Extinction is the second novel in B.V. Larson’s STAR FORCE series about professor Kyle Riggs who was picked up by an alien spaceship and now captains a fleet of ships that are protecting earth from other aliens. I called the first book, Swarm, “a silly, but exciting, male wish-fulfillment fantasy.” I wouldn’t have moved on to book two, but the audiobook publisher sent it to me for a review, so here we are.
Extinction takes place soon after the events of Swarm. Kyle has made a deal with the bad aliens. He promised that if they’d leave the Earth alone, he’d supply them with trained troops to help them fight their other battles around the universe. He needs to get those troops ready before the aliens come to collect. He also needs to figure out how to make more spaceships because the aliens have kidnapped a bunch of them, along with their captains, so they can use them to fight elsewhere. Meanwhile, Kyle is also dealing with the U.S. government who wants to get its hands on the technology that Star Force is using.
I read about 1/3 of Extinction before giving up. It’s just too cheesy and juvenile. All of the characters are shallow, but the worst is Kyle’s coed girlfriend who is there only to look hot and provide unromantic sex on the beach at random moments. The plot is ridiculously unbelievable and the writing style offers nothing to admire. This series might be exciting for an adolescent male, but for the rest of us, it mostly feels like a cheap SyFy movie.
Why is the STAR FORCE series getting such high ratings at Amazon and Goodreads? Because it was self-published and initially offered for free or very cheaply at Amazon. Compared to most of the stuff that’s published this way, it holds up pretty well since Mr. Larson can, you know, actually write complete grammatically correct sentences and get his plot across clearly. Thus, it gets 5-star ratings from people who read cheap books and then Amazon notices and sends it over to its sister companies, Brilliance Audio and Audible, who put it in audio format. That’s how it ends up in my mailbox (and if they read this, they’ll probably blacklist me). Don’t let these 5-star ratings fool you. STAR FORCE may compare well to whatever other cheap stuff these Amazon reviewers are reading, but compared to the literature that readers who visit FanLit want to read…. well, let’s just say it doesn’t compare.
Star Force — (2010-2013) Publisher: Earth arms marines with alien technology and builds its first battle fleet! Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there…. A novel of military science fiction by bestselling author B. V. Larson, SWARM is the story of Earth’s annexation by an alien empire. Long considered a primitive people on a backwater planet, humanity finds itself in the middle of a war, and faced with extinction.