Alien ships come to Earth in the middle of the night and kidnap people who must prove themselves worthy of being captain by killing the last captain. The hero is a teacher I believe. The ship he becomes captain on actually took and killed his kids first. It’s lots of ships all over earth finding earthling captains so they can defend the earth against an alien fleet

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    This is extremely terse at the moment is there no other plot elements/details you can edit in? Do you also know when you read this? Was it new at the time you read it? Was it a novel, novella, short story, etc.? – TheLethalCarrot Feb 18 at 14:22
  • It’s been a couple years. Received harsh reviews because the hero was a school teacher. Ships took his kids, which were killed before he was taken. – Trent Feb 18 at 14:24
  • You can edit that detail into the question. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 18 at 14:24
  • Ships could reconfigure themselves for their pilots. – Trent Feb 18 at 14:24

Swarm by B.V. Larson

Earth arms marines with alien technology and builds its first battle fleet!

Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there....

SWARM is the story of Earth’s annexation by an alien empire. Long considered a primitive people on a backwater planet, humanity finds itself in the middle of a war, and faced with extinction.

  • Trent, if this is the right answer, you can accept it by clicking the checkmark on the left. Please do; it will show everyone the mystery was solved, and reward both you and Ayshe with some reputation :) – Jenayah Feb 18 at 18:59
  • @Jenayah - It's always a good idea to wait at least 24 hours before choosing an answer. There's always the chance that a better answer will come along. Unless the poster is absolutely certain that the answer is correct. – WhatRoughBeast Feb 18 at 19:07
  • @WhatRoughBeast on story-id most of the work is finding the right one; sure, someone else could now post a new answer with quotes and the like, but as story-id tends to attract hit-and-run users, I think it's better to indicate the "acceptance" functionality exists in the first place. Totally agree outside of story-id, though. (That reply sounds familiar. Didn't we already have such a conversation? Or was that with someone else?) – Jenayah Feb 18 at 19:42

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