Live Free or Die is a slowburn. I can understand that John Ringo had to set up the rest of the trilogy but there were whole sections which felt unnecessary and if I was completely honest, Live Free or Die feels as though it should have been backstory for the story to actually start in the second novel in the series (Citadel??).
I appreciate that the author did a lot of research to enable him to have the science down for the story but sometimes this information should be kept by the author instead of being turned into a novel and pushed out the door.
Tyler Vernon (or was it Vernon Tyler? The name was shifted around so many times I got confused whether it was his first name or surname) wasn't a particularly enjoyable character to read. The man has anger issues dating back to the American Civil War and maybe he was only a mouthpiece for Ringo to put his own political view into the novel. Either way I didn't particularly enjoy reading about the politics.
Let's be honest, the Troy is nothing more than the Death Star and Ringo acknowledges this fact during the novel as well at one point. And there's a reason why Geoge Lucas (who has made many mistakes during his constant changes to Star Wars) doesn't show us the Empire building the Death Star --> it's boring.
What a breath of fresh air. Mr. Ringo writes a great story in the Heinlein tradition and he is, unlike the likes of greats Stephen King and Greg Bear, upfront and open in his fiction writting concerning his political views. It is so very nice not to get a Stephen King or Greg Bear style sucker punch directed at conservatives in the middle of a good story. Either writers (and movies makers) should avoid making political insults against half the population of the U.S. or be upfront in their storyline as John Ringo is.
Great Sci-Fi epic about what if aliens came to earth and what they would do. The action is good, the characters are interesting. The plot is entertaining and engrossing. The main character is believable as a very resourceful “normal” American. The portrayal of governments and bureaucracies not able to deal effectively with the Aliens is spot on.
An Excellent Book! Listened every available minute and looking forward to the next in the series said to be released this 2011. Thanks for this John and hope Mark Boyett narrates the squeals.
Awesome book, but I am having problems waiting on the next! I really enjoyed it and I am sure you will too if you are a Ringo fan...
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Bit 'lecturey' on civil rights and "community" as it relates to subsets of the American population and how "protective" they are about their "own"... it would have been okay in smaller doses, but there are entire scenes put in the story only for the purpose of pointing out how Federal intervention contravenes civil liberties. (Yes, I know Ringo has a reputation for putting his political views into his novels, it doesn't normally bother me, it's just a little... story-slowing here.)
There is too much time spent detailing how asteroids are mined (several full chapters and then some was dedicated to this) and how various components of a space ship are built (interspersed a bit better than the asteroids, but still a couple chapters full of techie details, like you're reading a "how-to" manual or something).
Not nearly enough action!! There is some action and suspense, but there is so much time spent on lecturing/describing space station/weapon/ship building and mining techniques that it drags the story's forward momentum right down to a slow walk. I had bought all 3 books of the trilogy before reading any of them and think I would not have if I'd known it was so slowly paced. I've read lots of Ringo's stuff (Into the Looking Glass is a good military sci-fi with decent pacing) but this is the first time I've noticed such a draggy pace... I'm guessing it's because there's so much "teaching" going on. Anyway, I hope that the others in the series have more action.
Don't get me wrong....the story is okay - alien invasion and human perseverance and a bit of wondering if we'll prevail!! Some great concepts and nicely narrated... It's just that there is way too much talking and not nearly enough shooting.
A story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and opens your mind to technology of the future.
Love the scene when our hero with cell phone in hand was standing on the mountain waiting for the evil space ship to blast him to bits.
Yes, this is a book that you are will to give up some sleep to hear it all.
Loved the author's look on what freedom means and how much freedom people in the United States are will to give up. A fun book that makes you think.
Way too much tec data but the story was interesting enough to warrant getting the next book.
This book is likely to appeal to young science ficiton fans who are unknowingly conservative.
The book hasn't put me off science fiction as a genre.
The narrator was excellent.
Throughout the book I was struggling to work out whether the right wing US nationalism of the characters (and inherent in the plot too) was supposed to be ironic or not. I sincerely hope it is irony but, unfortunately, I doubt this is the case. Until my doubts prove to be unfounded I won't be reading or listening to any more or Ringo's books as I find the attitudes on display disappointing and naive.
Another fun and mostly enjoyable "low" sci-fi by Ringo. I found myself frequently disappointed in the author for his flogging of the concept the free market and other overwhelmingly discredited social concepts. The narrator doesn't voice female characters well, which is not a major problem since women don't exist in Ringo's universe unless they're "stacked" and a genius; even then, they're respectfully quiet around men. I nearly deleted the novel from my phone when he discussed children of minorities dying because " don't care about their children;" not to mention that in his fantasy world the majority of the lowest income bracket is occupied solely by those minorities. (It's implied that this is because they're lazy, stupid, and don't want to work.)
If a story about an extremely misogynous and racist super-rich Gary-Stu winning the day because he's misogynous, racist, and rich doesn't bother you, then this is a perfectly passable, though simple, science fiction story. If you aren't in the Sarah Palin crowd, (anyone can be President, even when they are dumb as a cow patty!) you should probably stick with more mature writers.