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Publisher's Summary

Beginning a New Series by a New York Times Best-Selling Author.Will the People of Earth Bow Down toAlien Overlords—or Will They Live Free or Die?

First Contact Was Friendly

When aliens trundled a gate to other worlds into the solar system, the world reacted with awe, hope and fear. But the first aliens to come through, the Glatun, were peaceful traders and the world breathed a sigh of relief.

Who Controls the Orbitals, Controls the World

When the Horvath came through, they announced their ownership by dropping rocks on three cities and gutting them. Since then, they've held Terra as their own personal fiefdom. With their control of the orbitals, there's no way to win and earth's governments have accepted the status quo.

Live Free or Die

To free the world from the grip of the Horvath is going to take an unlikely hero. A hero unwilling to back down to alien or human governments, unwilling to live in slavery and with enough hubris, if not stature, to think he can win. Fortunately, there's Tyler Vernon. And he has bigger plans than just getting rid of the Horvath.

Troy Rising is a book in three parts—Live Free or Die being the first part—detailing the freeing of earth from alien conquerors, the first steps into space using off-world technologies and the creation of Troy, a thousand trillion ton battlestation designed to secure the solar system.

©2010 John Ringo (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Republican Physicists in Space!!!

This is actually solid and creative sci-fi. A few of the reviews I read accuse the book and the author of racism but I think this is going way too far. The story is basically about Republican physicists saving the world. Even as someone who is very politically progressive I enjoyed it immensely. The conservative stuff is not hidden, the author just throws it right out there and in that way it's almost funny. The good guys are heads of corporations who are trying to save humanity despite government interference/regulation. There's a bunch of little digs in the vein of "if we can just keep the damned government off our backs" and even a slam on space-environmentalists ("we've trashed our own planet enough...")

That said I didn't find any of this overbearing and in reality the author is probably correct that first contact with alien species would not dry up all the hundred year old political squabbles on earth.

Alot of this book is concerned with the size/scope/power requirements of spacefaring. I bring that up to say that despite the levity of the dialogue it's actually pretty hard core sci-fi. Those hoping for laser battles or light-saber fights will be disappointed by this novel. The major battle scene reads almost like a physics textbook.

Overall this is a fun read. The narrator is excellent, he does some voice modulation for different characters but does not go to the ridiculous lengths to which some are tempted.

85 of 99 people found this review helpful

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Not the Hubble

Back in the 80's I read a long article in Discover Mag. about the making of the mirror for the Hubble telescope. It was just before the Hubble was to be launched into space. It was exciting, because we were excited about this huge telescope and what it would mean to science. It was interesting because it was about real people and the real things they had to do to get it done right. ( which turned out they did not do right).

Ringo spends two to three hours telling you how to make a mirror in space out of an asteroid. While this is very interesting, ten minutes would have been plenty. In my non-fiction I want details. In my fiction I want a story, not step by step directions on how to do something for hours. In one part when building a large machine he even goes into the building of giant washers. He does the same with economics. You get a few hours of econ 101 with this book.

Embedded in the hours of take peg A and insert in slot B, is a really really good story. There were chapters I could give 5 stars too, because the story was so good. Take out all the other though and you only have about a four hour story.

I try not to dish on fellow reviewers, as I am pretty sensitive myself, but for some reviewers to say they did not see the politics is ridiculous. Ringo hits so hard on liberals and anybody who lives in a city, that I thought maybe he was trying to do an opposite of "Stranger In a Strange Land". That he was so extremely conservative to show conservatives how overboard they can go. In one part of the book, it is mentioned that most of Africa gets wiped out of existence and he responses by saying they were worthless people anyways. The name of the book is "Live Free or Die".

If you like your science fiction full of the nuts and bolts it takes to build things and economies and if your not politically sensitive, then you will love this. If you like a really good story, it is there, you just will have to wade through hours of instructions, but it is there.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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A different approach to earth vs aliens

Pretty good and very unique.

This book is an Atlas Shrugged set in space.

Shows a different side of human expansion into space encountering both passive and aggressive species.
This book has a focus on the economics of expansion into space that is centred around one specific capitalist how helps the world.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A very fun daydream.

Would you listen to Live Free or Die again? Why?

Perhaps, to get the science parts better and all those very many abbreviations.

What did you like best about this story?

The concept, the idea of the solution on how to "fix" the "problem" at hand.

Which scene was your favorite?

no favorate, I like many of the ideas and concepts.I dont like the gene/medical attack ideas and scenes.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, not that kind of a book in my opinion.

Any additional comments?

The writer is either from the south or loves the south.He is a die hard right wing republican.If you, the reader are one the left side of politics or PC, "this read might hurt your feelings"...I am how ever on the right, I love it! :) I don't like some of those gene/medical ideas, they are just silly and show the writers preference rather than something an attacking alien force would do.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Captivating

This is such an awesome story! I thought I'd give it a try, since I was not familiar with the author. Half way through listening to book 1, I bought books 2 and 3, and I don't want to go to work - I just want to finish listening!

I'll certainly be checking out John's other books. He has a great way of blending action, characters, and plot. Also, I love the references to BSG and Star Wars - Frakkin cool.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Simply Awesome

This is just great, everything just about falls into place just perfectly and results in a great story I cant wait to listen to again in a year or so, after I listen to the other 2 books that follow this one - First of all, I listened to this so I have no idea if names are spelled correctly, but you should be able to figure it out

So I watched something on National Geographic on 5-22-11 called "When Aliens Attack" and the author of this book is on there and the show was sorta along the lines of the beginning of this book, so look for that if you can find it

So an alien gateway comes into the Sol system (thats Earth) by some aliens that send these around to systems to establish contact and trades and stuff like that, but bad aliens can come out of it, and they do - the Horvath

What happens is that by chance a Sci-Fi writer turned lumberjack/grocery store clerk/jack of all trades because of a lack in sci-fi as a things people care about after actual aliens come, Tyler Verden by chance discovered that maple syrup was like really strong alcohol for the Glatoon and trades it for this realy powerful computer chips that are worth millions, over night he becomes the richest person in the world and basically takes over everything not government controlled (and some that is)

Tyler builds a really cool space laser called the SAPL (Solar Array Pumped Laser) or like Tyler puts it "Super Ass Powerful Laser" and it takes light from the Sun and points it onto VDA's (Variable Distributed Arrays) or again Tyler's name "Very Dangerous Array" and other really cool acronyms

So this turned into one of the best books I have ever read/listened to, I have only one complaint and thats that it is to short - it jumps months and even years between chapters, and it would be cool to experience that stuff - I think it could have been 10-15 hours longer even, there are 2 more books that I have just started on and I hope they are just as good

Highly recommended, its more like 6 out of 5 stars

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matthew
  • Mankato, MN, United States
  • 08-15-10

For Better or Worse: Ringo Channels Heinlein.

I like this book.

I have given a 5 star rating because it does exactly what it promised in the first few minutes: to discuss politics, war and relationships.

I will note that I am sucker for the Heinlein homage that seeps through Ringo's writing in this novel. If you like Robert Heinlein's classic characters Lazarus Long or Jubal Hershaw, you will like Ringo's Tyler Vernon. However, the converse sentiment also holds true, you will likely see in Tyler Vernon the same audacious (maybe even arrogant) attitudes found in Heinlein's writing which alleges that bureaucrats are the single biggest danger to humanity (even more than the dreaded "liberals").

I will note that for the record, the author takes creative liberties with many (read most) of the details regarding space exploration, political/economic philosophies and the suffering that comes with Alien Domination. While I accept that current literary theory holds that authors only tell the stories they themselves believe and as such Ringo must see himself as Tyler Vernon, I will note that the same criticism has been labeled at Heinlein. I would say that if all you hear or read in the character of Tyler Vernon is a fictional caricature of the ideal "rugged individual," you have only seen one dimension of Tyler Vernon.

As a work of Science Fiction, this is not a book that reads like a technical manual nor is it filled with in-depth or vivid descriptions of milieu, environment and setting. Yet careful listening to the words will demonstrate that the relative unimportance of details is a central theme in the life of Tyler Vernon.

At the same time, it must be noted that Ringo is not Tom Clancy. I say this to note that Ringo does not bury you in minute details simply to prove the expertise of his characters or his own depth of knowledge and extensive research. Ringo implicitly requests his readers/listeners accept his authorial fiat on the subject of details in order to tell us a new twist on an old story.

22 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 06-16-12

Tyler Vernon to the rescue!

This book kicks off the Troy Rising series with the standard Sci-Fi scenario of mankind's first contact with aliens. As is often the case, things don't go well for Earth as we are outclassed both technologoically and militarily when the Horvath come to claim our resources. Earth's governments have no recourse but to comply to the demands and Earth becomes a subservient planet.

Enter Tyler Vernon into the story and things start to change. Tyler Vernon not only steps up to save Earth but he also saves this entire series of books. He is an interesting, opinionated character that isn't willing to allow Earth to remain slaves to the Horvath. Any time the book (and series) focuses on Tyler Vernon and his plans it flies by and is a joy to listen to.

There are, however, lulls in each of the 3 books in the series so far where Ringo spends way too much time on boring subjects. In the first book it is the difficulties of mining in space with a "laser", in book 2 it is ship maintenance and welding in space, and in book 3 it is the culture clash faced by the Latin American military in space. Each of these are important to the overall story, but could have been addressed in far fewer pages. The bloat fills the gaps between the interesting parts of the story related to Tyler Vernon and the fight for humanity's freedom.

Mark Boyett does a decent job with the material, although he is forced to repeat "Tyler said" thousands of times due to the way the book is written. He is also a bit dry in his overall reading.

If you are willing to take the good with the bad then give the Troy Rising Series a shot. It is a 5 star story arc stuffed with boring periods that drag it down to 3 stars.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Another John Ringo classic

John Ringo delivers again with a sweeping epic of the near future. He draws on some old sci-fi themes from classic stories of the past, throws in a Howard Hughes-like character, and gives us another great story. Ringo's conservative political views tend to come out in his writing, but are a minor distraction from an otherwise great story. This audio book was well-narrated with good characterization. I am looking forward to Ringo's sequel in what I understand will be a triology. I recommend this one.

32 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Classic Ringo

If you enjoy john ringo then you will absolutely love this book. Memorable characters, great science, solid story and clear writing, it's all there, along with his political views.
Point is, there is nothing in this book that will be surprising to any Ringo fan. If your a new fan of a politically right bent, you'll love this book.
If you're not, or you haven't been a fan of ringo in the first place, then, like the person who gave the book a 1 star, just avoid this book. It's that simple.
To the Ringo fans out there, Rest Assured, he'd done it again.

23 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Philipp
  • 08-31-11

Predictable but fun

This title has received criticism of being right-wing propaganda...
Apparently, one can't even read a book anymore without politicising it.

I for one had fun with this and I'm not ashamed for it.
Yes, the story is a bit cheesy and predictable, the main character a hero who single-handedly saves Earth, but so what?
It's not like Hollywood has done any better lately. At least the characters in Live Free or Die have more depth to them.

If you're looking for something whimsical, surprising or deep, you'll be disappointed, but if you like the majority of SciFi movies, you will enjoy this.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. R. Chvapil
  • 10-27-13

well written

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Just what I love. Story about mankind's resourcefulness set in not so far future. Mankind triumphs thanks to few special individuals and ability to cooperate and work hard. In short " Don't mess with the Terrans"

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes, absolutely

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jamie
  • 10-13-11

Brilliant stuff

I love this book, I have listened to it twice now. The narrator is fantastic, his Vermont accents absolutely spot on and very funny. This is one of the most unusual sci-fi stories I've read and also the funniest. I don't like Russell's review of this book, I can't help thinking that he misunderstood some of the politics and humour. It is interesting and odd that Russell has also posted the exact same, word for word review on Amazon of the paper back book.
Don't be put off, this series is thoroughly entertaining and clever.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Hellseele
  • 10-27-17

Good story, unfortunately fascist though

Got through 2/3 of the book before I couldn't take the super conservative rhetoric anymore. It's apparently on the KKK reading list, which after reading this last chapter is not surprising. Had to stop reading, such a shame.

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  • Mr. Robert A. Blanch
  • 05-02-17

Loved it!

A breakneck pace story of human ingenuity, overcoming the odds and not backing down. Giant space constructions/infrastructure building, science, super weapons, and space battles. Very enjoyable. Some moaning about it not being PC, and although there are a couple of wince moments it's really not significant. For instance, I read one review that said how every women is described as "stacked" so I listened out for it. Actually, it's only used twice, in the whole book. Could have been written better or more subtly, but not a big deal. And some see it as an attack on left wing, city dweller types, and well yes the main good guys are conservatives but again, it's not a big deal unless you make it so. So yes, I recommend this book to anyone who is not neurotic or easily "triggered".

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  • Danielius
  • 03-17-17

awesome but

Eveything was great. But shouldnt have included political commentary. Out of place. The tidbits of slacking off liberals and hailing conservatives. Thankfully there wasn't too much of it.

Other than that close to perfect book and one of the best narration performances ive heard.

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  • Trevor
  • 01-04-15

Quite enjoyable

Any additional comments?

It was a good book, would not normally go for this but tried other series from the author which i enjoyed. The book and idea was simple but fun, why not have one man whom stands above overs :) did go on a bit but overall enjoyable :)

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  • John Gray
  • 04-09-14

Best audible SF book ever

Would you listen to Live Free or Die again? Why?

Absolutely brilliant SF book, really big what if storyline, had me riveted and unwilling to get out the car and go into work n

What was one of the most memorable moments of Live Free or Die?

Sticking it to the Horvath

What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

Clear and well paced.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Troy station coming online and defending the world

Any additional comments?

Listen to it, awesome.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • DENNIS
  • 04-13-13

MILITARY SCI-FI

FAST PACED BLOOD AND GUTS-TYPICAL RINGO SCI-FI A BOOK YOU DON'T WANT TO PUT DOWN/STOP LISTENING TOO.WILL BE BUYING THE NEXT EPISODE.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 10-22-15

terrible story, horrible politics, not for me!!

this starts well, the guy can write, but after about 2 hours the story descends into a slightly distasteful right wing, misogynistic rant. I had to stop listening, in fact I'll be asking for my money back on this one.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim
  • 10-18-16

Great

It's slightly hu-ya America or bust for a foreigners taste, but it's a really good yarn for anyone with a sci fi taste for space. Very funny too at times.

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  • S
  • 03-12-16

great sci fi

great military sci fi. Practical look at humanity in space and a great yarn. Certainly not fantasy rubbish.

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  • Paul McMahon
  • 10-11-14

Hokey ... maybe for kids?

I had my misgivings about this book from the comments posted about the politics that suffuse the narrative; but I'd hoped that it was part of the humour, something playful.

But I just couldn't settle. There was the "politics", but also that I just didn't care for any of the characters. In part I think this was down to the reading, which gave the narrative a hokey sound.

But then I heard "frack", "fracking" and "nimrod" and realised the book was probably more for the juvenile market. Frack and Fracking being silly alternatives to F**k, etc; and "nimrod" I think I first heard coming from the kid character in "Terminator 2". PG13?

The story concept really had some potential.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful