov 30, 2014 Ric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the title and cover, not a war story per se, though it does start out seeming like one. The protagonist, presumably a war dog (?), relives his very strange experiences during a mission to Mars. There, he was meant to fight the Antags, aliens of unknown provenance, but ends up running for his life into the Eastern Grifter - an underground lair, old Martian hideout, crashed moon, mining skein, one of these, all of these, survives, and is smuggled back to earth, and becomes hunted for his ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Greg Bear does it again. War Dogs is a fast paced military, hard Sci-Fi and the best Mars novel I've read in a long time. Bear's prose is crisp and spare, and as one would expect from a future military. He manages to create compelling, visual characters and place in what seems a too short book. The ending is uncertain in a way that suggests this universe will be visited again. I certainly hope so.

Just learned it's to be a trilogy! I hope Greg writes as fast as he reads.

PS, I don't trust the Gu
Jack +Master Passion Read+

That's about the best response I can muster for this book. It's billed as an "epic tale of war", but I certainly didn't notice anything "epic" about it. And the war? What war? Seriously, there's more talking about the war than any actual combat, and the combat that is here is minimalistic at best. I get it...this is a thinking man's Sci-Fi tale. It just should have been labeled as such to avoid up-front confusion.

Honestly, this book started off on the wrong foot for me from the very beginnin
Brian Ruddock
Jan 22, 2015 Brian Ruddock rated it did not like it
I can't say this book is objectively bad. This is the first Bear book I've read, and he's clearly a talented and knowledgeable writer. I just really, really didn't like the style of this book for the following reasons:

-Focus on irrelevant details: way, way too much text is dedicated to describing the Martian landscape. It's one thing to properly set a scene and let readers form a sufficient mental picture, but I think he wasted way too many pages on boring details about each and every cliff, roc
Sep 23, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
Shelves: bea
War Dogs is the first book of a new trilogy by Greg Bear. I received an early review copy at BEA this year from the Orbit desk in the Hachette pavilion. This book is scheduled for release on October 14th 2014.

War Dogs is a futuristic sci-fi military novel. In the future, Earth has visitors are known as the Gurus. The Gurus gave Earth technological gifts and other bits of knowledge. This much is on the cover flap, so I can safely say that I am not spoiling anything. They came in peace and initia
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Look for the unexpected in War Dogs. Bear takes some familiar themes and really turns them around. There are the aliens (The Gurus) who show up first and seem helpful. Then there are the aliens (The Antags) that show up on Mars. The Gurus recruit humans to fight the Antags on Mars.. Sound familiar but it gets all turned around when something new is discovered.

War Dogs is the first book in a new series and most of it is devoted to back story and world building. Told from the first person view of
Flawed but interesting. The good - basically an update to the Space Marine as per Starship Troopers. Unlike in most Space Marines, this book definitely deals with the issue of having enough air and water and what looks that. And kind of had a The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must flavor to is, especially around the fountains. The downside - the whole story being told in flashback. Teal's dialect. The overly confused story of the aliens. Actually the whole undergrou ...more
Rich Van Ollefen
Nov 27, 2014 Rich Van Ollefen rated it it was ok
I hate books with no real end. Even after I read some of the other reviews and found it was the first part of a trilogy, I still didn't like it. It's almost like Greg Bear wrote the whole thing as one book, counted the pages, divided by three, and that was where it ended. Up in the air if I bother with the next installment
Aug 22, 2015 Jacob rated it liked it
Shelves: military-scifi, scifi
Unlike Bear's other works. Created a frantic paced adventure that hides and hides and back pedals and hides before finally dumping the revelation out there too quickly. Good and enjoyable yes but left with too many mysteries.
Dec 23, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
They were a highly advanced, interstellar species who brought amazingly useful and sophisticated technology to the human race. There was, of course, a catch. The Gurus warned of a far more malevolent life form, beings who have hounded the Gurus from sun to sun, planet to planet, across the cosmos. Pundits have taken to calling them the Antagonists – or Antags – and they have already established a beachhead on Mars. In exchange for all they’ve done for us, the Gurus would now like our help.

Jan 08, 2016 Jonny rated it liked it
I hadn't read any sci-fi in a while, much less a series, so I decided to pick this up from the library. The cover art, back cover blurb, and the results of a few random page-skimmings told me it was my kind of book.
It was good. An intriguing mystery, futuristic yet believable tech, aliens both contemporary and ancient, heart-pounding battles, and perilous planetary survival, all wrapped up in the gritty realism (and constant cussing) one would expect from a war novel. I feel like a lot of the ba
Oct 09, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I am a huge fan of Greg Bear's writing. I have all his books. So of course I bought War Dogs and was eager to read it.

And having been on a recent military SF reading binge, this started out as exceptional military SF.

The story is told first person mostly to another character which makes it interesting, because you know he survives, but the storytelling is so good you want to hear what happens next.

The world he builds is complex and interesting, the characters compelling, the military viewpoint
Thomas Higgins
Nov 01, 2015 Thomas Higgins rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I understand this is book one of a trilogy and the story clearly "ends" in such a way as to set up the additional stories to be told. I was not disappointed with the ending understanding this, although I understand this as a frustration expressed by some other readers in their reviews Personally I think there is plenty of additional fodder for more stories than merely another two. Questions abound about the Gurus and their ultimate goal (and why their aversion to bad language, specifically ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Cam rated it liked it
Aliens have arrived - one group has ginned up the world's technology and manufacturing base to fight another group following along. The warfront is Mars - Skyrines (Marines) are flung into space to fight the Antagonists and seize control. There are some settlers from earth there, too, and all sorts of SNAFU to keep it real. Like all to often, the Skyrines we get to know are set up to fail because of the big secret of the novel. All three groups want to be sure they don't make it back off Mars. ...more
Viking One
Apr 01, 2016 Viking One rated it did not like it
I'm really puzzled, or confused. I don't know for sure. This is not a hard sci-fi story and it's barely a war story. What it is, is a poorly developed story.
As it unfolds, the story is marginally interesting -the book totally lost me for several chapters, specially at the end, where it counts. Actually, I abandoned it for three months after some chapters and then decided to finish it. I can't imagine why somebody would buy its sequel -Killing Titan.
The only reason I read it was the back story, I
Mar 04, 2016 Gary rated it it was ok
With War Dogs, Greg Bear puts a lot of focus on the terrain of the battlefield (in this case, Mars). This aspect is a nice addition to the canon of MilSF, which often focuses on how military tech evolves to meet the enemy being faced, rather than the landscape being fought on.

Everything else about War Dogs is a disappointment. The story is never particularly involving, nor the characters engaging. It is a smart book, as one expects from Bear, but comes off as a rather cold and cerebral genre exe
Frederick Gault
Sep 22, 2014 Frederick Gault rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, military
Some very cool combat against aliens on Mars! The real struggle is between humans and two alien species each trying to obtain something from an ancient long-dead alien artifact . . . Great concept even if it's been done before. My problem was the unsatisfactory ending, almost as if Bear got bored with the story and didn't bother to expand on what was going to happen next! I think the author missed out on a vein of very interesting material, or perhaps he has a sequel in mind.
Sep 08, 2015 Lance rated it it was ok
I did not like this book at all. It had no real ending. It leaves you with more questions than answers
James Cox
Nov 05, 2015 James Cox rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Could have used a little less detail but I'm excited to continue the series.
Robert Dunn
Nov 10, 2015 Robert Dunn rated it really liked it
Loved this book but was not so much in love with the unanswered questions left for a follow up. Commit to the series if you want to read this.
Oct 26, 2016 Randal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Greg Bear's writing does it for me. I just enjoy the way he tells a story.
On the surface, this one is a pretty straightforward military sci-fi tale, but as always with Bear, things are much more than surface deep ... literally as well as figuratively in this case.
Although it's billed as War Dogs #1, it stands on its own nicely. I do want to read more in the world Bear has created, with aliens having landed and started to help us along technologically. Only it turns out they need help, too, as th
Some Guy Called  G
Nov 30, 2016 Some Guy Called G rated it really liked it
Quite good, in the style of Old Man's War by Scalzi.
Rather a lot of things happen just in the nick of time because the plot demands it.
The military in this book seem to resent supplying their soldiers with air for some reason.
Kind of enjoyed it anyway.
Sep 30, 2016 Angela rated it liked it
Really liked the book, except for the ending. It wasn't bad, it was just a little disappointing. I wanted a little more out of it. But if you like sci fi it was a definitely worth the read.
Adrian Powell
Jan 31, 2015 Adrian Powell rated it it was ok
It's billed as the first of a trilogy but this first book promises little reward for the reader.

It's ostensibly a book about an interstellar war on Mars. On Mars! Fun, right? I thought so. In reality, the first half is a tired, uninspired, cliche-ridden first person account of a bad Mars landing. Our battle-weary (aren't they all) narrator, Venn, is trapped on Mars without his squad or food or air but through a series of coincidences and with little planning or suspense he survives and finds his
Maureen Rice
Sep 27, 2016 Maureen Rice rated it really liked it
Hard SciFi set on Mars and more about exploration (by soldiers) than war. I read it in one day and am looking forward to the next
Jonathan S. Harbour
Dec 18, 2015 Jonathan S. Harbour rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
The writing and plot was much better than City at the End of Time, which was completely convoluted and impossible to follow. I tried re-reading that a couple times, kept giving up. Haven't read Bear's other recent novel yet, Hull Zero Three, will be starting it next.

War Dogs starts off as a promising military sci-fi story, but it's kind of overdone--the hu-rah bullcrap that I get sick of hearing sheeple repeat. Thank GOD the Bush years are over. So, that whole mindset is at play here and frankl
David King
Nov 06, 2015 David King rated it liked it
“War Dogs” by Greg Bear is the first book in a promised Science Fiction trilogy. The story is set at a time after Earth has been visited by aliens called the Gurus who have offered humans access to new technology. However, the Gurus are being followed by another alien race known as the Antags and soon humans are being called upon to fight against these aggressors. Within this world is Michael Venn, a Skyrine (Space Based Marine) who is sent to Mars to fight the Antags and it is his story on his ...more
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Greg Bear is one of the world's leading hard SF authors. He sold his first short story, at the age of fifteen, to Robert Lowndes's Famous Science Fiction.

A full-time writer, he lives in Washington State with his family. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. He is the son-in-law of Poul Anderson. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.
More about Greg Bear...

Other Books in the Series

War Dogs (3 books)
  • Killing Titan (War Dogs, #2)
  • Take Back the Sky (War Dogs, #3)

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“I’m still out there. In my head. I have to sort it out or I’ll never come home.” 1 likes
“she has these strange gray eyes that let me see all the way back to when her scorn shaped men’s lives.” 1 likes
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