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The Myriad (Tour of the Merrimack #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  763 Ratings  ·  78 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
Mass Market Paperback, 375 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by DAW (first published 2005)
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Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonDune by Frank HerbertLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Excellent Space Opera
105th out of 371 books — 2,033 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinOld Man's War by John ScalziThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Military Science Fiction
174th out of 616 books — 925 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,428)
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I found the writing style a bit choppy, but ultimately this was entertaining, if not exactly deep. It was only getting 3 stars until the end. It was not what I expected, and I want it fixed! That's not the feeling I thought I'd have at the end, and now I'm going to have to read the sequel.
Aug 12, 2007 Brownbetty rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 22, 2009 Lightreads rated it liked it
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
Aug 11, 2015 Mandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: bbbookworms
Those horrifically evil butterflies are out to get us all!! Run away!!

Yeah, so I misread the first couple hundred pages of this book. I misunderstood the butterfly pattern disruptions as early warning system to mean that the big baddies actually were butterflies.

I was so excited! FINALLY!! There’s an author willing to unmask butterflies as the truly evil beings that they are!! God. I hate butterflies.

I spent the entire time imagining the crew of the Merrimack hacking butterflies to death with
Sherwood Smith
May 08, 2009 Sherwood Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
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
Mar 03, 2009 Trin rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, american-lit
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
Joshua Palmatier
Nov 23, 2008 Joshua Palmatier rated it it was amazing
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 .
Jul 25, 2013 James rated it it was amazing
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 rega
Jamie Collins
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
Mar 13, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
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
Jan 18, 2016 thefourthvine rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff
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
Feb 21, 2010 Craig rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcnerdigan-s-pub
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
Mar 28, 2016 Hogenmogen rated it it was ok
This book was juvenile. I thought it was written by a 14 year old boy, but after further inspection, it was an adult female. Meluch apparently hates her own gender enough to throw in every negative stereotype that even Disney princess movies rejected 25 years ago.
One lame aspect of the book is the old fashioned notions of heroism. The heroes are never afraid. Take Indiana Jones, for instance. He was afraid all the time, but did the heroic things all the same. Meluch's characters are joking arou
Jorge Desormeaux
Jul 13, 2015 Jorge Desormeaux rated it liked it
I wouldn't say that R.M. Meluch is an especially good author. His prose is choppy and a little disjointed, his characters are rough and lack the flaws and inner conflicts that make real people interesting, and the tone is so excessively self-indulgent as to be somewhere between funny and fascinating. A tasteful reader should stay clear of this novel unless he meets one or more of the following criteria:
(1) is a fan of military sci-fi;
(2) is a fan of space opera;
(3) is a non-American who wishes t
May 29, 2015 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: library, 2015
This is excellent space opera, and I am of the opinion that there isn't nearly enough space opera in the world. It is a rambling battle among the stars where the US and Rome are the two major human powers (it turns out that Rome went underground and was a vast secret society, which is just cool) fighting against the alien threat of the Hive. The action scenes are well done and Meluch manages to have good reasons to have sword fights on a spaceship.

That said, I can't unequivocally recommend The M
Mar 08, 2014 Bob rated it did not like it
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
Sep 07, 2012 Mark Henwick rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael T Bradley
Jun 19, 2015 Michael T Bradley rated it really liked it
Son of a bitch! I try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but it is SO DIFFICULT not to do so in this book because there is a wrench thrown in the works in the last two chapters that IS ALL I WANT TO TALK ABOUT. All I'll say about the ending is that a) it completely follows from what came before, b) it raises a lot of questions that makes me curious to read the next book, and c) it UTTERLY PISSES ME OFF. But in a good way.

About the first 95% of the book: Just a wonderful world (Rome never fell; the
Dec 22, 2014 Roy rated it did not like it
Wow, just wow. I really don't know where to begin with this one. When I first started reading this, my initial reaction a couple of chapters in was that this might just be the worst SF novel I have ever read (and yes, I've read some of Gentry Lee's oeuvre). I have read a couple of Meluch's earlier novels, which I thought I recalled as not bad at all, so I was beginning to theorize that maybe Meluch had had a bet with her agent to see if she could write a parody of fourth-rate Trek TOS fan-fic an ...more
Marta Dulce Și Gavina
Sep 20, 2014 Marta Dulce Și Gavina rated it really liked it
That was... surprising. A military space opera with an indolent league of Earth nations and a ruthless Roman Empire (Romans in space!), with realistically, suggestively painted alien threat(alien beings created with none of our anthropocentric tendencies; how rare is that!), with engaging, real characters (both main and supporting) and an interesting relationship between the American captain and his Roman officer(a fantastic antagonistic friendship), an inexpected discovery of a new civilisation ...more
Kartik Chawla
Jul 06, 2015 Kartik Chawla rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, witty
Review originally on:

There is, perhaps, nothing better than a story that gets you off your feet and running around, waiting to see how it goes - metaphorically, of course. But that is a quality that becomes increasingly more difficult to find as you read more and more, as you understand the tropes and devices more and more. Which makes these stories all the more precious.

It is in the special category that I would put The Myriad. First in the Tour of the M
Jul 09, 2014 Omega rated it liked it
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 it was amazing
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
Mar 02, 2012 Mardel rated it really liked it
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
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
Arn Howald
Dec 14, 2011 Arn Howald rated it liked it
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.
Aug 04, 2011 Gail rated it liked it
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 Jelmeland
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
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