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Publisher's Summary

Stack bodies, get paid, get to the ship.

If you can survive Reaper Platoon in the Strange, then Ghost or Dog Platoons will get you for their own. Best to steer clear of the freaks in Voodoo, kid.” 

Surrounded and outgunned, a group of private military contractors known as “Strange Company” find themselves on a remote planet at the edge of known space, and on the losing end of a bad contract. Orbital D-beam strikes, dropships bristling with auto-guns, missiles, and troops - even Monarch space marines in state-of-the-art advanced battle rattle - will try to prevent the company from reaching the exfil LZ and getting off-world. 

For Strange, that means it’s time to hang tough and get it on with as much hyper-kinetic violence as they can muster to get clear of the whole mess. And what the Strange can’t get done by violent assault and crazy firefights, they’ll get done by the freaks of Voodoo Platoon - operators who have been changed by the Dark Labs into powerful and unnervingly unnatural asymmetrical weapons. 

This is the Strange Company. Because in the Strange, it’s always really Strange. Join them - and get ready for full auto combat at the furthest limits of human exploration.

©2021 Nick Cole (P)2021 Podium Audio

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Sci Fi Black Company Hommage

I have some mixed thoughts about Strange Company. Predominately that it is a severely plagiarised version of Glen Cook's Black Company fantasy series, right down to the naming of characters. My second concern is the narrative style, Strange Company is written in the Hunter S Thompson style of Gonzo journalism, characterised by the constant use of short and often contradictory descriptive passages and first person narration. This was indeed confirmed by the usage of 'pharmaceutical grade acid' and the blatant 'Fear and Loathing' 'bats' reference at the start of chapter 8. While I am not a fan of this 'Gonzo' story telling it can be quite effective, although sometimes very difficult to stay focused on, and Strange Company is, at times, rather slippery in its narrative.

'The Black Company' and therefore 'Strange Company' is a soldiers story about the characters and actions of a morally ambiguous bunch of mercenaries. They don't fight for right, they aren't trying to save the galaxy, they don't care which side they fight on so long as they get paid. Evil overlords and downtrodden rebels are mere background for the actual story. As readers we are rarely given the big strategic picture, nor are we even privy to any plans or course of future action. Instead we get the grunt soldiers perspective drip fed to us on a need to know basis as the story evolves one incident at a time.

I have long believed that someone should write a sci fi 'Black Company' book, I just wish that Nick Cole hadn't made his plagiarism's so obvious. Still I suppose that the majority of Nick Cole's targeted audience will not get the references or be aware of the source materials. Would be a 5 star rating except for the above.

TBH I don't personally like it. I want to like it, but I just don't. I seriously dislike the gonzo narrative structure, and I have gone out of my way to avoid listening to this book. All the descriptive passages may read well on paper, but with audio they obscure the story.


1 person found this helpful

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Morbidly addictive

Gallows humour meets action packed sci-fi narrated with a 5 star performance, cant complain.

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Really different

The words flowed on and on and from them the story. Very unique way of storytelling with to me an unusual delivery. I really like this a lot. The Narrator was excellent.

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Fantastic

This book was one of the best military sifi good I have ever read then listened to narration was just st brilliant

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OK - this is really good...

If I hadn't read another book by this guy, I'd be googling away looking to see if he did anything similar whilst inwardly shaking with withdrawal symptoms.

Nick writes a battle, comeradery, military jargon, humanity and sci - fi adventure that doesn't sit back and drives forward at a pace of knots. That's a given and an expected backdrop from him. SC doesn't disappoint!

The withdrawals you feel after reading some of his work is just your brain slowing back down and your heart rate returning to normal.

That said, he is also an incredible story teller and I love the books he writes solo and in partnership for that reason, probably more than anything other in fact.

This is a great start to the series, you do end up giving a shit about the characters ( regular readers might be reluctant to do so as Mr C kills quite a few of his heroes, keeping the story and the reader on tenterhooks ) but the concept, where the tale might end up, what's going to happen next ...

LOVE it ! Gimme more, gimme now ! I Want!

Rich

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  • Garion Adkins
  • 24-03-2021

Another excellent (audio)book from Nick Cole!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The closest comparison I can make is to the Black Company books, but even making that comparison is selling this wonderfully strange story short. If you've read other Nick Cole books, you know he has a good aptitude for writing some oddities and unusual settings, and there's definitely some recognizable tropes in this book (if also ramped up a good bit!).

Whereas his other excellent Sci-Fi novels have reasonably cut-and-dry Good Guys and Bad Guys (except for when they're not, haha), this story is focused on mercenaries. Mercenaries who straight up say that they're not always shooting the Bad Guys, because sometimes they're the ones that hold their contract.

Look, I know that might sound kinda overused nowindays, but there's a difference between Jayne Cobb saying something like that vs these guys; he's to friendly, outgoing, and altruistic for these guys....and he probably doesn't have sufficient weapons to fit in with them, anyway!

55 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-03-2021

Unforgettable...

You probably know Nick Cole from his excellent collaboration with Jason Anspach in Galaxy's Edge. This is the first military science fiction book I've read written only by Nick and WOW am I glad I did!

This is an amazing combination of classic pulp sci-fi (think Weird Tales) with modern military science fiction. I can't think of anything I've read like it before but I'm eager for more!

49 people found this helpful

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  • Brian Dobson
  • 07-04-2021

A great story!

This book was so good, had to up the play back speed to 1.2x because it seemed like the audio was paced really slow but at the up speed it was perfect pace for my ear, have to say the last 3-4 hrs of the book were the best vintage Nick Cole well paced action and depth of story can’t wait for next entry into this world!

44 people found this helpful

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  • Steven Smead
  • 03-04-2021

This book is amazing if a bit...Strange...

First and Foremost, I adore this book. It's great. It made me tear up a bit, and is overall a lot of fun. But it's...well...Strange. Here is my summary of the plot: There is a group of Mercenaries called Strange Company. Shenanigans ensue. This book is one part a commentary of the horrors of war, one part allegory for cancel culture and everything else going on in the world today, one part secondhand drug trip, and one part references to other science fiction stories (Though thankfully a hint more discreet than something like Ready Player One) The whole book is a blast and I enjoyed it.

43 people found this helpful

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  • Mason
  • 04-04-2021

Get. This. Book.

Damn good book and fantastic reading! The Narrator did an outstanding job well worth a listen!!!!!

42 people found this helpful

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  • Gavin
  • 03-04-2021

Awesome, Relatable Scifi

Well built characters and plot. stick through the first few chapters where the character is busy finding his place in the story and it'll be good.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Philip Burgess
  • 25-03-2021

Awesome!

it was an absolutely amazing adventure, start to finish. The kind of book you wish went on and on, and you can't wait for a sequel.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Pollack
  • 30-04-2021

This one is different, and good military SF

If you want complex plot twists and character development, look elsewhere. This is written more in the way of "A day in the life" though it takes place over longer than that. It is about life in a future mercenary corps, patterned somewhat after what in my utterly inexperienced life guesses is roughly a US Marines perspective. I could be totally wrong about that. I never served. What I can say is that this has a feel of authenticity unlike almost anything else I've read in the genre.

Throughout the course of a series of escalating, gritty, ground pounding, battles; the first person narrator describes life in his unit and by extension the armed forces around him. He is the keeper of the stories for the soldiers around him, and as such you are told the back stories of many of them.

Some people find it "wordy and introspective" which is true, but it's well paced and interesting end to end.

Christopher Ryan Grant does a masterful job with narration here. His tone, cadence, and voices are so perfectly matched to the content that I'm not sure even the great R.C. Bray would have been as good a choice.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Nathan
  • 02-04-2021

Well worth the credit

When I bought this book there were several reviews comparing it to The Black Company by Glenn Cook. I feel that is a fair comparison as it does take place from the point of view of the historian of a mercenary company. Strange Company is sci-fi though, so take Black Company, mix in Warhammer 40k, and sprinkle with a other things to add flavor and you have Strange Company. Well worth a listen if you like military and sci-fi.

34 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean King
  • 02-06-2021

Get It On!

Nick Cole offers up a full tilt adventure that I couldn't stop listening to. Great first person narrative that starts perfectly and finishes with a BANG!!! Hugely entertaining, especially if your a fan of Galaxies Edge or Space Westerns. Bring on Book 2.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Mr j s hyland
  • 24-04-2021

superb story

excellent..really REALLY good..highly recommended..great story BRILLIANTLY narrated in a laconic military drawl...can't wait for the next one

2 people found this helpful

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  • N. M. Kosky
  • 29-04-2021

oh my goodness

And Nick Cole and Mr Grant score another winner. Excuse me, I have a lump in my throat. Think there will be a book 2. So there's that.

1 person found this helpful

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  • paul sparks
  • 24-03-2021

Disturbing but such a great story

I initially gave up listening to this book after the first chapter which I found to be vastly different to the authors GE book series but I reflected on my actions and listened to all the book and i am so glad i did, it's not heroes and villains, it's about the grey areas no one likes to talk about, thank you Nick Cole, and also excellent narration

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-2021

when it all stops being black and white

one of the most enjoyable listens I've had in a long time I'm so, time disappeared while listening to it. its story of hope story of loss and those damn bats

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