OK, so it goes like this:

  • there's a team of space marines that crash land/arrive in an underground cave system
  • they are in a ship. the action takes place inside and around the ship, in the cave
  • they fight a series of enemies that they consider to be alien, spider looking creature, made of flesh and robotic parts
  • they're pretty hard core, fighting the creatures
  • one of them used to be an athlete, a footbal player back on Earth
  • while fighting the creatures at one point they realize that the creatures are actually other space marines that were there for hundreds of years protecting something
  • the creature/space marines have gotten in that state because they regenerated/healed using an UV system repeatedly and changing their form to better suit their environment but in the meantime forgetting everything about their lives

I read this sometime around 2011. The book seemed fairly new, like on of those fresh authors publishing for Kindle on Amazon.

It was written in English, by an American author.

I'd really love to re-read this and just can't remember anything else about it.

  • Welcome to active membership in SF&F SE. You’ve provided a lot of detail about the plot of the book you’re looking for; that’s great. Can you estimate how long it is? Was it part of a series? Hardback or paperback? Do you remember anything about the cover? Male or female author? When did you read this book? (Please don’t say things like “a long time ago”.) What country and language did you read it in? Please do not respond in comments; edit your question to make it more complete. See also our guidance on asking good story-ID questions. May 21, 2017 at 18:11
  • @Rand al'Thor: Good job, editing this post before the ink was dry!    :-)    ⁠ May 21, 2017 at 18:16
  • tried to supply the details, thank you for helping
    – Bogdan
    May 21, 2017 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


Dominant Species by Michael E. Marks, came out in Jan 2011. It mentions that a couple of the space marines met playing 3D football, they fight underground in a huge cavern after finding a ship. I don't recall if the 'aliens' they're fighting are revealed to be human or not. I only read it once a long time ago.

Dominant Species is the story of six Marines who are part of a special operations unit that employs powered armor technology. The initial focus revolves around an exigent conflict with human separatists on a distant colony planet. The story diverts abruptly when events trap the Marines in a series of caverns where they encounter a long-buried starship. While attempting to maintain a focus on escape, the lack of alternate resources draws the Marines into the ship and its mysterious past. They encounter a wholly inhuman species that triggers a race against not only a lethal opponent but also mounting injuries and diminishing resources.


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