Mecha Samurai Empire by Peter Tieryas

Mecha Samurai Empire

Peter Tieryas

Makoto grew up in California after Germany and Japan won WWII. As tensions rise between Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany and rumors of collaborators and traitors abound, Mac will have to fight to stay alive.

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The Man in the High Castle meets Pacific Rim in this action-packed alternate history novel from the award-winning author of United States of Japan. Germany and Japan won WWII and control the U.S., and a young man has one dream: to become a mecha pilot.

Makoto Fujimoto grew up in California, but with a difference--his California is part of the United States of Japan. After Germany and Japan won WWII, the United States fell under their control. Growing up in this world, Mac plays portical games, haphazardly studies for the Imperial Exam, and dreams of becoming a mecha pilot. Only problem: Mac's grades are terrible. His only hope is to pass the military exam and get into the prestigious mecha pilot training program at Berkeley Military Academy.

When his friend Hideki's plan to game the test goes horribly wrong, Mac washes out of the military exam too. Perhaps he can achieve his dream by becoming a civilian pilot. But with tensions rising between the United States of Japan and Nazi Germany and rumors of collaborators and traitors abounding, Mac will have to stay alive long enough first...

Advance Galley Reviews

Holy moly, this book was fun. Like the best pulpy fiction, I flew through it--it's really a page turner. I'm a sucker for alternate history novels, and while this one isn't breaking ground (it's basically regurgitating territory well trodden by writers like Dick and Harry Turtledove), it does conceptualize the world well enough that you're sucked in. I think the same can be said for the premise, which is basically Pacific Rim (which was ripping off classic Japanese cinema, so whatever). Is the idea new? Absolutely not. Does it read as fresh in this context? Ehhhh. Is it fun? Absolutely! I can see how some people might read Mecha Samurai Empire this as just reiterating what's already been done, but for my money, the marriage of alternate history and mecha/anime elements is the best kind of entertainment. High literature this is not, but I had a great time reading it!

I like alternate history novels well enough to try for a copy of this one here on First Reads. It managed to be rather interesting. The most interesting part, for me, was Mac. I found him to be a well done character that managed to mostly remain interesting and believable. I'd give this 4 stars.

Like other readers have stated, this book is very similar to the series Man in the High Castle but has mechas instead. Even though this is the second novel in the series, the author’s intention was to have each book be a standalone. I enjoyed the glimpses into the alternate histories. It's a perfect book for any anime, and mecha fans. Rate: 4/5 Thanks First to Read for the free ARC.

I received an advanced copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. I think this might be my first time reading an alternate history novel. It was really interesting imagining what could've happened if Germany and Japan had won World War II. The characters are younger, but I tend to read young adult fiction so that didn't bother me. I'm an anime fan so I really enjoyed the scenes involving mechas. I really enjoyed the characters and the plot twists kept me wanting more.

I started reading this book late, and the download expired. I’m so sad, i was so looking forward to reading it!

Mecha Samurai Empire is standalone within the United States of Japan #2. With only reading the synopsis I didn’t know what to expect, I’ve read a book with similar ideas of mechas, military called Rebel Seoul which was a while back. This is a coming of age, the journey to pursue his dreams realizing it’s not how he’d imagine. After failing his dream school entrance exam to become a mecha pilot and opting towards an opportunity to train to be a civilian pilot. Throughout the intense training he soon learns the harsh reality of USJ and the impact of the military’s decisions. The book was entertaining and action packed. I liked the friendships he’s built and their support when he was struggling.The beginning felt clunky with the info dumps. The time progresses quickly throughout the 3 year span. The action packed scenes were well drawn out so it created great visualization for the reader. Overall I would recommend it unless violence doesn’t appeal to you.

I went into this book a little blind as I have not read United States of Japan nor am I really familiar with Mechas or sci-fi or anything of the like. I have to say I enjoyed it and I'm glad I ventured out of my comfort zone. This is an alternate history novel where Nazi Germany and Japan won the war so it was interesting to see how that affected the world. I liked the characters though it was harder for me to connect to them since they are much younger than myself, but it was interesting to see how Makoto grew through his experiences in high school, RAMDET (I think those were the abbreviations) and BEMA. There were several moments where I really felt for him and the other characters. This book didn't necessarily keep me on the edge of my seat, but it was entertaining. I will likely read United States of Japan and the next book.

Mecha Samurai Empire is a standalone book. This is the first book I have read from this author so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a well written book that reminds me somewhat of Man in the High Castle. Over the years I have read several books that have dealt with concept of what would happen if the USA and the Allies lost the war and the USA was divided up between Japan and Germany. While some parts of this story seemed far fetched, overall it is a good book with an interesting mix of characters. While this is written as a standalone book, the author appears to leave the ending open for future books if he decides to continue this storyline. There is a lot of violence so this book may not appeal to everyone.

When I read the summary I though: "Man in the High Castle." Not quite!!! This book is different, it has a younger feeling for me, I guess because the characters are younger. I like the pace of the book, the twists in the plot and the caring among the characters. I have enjoyed reading this book a lot. I like Mac, he feels like a real person, with his doubts and feelings. Good book all and all.

I lovvvedddd this book! It is a bit Man in the High Castle, but so much more. It is all my favorite parts of an alternate history combined with conspiracies, political intrigue, and, of course, Mecha! It's like an anime come to life. Super cinematic, Mecha Samurai Empire is such a quick and engaging read. I hope the writer has more in store for this series, and I loved that this was a standalone but built in the same world as a prior's don't do enough of that, in my opinion.

Wow, this book is fantastic and engaging and entirely human in the most positive of ways and I can't wait to read what comes next. In an alternate history where Japan and Germany won the war with the use of giant mechas (robots) the US (and the world) are now territories divided between the two powers. We enter this world as we follow a young man whose dream is to become a pilot after he lost both his parents in battle when he was just a little kid. He is not ideal material for a pilot but he struggles thru a very difficult path to make his dream come true, and we're along for a ride full of conspiracies, political machinations, grave loses, and just straight up fantastic character development. It does struggle a bit with pacing in the beginning, but it's a rollercoaster ride once the pace picks up and you enjoy every minute of it. If the fact that it's book 2 in a series might keep you from reading it, don't worry. You can dive right in and enjoy it because all the really important information about the world gets mentioned/explained/commented on over the course of the story and all of the main characters are exclusive to this book. There is no excuse for missing it.

I'm generally a sucker for books dealing with Alternate History and this book is no different. Pretty good military sci-fi novel; great flow to the storytelling and characters you can really get invested in. Really looking forward to reading more of this series as it gets published.

In this coming of age plot set in an alternate history in which USA lost WWII to Japan & Germany, Makoto (Mac) Fujimoto wants to become a mecha pilot. He faces many barriers to his dream including poor grades in school, but there may be other ways to join the military academy. Interesting characters & setting with some political intrigue, but I found the training and action scenes involving the mechas the most exciting and fun to read. Thanks to First to Read- Penguin Books USA for the A free copy of this book.

I absolutely loved this book. It starts off a little slow and clunky but picks up pace nicely. The main characters evolve nicely throughout the story and face a lot of internal struggle with the situations they find themselves in that is easily relatable. I really enjoyed the alternative history featured in the book as well. If I could rate this book with stars it's an easy 4.5 out of 5.

An intense, exciting fleshed out story set in an alternate world where Japan defeats the United States for dominion. Mac dreams of piloting the Mechs, but his scores and an unfortunate circumstances cause him to fail. Joining a civilian course, he is thrown into a horrific battle that propels him to his chance at the Mecha Academy. Training and machinations between the Nazis and the United States of Japan force Mac his team into bloody battle rife with betrayals and revelations. Intense portrayals and some gory details during battle scenes, but not overly done. Exciting and interesting detailed foray into a life in an Asian United States lifestyle. Recommend if you love sci-fi and giant fighting machines.

A world where Germany and Japan won World War II would be very different, yet the underlying struggles and ploys for power would likely remain the same, as in Peter Tieryas's Mecha Samurai Empire.  In the United States of Japan students study relentlessly for the Imperial Exam that helps determine if they'll be admitted to the prestigious mecha pilot training program at Berkeley Military Academy. Makoto, known to his friends as Mac, has dreamed of becoming a mecha pilot, but his grades certainly wouldn't help him as they suffer from his proclivity to play portical games. After Mac's best friend Hideki's plan for the exam goes disastrously awry, Mac's dreams of entering the academy seem impossible. Opting for the opportunity to train to be a civilian pilot instead, Mac refines his skills but also learns some harsh realities of the state of USJ and the cost of the decisions the military has been making. As the tension rises between tenuous allies of Japan and Germany, conflicts ensue toward a war that would cost far too many lives.  An intriguing and well-developed alternate history, the world is easy to envision, even if the rapid advancement of technology isn't really addressed and many of the world descriptions are mostly infodumps. The story progresses both slowly and quickly over the three year span it covers - the time passes quickly, as does the narrative, but the detailed descriptions of action in the moment is drawn out, creating a sense of tension as it paints a full picture. Though his book is the second in a series, it stands alone well and explains elements that might have already been covered to provide new readers (such as myself) with enough background to understand and keep up with current action.  Overall, I'd give it a 4 out of 5 stars.


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