A leading voice in military SF, best-selling author John Ringo teams with real-life rocket scientist Travis S. Taylor for an explosive entry from their Looking Glass series.
Recovering from their first mission, the crew of the Vorpal Blade - humankind's first interstellar craft - is called into emergency action when an alliance gate colony is attacked. Who was the lethal alien enemy? What exactly happened at the colony? And dare the Vorpal Blade's battle-weary misfits engage a potentially superior force?
©2008 John Ringo &Travis S. Taylor; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
I love Ganser's voice, goes well with the story. As usual with a male narrator, the women often sound a little dippy, but he does better than most, and there aren't that many women. The series is full of the mechanics of physics and military rules, battles, strategy, etc - fascinating and informative, in my opinion. Not much character development, and in this particular book I had a little trouble believing the story line about one of the main characters falling in love, but a relatively minor plot point. If you enjoy dry/wry humor, lots of testosterone and good ol' boy/Brere Rabbit/aw shucks American/Southern ingenuity that kicks the butt of aliens with advanced technology, the occasional deus ex machina, edge of your seat battle scenes, and alien worlds which seem unremittingly to have unbreathable air and inedible foods, this series will appeal to you. I've felt that all books were equally good so far. I listen to them while driving, and often stay in the car after arriving somewhere, so I can keep listening - definitely engages the attention. In the Looking Glass and Live Free or Die series, the main character has a lot of similarities - a man with advanced degrees, non-military but works closely with the military, over-achiever, good ol' boy whose drawl hides a steel trap mind, somewhat megalomaniacal, and can't sustain a long-term relationship with a significant other. Very US-centric, which I found a little unrealistic given the premise of this story line, but hey, author's choice. Despite the small picky points, I can't wait to listen to the next book in both series.
I enjoyed this book in general. The whole series is a fun bit of fluff Sc-Fi. The reason I wanted to write this review, though, is to pick on a couple of things that annoyed me, though not enough to remove more than one star from the overall picture.
The completely unnessary, tacked-on love story should have just been removed. Eric (Two-Gun) goes back home for a visit and starts catching the eye of this girl. They go on one date, and all of a sudden she's promising to not date other men and to wait for him to come home in spite of the odds against his survival.
Okay, it's not too unrealistic for something like that to happen. Teenage girls (and boys too) often get swept up in their feelings of the moment and all that. But nobody else in the story seems to think it's a little too much. After she receives a message from Eric, Eric's mother asks her if she's going to be her mother in law soon, and she replies "I hope so!".
Seriously? Nobody's saying, "Hey, you two have basically just met each other and been on ony one date! Don't you think you should slow things down a bit?"
And the scenes where she's pining for him and watching a video montage to a song from the war on terror... kind of cringe-inducing. I guess it's just some video that gave the author the feels and he felt he needed to work it in. He should have reconsidered.
By the way, spoiler alert, though not by any means a big one, he asks her to marry him when he gets back and she says yes.
Also, the dig against France at the end there was completely unnecessary and historically innacurate. It was just the authors feelings on the subject being thrown in ham-fisted.
But like I said, it was an entertaining bit of sci-fi fluff overall. I'm just the kind of guy who loves to nit-pick.
well ringo did it again here i sit waiting for the next one. real good a little first contact gone wrong and right, we see some characters really step up, left me hanging for the next book. after the firt book i didnt care for the narrator now i am real used to him and hes great.
I'm only an hour in and less has happened than previous two books. I got pretty close to walking away from finishing the rest of the book just now during a high school cafeteria conversation about dates for a dance. No joke, it was in here. Even if Ringo eventually makes this auxiliary character some major influence on her associated main character, it will likely not be worth the extra wasted time spent going through such trivial matters. The normal life of people back home is assumed, just as that normal life's continuance being a goal of the main characters is assumed. Spending extra time wallowing through that life is a distraction from the point of reading this genre. Should someone want a refresher on what that normal is, they merely need step away from the book into their normal life. Fingers crossed that this was an anomaly. Pushing on...
If you are looking for a good, high-adventure sci-fi this is your book...and series. Ringo combines good science, colorful characters, humor and action brilliantly. Albeit on the edge of sci-fi and fantasy, this book will keep you entertained. L. J. Ganser does another superb performance.
Starting story lines and then just forgetting about them,its a theme. Just know if you read Ringo,this is what you should expect.
Really fun story line, excellent suspense building, and some honestly laugh-out-loud scenes. I don't laugh out loud at books, but so far there have been scenes in each book of this series that have made me roar. I even enjoyed the battle scenes although military fiction is not usually my cup of tea. Quirky and odd and hilarious - a very satisfying respite from reality.
Note: I think this series is Christian friendly but not preachy, however there is a fair amount of pseudo-cursing and some coarse talk among the soldiers in the story - enough to be realistic (realistic? It's a flying submarine!) but not overdone. Still, sensitive readers should take this under advisement.
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This is the 3rd book in the series and its much better then the 2nd one and it starts off pretty good and never really drops off, I thought that this is what the 2rd book should have been and its sorta like the 2nd book was slapped together, it could have been like this one.
The substituted swear words are back again but not used as much as before but its still stupid to do.
This time the Vorpal Blade gets to fight the dreen, they also meet a new species that helps them lots, it starts off as a simple mission to see what happened to a research facility after there was some sorta attack (how many times has this been the start to a story?) and the gate was closed with a nuke and moved to a secure location in Antarctica - well things get carried away and they have to stay longer then they wanted but in the end everything works out and they get new upgrades to the ship.
The phrases that were in the 2nd book about hot and cold life and death are explained here as a hitchhiker from the last mission that needs the cold of deep space to live and whenever there is heat it dies and has to be reborn again unless it can find a host to go into and survive, which it does and its not really mentioned much in the book only a few times and then eluded to in the end when 2 doctors are examining the head of the person it went into Merriam and they just say that there are "no notable changes in her brain function" when they do the compare thingie to the one made before the mission that was before she was the host to this whatever it is - it makes her much smarter and able to do all sorts of things that she shouldn't be able to know, as well as doing just about anything that needs doing on the ship including scrapping the paint from pipes and re stenciling the lettering on them.
This is a great book and I can only say that you ahve to get the next one Claws that Catch, its the last book in the series so lets hope it ends properly.
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