The duo of Jake Bible and Andrew B. Wehrlen once again pull off another gritty and grimy fast-paced military action science fiction story with their recent audiobook release called “Mech Corps”. The book follows a division of space marines who pilot large metal bipedal machines called mechs; mechanical robots. A quick glance at the book’s cover art give you an impression of what these contraptions look like; scary. With the population of earth needing to relocate elsewhere in the universe, military teams are send ahead to scout and claim new places for humans to survive. Invading and preparing a planet for human colonization may sound like a simple task, until our team meets an adversary who is more ruthless and powerful than anything they have previously encountered. It is a story full of action, friendship, and survival. If you enjoy space marine or military genres, you may want to have a listen to Mech Corps.
Blend together bits of Starship Troopers, a little from Alien, and some parts Old Man’s War and you have a good idea of what you will find within the pages of Mech Corps. The characters and story are not extremely deep or complex, but the action and battles are unrelenting. The book is like the opening sequence to “Saving Private Ryan” with its multiple detailed encounters. When a book opens with a loud cry to “BFI”, or brace for impact, you are thrown right into the action. Once on the planet, the team is dropped right into a firefight that gets the hostility flowing. You really get a feel for the chaos and panic that envelops the characters during the heat of battle. This team of close-knit marines as to stick together to survive the onslaught of cunningness of the enemy they face. Each of the members is trained in a skill unique to them making each invaluable to one another; much like a real marine group.
There was good interaction and collaboration between the team members along with quite a few jabs, pokes, and zings that fly between the characters constantly. At times, I felt these jabs were over-the-top, but I could understand humor was used between them to help take their minds off their ultimate goal which could have led ultimately to their deaths. I have never been put in such a high-stress situation as the book’s characters were, so I may have reacted in a similar way to deal with the setting. All of their focus and accomplishments lead to the acceptance of the newly formed “Mech Corps”.
I had no issues with the quality of the audiobook’s narration by Andrew B. Wehrlen. It seemed to be consistent from start to finish. I did not notice any audio artifacts such as swallowing or page turns either while I listened. I like Mr. Wehrlen deeper and rich voice for this book as it added a darker feel to the overall story. If I had one thing I would change, it would be the voicing of a few of the main female characters. I know it if difficult for a male with a deeper voice to properly narrate female voices, so if you can get past this slight matter, especially when listening at a faster speed, the rest of the book is enjoyable.
Parents and young readers, note this book is not intended for younger readers due to its extensive use of vulgar language, graphic violence and crude humor. Remember, this book is about war and the language used is not very flowery in the heat of battle. The characters also banter one another often with derogatory terms including sexual references and innuendoes. Parents of younger readers should be cautioned if they are thinking about reading this book. If you are easily offended by strong language, sexual content, or crude humor, you may want to find a different book to read.
In summary, if you enjoy quick action-packed space marine battles consisting of piloted 30-foot mechanical robots, I think you will enjoy Mech Corps. There is some unique technology and plot in this story setting it apart from others in this genre. The story flowed quite well and the narration was professionally done.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.