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In the mail: The Last Centurion, by John Ringo.
I'd say this
In the second decade of the twenty-first century the world is struck by two catastrophes, a new mini-ice age and, nearly simultaneously, a plague to dwarf all previous experiences. Rising out of the disaster is the character known to history as “Bandit Six” an American Army officer caught up in the struggle to rebuild the world and prevent the fall of his homeland—despite the best efforts of politicians both elected and military. The Last Centurion is a memoir of one possible future, a world that is a darkling mirror of our own. Written “blog-style,” it pulls no punches in its descriptions of junk science, bad strategy and organic farming not to mention all three at once....makes it the ultimate must-read military sci-fi book for a milblogger.
I won my copy (author autographed - sweet!) in the Valor-IT auction - and thanks to John Ringo (and Laughing Wolf) for that. But you can read the first chapters online for free, then get your own here.
Funnny thing: the story really picks up after those first nine chapters.
I love this one-star Amazon reader review: "This is an extreme political rant very poorly disguised as an adventure novel. I'm very sorry I ever bought it and kept reading." I love it for the last three words - "and kept reading."
Another one-star reviewer says the "unrelenting insults to the left are over the line" and that "by the end of the story you have no doubt its not the character speaking but the author" -but it seems that one made it to the end of the story too.
In fact, all the one-star reviewers all apparently finished the book, and that's because it's a "page-turner". I intended to read a chapter or two last night and burned through 100+ pages myself.
Those reviwers dislike the central character. Hell, I don't agree with everything about him, but I can say that while he might not be "typical" he reminds me of a lot of guys I actually know who actually do what he does. And while aspects of the situation he and his team find themselves in might not be a likely future (hey - it's science fiction, albeit of the very near-future and very familiar world variety) his responses and actions are very much so. In short, Ringo has nailed a certain type of American. I'd call him the "rough man" - without whom sleep might not be so peaceful. (See Mudville motto.)
I'm only about half way through, but I'm hoping for a sequel. Trust me - highly recommended for milblogers and milblog readers. Money well spent. (And I paid 80 bucks for mine.)
Now I'm off to read another chapter.Posted by Greyhawk at December 17, 2008 10:57 PM
I've been reading John Ringo's books for a long time. If you like military science fiction, I think he's your best bet. From the way he writes, you get the impression that he's "been there and done that." (One of his characters laid in a mortar section, correctly!) This book is a departure from his normal SF stuff; it's more like a "what if" story. It's written a lot like a blog, and it is a political rant. However, it's a conservative rant, which is a refreshing change of pace. If you like David Weber, or maybe even Tom Clancy, I recommend this book.Posted by Neil S. at December 18, 2008 02:19 AM
Tom Kratman's "A Desert Called Peace" is another good one.Posted by Grimmy at December 18, 2008 12:35 PM
Another Excellent book from Mr. Ringo. Finished it a few weeks agoPosted by ASH at December 18, 2008 03:09 PM
You can do no wrong by reading everything that Ringo has seen fit to put his name on. Those of us who have been reading since the start of the Posleen series call his work, "reader crack"...because once you start, you can't stop. My personal best was 4 hours of reading time, starting the night my wife brought it to me, and the next morning at my 0600 wakeup (hey, it was the weekend!)
All of his books, save one, have a military setting. And Ringo is a serious conservative (but not that far out to the right to scare you.
BTW, his take on the "Religion of Peace" is the sh!t ;)Posted by Byron at December 20, 2008 02:08 PM
I reviewed the eARC (electronic advance reader copy) of this a few months back.FrancisT at December 22, 2008 09:43 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(6) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)