BINGO – Machinery (and my first completed Bingo!)
You know those movies whose trailer you watch the first time and you think, “Who gave that the green-light? That looks so dumb.” And the second trailer comes out and you think, “Okay, maybe that looks kind of fun but still. There’s no way I’m going to see it.” And then you see a trailer one more time and finally relent to think, “Yeah, sure, that looks fun and dumb; I’m in!” That was Steel World. It was a fun, kind of dumb, summer blockbuster action book.
Earth is a part of the Galactic Empire which is controlled by the Galactics. To be allowed into the Empire, each planet must demonstrate they there is something they can export to other member planets that no-one else can. Earth’s product? Its people by way of mercenaries. James McGill has recently found himself kicked out of college and forced out of his home with no money to his name. There’s really only one option for someone in his position: join up with a mercenary Legion. The only problem is that the only group that will take him in is Legion Vargus, a poorly respected group known for taking on the riskiest contracts.
Legion Vargus barely trains their latest batch of recruits before heading off to Cancri-9, aka Steel World, a mineral, metal, and gem-rich world populated by dinosaur-like creatures called saurians. The Legion is told they are on-planet in order to protect a mine from saurian workers who have revolted, but McGill soon unearths a plot that potentially could jeopardize the entire human race.
Overall, as mentioned at the start, this is a fun, dumb read. There is plenty of action and lots of war-violence. This book is definitely not for readers who can’t read gore, as there is plenty. These humans are fighting against dinosaurs after all whose primary weapon is their teeth. Underneath all the dumb fun is a more interesting story that only barely gets explored in Steel World. Humans have bought machinery that can bring people back to life. Essentially, body data is stored on a server and pumped into a machine that regrows a human and imports all of the data back into their body. So even when soldiers die, they don’t really die permanently. McGill ponders what this means for humanity on a philosophical level: are they still themselves? What is the nature of existence? What matters more, the mind or the brain? Unfortunately these questions are asked and only answered at a very superficial level.