by John Steakley
4.5 61

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Armor by John Steakley

The military sci-fi classic of courage on a dangerous alien planet

The planet is called Banshee. The air is unbreathable, the water is poisonous. It is home to the most implacable enemies that humanity, in all its interstellar expansion, has ever encountered.

Body armor has been devised for the commando forces that are to be dropped on Banshee—the culmination of ten thousand years of the armorers’ craft. A trooper in this armor is a one-man, atomic powered battle fortress. But he will have to fight a nearly endless horde of berserk, hard-shelled monsters—the fighting arm of a species which uses biological technology to design perfect, mindless war minions.

Felix is a scout in A-team Two. Highly competent, he is the sole survivor of mission after mission. Yet he is a man consumed by fear and hatred. And he is protected, not only by his custom-fitted body armor, but by an odd being which seems to live within him, a cold killing machine he calls “The Engine.”

This is Felix’s story—a story of the horror, the courage, and the aftermath of combat, and the story, too, of how strength of spirit can be the greatest armor of all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780886773687
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 12/28/1984
Series: Daw Science Fiction Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 223,765
Product dimensions: 6.86(w) x 4.14(h) x 1.18(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Steakley is best known for his science fiction writing. He has published two novels, including his acclaimed military science fiction novel Armor, as well as four short science fiction and fantasy stories.

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Armor 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying that Sci-fi is not my normal reading choice. I was surprised by the author's ability to make me savor the psycho-analyses of Jack Crow and Felix (the two main characters in the book) over any action scenes. A very multi-dimensional read even though it doesn't appear to be at all times. I think its a read where if you skim through it fast and read it only for the action junky side you will miss the main idea Steakley had with this one. The farther I got into it the more I was hooked. Slowly the characters drew me in and entrapped me in the pages of this book, as Felix is in his armor during each drop. I highly recommend this one. Enjoy. And thank you Mr. Steakley for writing this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Steakley does what almost no fiction author present or past has managed to really do: make the perspective of the combat veteran even vaguely comprehensible to the outsider... including the desperate need to make sense of it all once crisis has passed, and the long, slow, banal complexities of 'real life' have once again reasserted themselves.
kdsand More than 1 year ago
I have read syfy and fant. all my life maybe a thousand books - perhaps more. This book has stuck in my mind like no other. I must say anyone that doesnt give this book 100 out of 100 has a personality incomprehensible to me. No insults intended. I never would have imagined others felt the same about this book but their reviews show it, I can even sort of understand why some take this book with them all the time -- lol:) P.S. I liked the original cover a lot more - oh well.
Szigedi More than 1 year ago
Armor is a great SCIFI book in the same family as Forever War, Forever Peace, Enders Game, Cadre one, and Starship Troopers. Great story that almost makes this to a mystery novel. For people who have served in the military in combat, this books will re-kindle old memories. The Hero is a guy who doesn't want to be a Hero, just wants to get away from a problem or do what needs to be done. I hope Steakley writes another book, a continuation of this would be great! One of the few books I routinely re-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of all the sci-fi books i have read, this is my favorite. The depth of character i believe is the most impressive. The battles are intense and you will not be able to put this book down once you pick it up. It has a very dark tone, which i enjoy, and it is amazing how in touch you feel with the main characters, especially Felix. you will not be sorry if you purchase this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Steakley must have labored over and loved this book. I have Read many Science Fiction novels and the is the only one I keep out at all times, it is now worn and torn from lending and being passed around, But remains apart of me I will never forget. This novel puts a twist on how you see things after you read it, a man consumed by fear and hate, But will never just die or give up, Felix is What we all would hate too become but still we love him and embrace his story. I Recomend This book to anyone Beginning too read Science Fiction or the old novelist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a tremendous labour of love this book must have been. To say that it is a good book would be truly an understatement, more likely akin to insult. I would rate this as a work of truly exceptional and quite extroridary talent. Felix as complex as he was simple. Steakley or anyone for that matter could not have written anything better about man's inner conflict and the circumstances that surround them. It allows us a glimps at what we all share as human beings...The ability to rise up and overcome any trial or tribulation. I imagine that anyone who loved this book reveled in the fact that Felix was ordinary in many ways, but found deep within himself a person that he did not know existed. This gave him the strengh and the willpower to survive each and every drop. I can't imagine not walking away from this book without some insight into your own psychi. I recommand this book to anyone. Even those outside the scifi genre'. It's a shame John Steakley only wrote this one book about Felix, but I guess that one book said it all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sci-Fi's are great escapes but rarely memorable. Steakley wrote one book, and with this one shining effort, surpasses the likes of Bradbury, Asimov, and Herbert. If you like pure science fiction--that based on science, and not pukey fantasy--you'll love this. And the story is riveting. Felix is as human as any one of us--the engine....if you've ever felt the calmness in the hurricane's eye of a blind rage, you'll know what he's talking about. (*This is probably exclusively a masculine phenomenon). Similar to the first person warrior adventures of Edgar Rice Burrough's or a 'Mack Bolan' but more profound--the dichotomy mentioned in other reviews consists of the raging warrior contrasted by the humanity of Felix's middle aged character. I haven't read this book for 10 years and I still remember it that well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is not doubt that John Steakely borrowed heavily from Starship Troopers to write this book, but it many ways it is even more of a masterpiece than that perennial SF favorite. Armor follows two completely different story lines, that of the combat warrior Felix and the intergalactic pirate Jack Crow. Both of them have pasts they'd rather leave behind, and both of thim have two different sets of ethics forming internal conflicts. In all ways a book obsessed with dichotomies, Armor explores two different men struggling between raw survival and honor and the love they're learning to feel and the hatred that drives them. Between the exploration of the psyches of two men and the intense action scenes, Armor's intensity and emotions are rarely matched in literature.
Anonymous 8 days ago
This book changed my life. There is no other way to explain it. This is a must read.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
Great storytelling. It made you feel like you were with Felix on Banshee.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well thought out scifi thriller. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want real in-depth characters then you have hit the mother-lode. An emotional rollercoaster with a surprise ending. I'd quote the final lines if I could without giving away the story but it's an ending that will always stick with me. If you like the psychological side of combat I can't recommend it enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite sci-fi book, and the one that I recommend the least often to others. The fact is that most people who like sci-fi read it to escape reality, and 'Armor' is a big ice-filled bathtub of pain and suffering.  It's almost always compared to Heinlein's 'Starship Troopers,' its flavor is actually much more like 'The Hunger Games' books. It is not cheery. It is not uplifting. It will make you cry. It is a story of the suffering that follows a remarkable character who has no hope of survival, but who simply cannot let himself lay down and die. So. If your idea of good sci-fi is intricate technology and big explosions, you'll be disappointed with this one. Because while Armor has some of that, it is more than anything else a character development piece.  The interweaving of plot-lines is a bit ham-handed, and the ending is - frankly - a bit of a disappointment. As a story, it's really not as good as 'Starship Troopers,' which the author candidly credits for inspiration; Steakley is on record as having written this because 1) Heinlein wasn't very good at writing action sequences, and 2) Steakley didn't like Heinlein's glossing over of the actual psychology of combat. To wit (and like in Hunger Games): anyone who spends much time around killing any dying gets bent.  Steakley hits that psychological angle like nobody before or since, and the end result is one of the finest sci-fi books ever written. Therapists give it to PTSD patients. You will not find a serious student of military psychology who doesn't know about 'G. Felix' and the Engine. This book will make you hurt. And if you're okay with that, you will love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probably number two or three of the best Sci-Fi books ever written. An absolute must read.
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Ryan1104 More than 1 year ago
Still one of my all time favorite stories. A look into the effects of war that will change your life, and your outlook on the sacrifice soldiers give for their countries and their families.
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onix7cv More than 1 year ago
This book is a fast paced actione packed sci-fi blockbuster. If you like sci-fi and action this is the classic read you may be missing from your collection. I absolutely loved it; coudn't put it down.
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