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Columbus Day

(Expeditionary Force #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  16,366 ratings  ·  1,269 reviews
We were fighting on the wrong side, of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news.
The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon come ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There go the good old days, when humans only got
Kindle Edition, 494 pages
Published January 11th 2016
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Tim Martin As the father of three children and a United States Army vet, I would say that, yes, Columbus Day is a good read for a 14 year old with an interest in…moreAs the father of three children and a United States Army vet, I would say that, yes, Columbus Day is a good read for a 14 year old with an interest in military science fiction. As Kc Merrill mentions, it does have some language, violence and sex, but I did not find any of it to be gratuitous; likely it is tamer than what our internet-age children are exposed to on an all-to-regular basis. I would always recommend reading (or listening to; the narrator is excellent) the book yourself either first or in tandem with your child and speaking with them about any ambiguous content that comes up. A primary premise of the book, the potential of being allied with the "wrong" side in a situation greater than yourself, is well worthy of deep discussion and can provide a parent with powerful insight into their child's moral, intellectual and spiritual growth.(less)
odedo1 Yes.
The whole trilogy is out and there is nothing bad I could say about any of the 3, only that today it's not easy to find a great SiFi trilogy and I…more
The whole trilogy is out and there is nothing bad I could say about any of the 3, only that today it's not easy to find a great SiFi trilogy and I couldn't put this one down, not even for sleep so I always woke up with the book in my hands and right away searched to where I remember what I was reading before I started falling asleep and continued reading, that's how good this trilogy is !!!(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  16,366 ratings  ·  1,269 reviews

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Montzalee Wittmann
Columbus Day (Expeditionary Force #1) by Craig Alanson, R.C. Bray (Narrator), is an absolutely outstanding sci-fi novel!!! Outstanding in everything such as plot, world building, characters, dialogue, science, action, and just everything!!! My gosh...I was so engrossed in this book! I had the audio narration and loved the narration, it was perfect! Outstanding is the perfect word for all of this book, even the narration. A sci-fi must read! Going in my favorite read file and will definitely rea ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Expected sci-fi and got American army in space fantasy with some pretty dull dad jokes. Cannot force myself to finish.
Being European, this is just a cringeworthy when author calls British army Brits and explains that sex with random person who runs good is a-w-e-s-o-m-e.
I think it is a decent read for 7y olds who are into pew-pew.
Mike (the Paladin)
Yep, went with 5 stars on this one and am planning to go download the second in the series in a very few minutes.

I started this with a mild hope I'd like it. I'm a big military science fiction fan and this is another the aliens come out of the sky and humanity gets its collective ass err, I mean keister, yeah that's it keister, kicked. Of course I assume you get the title. The aliens arrive on Columbus day hearkening back to the European arrival here in the New World.

It started out about like th
Joshua Done
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Science fiction fans and humor fans
Recommended to Joshua by: NA
As someone who writes science fiction it is very rare that I find one that I truly love. I truly loved this book. I have rarely seen someone merge hard core science fiction action, the realities of technological disparity, and relatable humor in such an amazing fashion. Seriously, if you like science fiction at all read this book. If you like humor that takes a third person look at the human condition without being all atheist preachy, read this book. Just read it... if you are disappointed then ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise this was!

It's about intergalactic war with the human race way way down the food chain, but fighting relentlessly.
This may sound like your everyday Military SF. And basically it is.
What made this such a fun read for me, is that kinda sorta hero by accident we have here. And his wonderful sidekick in the second half of the book. The book is funny right from the get-go, but as these two team up it really gets hilarious at times. I was having a blast!

4 stars in the end becau
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Turn off your brain. You won't need it here. ...more
At first I gave this one two stars, but in hindsight I liked it more than that. The plot is okay, and even promising, with an intriguing reminder of the Shadows and Vorlons and benevolent Elder Races in Babylon 5. It differs from Baylon 5 in tone. This book is irreverent and light, despite the doom and gloom of an alien invasion. This book is humorous. It's hard to take it seriously. That's okay with me.

The biggest problem is the hero, Joe. A likable guy, but there is too much of him! I usually
Patrick-ranjit Madsen
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious. I loved it.

Regarding the audiobook, R. C. Bray absolutely nails a late character in the story. Just nails it, and the banter is perfect. You will know what I mean when you get there.
David P. Duffy
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Decent SciFi Read With Issues

"Columbus Day," Book 1 of a series is a decent SciFi read, an entertaining storyline of humanity in the near time, becoming the lowest level species involved in an intergalactic war between advanced alien races. The humor is real life-sometimes it works, other times, not so much.

There are issues with both the writing and editing. The writing is immature, corny (dangerously close to cartoonish) and excessively repetitive. The editing is subpar, numerous redundant pass
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: US Army Sergeants in space, client hamster species, sentient beer cans named Skippy
Columbus Day is one of what looks like an endless parade of series like this being promoted on Amazon and Audible — military SF about a Joe EveryMan who has to soldier up and fight aliens for Earth. If this sounds a lot like Marko Kloos's Front Lines series, it's a lot like Marko Kloos's Front Lines series. So I only picked this book up because it was an Audible Daily Deal - I was willing to give it a try.

Glad I did. Columbus Day is fun. It's well-written. The characters are fairly standard, the
10 stars!

Columbus Day is one of those books that I connected within the first 5 minutes of listening and it is non-stop adventure to the end. It is no wonder that this book is a 2018 finalist of audiobook of the year. R. C. Bray is outstanding bringing this book to life.

It's a quiet autumn day, Columbus Day, when Army Specialist Joe Bishop sees a space ship crash in potatoe field in his home town, Thompson Corners, Maine. He wonders what strategic value this back water town has to these alien cr
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
3 Stars

Columbus Day was a fun read, but one that felt a bit too shallow for me to enjoy as much as I would have liked.

As the blurb says, Earth was floating merrily along in the galaxy when it was attacked by an alien race with marked technological superiority. A second alien race shows up and saves the day, though it doesn’t take too long to realize that Earth’s saviors may not be quite as wholesome allies as first thought.

So I’m new to this whole sci-fi thing. This is in fact only the second
I'm not sure I read the same book as a majority of other people.

The first half of this book was a real slog. So much flat out exposition telling with so much pointless military technobabble. As well as some very obvious redundancies that I'm shocked weren't caught during editing. The famous Skippy shows up and the narrator takes a back seat to his own story in favor of just a series of sarcastic dad jokes. Don't get attached to any other characters, because they either won't be around for long,
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is like the Adam Sandler of comedy movies. Sure, he is not Oscar material and he is definitely not a comedic genius. But. People watch his movies. His movies make money. And no one seems to know why.

This book is no "2001: A Space Odyssey" and nor does it entertain like "Old man's war" series does. But. Its alright. This book works. Just don't ask me why because I don't know. I've read both the books in the series and although I had no major take away, I was entertained and I think tha
Quality Content.

I haven't read many space operas. Not because I am not interested, but because I have so much to read. However, this particular book I have now read twice. I love it.
Here's what makes the story so great, the humor. Yes, aliens are upon us, yes, there's huge stakes for every move they have to make in this world but it never becomes too much because we have awesome characters with a great sense of humour. The first time we meet Skippy, he gets called an asshole (that's prime storyt
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Okay, this is a fun series. The plot gets a little lost here and there, but it is witty, funny, and interesting even with its flaws. It is also a book that is likely helped by the narrator in the Audio-book version. The dude can really rock a Maine Accent... The Barney Theme was hilarious and ... well, don't get me started on "Skippy." It reminds me of a sci-fi version of Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Exploits of Brigadier Gerrard." The second and third books are also good and the story firms up eve ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a 4 on a good day and a 3 on most days.

Earth gets attacked by a whole bunch of hamster people, but then saved by some lizards. Then our main pal gets shipped off to war in space. Turns out, space war is a lot less chill than you might expect when you are in a technologically inept society.

This novel is fun but felt a little clunky. The main character was fun and a fine character to hang around, if not a bit plain. Other characters seemed to have been forgotten about and the plot s
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This whole series of books cannot just be read. You have to listen to RC Brays brilliant audiobook narration of each book for the sheer entertainment value. This first book is very military tech heavy in the first half and without the narration, it wouldn't have been nearly as good. Even then this first installment is rough until a certain character is introduced late in the novel and carried throughout the rest of the books. That's where the story and narration really come to life. It's hilario ...more
Rolando Gill
Dec 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
It feels like the narrator is reading a checklist. The characters are uninteresting, significant situations are resolved quickly and without detail, the world building is super weak and there is absolutely no compelling reason to follow along with this story. I have no idea what everyone else read but it most certainly was not this book.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Before the appearance of Skippy, an AI with a strong personality and true star of this book, I hesitated a lot to give up my reading. This first volume of ExForce is too long, with the beginning of the book being painful and boring. The exhibition of the universe, very long, lacks a lot of finesse (I've never seen so much info-dump!). The monologues of the hero are boring and the book lacks a lot of rhythm, of true action scenes. It's more of "tell don't show" than "show don't tell".
That said I
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Earth is attacked by giant Alien Hamsters and then saved by lizards. An earth expeditionary force is sent out with the lizards to help them fight the Hamsters but all is not as it seems.

I really wasn't sure that this was my cup of tea, far too much gung ho american attitude for my delicate British ears and I was dreading that someone would start chanting "USA USA" at any second. I was determined to finish the book and doubted I'd attempt book 2, that was until Skippy appeared.

Skippy is a Million
richard a rishell
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Great book. Very enjoyable and I hope those of you who read this have a great time reading it. I did.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Decent enough military sci/fi but there was a major "deus ex machina" situation about halfway through that brought the star rating down.


Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I bought this book on a whim as I wanted to read some more self published Space Opera type science fiction.

In the beginning I was not that impressed as it started off using well worn SF tropes. Alien invaders attack the earth and we are saved by another alien race who chase of the initial aggressors. As payment, the saviors need Earth military to serve under them to help fight in a galactic war. Enter the hero of the story, who is whisked off to perform basic guard duty on an alien planet.

Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook

Note to Self - Maybe try a different series by the author but do not continue with this one unless it's free.

Low end of 3 Stars (Great Narration by R.C. Bray)
The story doesn't hold up well under scrinty. Too much tell and now enough show.
The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon come ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There go the good old days, when humans only got killed by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits.

3.5 stars.

This was our book club pick for October, and I have to admit, I wasn't too thrilled about it. Military science-fiction isn't my usual kind of read, but it
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-scifi, 2019
A good start to what looks to be an enjoyable series.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of sci-fi, especially fans of John Scalzi
Recommended to Eric by: George Damanis
I really enjoyed this first entry in the series, and am very much looking forward to seeing where it goes from here. It kind of feels a bit like a John Scalzi series, if Scalzi took things a bit more seriously and did more research into military bureaucracy and jargon.

The highlight is definitely the strong voice of the protagonist, who is human, flawed, and fleshed out into three dimensions. He is easy to relate to, as he seems just as baffled as the reader as to why this alien invasion is happ
Syd (deertales)
i think this book is being marketed incorrectly.

columbus day didnt get interesting for me until the introduction of that character that everyone in the reviews is talking about - skippy, the magnificent . there is a distinct shift in tone after that point, which is almost 40% through the book.

the first 40% was very technical army mumbo jumbo, space mumbo jumbo and a mess of characters that entered and exited the book with no significance whatsoever. the only reason i stuck with it was because i
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Columbus Day [October 25, 2019] 2 14 Oct 27, 2019 06:25AM  

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My Bio:
Craig Alanson used to create financial reports for a large IT services company. Writing fiction at nights and on weekends, he finally independently published three novels on Amazon. Within 6 months of his first ebook release, he

Other books in the series

Expeditionary Force (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • SpecOps (Expeditionary Force, #2)
  • Paradise (Expeditionary Force, #3)
  • Trouble on Paradise (Expeditionary Force, #3.5)
  • Black Ops (Expeditionary Force, #4)
  • Zero Hour (Expeditionary Force, #5)
  • Mavericks (Expeditionary Force, #6)
  • Renegades (Expeditionary Force, #7)
  • Homefront (Expeditionary Force, #7.5)
  • Armageddon (Expeditionary Force Book 8)
  • Valkyrie (Expeditionary Force Book 9)

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