The Myriad (Tour of the Merrimack, #1)
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The Myriad (Tour of the Merrimack #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  509 ratings  ·  65 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
R. M. Meluch's first novel in more than a decade, The Myriad, begins a series that is an amalgam of subgenres: military science fiction, space opera, time paradox, and alternate history.

On an Earth where the Roman Empire never fell (but instead existed in secret societies for millennia, finally reestablishing itself on the planet Palatine) and...more
Mass Market Paperback, 375 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by DAW (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Brownbetty
The review I was mentally writing as I read the book:

The Myriad: Tour of the Merrimack #1 falls into the class of Military SF that borrows heavily from Age of Sail novels. I don't by and large enjoy Age of Sail novels, unless they're exceptional, and I don't much enjoy the Military SF that echoes it. I read David Feintuch's Midshipman's Hope, and enjoyed it, but I would not read it again. That said, I quite enjoyed this book. The action is mostly military, but with some very appealing character...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
A muffin between the shoulder blades? That certainly had me laughing out loud!

When I first read the synopsis for The Myriad I thought “Hive? Insectoid alien menace? That sounds like it might have been done before? Once or twice or maybe a hundred times.” However, the novel comes highly recommended (read the reviews) and I do enjoy military Science Fiction, so I went ahead and bought it anyway. The fact that it has gladiators in space had absolutely nothing to do with it...

As it turns out I under...more
Lightreads
U.S. marines and the reborn Roman Empire . . . in spaaaaaaace! Oh, and there's a creepy alien threat, but I'm mostly just thinking about the U.S./Rome thing. And I punctuate that very advisedly, by the way.

Compulsively readable space opera (I plowed through the entire four-book series in a week). They're that weird thing where they keep being smarter than expected, with interesting ideas and great dialogue, but then as soon as you're complacent about that some of the rampant misogyny comes aroun...more
Joshua Palmatier
I just finished this book. Generally, I don't read science fiction. Maybe three SF books a year perhaps. And I have to say that when I started this one it took me a little while before I got into it. The beginning was a little rough. Part of this was the writing style, which is blunt and sparse, with very few details given in the way of description, and part of this was the writing itself (plot, character, etc), which I take to be the first novel syndrome--this is R.M. Meluch's first book.

But ....more
Sherwood Smith
If you don't get hooked during the first conversation all alone between Captain Farragut and the Roman patterner Augustus, then maybe these aren't for you. I liked the first book until then; when I got to the end of that chapter, I was hooked, and when I got to the end of the first book, in which time and space and everything aren't so easy to define any more, I couldn't eat or sleep until I'd gotten my hands onto the next in the series.

These stories follow not just the captain and crew of the U...more
Jamie
3.5 stars! Despite a great deal of silliness, this was a fun read - if you like this sort of thing, which I do. It started off as a goofy military sci-fi novel, full of clichéd characters and not-very-alien aliens. But it’s well-written, particularly the dialog, so I was enjoying it anyway, and to my surprise the book improved steadily, right up to an extraordinary ending.

One reservation: there’s a lot of offensive sexism. The worst is focused on a young female marine who is the subject of many...more
James
This was bloomin' fantastic.

I have no idea what possessed me to wait so long before reading this book! It was phenomenal. Even now, sitting here, writing this review, I just can't wrap my head around it. It was everything you wanted from a military sci-fi, managed to come across as pulp-fiction, but then whammied you with this intelligence, this thought provoking brilliance that still has me scratching my head.

An astounding five stars.


Plot : Five Stars

This is a very hard review to write regar...more
Mike
If you enjoy solid, exciting and well-crafted military sci-fi do yourself a favor and check out R. M. Meluch’s The Myriad. Honestly stop reading this review and check it out. The novel makes an interesting discussion piece, more on that later, and is definitely one of the more engaging military sci-fi novel I’ve read. The Myriad takes an interesting premise with characters whose personality’s are ratcheted way up to 11 and really runs with it right up until the heartrending twist at the novel’s...more
Trin
Based on the cover art and cover copy, there's nothing to distinguish this book from the 40 metric tons of mediocre-to-bad sci-fi out there. If I hadn't read Brownbetty's review, I never would have picked it up. But luckily I did, and now it's my duty to pass the news along: this is some fantastically fun space opera, right here. Not quite Lois McMaster Bujold good, but close--full of interesting characters, a believable first contact story, and insect-like space predators that are much scarier...more
Craig
This book confused me at first. The entire novel follows a series of great characters in a pretty good adventure, and then, at the very end of the book . . . they do something with a blackhole that changes the universal timeline and all of the characters' lives get messed up. Some very satisfactory character plot lines get erased. This was VERY confusing and frustrating.

But fear not! Meluch uses this as a device to further your understanding of these characters in later books, as well as pursuin...more
Bob
WHY?! Okay, I'm going to save anyone who reads this review a lot of time. Don't bother reading the first book. Read any of the other books and they are solid three star performance. Why, shouldn't anyone read the first book? The first 250 pages of the book go through the normal process of introducing the reader to characters, world building, and plot development. The last fifty pages completely remove all the previous exposition, rising action, climax, falling action...You know what it's all gon...more
Mark Henwick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Omega
The Myriad, first in the series for the Tour of the Merrimack. I luckily picked this up after I had, as it seemed to happen to me early on in my series reading, picked up the third book The Sagittarius Command. Now not to say this book was bad, far from it actually. It really introduces some of the reasons I love this series, 1. Being very eccentric and unique characters to follow, truly a crew come alive. 2. The space battles are awesome in this series. 3. I love the Neo Roman Empire in space s...more
Phillip Hall
Apr 17, 2011 Phillip Hall rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes military science fiction or science fiction or action.
Recommended to Phillip by: a. c. hall
I absolutely loved this book. The story was great but it's really the characters that drive it to a top notch rating for me. I must admit that I didn't like several of the main characters for the first 50 pages or so but the story was interesting enough I pushed past it and I sure am glad I did. The book was broken up into "parts". Which was used in a neat way because there were very distinct phases the story naturally went through and honestly during reading it flowed so perfectly from part to...more
Mardel
I started off not really getting into this novel. I actually put it aside, read a few other books and then for some crazy reason I ended up reading the second novel = which I loved enough to make me want to try reading The Myriad again. Having the second novel in my head was the impetous I needed to continue past where I left off, and this seemed to do the trick. I absolutely loved The Myriad.

I loved the dialogue, the characters and even those crazy plot twists - which, though at first I felt so...more
Per Gunnar
I do not understand why this book gets so many 4 and 5 star reviews.

The ending, which I know doesn't appeal to some people, do not disturb me that much but...

The author really has little understanding of science which makes the fictional science less believable. For instance openable gunports and manually loaded guns on, what is supposed to be, a futuristic space battleship. Come on!

She has absolutely zero military knowledge which makes the military action just plain dumb. To add to the latter...more
Arn Howald
I went from enjoying this book to compulsively picking it up to find out what happens next. But I can't whole-heartedly recommend this piece of military SF.
Most of the characters are annoyingly 2 dimensional. Which wouldn't be so bad except that they also reflect gender roles that would be more suitable to the mid-20th century rather than the 25th century. I don't know, maybe the author is suggesting that we'll regress or something.
The exceptions to the 2D characters are Farragut and Augustus....more
Gail
This is straightforward science fiction--the Merrimack is one of the largest ships in the war of the humans against the Hive. They're trying to track the Hive (insectoid space-dwelling aliens that devour planets, destroy everything on it, and move on to the next) back to its planet of origin, to take the war to them. And they stumble across an alien species that travels by means of wormholes. The story seems to be more about the relationships amongst the humans than between humans and aliens......more
Jeffrey
Honestly, I am setting this book down having only read 1/4 of it, and at this time I don't anticipate picking it up and finishing it. I found myself drowning in a sea of stereotypes for the various characters, and the one female Marine was the worst of the lot, having been written as nothing much more than a play toy for the men on the ship and a token to be tossed out for the pleasure of the first alien leader they encountered. I found this treatment of characters, fictional or otherwise, to be...more
thefourthvine
I was hoping that this would be the book that would reunite me with SF; we're having a rather rocky relationship at the moment, and we've almost reached the stage where we return each other's gifts and can't be invited to the same party for six months.

Was this the big reconcilation of my dreams? I don't know. I read it, I enjoyed it, I only occasionally wanted to hit the author with something heavy. But this book is far from perfect.

First, the flaws.

This book feels vaguely first novelish, even...more
John
Battleship Merrimack and its redoubtable captain discover three inhabited planets and some weird structures within a star cluster, and do desperate battle with the Hive. I thought this was fabulous military SF, with rousing battles, terrific characters and snappy dialogue (see below)--until a singularity suddenly came along about four fifths of the way through and blew away the storyline, leaving in its place an alternate history that, to judge from descriptions of the sequels, is either a crude...more
Alexkerr
I went about reading this series a bit backwards...I started with book #4, purchased from a bargain shop and jumped back to #1 a week ago. This was awesome Sci-Fi. Just the kind of adventure I needed. It was a cool look at some of the canon sci-fi staples. There characters are fimiliar but feel fresh and the pace was great. I was only mildly dissapointed by the ending. It basically jumps you back to the beginning of the story, but time paradoxes have a way of messing with a good story. But, it i...more
Daniel
Good action scenes with decent characters. The big twist at the end is slightly to very annoying depending on my mood. The positive however is the book is fun space action.
Cythraul
My love for this book is complex, but enthusiastic.

On the one hand: it is *awesome* space adventure sashbuckling pulp. First-contact porn, scary voracious aliens, brave Kirk-ish starship captains overcoming desperate crises... all great, great stuff.

On the other: it is *batshit* *insane*. It feels in many respects like it was written in the '40s, with its politics and its gender roles, despite being published in... 2005? Sometimes it feels like it's cleverly subverting a lot of these issues, and...more
Cylontimelord
Stumbled across this series and love it. All the characters are rich and loveable in one way or another. Awesome book with great action and humor!!
Danja
This book honestly surprised me. I'd never heard of the author. I judged it by its cover, which shows a couple of space marines with swords and a cyborg in stylized Roman armor fighting entomoid aliens in outer space with no space suits. Which sounds awesome if it works, except I didn't think it would. But it does! The story is more thought-provoking, the characters more engaging, the writing better than I thought it would be. Yes, it's often silly, and the characters are all over-the-top, but i...more
Chris Massey
Awesome space opera novel, fast and fun with an interesting ending. Gotta read the next one soon!
Bill
Nice twist on the military scifi theme; it was a fun read.
Brian Lee
Sometimes I am pleasantly suprised by a book that I had low expectations for. This is just a well-written little space opera--probably the closest thing I can compare it to is the new Battlestar Gallactica TV series. Distinct characters. Interesting dialogue. Fun Cormac McCarthy-esque writing style. I love DAW sci-fi novels and purposfully searched Amazon.com for some DAW titles I had not read yet. This little gem came up and I ordered on a whim. Glad I did. just ordered the next 4 in the series...more
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Rebecca M. Meluch is an American science-fiction writer.

R. M. Meluch has been publishing science fiction for thirty years. She holds degrees in communications and classical civilization, and dabbles in speaking in various languages, including Greek and Latin. At one point she traveled through Greece, Israel, and Egypt on the track of Alexander the Great. Meluch also holds a second-degree black bel...more
More about R.M. Meluch...
Wolf Star (Tour of the Merrimack, #2) The Sagittarius Command (Tour of the Merrimack, #3) Strength and Honor (Tour of the Merrimack, #4) The Ninth Circle (Tour of the Merrimack, #5) Sovereign

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