Crystal World (Undying Mercenaries Book 20) by B. V. Larson

Legion Varus is deployed along with some surprising allies against the silicon inhabitants of Crystal World.


  • Filled with action and battle scenes
  • James McGill and his antics keep entertaining
  • Some interesting allies


  • Some problems aren’t quite resolved by the end of the story even though they were emphasized at the beginning
  • Resolution of the campaign a little bit of a letdown

Crystal World Review

Crystal World by B. V. Larson continues the long-running entertaining antics of one James McGill and his Legion Varus in the Undying Mercenaries universe.

Shakespeare’s famous line, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” from As You Like It is an apt representation when it comes to the series and James McGill. While this is true for all stories (and perhaps of life in general), McGill’s situation more artificial than most protagonists considering his unending bout of bad luck that turns out to be good luck in disguise.

It’s as though McGill is center stage in this grand, galactic play that is unfolding before the reader’s eyes despite his relatively insignificant rank in the legion.

One aspect of the series that is done well is Larson’s slow drip of story that advances the overall plot of the series. Here, we see the aftermath of Drusus’ complete reign over Earth even if that particular plot point is seemingly abandoned during Varus’ new campaign over the crystal entities.

The first half of the story focuses on McGill and the political changes taking place on Earth, and this plot is seemingly abandoned after Legion Varus is called to action once again, and this time Winslade leads the legion instead of Turov.

The second half of the story focuses on yet another campaign against some strange aliens in a faraway place. As usual, the legion and its allies encounter some difficult battles and suffer some horrendous fates only to be revived to suffer through it again.

Gruesome battle scenes help move the story along and happen often enough to keep readers engaged.

But this time, Earth is joined by former enemies like Armel, Claver, and Raj, the lizard. This unlikely group of allies is bound together by another former character, Admiral Satikas. While they are allies, their distrust of one another leads to some interesting and fun dialogue. Even some progress is made with everyone’s favorite galactic bureaucrats, the Nairbs.

Crystal World by B. V. Larson is another entertaining entry in the Undying Mercenaries that sees Earth enforcing the Galactic’s will in yet another bloody battle on the distant frontiers of the Galactic Empire.

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