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Metal Boxes

(Metal Boxes #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,312 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Coming of age can be hard for anyone. But for Blackmon Perry Stone it is life threatening. At 15, he barely manages to graduate from the empire's cadet training by a talent for unusual problem solving. He has trouble settling into navy life, but life becomes harder when he uncovers a ring of thieves aboard the huge ship. Life becomes difficult when they killed him. Stone i ...more
Kindle Edition, 339 pages
Published September 20th 2013 by CreateSpace
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,312 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO ENTER! Alan Black now writes Fantasy & he is celebrating with a Great Giveaway that is 100% Real!!
Click on Banner to Enter - August 15 - September 5 - INTL Where allowed unless otherwise stated!

There is always an element of surprise to Alan Black’s style of writing, which is why his work always ranks high with me. Metal Boxes is no different, from the title that begs the question, “Huh?” to the last page, in spite of conflicts and deadly danger, Mr. Black keeps it lig
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
This is an odd story. The main character's abilities and temperament seemed to alter to suit the plot rather than due to any rational reasons. At times he is tongue-tied and shy, while at other times he gets out of trouble by humorous, smart talking. He graduates at the bottom of his class, but comes up with several brilliant insights that save the day. He is meek and easily bullied, while at times he is arrogant and shouts and demands his own way.

There is also an awful lot of plot going on. So
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
I took a while to get into this book, nearly giving up altogether.
I never really liked the main character - he was an odd mix of innocence, stupidity and genius level intelligence. He was the lowliest of the lowest officers in the Navy, yet was the second in line to the richest family in the universe, which gave him an amazing back-up when he needed it. Oh, and although he'd never had anything to do with animals, he managed to imprint upon, tame and raise two alien (and usefully fierce looking)
Eric Lewis
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book. It was an easy read with not so common plot lines. I like how the hero used humor and smarts to get out of each situation rather than the typical SciFi solutions. The book wasn't gory, the language pretty clean, and no sex that I can remember. It was the storytelling that kept your attention.
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Aaron by: amazon
Gave up, about 56% of the way through. It was just TOO BAD, the book. There were some interesting story elements, which is why I stuck it out for so long, but the writing, the SPELLING, the flat characters, the utterly manufactured plot points, the unbelievability -- it all just got to be too much.
Bill Tillman
Metal Boxes

It has been a long time since I have read a S/F tale and this one was a light hearted mid-grade. Stone is a great prime character, and the fiascos provide a nice original touch.
Jon Norimann
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science_fiction
Juvenile is a good one word review of Metal Boxes. It feels like an attempt by a 12 year old to write space opera. The story is predictable and cliche driven and offers nothing new. Black's use of science is fantasy like and the hero constantly goes back and forth from being a a genius to a clown. It all feels very unlikely and artificial. How anyone can give this book four or five stars is beyond me and I suspect all those of being fake accounts to drive up certain books average ratings.

Metal B
Wanda binz
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great series

This is a great first book in this series. I am reading it for the 3 rd time and it is as good as the first time.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
Adam Black has made me re-think using my single use time travel assassination attempt on Hitler.

I've never seen a book get progressively worse the closer to the end you get at the rate this one did. It was exponential. I thought the book had a novel concept at the start, but the plot gets dull and predictable quickly, and the characters become less and less.. human? I don't even know what they were to be honest. It was like reading a book where every character was Data from Star Trek, trying so
Kurt Springs
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review was done originally published on Kurt's Frontier.


At 15-years-old, Midshipman Blackmon Perry Stone has graduated from the empire’s cadet training academy. It hasn’t been smooth sailing. While he has a knack for finding unusual ways of solving problems, this often puts him at odds with his superiors. Assigned to a military warehouse vessel, Mr. Midshipman Stone makes some unusual friends, but deadly enemies when he discovers military supplies being stolen. Stone and a friend a
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pulpy sci-fy adventure

15 year old Cadet 'Stone' just barely graduated from the academy, with only two notable skills. Solving problems in a unusual way and getting in trouble for those unusual ways. Now assigned to a massive warehouse ship, things don't exactly get better. Especially when he accidentally uncovers a smuggling ring...

Metal Boxes is one of those novel you read with a half-smile on your face the entire time. It's pulpy, adventurous, weird and at times adorable. Stone is one of those
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the characters and the story!! Enjoy!!!
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the story and wish I could see Jay and Peebee play. The ending was too sudden but I still want a sequel !!!!
Douglas Debner
This book tells a ridiculous story but the story moves along and so it was fun. Personally I don't think this story can be spoiled, all the plot twists can be seen from a mile off. So I'm not going to worry about spoilers here, read on at your own risk.

The MC enlists in the space navy, does poorly but miraculously gets requested for a post on a massive resupply vessel. Along the way he makes friends with several marines and commander and uncovers evidence of theft. The thieves track the MC to a
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was exactly what I wanted to read. A better way to put it may be that, for me, it was a perfect book. As with all books, there were likely things that some people would not like, but I found everything great. The characters were extremely likable, and the situations they got into were really interesting. I didn't like the main character's background too much, but the character was likable enough and acted in a way that made me not care at all about his background other than for what ad ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Good news first: the ending is fine, and not just because it is (finally) the end of a masturbatory young man pursued by older women fantasy. Bad news: the remainder of the book details (exhaustingly) the life and times and erections of a just-turned-sixteen year old midshipman in what must be the multiverse's trashiest and most incompetent navy.

The language used in the dialogue caroms from amazingly stilted to crass within the same conversation, and no one knows how to use a contraction.

Oh, a
Tony Hinde
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed almost every moment of this book. The protagonist, midshipman Stone, walks the line between being a Mary Sue and a doofus. If he has any special ability it is luck and the willingness to try anything in a tight spot.

My only complaint is regarding the tone of the book. All of the dialogue and inner-monologue is relentlessly upbeat. At no point, even when facing certain death, does Stone suffer a moment's despair. The novel was so notably mono-tonal that I was sometimes pulled out of the
laeaurra flamehawk-mitchell
A rocky start

I enjoyed this by the end of the book. Some of the middle was slow rough reading. Meeting the MC's family made me think of Beverly Hillbillies in space. A decent book that I trudged through to get to the higher rated ones.
Jesse Deleon
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Exciting debut to the series.

Alan Black has written a exciting debut to the series. I've read a lot of midshipmen series and this is the best.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Could not finish the book, I gave up after two thirds when I realised the main character had no coherence and the story was boring me even if it had interesting premises.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Alan Black has the ability to create characters which capture the reader's attention. He endows them with distinct attributes, lovingly detailing their background, character traits, strengths and weaknesses, without drifting to far into worn-out genre stereotypes. His protagonist is of course a young man starting out on his military career and encountering a certain amount of culture shock. Even the obligatory overcoming of obstacles, early military successes and antagonistic superiors are a sta ...more
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Fun Space Opera Romp

I just have to laugh as I write this review. I had fun reading thing this book. Why you ask? Because it barrels along like a freight train, is full of exciting and wonderful action, where our hero, Mister Stone is beset by and overcomes all his troubles. The only person who can do this: Midshipman Perry Blackmon Stone.

Midshipman Perry Blackmon Stone has joined the Imperial Naval Academy at the youngest age possible After barely graduating, he gets a commission on a huge supp
Nate Thern
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ws-metal-boxes
I just finished the four-book series - Metal Boxes (this book), Trapped Outside, Rusty Hinges and At the Edge. The series is good popcorn YA sci-fi. And it is solidly YA, despite little mention of that fact. In fact, compared to The Hunger Games this is pretty happy-go-lucky stuff. When read with the right mindset it's extremely enjoyable; just don't expect scientific explanations, character development, or an especially logical universe. This multitude of literary sins is all exculpated by the ...more
Jonathan S. Harbour
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Metal Boxes is an enjoyable space opera-style science fiction story somewhat reminiscent of Star Wars in that there is a galactic empire with massive warships and independent trader families, but that's where the similarities end. Told from the point of view of one teenage boy, Blackmon Stone, who is a navy officer (midshipman) who makes a splash during his first assigned ship, makes lots of friends and becomes a sort of hero to the less respected marines and crew of the ship (Ol' Toothless, a g ...more
Lori Grace
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you like good engaging reading with a fun story and characters you can like, this is it. Overall everything works together to create an absolutely fun sci-fi read.

The hard science fiction aspect in space is interesting as it brings some new elements to FTL travel in a survival mode – think life raft in the middle of the ocean with a tiny battery operated motor.

The other world science fiction is equally fun as are the new species and their peculiarities.

The story is multi-tiered just enough to
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
TL;DR: If you are looking for something kinda okay about a heroic leader type person in space and don't mind that person getting boners every 2 seconds then this book is probably fine.

The first part of this book is really bad.

It's all about the main character getting a boner every time he's within 10m of a woman, they actually use it to detect a female border in one of the adjacent passages in one scene (they don't but it's that frequently mentioned you'd think it'd be important to the plot in
Stefan Vucak
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
With ‘Metal Boxes’, Alan Black brings to teenage readers a traditional space opera where the young hero, Midshipman Blackmon Stone, uncovers a conspiracy, finds love, claims a planet and saves an Empire fleet from a deadly enemy. The book is riddled with improbable events, and Stone’s adult behavior for a 16 year-old is somewhat hard to take. However, young readers will probably overlook these things, keen to see their hero overcome all adversity and prevail, bringing the bad guys to justice.

May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fun Story, but needs an editor

Disclaimer: I listened to this story using Kindle Keyboard Text-to-Speech function so the bad spelling didn't bother me.
Likes: Fun dialogue with some really surprising remarks/quips. (Yes, I truly LOL'd and I received odd looks from my co-workers.)
Dislikes: I had to put up with all the pain, stress, and self-doubt of the main character ... there was dramatic ending ... and nothing. There was so much more that could have been written to wind down the book. It was li
Ken Selvia
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I love space opera and many young adult series, but I felt like this was for too young an audience. Maybe it was the narrator. His voice for Stone sounds like a 10 year old, and the pitch of his voice rises at the end of many sentences for some reason, as if he needs to punctuate them with a sense of excitement or urgency. I think that's how my first grade teacher read Charlotte's Web to us - to make sure we were paying attention every few sentences. I think I gave up about an hour into it. I th ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
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Christian/Historical Fiction

Other books in the series

Metal Boxes (4 books)
  • Trapped Outside (Metal Boxes #2)
  • Rusty Hinges (Metal Boxes #3)
  • At the Edge (Metal Boxes #4)