I am so glad I decided to start this series! I almost past on this book due to the reviews warning about it's political nature. I guess I'm just ignorant because I did not notice the politics. Maybe any Horatio Agler 'rags to riches' type story has a political bend? I don't know, but I loved this book.
The scifi foundation was very good, but I was suprised how often I found myself laughing out loud while listening. I almost wet my pants laughing when one of the main characters, in response to seeing an enormous fleet of hostile aliens about to attack, say's "ooh that's bad...that's bad on toast". The description of aliens getting stoned on maple syrup was quite funny as well.
The narration was excellent also. Mr. Boyett did a very good job with the alien voices, not cheezy, but enough to make you visualize something other than human talking.
Since listening to this book, I have listened to book two, Citadel, also excellent, and can not wait til book three, Hot Gate, is available.
John Ringo is a great Sci Fi writer. All his books have humor, and historical insight applied to future imagined. To top it off Mark Boyett is the best narrator I've heard yet. This is a great book and hopefully part one of a series. The aliens are funny as hell without trying. The novel ideas for using crude brute force engineering to achieve sophisticated goals makes this a must read.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
I realize that this is nearly the 100th review of this book, so no one is going to read it, but I feel compelled to write about it anyway, the book was that disturbing.
I read a lot of military science fiction. Ringo, Weber, etc. are all rather right-wing, and, though I don't always agree with the politics, I don't get bent out of shape about it. Good science fiction is good science fiction, and many of the great and good in classic SF (from Heinlein to Delany) have their own weird axes to grind. Science fiction is supposed to require an open mind, after all. I have read Ringo before as well, and even know about the "OH JOHN RINGO NO" meme (seriously, Google it), so I thought this would be fine. But this was really, really upsetting politics, even for Ringo.
The first third of the book feels like classic Heinlein - one brilliant polymath saves the world through clever tricks, gets to tour alien worlds, and sets up a megacorporation. Lots of fun all around, some entertaining writing, and a good plot. Stop there. Really.
You should stop, because, as the book goes on, the authors worldview comes out in ugly ways. Female characters, when they appear, are only sex objects, but that is only par for the course. Worse, in an excruciatingly long section, the author comes out with a way to kill most of the poorest people in America (with some not-subtle implications that this includes most African Americans), while simultaneously blaming them for their own deaths. In the same mass slaughter are, explicitly, most Africans and most Muslims. And his characters, after mourning for a second, then go and stating that this will be better for society, a point which the book proceeds to demonstrate.
I prefer my science fiction with a lots less eugenics and coded racism. The book would have been 3 stars without it (the last two thirds of the book are much less fun and imaginative than the first third) but I found it entirely unpalatable with. If this wasn't an audiobook, I could have skimmed the nasty parts, but listening to it was incredibly painful. Read some Tanya Huff or David Weber instead, still conservative, still military SF, still idiosyncratic, but much less disturbing.
I'm about 2/3 of the way through, but thus far there are no real likable or relatable characters, as far as I'm concerned. The plot is great, but I'd like to see some more well rounded characters. Not everything is as cut and dried as this book portrays.
I generally love Mark Boyett narrations, and this book is also great for the most part, but his New England (New Hampshire) accent is AWFUL. Not such a big deal though.
People, particularly underprivileged and minority children, are dying from a never before seen parasite, that exhibits minimal signs of infection but is easily treatable if you know how. One character's response is "Their parents don't care about them..." and that comment is accepted and taken as fact.
I think that the plot is great, and there is good attention to detail, so it's probably worth a shot. The book is written from the perspective that only hardcore conservatives have any modicum of intelligence, and all liberals are idiots. All liberal characters in the book have the intelligence of a below average 15 year old. Everything that the conservatives do is correct, and all liberal thoughts and actions are erroneous. If that doesn't bother you, then you'll probably love the book.
This book consists of the following 2 character types:
1) Intelligent, hardworking extreme conservatives.
2) Really dumb liberals that can't understand basic economic or tactical concepts.
I'd categorize myself as a fairly liberal person. I'm also minority and I grew up in an underprivileged area. I also have a M. S. in Mechanical Engineering, and I'm working on a Ph. D. As you can guess, that makes it difficult to relate to either of the 2 character types that are in this book. Considering my background, I feel that there are many instances where the author is just insulting. See my response for "What was one of the most memorable moments..." for an example.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
I have now listened to two John Ringo novels (A Hymn Before Battle was my first) and found them both to be well written. This novel manages to walk a tight rope between idea-based gadget Hard Science Fiction and character-based Soft Science Fiction. It contains the requisite alien invasions and significantly advanced technology to qualify as Hard SF. It also has great people. The character Tyler Vernon is a geek fantasy come true: Computer game designer, uniquely skilled to deal with alien business relations because of his computer modeling of a financial Sci-Fi game, builds an empire that allows him to save mankind from extinction. The personality of Tyler Vernon dominates the story and he is a likable persona, well-suited for advancing a Space Opera storyline. Perhaps the most endearing thing about the book is that it manages to avoid pretension while clearly promoting a free-market capitalist agenda. While the alien and technology are standard Science Fiction tropes, Ringo infuses these well-used elements with a fresh and fun-filled storyline that is entertaining, and even engaging, making me want to continue listening to hear what happens next.
I have now listened to several military Science Fiction books, trying to get a sampling of the field. This is one of the best. Along with Marko Kloos’ Frontlines series and B.V. Larson’s Undying Mercenaries, this is a series I will continue with.
Mark Boyett is a good fit for this John Ringo book. His character voicings are appropriate, handling even female inflections very well. A great narrator is essential for me to enjoy an audiobook, and I enjoyed this one very much.
This book lives up to its title and provides readers of military SciFi with a country boy/American centric approach to the genre. Having said that the story is well crafted and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
This book and the two that follow it are some of the fastest reads I've ever owned, I read a lot and just couldn't put these down. I bought my first set in paperback and reluctantly gave them to my nephew, bought my second set (also in paperback) for one of my sons. I just recently bought a Kindle Fire and discovered that I can plug it into my work van and listen while I drive (I'm a Courier.) Now I'm buying the audio set.
The science (as far as I could follow) is accurate and not overwhelming. The story just flows so well, I didn't want to shut it off to go to bed. It's just that good.
My hat's off to Mark Boyett as well. The Narration never got in the way of the story.
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
We are the Grtul. We come in peace. The ring in your sky is a gate to other worlds. We produce these rings and move them into star systems. Use of the ring requires payment. The payment schedule will be sent to you.
In the last ninety million years we have been asked most conceivable questions. We will answer the three most common questions asked and then we will terminate this call.
"By 'anyone can use the ring' do we mean that another species can use it to enter your system?
Does that mean that hostile or friendly forces can use it?
Are you allowed to block the ring?
This is just a beginning of one of my favourite Science Fiction books
In my opinion this book is a culmination of John Ringo's talent, because I consider it to be his best work yet!!!! All the previous books were just training and sharpening of skills to make this book just the way it is!!!
Alien races and Space battles, technological development and human ingenuity, trade agreements and biblical plagues.
AND THE BEST HUMOUR I READ IN YEARS AND ALL OF IT SUPPORTED BY GENIUS NARRATION!!!!!!!!
Good Science Fiction for a conservative with an uncompromising point of view (Rush Limbaugh writing Sci Fi). Someone who isn't offended by half naked women in beer commercials. Fox news watcher. The South will rise again believer.
No thank you.
No. It was well read.
Women referred to as being "stacked". Treating enlisted soldiers as incompetent. Women becoming unnaturally horny.
I read around 50 books a year and this is the first one in a long time that I didn't like. It was not intended for me and I should of done more research. I bought it on sale and don't mind reading a book that offends me every once and a while. It feels invigorating to disagree with someone. The story and engineering were interesting. The treatment of women I found insulting. I have a Star Trek view of life and when someone is uncompromising, I find it hard to listen to them.
I couldn't believe how much I liked this book when I launched into the first few chapters. I also couldn't believe how much I disliked this book when hour after hour was spent discussing the pros and cons of various engineering problems.
Instead of the rapid-pace events of the book's beginning, be prepared for bureaucrats, negotiations, engineering brain-storming sessions and one meeting that leads to another that leads to still another, seemingly endlessly.
I appreciate that John Ringo has given this a great deal of thought and wants to include the detail he has imagined for this project. However, I just really don't care how you are going to solve the problem of cutting a door through a nickel-iron chunk of asteroid.
This is not really hard sci-fi, which I love, but hard engineering fiction where a person is supposed to enjoy the debates about advanced engineering topics. Included in these long discussions are questions about how much tonnage some device should be, and the pros and cons of having an interior 9 kilometers across versus 10 kilometers because they didn't use enough volatiles when expanding the sphere.