Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: ARMOR, by John Steakley

ArmorArmor by John Steakley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

About a week ago, a friend of mine walked up to me and handed me this book, saying "you ought to read this, it's not what you'd expect." Since this was someone whose opinion I generally respect, I took the book home with me.

So...it's an interesting book, and no, not what you'd expect from the cover art or the back cover description. It starts off looking like a military sci-fi novel in the mold of Robert A. Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS, but without all the military cheerleading (or as I call it, the RAH rah-rah).

Then, suddenly, we're someplace completely different with a completely different protagonist, the cynical space pirate Jack Crow. Crow's arrived on the planet Sanction with a mission of his own, one he's not completely happy with, but he's got debts to pay.

The story eventually gets tied together when Crow and Sanction's project director start delving into the secrets of the original protagonist's armored battle suit. There are some surprises and reversals right at the end.

The book drags quite a bit in the middle, and the prose gets a more than a bit overheated and melodramatic, but on the whole, I liked it. Didn't love it, but liked it.

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