Trigger warning, I suppose.










This like a Tom Clancy book, but with weirder sex, much of it non-consensual. Also, not as well thought through or as well researched or as believable. I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.

Ghost Book Cover Ghost
John Ringo
October 31, 2006

Former SEAL Michael Harmon, Team Name "Ghost", retired for service injuries, is not enjoying college life. But things are about to change, if not for the better. When he sees a kidnapping a series of, at the time logical, decisions leave him shot to ribbons and battling a battalion of Syrian commandos with only the help of three naked co-eds who answer to the names ¿Bambi,¿ ¿Thumper¿ and ¿Cotton Tail.¿ A fast-paced, highly-sexual, military-action thriller that ranges from a poison factory in the Mideast to the Florida Keys to Siberia, the novel will keep you guessing what twisted fate will bring next for the man once known as . . . Ghost. Keep an eye on him or . . . poof, he'll be gone.

The Hot Gate

This book follows on from Live Free or Die and Citadel. This time we focus solely on Dana as she is transferred to a new unit. The story is interesting, although perhaps it focusses on the dysfunction of the Latin American countries a little more than is really necessary. More interestingly, the book ends the series (as best as I can tell) in an unusual manner for a book like this, with the humans not winning a simple out right victory — moral or otherwise. Overall, a fun light read.

The Hot Gate Book Cover The Hot Gate
John Ringo
April 24, 2012

New York Times best seller in hardcover. Armed forces veteran and seven-time New York Times best-selling author John Ringo delivers the third entry in his blockbuster Troy Rising SF series. Humanity fights back against a devastating Trojan-horse-like alien invasion of Earth and takes the fight to the stars by creating a vast battlestation as large as a planet. The third entry in the best-selling Troy Rising saga and follow-up to blockbuster Citadel from multiple New York Times and USA Today bestseller and military SF master, John Ringo. When the orbital gates first materialized in the outer Solar System, all seemed well, but a devastating invasion ensued. Now humans have battled back from the conquest by a tyrannical alien species to become a force to reckon with in the galaxy. On a crash-building course, humanity has created a near-impregnable battlestation of Deathstar proportions to prove it. But the enemy is remorseless and to survive humans must take the fight to the heart of their empire and prevail–a feat no previous species has ever accomplished. Instead, the bones and burnt hulks of those who have tried litter the star-ways. But these galactic imperialists have never contended with humans, a foe who is their match in sheer ferocity and desire to win. About the Troy Rising series: “[I]nfused with plenty of old-fashioned two-fisted can-do attitude . . .” –Publishers Weekly “[I]rresistible action-sf . . .[filled with] Ringo’s amazingly fertile imagination.” –Booklist About John Ringo: “[O]ne of the best…practitioners. . .of military SF.” –Publishers Weekly "[F]ast-paced military SF peopled with three-dimensional characters and spiced with personal drama as well as tactical finesse" –Library Journal “[Ringo’s work] “attains a terrible beauty not unlike that of the Norse Eddas…” –Publishers Weekly "If Tom Clancy were writing SF, it would read much like John Ringo.” –Philadelphia Weekly Press


This book follows on from Live Free or Die. I like the approach of this book, as it follows a couple of relatively normal people trying to get by, and how the main protagonist from the last book’s actions affect them. Its an engaging read, while still progressing the overall arc of the series. I really enjoyed it.

Citadel Book Cover Citadel
John Ringo
Baen Books
October 25, 2011

Hostilities escalate between the Rangora Empire and Earth defenders who seek to recapture the Sol system, a conflict that prompts military and civilian forces to render the Troy battle station an interactive war engine.

Live Free or Die

This book is useful. When the Earth is invaded by evil aliens intent on stripping us of our heavy metals, I now know how to fight back using just Maple Syrup and a Death Star I just happen to have hanging around. That’s education right there. This book is delightfully not sexist compared with some of Ringo’s other books, which makes me happy. It does lack strong female characters, but at least they’re not being used for titillation (refer to Cally’s War for an example of how this isn’t always true). I enjoyed this book.

Live Free or Die Book Cover Live Free or Die
John Ringo
October 26, 2010

First Time in Paperback. Beginning a New Series by a New York Times Best-Selling Author. Will the People of Earth Bow Down to Alien Overlords—or Will They Fight Back? First Contact Was Friendly When aliens trundled a gate to other worlds into the Solar System, the world reacted with awe, hope and fear. When the first aliens to come through, the Glatun, turned out to be peaceful traders, the world breathed a sigh of relief. Who Controls the Orbitals, Controls the World When the Horvath came through, they announced their ownership of us 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.

The Tuloriad

This book’s underlying premise isn’t really my thing. The escape of the remnants of the Posleen works for me, and I think holds together. However, I’m unconvinced by a religious mission setting out after the Posleen to convert them to one of the Earth religions. That just seems a bit far fetched to me. However, this book is rescued by the insights into the Posleen’s history that it offers. Its worth wading through the other stuff that isn’t all that interesting just to find out a bit more about how the characters ended up in this state.

[isbn: 9781439134092]

Yellow Eyes

This book is pretty preachy (if you’re not a republican your wrong and you’re what’s wrong with the universe), and long. The story also centers around haunted warships, which is a bit of a leap for this series. On the other hand, its a good read if you can put up with those bits. Overall ok, but not the best in the series.

[isbn: 9781416555711]

Watch on the Rhine

If you knew you were in deep trouble, had the technology to rejuvenate any soldier you wanted, and happened to be a late nineties Germany desperate for cannon fodder, would you return the SS to service? A harsh reality is that they’re some of the only soldiers you have left with real combat experience, even if their politics is abhorrent. This book has an interesting underlying concept, but to a certain extent its ruined by the politics of the authors — any concern for anything other that military strength is dismissed as another example of rampant nimbyism. However, the book tells a good story and made me think about some stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about, while being entertaining. So, overall a success I guess.

[isbn: 9781416521204]

Von Neumann’s War

A Von Neumann probe is an automated self replicating machine which is sent into space to map and possibly prepare for human exploration. What would happen if we were the victims of someone else’s Von Neumann probes run amuck?

This book is typical Ringo in that it is about an apocalyptic invasion from outer space, and you just know that most of the worlds population is going to die. However, the book is also exceptionally detailed in its handling of rocketry, and the science behind finding out more about the incoming threat is very well done.

Overall and good book that I enjoyed, although the end is definitely fishing for a sequel.

[isbn: 1416555307;9781416555308]

Princess of Wands

This book is very different from John Ringo‘s books (or at least the ones I have read). This one revolves around a cross between a soccer mom and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Its a fun, relatively light read and doesn’t have nearly as much combat as the other Ringo books I’ve encountered. The book takes the form of two short stories and a novella, with the novella having a pretty obvious dig at David Drake, which I thought was a bit odd. Overall, I enjoyed this book.

[isbn: 1416573860;9781416573869]

Cally’s War

Let’s be honest, this book has not reviewed well over the years. However, I had a long flight, and figured I’d give it a go. It wasn’t actually all that bad, and was certainly massively better than some other share cropped books I have read. The writing is competent and the plotting reasonable. I think the biggest problem is that the start of the book would be quite shocking to some people (it certainly bothered me), and Cally’s character is so out of line with where I wanted her to be 40 years after the last book. I can see how it would be possible for her to end up like she is in this book, but it was a disappointment to me. The pretty much constant shagging is distracting from the rest of the plot too.

Overall, I am left wanting to know more about the Darhel plot, and the book did help further that story line, if only a little. I don’t regret reading the book, even though it isn’t the strongest in the series.

[isbn: 141652052X;9781416520528]