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(Crimson Worlds #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,760 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Erik Cain joined the marines to get off death row. The deal was simple; enlist to fight in space and he would be pardoned for all his crimes.

In the 23rd Century, assault troops go to war wearing AI-assisted, nuclear-powered armor, but it is still men and blood that win battles. From one brutal campaign to the next, Erik and his comrades fight an increasingly desperate war
Paperback, 238 pages
Published October 29th 2012 by System 7 Publishing (first published August 19th 2012)
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Jm Rollins Book one is all as you described - a series of events in a strange memoirish setting. Book two started out the same way, so I stopped reading it. His…moreBook one is all as you described - a series of events in a strange memoirish setting. Book two started out the same way, so I stopped reading it. His later series get better, try 'Duel in the dark'. This is definitely an early effort, and you catch glimpses of the author's style developing in 'Maries'.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,760 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book...I mean I really WANTED to. I love military science fiction and good military fantasy. I'm good with a well done space opera. I have of late been in the mood for a well done military science fiction read.

No go. I read 2 that were at best mediocre and now this one...

I got it from Audible based on it's synopsis (and returned it based on it's quality). It sounded like one I'd really like. I should have "listened" to the reviews. I don't recall who put this in a review bu
Nov 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-english
Imagine you're outlining characters for a book and you write up a fairly detailed summary of the character's life.
Alternatively, if you're into RP, imagine you're writing out a character background for a character application.
Now imagine making that into a book, but keeping it all summary-like.

That's Jay Allan's book in a nutshell. It is incredibly boring and tedious. Lack of reading material means I got about 40% through before giving up. The basic problem is not the ideas Allan has (some of wh
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: action, sci-fi
This book is almost exactly what you'd expect given the title and description—an action war story featuring Marines based on the ideal of current US Marine forces futurized to fight wars in space. It bears no small resemblance to Heinlein's Starship Troopers, though all the forces are Earth-derived humans only a couple centuries beyond our current day.

Actually, forget the Heinlein reference. It's notable mainly for following a protagonist who rises from the ranks and includes snippets of his off
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was awesome. Loved the depiction of the marines, Allan described the tech without getting bogged down in details, which is better than some authors I could name. I also liked the character descriptions in the book. Allan I think has managed to strike the balance between action and character description and development quite well.
Alex Bell
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. I am a longtime fan of military science fiction (I tend toward what you might call "realistic" space opera), though sometimes the genre can get repetitive and formulaic, so I was pleased to find that Marines offers a fresh story. It starts familiarly, with a pretty long description of a battle, but then it starts dribbling out backstory, and you realize there is a richly developed universe underlying this story.

There is a dark feel to the book
Timothy Boyd
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading all the prequels for this large SiFi series I was looking forward to the opening book. I was not disappointed in any way. The books takes off from page one and never stops till the ending that leaves you wanting to grab the next book in the series. Excellent military SiFi writing. I am looking forward to seeing where the writer takes the story. Very recommended
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It was well written and has just the kind of military science fiction I like to read. It's fast paced yet takes the time to tell the reader what is happening and why. There is a little back and forth at the beginning where the main character, already in the Marines, has to go back and tell you how he got there. I don't think his story would be any different than some hard luck types of the 1940s who were "allowed' to join the services or go to jail. Judges did that back ...more
Dennis Polluck
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a first person account of a futuristic Marine's experiences as he rises from a broken life. I tend to enjoy well-done first person novels, though there aren't too many that do a really good job. This is one of them.

The book reads more or less like a journal or memoir, which means there is a little less dialogue than you might find in a third person novel. I've seen it noted in a couple of the other reviews, but I felt there was plenty. The main dialogue is the main character with th
Michael Pang
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
The book was OK. I suggest fans of military scifi give it a whirl and see for themselves. I say this because there is a lot to like such as powered armor, squad level tactics, etc. The detracting part for me is the style reads much like an autobiography. It is in the 1st person and reads like: I moved in and attacked, the explosion pushed me to the ground, I saw them off to my right... The dialogue was minimal as was any 3rd party interaction/character development. If you get your hands on a cop ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Poor execution. We start off being flung off a ship into battle with the newbie (our main character). Unfortunately, after a good amount of time I still hsve no idea who they are fighting or why...and I know nothing about the msin character that makes me care to find out. Too bad. Those battle suits were potentially awesome.
James Davis
Feb 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Bland military sci-fi setting. Completely cardboard main character, barely any interaction with supporting characters. Written almost memoir style, but not quite. Action scenes lack impact, sci-fi tech lacks anything interesting, politics and strategy involved are boring and pointless.

There's nothing here that isn't done better elsewhere.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Save Your Money and, Most Importantly, Your Time. Do Not Read This Book

I’m breaking my typically impersonal tone because this is the first 1 star I have given (since I started reviewing) and, in this instance, I feel it’s important to express myself in a somewhat colloquial nature.

I came to this story through ‘Stars & Empire: 10 Galactic Tales’ and I am so glad that it wasn’t an ARC—I stopped reading several pages in. I tried to continue, trust me I did, but I was glad I didn’t ‘have’ to fin
Peter Petermann
Feb 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucia Bradley
Sep 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi, why-bother
Book Type: Audible
Length: 10h 27m

If you are looking for a snooze-fest, self-pleasuring military hero story, here you go.

I don't have real problem with the world that Mr. Allan created, it is a bit bland, filled with tropes and seems unexamined. However this is a common thing so that itself doesn't make me fail it fully.

The character itself is a great example of a male version of a Mary Sue (I believe they are called Gary Stu's). He comes from a family that were middle class or higher whose fate
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book is actually decent but it is written almost entirely without dialog, to such a degree that the first half is literally 95-98% dialogue free. So, while first person narrative is at least detailed, at times is too much like a monologue recitation of the war's progress in past tense and while interesting to watch author sort through creating his universe in long pages of exposition, it's not very compelling.

In other words, if you want nuclear powered armor space soldiers, read John Steakl
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
It all began with the 'wrong' book. I stumbled across a Jay Allan audiobook, "Into The Darkness", and absolutely loved it! After looking up Jay Allan's books, though, I discovered that that one was far, far into his multiple series, although it was the first in its own series. (I didn't feel as if I had missed out on anything, even though I could tell that there were Stories To Be Told which came before. Good writing!) My husband is the one who got me started reading military science fiction, so ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
Where do I start?

The writing style is awful. The use of first person has created a dry, boring and tedious read that at one point had me thinking I was reading Jane's Infantry Weapons rather than a story. There are little sparkles of prose every now and then but it lies flat almost all the way.

The world building and background feels like it has been lifted from a multiplicity of sci-fi sources and mixed together with a small spoon.

Lacklustre with no feeling of originality or unique facets make
Aug 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Lots of info dumps for world building, some of it repetitive in nature. Lots of telling and not much showing. Battles that lack details, an uninteresting and boring character. The end is the standard government plots against armed forces they think are a liability.

I've a lot of reasons to dislike this book my main one is that anything I really wanted to know more about the author just shades around and leaves blank. If you want a powered armor military scifi almost any other book would be better
Mark Grove
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am positively delighted to have discovered a new series of scifi marine combat action. The scenarios are believable, the characters developed and engaging, and the tactics and weapons realistic. Unlike B.V. Larson's series, the bad guys and weapons systems are plausible and the romantic interest of the protagonist is delightful. The Crimson Worlds series is well written and edited. It flows smoothly. The author creates an interesting version of 23rd century Earth political dysfunctionality and ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Was interested at my first glance at this book and Jay didn't disappoint. Had great plot and detail of a futuristic earth and space. The idea was dark seedy and enjoyable. Then there was the space and land battles the sci fi aspects of the future that just added to it. Great book and hope the next is as good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Just finished the first book in this collection. I so wanted to like the book. All the elements are there. But for me it read like a report compiled by the author to be sent to some bureaucrat for evaluation. Very one-dimensional. Such a pity. Will try book 2. Maybe there is an improvement.
Jun 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
I somehow finished this. Even though the beginning was interesting to read about, I didn't like the writing style. There were maybe 5 dialogues throughout the whole book. Not that I expected a novel full of dialogues, but I prefer a balance between action scenes and dialogue.
Eddie Jong
Jul 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: scifi
I could not get into this book at all.

The writing style came across as telling, not showing, and the characters were totally flat.

I gave up after about the third chapter.
Larry Southard
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a long tine fan of military sci-fi, I found this book hits the sweet spot perfectly. If you enjoy authors like Kratman, Ringo and others of the genre this is a book to add to your bookshelf.
Glenn Harris
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well-written, very traditional military science fiction. First of a series.
Scott Turner
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’m going to give a more series focused review but no spoilers, easy enough to catch those early in each book.
If you like a constant repetition then you will enjoy these books, every situation starts with the protagonist massively outnumbered and outgunned and having to win with some kindergarten tactics like keep charging. I did not know heart and passion with a strong sense of brotherhood thickened ship armor or caused laser batteries to fire faster or further! Ohhh and most of these dire sit
Andrew Palmer
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review covers Crimson Worlds Books 1-9. I read them consecutively, so can only review them comprehensively.

Overall: The books are really good, but fall short of being great, for reasons I'll outline below.

Characters: The protagonists are well written, likable, and appropriately complex. The antagonists are clever, and help drive the plot, but perhaps at times lack sufficient positive features to make them completely realistic.

Writing/Editing: The copy editing is well done - no complaints th
Dan Green
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book gets three stars, it was a fairly fun read and kept me interested enough to go on to book two, despite being written in first person. Book 2 and the following novels bumped this up an extra star. Series gets better with much more character development, dialogue, a good mix of ground pounding, space battles politics and espionage, etc. Just think of this novel as a (very long) prologue to the real books.

Only have two.. no wait three.. no... four real complaints of the series(sorry thou
Melanie S
Jay Allan's Crimson Worlds series is pretty much a classic. After reading this first book, Marines, I can see why. Not that this is the best SF book ever written - although it's very good - but the attraction here is the first-rate world-building, and Allan's vision of the future of humanity on and off of planet Earth. One of the core themes of SF, it's clearly a subject he's contemplated in depth. Personally, having lived for half of the 20th century and all of the 21st to date, I think his vis ...more
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“If mankind could possess only one, what is more valuable, an inexhaustible energy source or a drug that cures all disease?” 0 likes
“There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion. – General William Thornson, U.S. Army” 0 likes
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