Great book. Great narrator. The story was detailed and engaging with out going overboard with endless sci-fi technicalities that can give you a headache. The author does a good job of creating just enough levity to make the main character serious but amusing. Looking forward to the sequels.
I've been a Ringo fan for a long time, and this was definitely one of my favorites. Great plot, excellent writing, and I just could not stop listening.
There is a little bleed over from some of the stuff in the last centurion, (political philosophy, not plot or content) but it didn't bother me.
First john hits a very political note here, with high tongue in cheek fun. Its entirely possible people would be offended. To those people i would point out that this is a fiction story and the political elements are part of what makes the story work. For everyone this story is great fun! with a ton of humor, and alot of good science (disregarding the magic science of the gates)
The story takes an interesting approach to alien contact. An advanced race, the Glatun places a space gate close to Earth, which makes possible to travel huge distances. Doing so, they connect the Earth to the other species. But instead of a big hype, they simply give a "phone notification" to the presidents of the most important countries, and then they leave.
Another unusual turn is that another race, the Horvath oppresses the Earth, taking our valuable metals.
Usually, in other books what comes next is a heroic fight for the freedom of the planet, but not in this one. Vernon takes small steps, first trading with the Glatun to get finance for other projects, and then he buys space ships to mine asteroids. Finally he builds a super asteroid-fortress to defend the Earth from the Horvath. This makes the story more "real", more believable.
Another point, which distinguishes this story from the tiresome hollywood plots is that people die in the fight. Whole cities are destroyed.
The one thing I found disturbing is that the author gave too much scientific details. While it could be compelling to someone working in the research or science field, sometimes it was boring for me.
I think the title really fits the story, because the main character, Tyler Vernon rather dies than let the aliens occupy the Earth. Vernon is not a hero like Superman. He is an ordinary man, but still he has strong values.
I enjoyed this audio book, and recommend for listening.
I enjoyed the writing, concepts, and narration of the book. That being said, I know that John Ringo is a guest commentator on Fox News, but the constant political bashing does get a bit old after a while. I get it, you don't like liberals but geez... In any case, I did enjoy the book enough to get the following two books :-)
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.
I enjoyed this books so much that I have played it three times in the last three months. I can not wait for the next installment and have searched the internet to find out when it would be avalible.
As for the bad reviews, I will say that it is a sad fact that politics are a way of life and those that wish to stick there head in the sand, well there is nothing anyone can do. and the rest is about trying to imagine what an alien race would do.
If this was to really have happened Washington would use a nuke to get Tyler for the Horvath.
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.
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!!!!!!!!
I vacillated between entertained/engaged, mildly amused, bored, and confused.
There are definitely a lot of redeeming qualities here. Humans harness the power of the sun to create massive death lasers, and wipe out some oppressive aliens. Good Stuff.
However, that only described the final 75-100 pages. The rest of the time you watch the main character scheme and build up earth's infrastructure to give us the ability to do the aforementioned badassery. To be honest, it was kind of fascinating to see the obstacles and challenges in catching up to star-faring races. The bureaucrats and the media personalities are often ludicrously stupid and obstinate (I wonder if Ringo has any opinions there).
As fun as all of this was, it was not on par with what I wanted out of the book. (namely alien death-by-laser)
One other major problem that stuck out to me was that certain parts of the plot read like a white-supremacist's wet dream. (the writing doesn't really seem racist but it's still weird) Let me explain: Understandably, Earth takes a beating in the beginning, but for some reason, wiping out major cities isn't enough for the aliens. They also craft a disease that kills off people without the genomes for... [drum roll please] ... blonde hair. The disease then alters the DNA of all blonde females to make them much more orgasmic, and makes them go into heat, monthly. Uhhh... ok. I'll admit that there is SOME justification from the alien perspective... but still.
At least the main character admits it's not very cool that he thinks the world is better-off after most of Africa and the Middle-East get wiped out. Right?