I have read a lot of B. V. Larson books. They all have been really good military science fiction books. This one is, well, strange. It does have a lot of fighting and the fighting is done by aliens versus humans, but the story is all confusing! It took me a long time to get into the story because I had no idea what it was about from the very beginning. I thought a book titled, “Mech 1”, would be about some kind of mechanical soldiers, cyborgs or something like that against some bad aliens. Well, the bad aliens were there, but the “mechs” never showed up until the very last and then they were like an after thought.
At first, we’re given a story-line about this planet, Garm, which is out on the rim of the galaxy near absolutely nothing, getting a new Governor. We’re not told much about where this Governor is coming from, just that he’s from the Nexus and he’s going to take over. Now Garm already has a Governor, some local guy who got elected locally by the Garm Senate, but never approved by the Nexus. So, were immediately plunged into some political intrigue since a local elder doesn’t want to lose control of the planet via some new Governor arriving. See, this is a Planetary Governor. He or she rules like an Emperor or Empress, but until recently, one particularly old lady controlled the strings of this appointed Governor. She did not want to lose that control.
So, while the new Governor attempts to take control of the planet, Mai Lee, the old lady, rallies her forces, the local militia, in an effort to stop the new Governor from taking office. She’s assisted by General Steinbach who is not much of a General; just out for himself. Anyway, there’s a big battle at the spaceport where incoming Governor Droad (that’s a terrible name for a main character) his elite body guards made up of superhuman know as giants are firmly entrenched.
While you got that going on, we get this story of a female smuggler and her son arranging a contract with some idiot and his idiot son. The guys name is “Daddy’ and his son is a mech or a mechanical human called “Mudface”. Apparently, Mudface got the way he is when Daddy killed him and then had second thoughts. He shoved Mudface’s brain into the belly of a mech and that’s how he came to be in his present form. Ah, yeah, pretty stupid. Well, both of these characters are lacking brains. Sarah, the female smuggler is supposed to deliver some contraband to a certain location for Daddy. She knows the payoff will be pretty good on delivery and she also knows the penalty for crossing Daddy. Ok, so this is another story-line.
Then at the same time, we meet this guy or alien, I’m not sure which, who is roaming the desert talking to himself, or at least it appears that way. He’s actually a human that apparently has voluntarily melded with an alien called the Tulk. This alien tries to control his host when it suits him while most of the time he’s just contemplating nothing. This human, Garth, just stumbles from one place to another until others of his kind start trying to contact his Tulk or Fryx as it’s called. They are trying to warn him that the Imperium is coming.
Now, while all of this is going on, we’re flung back out to space where an alien life pod is approaching Garm. It is the Imperium. On board is a Parent. She is the equivalent of a Queen to a nest of yet unborn creatures. Her intent is to land on Garm, bury herself as deep as possible and then to start birthing her Army. That’s how the Imperium conquers planets. The Parent can produce offspring that function in specific military tactics. She can produce soldiers of unmatched ferocity, or flying things that contain other soldiers inside them. She has offspring that can tunnel in the dirt and come up underneath unsuspecting targets. All of these offspring are gestated constantly and in volume by the Parent and eventually by her daughters who also become Parents. These aliens eat humans!
As you can surmise, it’s easy to get lost in this book, especially at the beginning. Eventually, all these story-lines do meld into a final story but it takes a while to get it done. Some of the action is down right disgusting, but it is science fiction. I have no idea why the author chose the title, “Mech 1” because I don’t think it has anything to do with the book. There is a Mech or company of Mechs belonging to the new Governor, but they barely have part of the story and only at the very end.
I’m not sure if I will read the second book. It’s just not that interesting and there’s too much going on.