Monday, August 3, 2009

Book review (sort of)

I have found a new (to me) author to love. John Ringo.

I have been a science fiction fan since about the 5th grade, and I've always been a fan of the hard core stuff, actual science fiction in the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. I am also, for various reasons (maybe it was the influence of Heinlein on me in my formative years), a fan of military science fiction.

A few months ago I stumbled across a series of co-authored books (March Upcountry, March to the Sea, March to the Stars and We Few) co-authored by David Weber and John Ringo. I liked the series. So I figured I'd go looking for more -- and I'd also try out the individual authors and see what I thought.

Well, I read one book by David Weber writing solo, and was not impressed. It felt flat, and left me with no desire to go looking for any others. So then I tried John Ringo, A Hymn Before Battle. I was hooked instantly. Gust Front is the second in a series of (thank you, book gods!) twelve titles related to the Posleen wars.

There is, of course, almost no chance genre fiction like this will ever be considered great literature, even though Ringo is a highly talented author. Still, the prose flows nicely on the page and the books respect a reader's intelligence. He is treading familiar ground: an alien threat that isn't taken seriously until it's too late, military officers intent on fighting the last war instead of the one they're confronted with now, various nefarious machinations happening in the background (including a group of what can only be summarized as Benedictine ninjas that make Dan Brown's fantasies about Opus Dei look positively trite in comparison) to tease the reader into wondering into just who is actually allied with whom and when will the ultimate betrayals be revealed -- in short, it's all wonderfully entertaining, mind candy at its finest.

I'm almost done with Gust Front, and am giving serious thought to actually driving tomorrow to the branch library that has When the Devil Dances (book #3) on its shelves instead of doing my usual request for it to be delivered to Brookhaven.


  1. i've never heard of him..but i go thru spurts of reading science fiction..i like fanatsy more than sic-fi..but will check him out.

  2. I like Ringo and Drake both in that genre. There's a realism that you don't find with a lot of other authors. A feel, really.

  3. I've read some Drake. Not bad, but for some reason it didn't resonate the way Ringo did.


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